Year: 1992

Author: Holland, Dr Susan

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Concern about the `quality' of services provided to students and other clients, particularly industry, and a focus on `outcomes' rather than processes are emerging as twin imperatives for the Australian TAFE systems in the nineties. This is increasingly evident as each State system is being drawn into a national vocational education and training system as part of an explicit reform agenda. This paper will examine the implications for the TAFE systems of aspects of the national vocational education and training reform agenda: specifically, the impact of introducing competency-based training and establishing quality assurance systems within devolved operational structures. It will be argued that the test of such reforms must be the extent to which value is added to student learning.

I will deal with the impact of what I call the `outcome' and `quality' imperatives in turn. In the first instance, however, the national reform agenda will be sketched in broad outline. The major elements are neatly summarised in the recently agreed national goals for vocational education and training. Overall the national system of vocational education and training is intended to:
- be effective, efficient and collaborative,
- improve the quality of outcomes,
- improve opportunities and outcomes for individuals,
- be more responsive to industry,
- improve access and outcomes for disadvantaged groups,
- increase contribution from industry and individuals as training is to be seen as an investment.