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Volunteers training Volunteers

By: Euan Ferguson

  11.00 AM 12 August, 2013

Views: 4111

Who Can Train And Assess?
In recent weeks I have become aware of some misunderstandings about the application of the Australian Quality Training Framework Standards (AQTF). Since that time, there has been a detailed analysis of the National Training Framework Standards and various authoritative views sought on their interpretation. It is important to note that the National Training Framework exists to support training in industry and to support employers (such as CFA).

I want the following explanation to be carefully noted by those with an interest in training. We must have a clear, authoritative and uniform approach to the matter of who can train and assess in CFA.

It is important to distinguish the formal competency training and assessment process from the process of learning and acquiring skills through teaching and coaching. It is very important to stress that there is a huge amount of training that can (and should) be undertaken at a local, group or brigade level.

LOCAL TRAINING CAN (AND SHOULD) BE DELIVERED BY COMPETENT AND EXPERIENCED OPERATIONAL FIREFIGHTERS.

IN OTHER WORDS, VOLUNTEERS CAN TRAIN VOLUNTEERS.

NOT ALL TRAINING HAS TO BE DELIVERED BY CFA INSTRUCTORS.

BRIGADE LEVEL AND LOCAL TRAINING CAN (AND SHOULD) BE DELIVERED, AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, BY LOCAL PEOPLE WHO ARE GOOD PRESENTERS, ARE SUBJECT QUALIFIED AND HAVE APPROPRIATE EXPERIENCE IN THE SUBJECT BEING TAUGHT.

We encourage each brigade to take responsibility for their own learning by sharing skills and experience regularly. This can be through one-on-one encounters, crew member interactions, debriefs (After Action Review), semi-formal and formal training sessions.

Each Brigade Management Team or OIC is in the best position to determine who is the most appropriate member is to deliver informal and formal training within their Brigade. This should be dependent on experience, competency and ability to deliver the learning. This member does not need to have formal training qualifications.

If there is a need for formal competency training and assessment; this can be delivered by suitably qualified and experienced brigade member with appropriate oversight provided by a member with Certificate IV (Cert IV) in Training and Assessment (TAE40110) or equivalent.

Oversight for members can take many forms; in CFA it means the provision of regular and ongoing guidance, direction and leadership from a person holding the TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment or equivalence. Oversight can be provided through face-to-face interactions, and telephone briefings. The frequency of these interactions will be dependent on the member's experience.

When a member decides that they wish to be formally trained and/or assessed there are some additional rules that apply. The scenarios below demonstrate the different training and assessing options in existence:

Formal training and assessment
• Formal course(s) listed on a training calendar (Brigade, Group, District, Statewide) for the specific purpose of training and assessing members against a Public Safety Training Package (PSTP) standard (ie; Operate BA, Operate pumps).or CFA competency (ie; HAZMAT Awareness) over a defined period.

• Instruction can be delivered by a member who; has good communication skills; is subject matter qualified; has appropriate experience; has been briefed on the package requirements by the Training Manager or their nominee; is qualified in Certificate IV in TAE or equivalent or is supported by a member who is qualified.

• Formal assessment of PSTP and CFA competencies can only be facilitated by a member who holds the Certificate IV in TAE or equivalent or the "workplace assessor skill set".

Informal training (Brigade & Group training)
• Is that training undertaken for the purpose of sharing knowledge and skills that does not normally lead to a formal assessment of knowledge and skill. (ie; on-on-one; mentoring; skills maintenance activities; awareness sessions; debriefs; After Action Reviews, drills)

Self-directed/self-paced learning
• Can be completed by a member at any time and may include; online/computer based activities or reading reference materials. It does not require formal or informal support.

Assessment only
• If a member has attained the skills and knowledge in a particular subject through a combination of informal training activities and experience they can request that their skills be recognized through some form of formal assessment.

• Formal assessment of PSTP and CFA competencies can only be facilitated by a member who holds the Certificate IV in TAE or equivalent or the "workplace assessor skill set".
Brigades can access the commonly used training materials through on ‘Brigades On Line' at: http://cfaonline.cfa.vic.gov.au/mycfa/Show?pageId=learningManuals

If you do not have internet access you should contact your Training Coordinator who will arrange copies of the materials (either electronically or hardcopy or both). You can also email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your request.

It is important that the delivery of training to our members is effective and suitable for the circumstances. Being aware of the different training options will ensure timely delivery of training to a consistent high standard that will continue to ensure CFA's service delivery statutory obligations are met.

CFA with a number of other fire agencies has, through AFAC, expressed our strong concerns to the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) about certain aspects of the National Training Framework Standards, their implementation and the consequences on agency resourcing. We continue to have strong dialogue through AFAC to ensure this framework meets our needs.

If you have further questions or need more information please contact OT&V on 9262 8648.

Last Updated: 10 December 2015