18 September, 2019

Conducting validation in your training organisation

 What is validation?

Explanation: Checking that the assessment tools, methods, judgement, evidence and processes to ensure that the training product meets:

  • Principles of Assessment – i.e. valid, reliable, flexible and fair

  • Rules of Evidence – i.e. valid, authentic, current and sufficient

  • The judgment made by the trainer/assessor is benchmarked* with colleagues or industry experts

  • There is sufficient evidence to support the judgment of the trainer/assessor and

  • Whether the requirements of the Training Package or accredited course have been met.

Typical benchmarks used during the validation process include:

  • National training package which are developed by Skills Service Organisations (SSOs)/ Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) and can be found on the training.gov.au website.

  • Units of competency which consist of competency standards and need to be unpacked so that those validating the assessments can compare the actual competency against the tools being validated.

  • Industry standards and consultation will vary, and these standards form the basis of the skills and knowledge required to perform work roles.

  • AQF Guidelines and Framework

  • Information to candidates, assessors and third parties

  • The legislation is relevant to the assessment such as privacy, health and safety, and anti-discrimination, copyright law and so on.


The outcome may include making recommendations for improvements to the assessment tool/assessment processes/ assessment methods or assessment products.

What are the timing and occurrence for validation to occur 

Validation can occur before, during or after an assessment is conducted. Validation can be pre-assessment validation or post-assessment validation. Validation is ongoing.

What is the primary purpose of conducting validation? 

The primary purpose to conduct validation is “continuous improvement” so that you can provide training and assessment that meets industry expectations, regulatory guidelines but most importantly training package requirements and assessment and learner resources do not negatively affect your audit outcomes. 

Issues that may negatively affect your audit:

  • Your assessment does not address all requirements of the packaging rules

  • You do not gather sufficient valid evidence for competency assessment

  • inappropriate or lack of simulated environments

  • The authenticity of assessment, particularly in the distance and online delivery.

It is vital that RTOs undertake their validation and moderation process as it is a crucial part of meeting learner’s needs and quality assurance requirements of Standard 1 and 2 of the Standards for RTOs 2015.

In meeting student’s needs and the quality assurance, RTOs are too bound by Clauses 1.9 – 1.11 of the Standards for RTOs 2015:

Clause 1.9 (Validation)

‘RTO implements a plan for ongoing systematic validation of assessment practices and judgements that includes for each training product on the RTO’s scope of registration

  1. when assessment validation will occur;

  2. which training products will be the focus of the validation;

  3. who will lead and participate in validation activities;

  4. how the outcomes of these activities will be documented and acted upon.’​


Clause 1.10 requires:

  • Each training product is validated at least once every five years,

  • At least 50% of products validated within the first three years of each five-year cycle.

Clause 1.11 requires:

Validation is undertaken by one or more persons who are not directly involved in the delivery and assessment of the training product being validated,

who collectively have:

  1. current Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

  2. vocational competencies and current industry skills relevant to the assessment being validated;

  3. current knowledge and skills in vocational teaching and learning; and

  4. Industry experts may be involved to ensure there is the combination of expertise set out in (a) to (c) above.

Why do you need us to conduct independent validation?

We provide this service to RTO’s, TAFE’s and other educational institutions. In some cases, we have found that the validation process is non-compliant. Our experience has shown that RTOs do not comply because they do not address all requirements of the packaging rules, do not gather sufficient valid evidence for competency assessment, they do not have complaint learning and assessment resources and lack authentic assessment, particularly in the distance and online delivery.

Important information if you deliver any AQF qualification or assessor skill set from the Training and Education Training Package:

From 1 January 2016, to deliver any AQF qualification or assessor skill set from the Training and Education Training Package (or its successor), your RTO must have undergone an independent validation of its assessment system, tools, processes and outcomes in accordance with the requirements contained in Schedule 2 (and the definitions of independent validation and validation).

What we will provide/do for you

We will:​

  1. Meet with you to discuss your specific requirements and needs

  2. Scope what you need to do and recommend a path forward

  3. Provide qualified industry specific validation and moderation experts

  4. Work with you to ensure your assessment system, processes, materials and practices produce valid assessment judgements

  5. Develop or assist you in writing and implementing your quality policies and procedures

  6. Develop a timetable for validating all your training products

  7. Lead or participate in your validation team OR undertake your assessment validation on our own (depending on your requirements)

  8. Work out a statistically valid sample size for your Post-Assessment Validation

  9. Recommend future improvements for your training products, systems and procedures.

  10. Provide a report for you detailing the above.

If you would like us to administer and manage the process for you, we will:

  • Ensure compliance in every aspect of your validation and moderation process

  • Assess your registered qualifications and the associated assessments for validation and moderation purposes  

  • Develop a five (5) year validations and moderation timetable

  • Recommend a sample size

  • Prepare all documentation for distribution to participants

  • Prepare all record keeping documentation

  • Hold and moderate the meeting/s

  • Provide a report for you detailing the above  

*Only available in some industries where we have access to qualified and experienced trainers/assessors in the relevant industry.  

Until 1 December 2019 we are offering 50% off on our resource validation package. We can identify any gaps in your training and assessment resources, suggest ways to fill them, or fill them for you. 

For more information, please contact us at 1800 266 160 or via email to info@caqa.com.au

5 years ago