ECEC community welcomes ASQA decision to extend qualification transition period to 18 months
The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) and the broader early childhood education and care (ECEC) community have welcomed a decision by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to extend the transition period for the full implementation of the new ECEC qualification curriculums to 20 January 2023.
The decision means registered training organisations (RTOs) will now have an additional six months to support students who commenced their studies under the old curriculum to finish before the new curriculum commences and in turn avoid needing to complete additional units and adhere to any other new requirements.
“When we learnt that the initial teach out/transition period was just 12 months we were very concerned at the knock-on effects that this could have on current and prospective students looking to embark on careers in ECEC,” said Paul Mondo, ACA President.
Positive sentiment towards decision echoed by the ECEC sector at large
This sentiment was echoed by Sam Rosenberg and Marie Vassallo who raised the profile of the matter via an opinion piece submitted to The Sector in which they highlighted in some detail how a 12-month transition period would create undue pressure on not just students and RTOs but also the various funding bodies who need to complete a range of processes and audits before the new courses are fully funded.
“RTOs throughout Australia as well as service providers reliant on the need for newly qualified educators will be greatly relieved by this decision which should allow current work-based and class-based students adequate time to complete their courses,” Mr Rosenberg said.
“The early education sector is very grateful ASQA responded so promptly to the calls for this extension from the relevant stakeholders including state and federal government ministers and advisers.”
Training, assessment and certification issuance period extended to 20 January 2023
In a notice to stakeholders, ASQA confirmed that the training, assessment and certification issuance period for ECEC qualifications from the CHC Community Services training package had been extended to 20 January 2023.
The relevant courses are:
- CHC30113 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care
- CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
- CHC50213 Diploma of School Aged Education and Care
- CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support
- CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support.
ASQA noted that the extension is granted to all registered training organisations delivering these qualifications and they will remain on relevant RTOs scope of registration until the end of the extended transition period, unless withdrawn from scope prior.
Decision to extend based on learners found to be “genuinely disadvantaged”
ASQA also confirmed that the decision to extend the transition period was made with support from SkillsIQ (in their role as the Skills Service Organisation for the CHC Business Training Package) who were able to demonstrate that learners would be genuinely disadvantaged if they were required to transition to the replacement qualification.
This process is consistent with ASQA’s Transition Items Guidance in which it outlines, amongst other things, that the body’s governing legislation, the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015, stipulates an initial 12-month transition period for new courses but also that in some cases, should the conditions merit, the authority is able to extend it.
“At the end of the day we are pleased that common sense has prevailed,” Mr Mondo said. “The sector can now return to focussing on planning without the undue pressure that the early transition would have created.”
Mr Rosenberg noted that while the announcement was a relief there is still work to be done.
“The next challenge is for the states and territories to add the new qualifications to their funded course lists, and update their purchasing guides only after which will the RTOs have the data they require to ensure a seamless commencement to the new courses being funded for students,” he explained.
To view the announcement by ASQA, see here.