Partnering with Zero Harm Safety & Training
Not all businesses have the required resources to become a registered training organisation (RTO) but would still like to deliver in-house accredited training. For these organisations, partnering with an RTO makes good sense. The partnership allows them to:
- Deliver nationally recognised training and qualifications to their employees
- Be assured of the integrity and quality of the assessments.
The basis of RTO partnerships
Under the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF), RTOs may establish partnerships with other RTOs as well as non-registered organisations to offer a broad range of training and assessment services. The basis of RTO partnerships aims to:
- Increase people’s access to nationally recognised qualifications
- Ensure national training and assessment arrangements meet industry requirements
- Facilitate the efficient use of training and assessment resources
- Promote the exchange of ideas, information and resources between different groups in the national vocational education and training (VET) system.
Establishing a partnership arrangement provides an opportunity to share skills, effort and resources for mutual benefit, thus reducing costs by achieving economies of scale.
Non-registered organisations may enter into an agreement with an RTO to deliver nationally recognised training or assessment services on behalf of the RTO, which remains responsible for compliance with the AQTF.
When a non-registered organisation partners with an RTO, the partners have the following responsibilities:
- The training candidate needs to be enrolled with the RTO.
- Training and assessment records must be kept and transferred to the RTO.
- The RTO quality assures the training and assessment throughout the life of the agreement.
- The RTO issues the qualification or statement of attainment.
- The RTO can only issue a qualification or statement of attainment for those qualifications that appear on its scope of registration.
It is the RTO’s responsibility to ensure the partner organisation is aware of the training and assessment records that must be kept and transferred to the RTO. At a minimum, the records transferred should include the assessment results and credit transfer outcomes.
State and territory registering authorities may require access to these training and assessment records.
A framework for success
Both the RTO and the partner organisation need to establish a very clear picture of their organisations' needs, commitment, resources and strategic intent before entering a partnership arrangement.
It is important to establish the gaps each organisation is looking to fill by the partnership arrangement.
The sorts of questions that would be helpful to ask include:
- What is the main reason for entering into an arrangement?
- How will this arrangement benefit each organisation?
- Is the current organisational climate favourable towards establishing such an arrangement?
- What represents a fair and equitable input of resources (personnel, money, materials, space and equipment) from each partner?
- How will each partner negotiate their expectations in terms of time and deliverables?
The partnering organisations need to be sure they can work together. They need to understand each other’s values, attitudes and culture and ensure a strong basis for mutual respect and teamwork.
The partnership arrangement
Once the organisations have decided to form a partnership arrangement, time is well spent establishing a framework that deals with what and how things will be achieved.
It is important all partners state their key interests, intent and needs before developing the details of the partnership.
RTOs are required to establish a written agreement with each organisation that provides training and/or assessment on their behalf. These written agreements can take a number of forms, including:
- Memorandum of Understanding.
- Memorandum of Agreement.
- Service Agreement.
- Letter of Agreement.
A good formal agreement will clearly establish the basic rules under which the partnership arrangement will operate. The type of agreement chosen will be influenced by:
- The policies and procedures on partnership arrangements set by both potential partners
- How much each potential partner is required to put into the partnership in terms of money, time and effort
- The degree of risk that may be entailed in the partnership.