News Service 56 – More issues UEE Electrician’s qual, VET student surveys, Micro-credentials, Bringing back manufacturing, Renewable gas target, NSW green gas cert-scheme, Hazardous areas conference, Switchboard & battery standards, SA-NSW interconnector
- RTOS CONTINUE TO FIND ISSUES WITH IMPLEMENTING UEE20 ELECTRICIAN’S QUALIFICATION
- VET STUDENT SURVEYS
- MICRO-CREDENTIALS: HUGE AND HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT
- WHICH FOUR INDUSTRIES SHOULD WE BRING BACK ONSHORE TO SECURE AUSTRALIAN SUPPLY CHAINS?
- RENEWABLE GAS TARGET IS A ZERO EMISSIONS BULLSEYE
- PILOT LIGHTS THE WAY TO GREEN GAS CERTIFICATION IN NSW
- 8TH HAZARDOUS AREAS CONFERENCE – BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
- USHERING IN THE NEW ERA OF SWITCHBOARDS
- SUPPLIER GUIDANCE RELEASED FOR BUTTON BATTERY STANDARDS
- CUSTOMERS THE WINNERS FROM NEW SA-NSW INTERCONNECTOR
1. RTOs CONTINUE TO FIND ISSUES WITH IMPLEMENTING UEE20 ELECTRICIAN’S QUALIFICATION
The NSW UE ITAB has now completed two major regional workshops in Orange and Newcastle regarding the roll-out of the Electrotechnology Training Package UEE20 with stakeholders, which have elicited major issues with implementation of the UEE30820 Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician. In particular, RTO practitioners and some key employers have identified, and others too continue to express concerns, with major issues impacting on implementation of the qualification without major changes being made to it.
Specific high-level issues that have been highlighted include the following:
- Inability of an RTO being able to assess all electrical apprentices in “the context of transmission, distribution or rail work functions” as required by the core unit “Perform rescue from a live LV panel (UETTDRRF06)”, thus prohibiting the issuance of the qualification (the unit is in need of urgent modification);
- Interpretation of the new requirement of authentic workplace evidence – “gathered in authentic workplace operational conditions (not simulated)” including the definition of no simulation and authentic workplace operational conditions;
- Industry’s and ASQA’s requirement of undertaking ‘Performance Evidence’ and assessing against the ‘Knowledge Evidence’;
- The taxonomy and titling and also, applicability, efficacy and acceptance of the authentic workplace evidence requirements being included in three units of competency previously not required and which no case has ever been presented as to why these units required such evidence: UEEEL0008- Evaluate and modify low voltage heating equipment and controls; UEEEL0009- Evaluate and modify low voltage lighting circuits, equipment and controls; and UEEEL0010- Evaluate and modify low voltage socket outlets circuits, which impose serious and unwarranted resource and funding issues for RTOs;
- The convoluted prerequisite chain that has the prospects of impacting on enrolment and delivery given conflicting advice from ASQA on whether, a pre-requisite is required to be completed ‘Competency achieved’ prior to enrolment in a unit of competency; and
- Resources and funding implications as a consequence of the above for RTOs, who in NSW are funded at a significantly lower rate than any other state of Australia.
Other major issues that arose at the workshops were:
- Six ‘disconnect and reconnect’ units of competency have been merged into one and RTOs in NSW will not be able to issue statements of attainment for categories of work pursuant to the range of conditions endorsement, or re-enrol potential learners to obtain a different category endorsement, as the AQF and RTO standards do not permit it, rendering the unit incomplete and unimplementable in NSW for training and regulatory purposes (affects a number of qualification where the unit is called up);
- Authentic workplace evidence requirements for three units in UEE62120 – Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology – Electrical, which creates a barrier to entry for full-time students and delivery issue for RTOs, and are an unintended consequence of using the same three units in the Electrician’s qualification (outlined above) in the Advanced Diploma program; and
- Electrical apprentices seeking to undertake high-level qualifications, through enrolment as in the past in their final stage of completing the apprenticeship will now be denied access to the higher-level Electrician’s qualification because the nested units of competency in the higher-level qualification were removed under AISC instruction. Now the Electrician’s qualification is required as a prerequisites entry requirement before commencement (AISC has thus negated the very essence of life-long-learning by its own actions and decisions).
Given the evidence is clear, that in order for RTOs to be able to issue the qualification there will be a need to modify a whole series of units of competency and the qualification, the question that arises is, should RTOs have to bear the costs of obvious errors that were pointed out to AISC prior to endorsement and who, nonetheless proceeded of its own decision to endorse the mistakes?
Now, as the RTOs progressively unpack the UEE30820 Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician for the purposes of developing and aligning resources they are progressively discovering the range of problems that will beset implementation.
What will AISC do if RTOs were unable to issue the qualification unless they deliberately breached i) the units of competency requirements and ii) their RTO responsibilities to ASQA to ensure they complied with the requirements set out in the units of competency?
Should AISC do nothing and ASQA also turn a blind eye to the requirements set out in the units of competency, they will bring asunder and into disrepute one of the highest volume, publicly funded, apprenticeship programs in the country.
NSW UE ITAB will continue over the next few months to conduct further regional workshops culminating and a Sydney metropolitan forum some time in the third quarter of 2021. If you have identified any implementation issues with the Electrotechnology Training Package please feel free to contact Tony Palladino directly by mobile (043739 6363) or via email (email@example.com) at your convenience.
2. VET STUDENT SURVEYS
NCVER reports of two major surveys that are underway – VET Student Experience Survey and National Student Outcomes Survey, as follows:
1. NEW VET STUDENT EXPERIENCE SURVEY UNDERWAY
A new survey which asks current VET students about their training experiences is now open.
The VET Student Experience Survey, developed jointly by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) and NCVER, is seeking the views of over 25,000 students who are currently undertaking training.
Information captured includes training experiences, training intentions, satisfaction, pre-enrolment and enrolment processes and motivation.
Feedback from students can be used by RTOs to improve the services they offer students.
The survey will also be used to assist ASQA and DESE in supporting the VET sector and planning for programs and policy.
2. NATIONAL STUDENT OUTCOMES SURVEY.
The National Student Outcomes Survey opens this week for students who completed a VET qualification, program or subject during 2020. Around 1 million students are being contacted and asked about their satisfaction with training, employment, further study outcomes and how the COVID-19 pandemic affected their training experiences. NEW this year are questions for apprentices and trainees.
RTOs: visit our Portal to view the eligibility requirements and details on how to access your free individual report.
RTOs should promote and encourage students to participate in the surveys.
3. MICRO-CREDENTIALS: HUGE AND HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT
Stephen Matchett at Campus Morning Mail cites, in one of its latest articles an interesting report released by NCVER on micro-credentials. The report authored Bryan Palmer, “An analysis of ‘micro-credentials’ in VET” which found in 2019, “there were 2.6m people enrolled in non-qualification “training bundles” – mainly to meet regulatory requirements in safety and skills maintenance.”
A summary of the research states, “a surprising amount of other, shorter, non-qualification training occurs in the VET sector, officially known as enrolments in subjects not part of a nationally recognised program (course)”. The report refers to them as ‘subject bundles’, and suggests, “that while only are few are “recognised as a VET skill set, it would appear that industry actors and/or individual students already see many of these bundles as a ‘credential’ of value, one for which they are willing to pay,” – 93 per cent are fee for service.
The article goes onto state, “And all is largely well, with the market “operating effectively” and meeting regulatory and safety requirements.
Mr Palmer suggests government could “stimulate training” where there will be future needs and regulators could review risk-based assessments, but, “there appears therefore to be no compelling need for government to further intervene in the management of this market than currently occurs.”
Further the executive summary states, “Based on a comparison of subject bundles in 2018 and 2019, it appears that most of the most popular subject bundles do not change substantially from year to year.
High student engagement in some subject bundles is driven by the regulatory requirements for people to refresh and update their skills from time to time; for example, the largest subject bundle, associated with the provision of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is only valid for 12 months.”
For access to the report and concurrent Podcast that covers, “The role of micro-credentials in VET” and the Campus Review article, visit the following links:
- An analysis of ‘micro-credentials’ in VET, NCVER, 3 June 2021
- Micro-credentials: huge and hiding in plain sight, Campus Review, 4 June 2021
4. WHICH FOUR INDUSTRIES SHOULD WE BRING BACK ONSHORE TO SECURE AUSTRALIAN SUPPLY CHAINS?
Lat month’s Manufacturers’ Monthly features an opinion article on 5 May 2021, from Rob Stummer, Asia Pacific CEO at SYSPRO outlining some valuable lessons learnt from the pandemic, on how not only to be resilient and flexible, but to manage a major disruption to their supply chains and offering some ideas to reshoring our manufacturing industry in Australia. He states, “To ensure the future wellbeing of many Australian sectors, should another major interruption occur, radical new approaches are needed to onshore several key industries for strategically important goods that are essential for national resilience.”
He cites a recent study they undertook into business resiliency during COVID-19, where “42 per cent of businesses stated that they will near-shore or re-shore manufacturing operations in the near future.” He believes, “This reconfiguration of supply chains will have a positive impact on the localised supply of materials and result in dual sourcing policies for improved supply certainty”.
From the study they identified key industries which Australia should consider, “reshoring to de-risk Australian supply chains in preparation for the next major disruption?”
These are and explained in more detail in the article:
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and
He concludes his reasoning as to why to re-shore by stating, “The challenge with longer supply chains, is that they often become inflexible when unexpected changes happen. With the global lockdowns occurring with little notice, the outsourcing of operations to another country is no longer viable”.
5. RENEWABLE GAS TARGET IS A ZERO EMISSIONS BULLSEYE
EnergyInsider a joint new service from Energy Networks Australia (ENA) and Australian Energy Council (AEC) reports in its 3 June 2021 issue, on how the focus is turning to reducing emissions from other sectors such as transport and gas, as Australia continues to increase its share of renewable electricity generation.
Stating, “Renewable gas offers the opportunity for customers to continue to enjoy all the benefits of gas – while at the same time reducing their emissions. But building the market requires targets. …
For gas used in the home, this means a move towards renewable hydrogen or biomethane. Renewable hydrogen can be generated from renewable electricity and biomethane can be produced from organic waste at landfills or wastewater treatment plants.”
For more, contact Dr Dennis Van Puyvelde, Energy Networks Australia
6. PILOT LIGHTS THE WAY TO GREEN GAS CERTIFICATION IN NSW
Energy Networks Australia (ENA) in its latest Media Release has welcomed the NSW Government’s development of a renewable gas certification pilot scheme. ENA stated, “The accreditation pilot, developed in partnership with Energy Networks Australia, Jemena, GreenPower Accreditation Program and the NSW Government, is an important step towards a net zero future.
Energy Networks Australia Head of Gas, Dennis Van Puyvelde, said ENA was supporting the pilot through customer research and advice on the design of the scheme.
“Customers are looking for options to purchase renewable gas and this requires appropriate certification schemes to be developed,” he said. …
Tim Stock, Chair of the National GreenPower Steering Group, said the Renewable Gas Certification Pilot is a key step in the development of a voluntary market for renewable gas. …
Dr Van Puyvelde said by investing in renewable gas production customers could continue to enjoy the benefits of gas while supporting the transition to zero emissions.”
Renewable gas producers and customers interested in participating in the pilot can contact GreenPower at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information visit www.greenpower.gov.au
For a web-based version of this media release, click here
7. 8TH HAZARDOUS AREAS CONFERENCE – BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
APT Publications cites a Hazardous Areas Conference which will be held in Brisbane on 7 and 8 of July 2021. Hazardous Areas is a significant and important field of work for those working with related electrical, mechanical and instrumentation equipment.
There are very few RTOs in this field of specialised and high-risk work and few instance where professional development is available to industry practitioners, and thus the conference provides a medium for learning and development on the latest standards, technologies, challenges and issues facing the industry.
Promoters of the conference state, “This conference has been created for those concerned with the safe use of electrical, mechanical and instrumentation equipment in hazardous, flammable or explosive atmospheres, thus preventing accidents and injuries in the workplace. The content of the conference will focus on the latest standards and how best to apply them, ensuring compliance for hazardous area audits. Experienced speakers will examine the critical issues involved in the management of hazardous areas.”
Some of the topics covered include:
- Hot Buttons in Adopting IEC Standards for Hazardous Areas
- Punching above our weight in Ex standards and certification
- The Ethernet of Things in Hazardous Areas
- The Risk Based Approach to Hazardous Area Classification
- Static Electricity – The Shocking Truth
- Explaining the IECEx Certificate of Personal Competency Scheme
- Type B Gas Appliances – Certification and what to check for
- Application of Hazardous Areas and impacts on the Renewable Energy Sector
- Governance of Hazardous Area Auditing
- Conformity Assessment Documents and Fitness for Purpose Reports – the nature of each and their application
- Hazardous Area Classification – The Next Generation
Key speakers include Neil Dennis, who is the technical director and principal electrical/mechanical engineer with AECOM Australia, and Dr Jim Munro is Managing Director of Jim Munro International Compliance. A flyer about the conference is attached.
For more information visit: 8TH HAZARDOUS AREAS CONFERENCE – BRISBANE
8. USHERING IN THE NEW ERA OF SWITCHBOARDS
Editor Sean Carroll reports in the latest, 4 June 2021 of Electrical Connections on the changes which came into effect in May 2021 on low-voltage switchgear and control gear assemblies. The article states, “After a five-year transition period, the AS/NZS3439 Low-voltage switchgear and control gear assemblies – type-tested and partially type-tested assemblies series will be superseded by the AS/NZS61439 series, which has been adopted from the IEC61439 (International Electrotechnical Commission) standards and modified for Australian conditions. The IEC61439 series has been fully adopted in Europe since 2014.”
Sean writes, “It’s intended to be the one and only accepted standard for low-voltage switchgear and control gear assemblies. While it resembles the old standard to some degree, it has evolved to potentially offer much more safety and protection not only to buildings and assets but to electricians working on the electrical infrastructure in buildings.
Its extended introduction period has given the entire electrical industry many months to wrap their head around what the new standards mean and how it impacts them. Now, when I write industry, I mean everyone, from the sparkie on the tools to the electrical manufacturer to the end user who (probably) don’t have a clue what they mean.”
9. SUPPLIER GUIDANCE RELEASED FOR BUTTON BATTERY STANDARDS
Product Safety Australia – Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) advises in its latest product safety information (Product Safety Matters) that it has released new supplier guidance, for the mandatory standards related to button/coin batteries and consumer goods containing button/coin batteries.
ACCC’s Product Safety Australia states, “A Guide for Business on the Application of Mandatory Standards (attached) will help suppliers understand the new requirements for secure battery compartments, child resistant packaging, and warnings and information.”
Product Safety Australia has also published:
- a fact sheet which summarises the new standards for suppliers
- summaries of the new standards on the Product Safety Australia website.
“The new mandatory standards aim to improve the safety of button batteries and consumer products that contain them. In Australia, one child a month is seriously injured after swallowing or inserting a button battery, with some of them sustaining serious, lifelong injuries. In Australia and around the world, there is a growing record of injuries and deaths from button/coin batteries.”
10. CUSTOMERS THE WINNERS FROM NEW SA-NSW INTERCONNECTOR
Energy Networks Australia (ENA) has issued a media release in relation to the newly approved NSW-SA EnergyConnect link. It has “welcomed the Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) final approval of Project EnergyConnect which will link the New South Wales and South Australian electricity grids.”
It reports that the “AER’s announcement coincided with confirmation from the board of TransGrid that it would invest $1.83 billion to construct the NSW side of the project. SA project partner ElectraNet will consider its final investment decision in coming days.
EnergyConnect will deliver a new 330kv electricity transmission connection between SA and NSW, with a link to north west Victoria.”