Water Journal : Water Journal May 2012
feature article feature articles 52 MAY 2012 water assessment services, the Water Industry Training Team are at a point where they need to consider the best way to meet demand and plan for the future. The team has created a position of strength for the organisation, but admit they still need to innovate, build on and plan for the future. This includes new technologies in training provision like 'point of vision' glasses and the use of self-directed learning materials. The team is also embarking on succession planning by providing acting opportunities to operational staff to learn from experienced technical learning specialists over a 12-month period, with the chance for a permanent training role in the future. The specific business need • Preserving the capacity to provide water services to meet present and future needs; • Protecting the health and safety of all; • Preventing harm to the environment; • Creating a great place to work; • Knowledge and skills development; • Climate change challenges; • Meeting future demand (e.g. changing demographics, ageing workforce, skills migration); • Ensuring there are operational staff with the capability to meet changing operational demands (e.g. technology, processes, policy, legislation, compliance); • Recognising staff through qualification pathways and portability of qualification outcome; • Maintaining in-house knowledge, capability and capacity to develop, deliver and assess training across all aspects of the operational side of the water business; • Planning for future events such as the proposed 'National Certification Framework for Potable Water Treatment Operators'; • Operators' remuneration structure linked to qualification outcomes (or part thereof). Approach The approach taken by the Water Corporation was to: • Form a partnership arrangement with suitably capable Registered Training Organisations (RTOs); • Offer the opportunity via a tender process to attract two RTOs either scoped to deliver or able to scope under the Water Training Package to meet the organisation's business need; • Evaluate each RTO for its internal capability and capacity to support the organisation; • Provide its own internal capability and capacity with suitably qualified staff; • Align all of its internal training processes with that of the national framework. In-house activities • Manage RTO partnership; • Manage traineeships; • Meet business needs and provide excellence in service to customers; • Maintain in-house knowledge, capability and capacity; • Maintain compliance under auspicing arrangements; • Design, develop, deliver and assess training; • Continuously improve services; • Provide value-add services outside of the Water Training Package such as dangerous goods training (e.g. chlorine, fluoridation), a complete suite of water quality courses, and manage compliance registers for water samplers and for staff working in chlorine facilities; • Liaise with in-house process expertise groups to develop meaningful learning and assessment materials and align with legislation, policy, procedures and practices; • Integrate all aspects of the business into learning materials such as occupational health and safety, sustainability principles and environmental considerations. Lessons learnt and critical success factors After six years of maintaining the partnership, the positives are: • Increased capacity through the use of external partners' employees being seconded on a fulltime basis in the Water Corporation; • Knowledge sharing across three organisations -- Water Corporation and two partner Institutes; • Having the partners' employees embedded within the Water Corporation provides us with the ability to manage our compliance required under the National Training Framework; • Water Corporation is not burdened with the responsibility of managing and maintaining an Enterprise RTO arrangement, especially given the current rate of change occurring across Australia (e.g. national versus State regulator, AQTF and AQF changes, complete training package makeovers); • Water Corporation staff are issued with nationally recognised qualifications (or part thereof) from a third party Institute, rather than receiving a qualification branded internally; • Water Corporation benefits through utilising other services each RTO offers due to the existing contractual arrangements. The only real challenge is that the secondees from the RTOs operate under different workplace agreements; this needs to be managed effectively so it does not impact on the organisation's business. For further information contact: Neil Hooley, Managing Consultant -- People Development, Water Corporation, email: email@example.com An RTO partnership case study at Water Corporation in WA.
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