Congratulations Victorian TAFEs: quality demonstrated – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

Congratulations Victorian TAFEs: quality demonstrated – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

There has been a lot of talk about the new ASQA self-assurance process during the first part of this year.

In this period, key events have included the following three activities. Firstly, ASQA has consulted on its final proposed model which strengthened training and assessment within the continuous improvement cycle. Secondly, TDA conducted a TAFETalks webinar in June, with ASQA as one of the guest speakers, along with the TAFE SA who provided insights into their continuous improvement self-assurance model. Finally, the Victorian TAFEs and dual sectors underwent their re-registrations and were asked to demonstrate their self-assurance commitment.

Self-assurance for RTOs is how they ‘manage their operations to ensure a focus on quality, continuous improvement, and ongoing compliance with the Standards’ (ASQA).

At the start of this process, I was sceptical, and ASQA is aware of my position. My concern was that self-assurance might just be another business process. I am delighted to say I was wrong.

The ASQA model was still under development when the Victorians began their re-registration processes. They were all asked to provide their self-assurance models which demonstrated commitment to continuous improvement, to students, to industry, to professional development, and to having governance structures and leadership that evidenced continuous improvement. These were not new practices for the Victorians. However, for many it was about collating all the evidence of what they currently do as large and complex organisations. And they have done that!

At least eight of the TDA Victorian members have now successfully been ASQA re-registered for seven years with no conditions. The rest are waiting advice. This is a great credit to the work Victorian TDA members put in to demonstrate their commitment to continuous improvement.

TDA is very pleased to see ASQA implementing its risk-based approach. The outcome for the Victorian TAFEs and dual sectors is evidence this is now in place. This is also clear demonstration of the quality of TAFE and the value proposition it provides to students and industry.

Federal government places national skills agreement on hold

The federal government has put a hold on negotiations over the stalled National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development (NASWD) after the states and territories rejected the offer from the former government.

The Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor said the government had paused the process and would now work towards an improved agreement.

“We need to re-examine that arrangement and seek to get consensus wherever possible,” Mr O’Connor told Sky News last week.

“My aim will be to try and get all governments agreeing with our ideas about moving forward under the national agreement.

“In the meantime, we have to make sure we maintain funding because July 1 is very close and we need to provide some certainty in the vocational space.

“We do need to bring about significant reform in order to supply the skills we need in the labour market,” he said.

“Right now Liberal, Labor federal state and territory governments – we’re all united in opposition to the previous government’s proposals,” Mr O’Connor said.

New heads named for Commonwealth departments

Former Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James has been appointed Secretary of the new Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.

Ms James has an extensive career in public service and employment and workplace relations. From 2005 until 2010, she was Chief Counsel to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, becoming a State Manager of that Department in 2010.

In 2013, she was appointed the Fair Work Ombudsman for the Commonwealth. Recently, Ms James has been a Partner at Deloitte Australia. Ms James will commence on 11 July.

Dr Michele Bruniges will remain Secretary of a restructured Department of Education.

The Administrative Arrangements Orders which establish the responsibilities of each of the departments come into effect this Friday.

See the full list of Department Secretaries 

TAFETalks: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning – register now!

Wednesday 27 July at 2.00pm AEST (Canberra/Melbourne/Sydney time)

Register here

TDA is delighted to announce that we will be joined by Professor Sally Kift for a panel discussion on the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Sally is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA), a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law (FAAL) and President of the Australian Learning and Teaching Fellows (ALTF). Sally is a renowned higher education expert and academic and has published widely on transition pedagogy, legal education and student transition. Sally was a member of the Australian Qualifications Framework Review Panel that reported to Government in September 2019. Sally’s role will be to reflect on the discussions of our TDA members including:

  • Associate Professor Melanie Williams, Associate Dean (Scholarship) at William Angliss Institute, where her primary role is to lead and support vocational and higher education teaching staff in taking a scholarly approach to improving their learning and teaching practice.
  • Dr Fiona Wahr, Senior Lecturer, Applied Research and Scholarship, Melbourne Polytechnic. Fiona led the revised scholarship model introduced at Melbourne Polytechnic
  • Vanessa Crawford, Associate Dean, Higher Education, TAFE Queensland. Vanessa will reflect on TAFE Queensland’s practices related to the scholarship of teaching and learning. Vanessa is also the chair of TDA’s Higher Education Provider network.

Places are filling fast! Register here

TDA Convention 2022 – Registrations and Call for Presentations

TDA is excited to announce that registrations are now open for the TDA Convention 2022, Courage, Change and Challenge – The Future of TAFE which will take place in Adelaide, South Australia from Tuesday 15 – Thursday 17 November 2022.

The TDA Convention 2022 will be the first opportunity in three years to bring together all TDA members with their key partners and stakeholders – an event not to be missed!

The TDA Convention 2022 is about coming together, reconnecting, collaborating, learning from change, rising to challenges and creating the future together.

It will be a convention to reconnect and reflect on the changes that are occurring within the vocational education and training (VET) sector. It will be a convention that celebrates excellence and innovation, where challenges are seen as opportunities and where delegates can collectively shape the future of TAFE.

Delegates at the TDA Convention 2022 will be in informed and inspired by courageous stories and innovative practices. Presentations will highlight the power of collaboration with colleagues, community and industry. The TDA Convention will bring together different perspectives including from students, staff, employers, industry, community and government.

For further information on registration packages and inclusions, and to register for the event, please click here.

Call for presentations
If you would like to be a part of the TDA Convention 2022 program and collectively shape the future of TAFE, the call for presentations is now open. The deadline for submissions is COB Monday 1 August.

This is an opportunity for TAFE staff and key stakeholders of TAFE to share their stories and experiences of courage and change, and to be the leading providers of solutions to the challenges of the future. Please click here for more information and to download the presentation guidelines.

Sponsorship opportunities
The sponsorship prospectus is coming soon. To discuss sponsorship opportunities, please contact

Stay up to date on convention news and program updates 
For updates on convention news and programming, please subscribe to the TDA Convention 2022 e-newsletter here.

TDA looks forward to welcoming its members, partners and supporters to Adelaide in November 2022 to be part of the conversation on Courage, Change and Challenge – The Future of TAFE.

TAFE NSW receives record funding in 'golden era' for skills investment

The NSW government has allocated a record $2 billion recurrent investment for TAFE NSW, as part of last week’s state budget.

TAFE NSW will also receive $319 million in capital investment to upgrade teaching equipment, facilities and digital infrastructure.

Describing it as a “golden era” in skills investment, the Minister for Skills and Training Alister Henskens also noted the $108 million in recurrent funding for two new Institutes of Applied Technology at Kingswood and Meadowbank, and $251 million for the statewide expansion of Careers NSW.

“This unprecedented investment will accelerate the skills-led recovery, which has already delivered hundreds of thousands of fee-free training places and contributed to low unemployment rates,” Mr Henskens said.

Establishment of a national advisory group for allied health assistants

TAFE NSW and TDA are seeking interested TDA members to participate in a National Advisory Group for Allied Health Assistants (AHA) which will be chaired by Dr Nerida Volker, who is an Allied Health Professional and Industry Innovation Specialist at TAFE NSW.

There has been major growth in demand for AHAs in the health sector (particularly in rural health), in the disability sector under the NDIS, and there is increasing interest from the Aged Care sector to develop allied health assistant roles as the sector moves to the new Support at Home Program with an increased focus on reablement and wellbeing and reforms in residential aged care. AHAs are a ‘delegated’ workforce of Allied Health professional groups (many who have national registration), and the proposed national advisory group would focus on building stronger collaborations between the VET sector and the professions, employers and the higher education sector which is training the professionals.

The advisory group would provide a national mechanism to engage with the range of existing allied health stakeholder groups including the Allied Health Professions peak bodies (Allied Health Professions Australia, Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health and Indigenous Allied Health Australia), individual allied health professional associations, Health Departments in each jurisdiction, NDIA, Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, Commonwealth (in DOH) Allied Health Advisors office and colleagues in the Higher Education sector.

For example, the Australian Council of Deans of Health Sciences is interested in how they can engage better with the AHA training sector, but there is currently no national mechanism for doing so. Given the new Allied Health Assistance training package has been approved and is awaiting release, the formation of this group would be very timely and allow for a strong, collective approach from the TAFE sector in designing and delivering comprehensive and high quality training informed by the diverse industry voices for this rapidly evolving workforce.

If your institution is interested in participating in the group which would meet virtually (initially on bi-monthly basis), or if you would like further information, please contact TDA at

2022 National Skills Week

The 2022 National Skills Week will take place 22-28 August with the theme, ‘A Universe of Skills: Go Beyond Your Imagination.’

National Skills Week, now in its 12th year, is dedicated to raising the profile and status of vocational learning, dispelling outdated myths and raising awareness of the myriad rewarding, lucrative and prestigious careers available.

The challenge is to provide potential students, parents and carers with clear information on possible career pathways, training options, emerging new skills areas and VET courses.

To get involved, you can register your event on the National Skills Week website so others can attend.

See what organisations have done for past National Skills Weeks.

Participate in #bestjobsever program, share social media posts celebrating the week (or to make it easier use our social media templates), or  write some content on success stories and emerging new careers and how TAFE is at the forefront of training in these new areas.

Click here for more ideas on how you can get involved.

Diary Dates

31st National VET Research Conference ‘No Frills’
National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
6-8 July 2022, Online
Program out, register now!
More information

TAFETalks: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
27 July 2022
Register here

ACER Research Conference 2022
Reimagining assessment
22-25 August 2022
More information

Victorian TAFE Association
State Conference
24-26 August 2022
Registrations open

National Skills Week 2022
22-28 August 2022
More information

Community Colleges Australia National Conference
13-14 September 2022
More information

Australian International Education Conference 2022
18-21 October 2022
Gold Coast & Online
More information

2022 National VET Conference
Velg Training
3-4 November 2022
Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre
More information

TDA Convention 2022
Courage, Change and Challenge – the Future of TAFE
15-17 November 2022
More information

VDC Teaching & Learning Conference
VET Development Centre
17 & 18 November 2022 (Online)
More information