Code of Practice
Karen Sheldon Training (KST) is committed to high standards in the provision training, assessment, and other learner services. The policies set out in this Code of Practice, and in our Policies and Procedures Manual underpin the operations of KST.
Provide learners and stakeholders with clear and accurate information about the products and services we offer
Use trainers and assessors with appropriate training and assessment qualifications and experience as well as subject matter qualifications and expertise
Develop and use high quality training and assessment resources
Continually review and evaluate our systems, products, and services to ensure they are of a high standard
Welcome and actively seek learner, employer, and industry feedback as the basis for continuous improvement of our systems, resources, and the services we provide
Provide safe and comfortable learning environments for our learners and staff and ensure that those attending our courses are always treated fairly and without discrimination
Endeavour to be sensitive to the diverse backgrounds and needs of all our learners to ensure that no learner is unfairly disadvantaged. This includes making reasonable adjustments to the training environment, resources, and delivery and assessment strategies to accommodate learner needs.
Engage in professionally responsible and ethical assessment practice
Respect the privacy and confidentiality of learners and learner information
Make Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) available as an assessment option to our learners
Recognise the AQF qualifications and statements of attainment issued by other Registered Training Organisations, as outlined in our National Recognition Policy
Provide fair and equitable processes through which learners and stakeholders can make complaints or appeal assessment decisions
Uphold all legislation and comply with all regulatory requirements relevant to the operation of our organisation.
At KST we wish to ensure that all learners are supported in their studies as much as possible. If you feel you may be having difficulties with your studies, you should see your trainer or another staff member so we can help.
KST embraces the idea of flexible learning and assessment procedures so all our learning and assessment materials and processes can be changed to meet the needs of our learners.
Should you feel that the standard method of learning or assessment does not suit your needs, you should speak to the trainer or assessor so we can arrange an alternative.
We believe that everyone is entitled to quality education and training programs. Our Access & Equity Policy says that outcomes of education and training should not depend on factors beyond a learner’s control or influence. This includes gender; age; pregnancy; race; nationality; ethnic or ethno-religious backgrounds; mental status; physical or intellectual or psychiatric disability; or sexual preference.
Our Learner Services Policy also focuses on making sure learners are able engage in our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process if they feel they may already have any of the skills and knowledge required in a unit of competency. We will also recognise any qualifications you may have obtained through another RTO.
We aim to provide quality service at all times so if you are ever unhappy with the course content, delivery or customer service provided, we encourage you to use our Complaints and Appeals procedure which you can get from your trainer or assessor, another staff member, or from our website.
Learner Rights, Responsibilities and Code of Conduct
This outlines the rights, responsibilities and expected standard of behaviour for Karen Sheldon Training learners. In general, it is expected that as a learner you will adhere to the following expectations:
It is the responsibility of all learners to:
- Always treat staff and fellow learners courteously and with consideration.
- Maintain a reasonable standard of grooming, including appropriate standards of hygiene and clothing.
- Give accurate enrolment details and notify of any change in contact details
- Advise KST of any difficulties in enrolment and/or training or assessment
- Achieve satisfactory progress
- Submit your own work and keep a copy of all work submitted
Learners are not allowed on KST premises or wherever training is conducted to use these facilities whilst adversely affected by alcohol or other drugs. The possession uses or sale of illicit substances on KST premises is forbidden.
KST is committed to promoting a safe and healthy work and study environment and recognises its obligation under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to, so far as practicable, provide and maintain a working environment where its employees and learners are not exposed to hazards. The act also requires individuals to take responsibility for contributing to their own safety in all circumstances.
Conduct dangerous to others
Conduct, which constitutes a danger to anyone’s health, safety, or personal well-being, will not be tolerated. It includes physical abuse, threatening behaviour, harassment, discrimination, possession of dangerous weapons, or the creation of a condition that endangers or threatens the health, safety or well-being of self or others. This conduct will result in immediate expulsion from the training course and no refunds will be given.
Conduct which disrupts staff and hinders them from delivering education and training programs and services or other services in an orderly manner will not be tolerated. This applies not only in classrooms, but in all parts of the KST facilities or on work placements. Any individual or group behaviour, which is abusive, indecent, violent, excessively noisy, disorderly, dangerous, offensive, or which unreasonably disturbs other groups or individuals is prohibited. In cases of unacceptable behaviour, learners will be offered one warning to desist this behaviour after which expulsion from the training course will occur and no refunds will be given.
Misuse of property
Academic misconduct includes:
- Regular lateness or failing to attend classes
- Lateness or failing to submit assignments and assessable work
- Using mobile phones or other electronic devices in classrooms.
- Plagiarism - The use of another person’s words or ideas as if they are your own.
Behaviour contrary to the learner code of conduct may result in several sanctions (penalties) that can be imposed on learners including suspension, expulsion, or other exclusions, and withholding results.
If you are unsure about what is the right thing to do in any circumstance or if you have concerns about any aspect of the Code of Conduct, you are encouraged to ask advice from the staff.
Why we collect your personal information
As a registered training organisation (RTO), we collect your personal information so we can process and manage your enrolment in a vocational education and training (VET) course with us.
We use your personal information to enable us to deliver VET courses to you, and otherwise, as needed, to comply with our obligations as an RTO.
We are required by law (under the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (Cth) (NVETR Act)) to disclose the personal information we collect about you to the National VET Data Collection kept by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd (NCVER). The NCVER is responsible for collecting, managing, analysing and communicating research and statistics about the Australian VET sector.
We are also authorised by law (under the NVETR Act) to disclose your personal information to the relevant state or territory training authority.
The NCVER is authorised to disclose information to the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE), Commonwealth authorities, State and Territory authorities (other than registered training organisations) that deal with matters relating to VET and VET regulators for the purposes of those bodies, including to enable:
Administration of VET, including program administration, regulation, monitoring and evaluation
Facilitation of statistics and research relating to education, including surveys and data linkage
Understanding how the VET market operates, for policy, workforce planning and consumer information.
The NCVER may also disclose personal information to persons engaged by NCVER to conduct research on NCVER’s behalf.
The NCVER does not intend to disclose your personal information to any overseas recipients.
If you would like to seek access to or correct your information, in the first instance, please contact your RTO using the contact details listed below.
DESE is authorised by law, including the Privacy Act and the NVETR Act, to collect, use and disclose your personal information to fulfil specified functions and activities. For more information about how the DESE will handle your personal information, please refer to the DESE VET Privacy Notice.
You may receive a student survey which may be run by a government department or an NCVER employee, agent, third-party contractor or another authorised agency. Please note you may opt out of the survey at the time of being contacted.
Unique Student Identifier (USI)
From 1 January 2015, we Karen Sheldon Training can be prevented from issuing you with a nationally recognised VET qualification or statement of attainment when you complete your course if you do not have a Unique Student Identifier (USI). In addition, we are required to include your USI in the data we submit to NCVER. If you have not yet obtained a USI you can apply for it directly on computer or mobile device.
You may already have a USI if you have done any nationally recognised training, which could include training at work, completing a first aid course or RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) course, getting a white card, or studying at a TAFE or training organisation. It is important that you try to find out whether you already have a USI before attempting to create a new one. You should not have more than one USI. To check if you already have a USI, use the ‘Forgotten USI’ link on the USI website.
Learner Services, Support, Welfare & Guidance
Karen Sheldon Training is committed to clearly identifying the needs of its learners and delivering service to meet these identified needs. We will:
- Engage learner’s needs through initial contact by listening and providing prompt solutions to their training needs based on the information that has been received from the potential learner
- Identify learners perceived needs by extracting information from our online booking forms and providing necessary communication to trainers so that specific education needs have been identified and addressed based on the information that has been received from the potential learner
- Make learners aware that assessment and delivery methods can be adjusted to meet their specific requirements and perceived needs
- Continually strive to make it easier for our learners to complete their studies with us
- Implement innovative ways to deliver services, and provide a range of service options that best suit our learner’s needs
- Identify ourselves when answering the phone and deal immediately with the learners or prospective learners concern or find someone who can
- Listen to learners and endeavour to provide them with prompt solutions, not just answers
- Provide information that is accurate, complete and easy to understand
- Ensure that learners are provided with the services detailed in their agreement with KST
- Undertake that learner’s rights are protected
- Get back to learners to ensure they are kept up-to-date with actions we have taken
- Regularly seek feedback on our learner’s expectations and level of satisfaction
- Act on feedback to continue to improve the quality of our service
- Ensure all learners experience minimal disruption should it be necessary to continue studies at another RTO.
Karen Sheldon Training provides written information to learners either in person or via our website prior to enrolment. This information includes:
- Learner selection, enrolment and induction/orientation procedures
- Course information, including content, vocational outcomes and pathways
- Fees and charges, including refund policy and exemptions (where applicable)
- Training and assessment arrangements, including RPL
- Provision for language, literacy and numeracy assistance
- Learner support, welfare and guidance services
- Flexible learning and assessment procedures
- Legislative and occupational licensing requirements, if applicable
- Appeals and complaints procedures
- Disciplinary procedures
- Staff responsibilities for access and equity
- Recognition of AQF qualifications and statements of attainment issued by other RTOs
Engaging with Industry and Employers
Karen Sheldon Training values contributions from all parties who add to each learner’s training and assessment. This is done through a number of processes including;
- Consultation with workplace personnel in the development of training and assessment strategies
- Informing workplace personnel of their training and assessment roles and responsibilities
- Discussing the support to be provided to each learner by workplace personnel
- Discussing how the learner’s progress will be monitored at a workplace
- Developing MOUs and Training Plans in collaboration with workplace personnel
- Collating feedback by workplace personnel on the effectiveness of training and assessment approaches and learner services through employer feedback forms, meetings and interviews
Selected parties who contribute to the learner’s training and assessment will also be asked to take part or contribute towards training and assessment reviews.
Learner Support Welfare and Guidance
We wish to ensure that all learners are supported in their studies to the full extent possible, thus any learner who is experiencing any difficulties with their studies should see their trainer, or another staff member.
The staff member will ensure that the full resources of KST are made available to ensure that the learner achieves the required level of competency in all accredited courses.
Furthermore, learners seeking advice on Welfare or Guidance or other matters may make an appointment at any time to see a KST team member for free advice relating to study on:
- Setting and achieving your goals
- Ways of learning
- Coping with assessments
- Looking after yourself
KST staff will assist a learner in how to seek help with local Welfare and Guidance services.
Learner Academic Support
Should the learner feel that he/she requires additional support for the program content; the learner should speak to the trainer/assessor to discuss their needs, whereby the trainer/assessor can arrange additional resources to assist them. Alternatively, the learner can approach the KST manager for assistance.
Flexible Learning and Assessment Procedures
KST embraces the concept of flexible learning and assessment procedures. All of our learning and assessment materials and processes can be modified to accommodate the needs of learners. Should a learner feel that the standard method of learning/assessment does not suit their needs, they should contact the trainer/assessor to discuss an agreeable alternative arrangement.
Literacy and Numeracy Support
Karen Sheldon Training is committed to providing guidance or support to those learners who have any identified issues in relation to language, literacy or numeracy.
Karen Sheldon Training course information and learning materials contain written documentation and limited numerical calculations.
Karen Sheldon Training has many years’ experience teaching learners with English as a second language and recognises that not all learners will have the same level of ability in relation to reading, writing and performing calculations.
The verbal delivery of the training may be conducted at a slower rate, due to the obvious language barrier or when an issue is identified by staff or requested by a learner.
Karen Sheldon Training will endeavour to provide assistance to learners having difficulty with language, literacy or numeracy to accommodate their needs. In the event that a learner’s needs exceed the ability of Karen Sheldon Training staff to assist, the learner will be referred to an external support agency, so they have the opportunity to obtain the skills required to complete the training program.
Access & Equity
Karen Sheldon Training management and staff are committed to providing assistance to all learners to identify and achieve their desired outcomes. KST shall ensure that vocational education and training are responsive to the individual needs of learners whose age, gender, cultural or ethnic background, disability, sexuality, language skills, literacy or numeracy level, unemployment, imprisonment or remote location may present a barrier to access, participation and the achievement of suitable outcomes.
Access and Equity Principles
The following principles are applied by Karen Sheldon Training in the development and implementation of all Training and Assessment Strategies.
To ensure that the learner recruitment and admission process is bias-free and non-discriminatory, Karen Sheldon Training:
- Uses an inclusive enrolment procedure where information is gathered which allows KST to train and assess people with different backgrounds, abilities, races and ages.
- provides applicants with adequate information and support to enable them to select the most suitable training course for their needs.
To ensure that the learning environment is free from harassment, discrimination and victimisation, Karen Sheldon Training:
- specifies standards of behaviour expected from learners and staff in its Code of Conduct
- has policies and procedures in place for preventing harassment and discrimination
To ensure that all courses developed by the KST are inclusive of a range of learner needs, Karen Sheldon Training:
- considers issues relating to access and equity when specifying course entry requirements and prerequisites
- offers flexible course design that provides multiple entry and exit points or pathways through the course, including credit transfer and recognition of prior learning
- takes into account the requirements of learners with a disability when designing courses
- provides inclusive and non-discriminatory learning materials
- language, literacy and numeracy requirements are consistent with the vocational level of the qualification
provides learners without online access with information through other media according to needs.
requests specific learner needs on enrolment for each course. Trainers will adapt training and assessment to learner specified needs without compromising learning outcomes.
Karen Sheldon Training provides an assessment process that is fair, valid, reliable, flexible, sufficient, authentic learner work and current through:
- recognition of previously acquired skills and knowledge
- regularly moderating and validating assessment with industry
- practical assessment
- judgement of evidence over a number of occasions in a range of contexts
- adequate information on course and subject assessment, prior to enrolment in the course
- adapting assessment to meet learner needs while still maintaining a high quality, valid and consistent process
- giving learners the right to appeal an assessment or recognition decision
- giving all learners an equal opportunity to demonstrate competence
- learner declaration of all submitted work
- support is provided to those with special needs.
Reasonable adjustment is provided to those with a disability or special need according to individual circumstances. Reasonable adjustment may include but is not restricted to:
- training and assessment support
- modifying or providing equipment
- alternative assessment methods
- extra time to complete a course or assessment.
Where the qualification outcome is specifically related to an 'occupational' outcome, any reasonable adjustment may only be accommodated in the assessment process if the workplace can be similarly 'adjusted' to accommodate the needs of the applicant/employee.
Learning support is facilitated for those with basic literacy, numeracy or English language difficulties or other identified areas of learning difficulty.
Special consideration may be granted if through misadventure (eg. illness, bereavement or personal trauma) a learner is prevented from completing an assessment or sitting an examination; or believes that their performance in an assessment event has been affected by the incident.
Karen Sheldon Training’s premises provide appropriate access to those with a physical disability. Where Karen Sheldon Training provides training and assessment at other venues, KST will ensure to the best of its ability that venues are accessible to people with a disability.
Complaints and appeals are addressed in a fair and equitable manner. Individuals who believe they have been treated unfairly are encouraged to use Karen Sheldon Training’s learner complaints and appeals procedures.
Karen Sheldon Training will promptly and thoroughly investigate all complaints and appeals in accordance with stated procedures. Learners also have the right to appeal against any decisions as set out in the complaints and appeals procedure.
Learner Records and Results
Karen Sheldon Training maintains accurate and current records of each learner’s progress towards and achievement of competencies.
Karen Sheldon Training is committed to implementing best practice in its records management practices and systems, responding in a timely manner to all requests of information from present and past learners.
All staff employed by Karen Sheldon Training will be required to apply themselves to the provisions of the Privacy Act 1988.
Karen Sheldon Training will provide ongoing assistance to enquiring learners about their record of achievements and statements of attainment.
Karen Sheldon Training maintains VETtrak, a learner record management system that has the capacity to provide the Registering body with AVETMISS compliant data and has the capability to include a unique national Learner identifier.
Learner Records and Results
Karen Sheldon Training will create individual Learner Files which will be updated as the course progresses, ensuring that all necessary information is contained in each. Personal information is only collect if it is required for a lawful purpose directly related to a function or an activity of Karen Sheldon Training. This information includes;
- Enrolment Form
- Attendance Record
- Feedback information relating to learner progress
- Assessment recordings
- Record of competencies gained and qualifications awarded
All learner records will be handled in a way consistent with the Privacy Act.
All learner records will be kept in a secure location as well as on a password protected Dropbox cloud storage and backup system. Files are backed up automatically on every save, with unlimited file version history and recovery.
Learners will be given access to records of results within 14 days. No third-party access to learner records will be allowed without the express written permission of the learner.
Learners may view their records and any other information recorded about them at any time by making a verbal request in the first instance, then depending on the information requested and time frame, they may be asked to request the information in writing.
Karen Sheldon Training will comply with all Commonwealth requirements for the implementation of a national unique learner identifier within all learner records.
Retention of Completed Assessments
KST will securely retain all completed assessment items relating to each unit or module for six months from the date the decision on competence for the individual unit or module was made.
If the actual item can’t be retained (e.g. construction projects or perishable items), evidence that the standard of the item or work completed justified the assessment outcome, such as photographs, will be retained.
Completed assessment items, such as assignments, will not be handed back to learners until the six-month period has expired, although they may be provided with a copy.
Learner Records Management Procedure
Karen Sheldon Training is committed to implementing best practice in its records management practices and systems.
All staff employed by Karen Sheldon Training will be required to apply themselves to the following written procedures and safeguard confidential and personal information according to the Privacy and Protection of Personal Information Act 1998;
- Upon enrolment, each learner’s personal details shall be filed in the designated learner file and retained in the password protected computer system.
- Karen Sheldon Training staff will record all learner fee payments and details of refunds paid.
- Learner personal details and records shall be maintained in a current up to date condition, updating of records will be actioned upon receipt of advice of changes.
- All learner records are permanently kept in an electronic format in Vetrack and Dropbox. Electronic records in Vetrack and Dropbox are backed up daily by the ICT department and stored in secure cloud storage.
- Only Karen Sheldon Training staff directly involved with learner welfare and or learner results will have access to personal learner details.
- Upon reasonable request and notice Karen Sheldon Training administrative staff shall provide a learner with access to their personal learner records and reissue statements of attainment or qualifications achieved.
- Upon receipt of written consent by a learner, Karen Sheldon Training staff will provide a third party with learner’s personal details.
- Access to learner records may be provided where the Standards for Registered Training Organisations or an officer of the law require Karen Sheldon Training to do so.
- Karen Sheldon Training staff will comply with all external reporting responsibilities where required to do so.
- Designated Karen Sheldon Training staff shall ensure that all learner records are maintained in an accurate manner providing for the safekeeping of all learner assessment results for a term no less that 30 years and providing the CEO with at least one weeks written notice before any records are destroyed.
- On cessation of services and the continuation of its business the CEO shall ensure that all Learner records are made available to the regulating body.
Designated Karen Sheldon Training staff shall ensure that all learner records are maintained in an accurate manner providing for the safekeeping of all learner assessment results for the following terms:
- learner results (30 years)
- qualification/statements of attainment issued (30 years)
- master copies of all versions and assessment instruments/tools/procedures and assessors marking guides/criteria/observation checklist (30 years)
Complaints and Appeals
Karen Sheldon Training is committed to providing a fair and transparent complaint and appeals handling process.
A complaint is generally negative feedback about services or people which has not been resolved locally. It may involve issues concerning:
- Karen Sheldon Training, its trainers, assessors or other staff;
- a third party’s services provided on the KST behalf, its trainers, assessors or other staff; or
- a learner of Karen Sheldon Training.
An appeal is an application by a learner for reconsideration of an unfavourable decision or finding during their time with KST. An appeal must be made in writing and specify the particulars of the decision or finding in dispute. Appeals must be lodged within twenty eight (28) working days of the decision or finding is informed to the learner.
It is important to note that a learner may appeal any decision made by KST or a third party providing services on KST’s behalf. Contrary to the popular belief that appeal relates only to assessment decisions, appeals can relate to administrative decisions that KST may make. Examples of this include an appeal of a decision to deny a refund or to deny an application for credit transfer. As the process for handling and assessment appeal compared with an appeal of an administrative decision is slightly different, this difference has been catered for within this policy with adjusted processes for both situations.
In all cases, issues that arise during training and assessment that are the source of frustration or are in dispute should be resolved at the time they occur between the persons involved. It is often the case that complaints or a learner’s decision to make an appeal can be avoided by proper communication and respect between persons involved.
Frequently, the complaints and appeals handling process will expose weaknesses in the training and assessment or administrative system that can flow into the continuous improvement system as opportunities for improvement. This outcome of complaints and appeals handling is very positive and should be actively applied by all persons involved. It is for this reason that complaints and appeals received from stakeholders should be seen in a positive light and as opportunities for improvement.
A complaint may be received by KST in any form and does not need to be formally documented by the complainant in order to be acted on. Complaints may be made by any person but are generally made by learners and/or employers.
To make a complaint, the person is recommended to complete the MQ016 –Complaint Form. This form is available via our website. The completed complaint form is to be submitted to the RTO Administration Officer either in hard copy or electronically.
An appeal must be received by KST in writing using the specified form within twenty eight (28) working days of the decision or finding being informed to the person. Complaints may be made by any person but are generally made by learners and/or employers.
To appeal a decision, the person is required to complete the MQ021 – Appeal Form. This form is available via our website. The completed form is to be submitted to the Administration Officer either in hard copy or electronically.
KST will apply the following principles to its complaints and appeals handling:
- A complaint may be received in any form (written, verbal) although persons seeking to make a complaint are recommended to complete the complaint form which is available to them on the website. There is no time limitation on a person who is seeking to make a complaint.
- Appeals must be lodged within twenty eight (28) working days of the decision or finding being informed to the person.
- KST will acknowledge all submitted complaints or appeals in writing with 24 hours of receiving a complaint or appeal. This is to acknowledge the complaint or appeal and to provide the person making the complainant or appeal an expected timeframe for response.
- A written record of all complaints and appeals is to be kept by KST including all details of lodgement, response and resolution. The Complaints and Appeals Register is to be used to record the details of the complaint or appeal and to maintain a chronological journal of events during the complaint or appeal handling process. Records relating to complaint or appeal handling must be stored securely to prevent access to unauthorised personnel.
- A complainant or appellant is to be provided an opportunity to formally present his or her case at no cost.
- Each complainant and appellant may be accompanied and/or assisted by a support person at any relevant meeting.
- The complaints and appeals policy must be publicly available. This means that the complaints appeals policy and procedure must be published on the KST website.
- The handling of a complaint or appeal is to commence within seven (7) working days of the lodgement of the complaint or appeal and all reasonable measures are taken to finalise the process as soon as practicable.
- The complainant or appellant is to be provided a written response to the complaint or appeal, including details of the reasons for the outcome. A written response must be provided to the complainant or appellant within fourteen (14) working days of the lodgement of the complaint or appeal.
- Complaints and appeals must be resolved to a final outcome within sixty (60) calendar days of the complaint or appeal being initially received. Where KST Chief Executive Officer considers that more than 60 calendar days are required to process and finalise the complaint or appeal, the CEO must inform the complainant or appellant in writing, including reasons why more than 60 calendar days are required. As a benchmark, KST should attempt to resolve complaints and appeals as soon as possible. A timeframe to resolve a complaint or appeal within thirty (30) calendar days is considered acceptable and in the best interest of KST and the complainant or appellant. A complainant or appellant should also be provided with regular updates to inform them of the progress of the complaint or appeal handling. Updates should be provided to the complainant or appellant at a minimum of four (4) weekly intervals.
- KST shall maintain the enrolment of the complainant or appellant during the complaint handling process.
- Decisions or outcomes of the complaint or appeal handling process that find in the favour of the learner shall be implemented immediately.
- Complaints and appeals are to be handled in the strictest of confidence. No KST representative is to disclose information to any person without the permission of KST Chief Executive Officer. A decision to release information to third parties can only to be made after the complainant or appellant has given permission for this to occur. This permission should be given using the Consent to Release Information Form.
- Complaints and appeals are to be considered and handled to ensure the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness are applied at every stage of the complaint and appeal handling process. This means that the complainant or appellant is entitled to be heard with access to all relevant information and with the right of reply. The complainant or appellant is entitled to have their complaint heard by a person that is without bias and may not be affected by the decision. Finally, the decision must be made based on logical evidence and the decision-maker must take account of relevant considerations, must act for a proper purpose and must not take into account irrelevant considerations. Further guidance on principles of natural justice and procedural fairness can be accessed at the following link: Principles of Natural Justice and Procedural Fairness
Where the person making a complaint or appeal is not satisfied with the handling of the matter by KST, they have the opportunity for a body or person that is independent of KST to review his or her complaint or appeal following the internal completion of complaint and appeal handling process.
In these circumstances the KST Chief Executive Officer will advise of an appropriate party independent of KST to review the complaint or appeal outcome (and its subsequent handling) and provide advice to KST in regard to the recommended outcomes.
The independent third-party is required to respond with their recommendations within fourteen (14) working days of their review being requested. This advice is to be accepted by KST as final, advised to the person making a complaint or appeal in writing and implemented without prejudice.
Persons wanting to initiate a third party review should request this in writing to the Chief Executive Officer. Where the KST appoints or engages an appropriate independent person to review a complaint or appeal, KST will meet the full cost to facilitate the independent review.
Where the person making a complaint or seeking an appeal objects to this appointment and requests to engage a person or organisation they nominate to undertake the review, the KST may seek the person making a complaint or appeal to contribute to the cost of engaging this person to undertake the review.
Where the person making a complaint or appeal remains not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint and appeal handling procedure, the person making a complaint or appeal is to be directed to the following external agencies:
- In relation to consumer protection issues, these may be referred to the Office of Fair Trading.
- In relation to the delivery of training and assessment services, these may be referred to the National Training Complaints Service via the following phone number: 13 38 73.
It is expected that the above agencies will investigate the persons concerns and contact KST for information. KST is to cooperate fully with agencies such as the National Training Complaints Service, the Office of Fair Trading or ASQA that may investigate the handling of a complaint or appeal. KST considers that it would be extremely unlikely that a complaint or appeal is not able to be resolved quickly within KST internal arrangements.
Matters that cannot be resolved at the time they occur should be referred to KST Chief Executive Officer for review. The following procedure is to be followed when a complaint form is received:
- A Complaints Form is received by KST and is to be immediately recorded into KST Complaints and Appeals Register.
- Complaints which are received in other forms such as phone or email are to be detailed on a Complaints and Appeals Form by the person (staff member) receiving the complaint and then recorded in the Complaints and Appeals Register.
- The Complaints and Appeals Form is to be forwarded to the Chief Executive Officer who is to review the matter and make recommendation as to how to respond to the matter. The Chief Executive Officer may choose to consult with the complainant, with others within KST or relevant agencies external to KST in determining their recommendations.
- The Chief Executive Officer may choose to make inquiries about the matter or may task another person to research the matter against relevant policy.
- The Chief Executive Officer is to commence their review of the complaint within seven (7) working days from the date the complaint was submitted.
- The Chief Executive Officer is to finalise their response to the complainant and provide the complainant a written response as soon as possible but no later than fourteen (14) working days from when the complaint was submitted.
- The Chief Executive Officer is to communicate the response to the complainant personally either during a meeting or via the telephone. Complaint responses are not to be provided to the complainant via any third-party or via electronic communication such as e-mail. The Chief Executive Officer is to seek feedback from the complainant about their level of satisfaction with the complaint outcome and advise the complainant of their options if they are not completely satisfied with the outcome.
- Where the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint handling, the Chief Executive Officer is to arrange for the complaint to be considered by an appropriate independent third-party (appointed by the CEO). The independent third-party is required to respond with their recommendations within fourteen (14) working days of their review being requested.
- A complainant who remains not satisfied with the process applied by KST may refer the matter to the Office of Fair Trading (in relation to consumer protection matters) or National Training Complaints Service via the following phone number: 13 38 73.
- The response to the complainant must include information that demonstrates that the matter was thoroughly reviewed and what actions and outcomes have been identified as a result of the complaint.
- Opportunities for improvement that were identified as a result of the complaint are to be recorded in a Continuous Improvement Report and submitted for the next Management Team meeting. The Chief Executive Officer may, at his or her discretion, follow-up with the complainant after consideration by the Management Team to inform the complainant of the improvement actions identified.
- The Complaints and Appeals Register is to be kept up to date at all times to accurately reflect how the matter was responded to and the duration from the date the complaint was received to the date the complaint was resolved. Complaints and appeals which are open or subject to ongoing consideration are discussed at the management meeting as detailed within the agenda.
The following procedure is to be followed when an application to appeal a decision is received:
- An application to appeal a decision is received by KST and is to be immediately recorded into KST Complaints and Appeals Register. An application to appeal a decision must be submitted in writing. Appeals must be lodged within twenty eight (28) working days of the decision or finding being informed to the person.
- The application to appeal a decision is to be forwarded to the Chief Executive Officer who is to review the matter and make recommendation as to how to respond to the matter. The Chief Executive Officer may choose to consult with the appellant, with others within KST or relevant agencies external to KST in determining their recommendations.
- The Chief Executive Officer may choose to make inquiries about the matter or may task another person to research the matter against relevant policy or legislation.
- The Chief Executive Officer is to commence their review of an appeal within seven (7) working days from the date the appeal being submitted.
- The Chief Executive Officer is to finalise their response to the appellant and provide the appellant a response as soon as possible but no later than fourteen (14) working days from when the appeal was submitted.
- The Chief Executive Officer is to communicate the response to the appellant personally either during a meeting or via the telephone. Appeal responses are not to be provided to the appellant via any third-party or via electronic communication such as e-mail. The Chief Executive Officer is to seek feedback from the appellant about their level of satisfaction with the appeal outcome and advise the appellant of their options if they are not completely satisfied with the outcome.
- Where the appellant is not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint handling, the Chief Executive Officer is to arrange for the appeal to be considered by an appropriate independent third-party. The independent third-party is required to respond with their recommendations within fourteen (14) working days of their review being requested.
- Where the appeal is in relation to an assessment decision, a reassessment should be recommended. Learners participating in a reassessment should be provided with detail counselling about the perceived gaps in their skills and knowledge along with additional training to support their improvement and ability to demonstrate competence. Reassessments should be scheduled to occur as soon as practicable following the outcome of an appeal. The reassessment must be undertaken by a different assessor than was used during the initial assessment. Following the reassessment, the learner must be provided with detailed feedback about their performance and the outcome.
- An appellant who remains not satisfied with the process applied by KST may refer the matter to the Office of Fair Trading (in relation to consumer protection matters) or National Training Complaints Service via the following phone number: 13 38 73.
- Opportunities for improvement that were identified as a result of the appeal are to be recorded in a Continuous Improvement Report and submitted for the next Management Team meeting. The Chief Executive Officer may, at their discretion, follow-up with the appellant after consideration by the Management Team to inform the appellant of the improvement actions identified.
- The Complaints and Appeals Register is to be kept up to date at all times to accurately reflect how the matter was responded to and the duration from the date the appeal was received to the date the appeal was resolved. Appeals which are open or subject to ongoing consideration are discussed at the management meeting as detailed within the agenda.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfers
In accordance with the requirements of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations, Karen Sheldon Training provides the opportunity for learners to apply to have prior learning recognised toward a qualification or units of competency for which they are enrolled.
Recognition generally takes two forms: recognition of prior learning, and credit transfer. For the purposes of this policy, recognition of prior learning will be referred to as RPL.
What is RPL?
RPL involves the assessment of previously unrecognised skills and knowledge an individual has achieved outside the formal education and training system.
Recognition assesses this unrecognised learning against the requirements of a unit of competency, in respect of both entry requirements and outcomes to be achieved.
By removing the need for duplication of learning, recognition encourages an individual to continue upgrading their skills and knowledge through structured education and training towards formal qualifications and improved employment outcomes.
This has benefits for the individual and industry. Most importantly, it should be noted that recognition is just another form of assessment and requires the same application of policy and procedures outlined in the Assessment Policy.
The following guidelines are to be followed when an application for recognition is received:
Any learner is entitled to apply for RPL in a course or qualification in which they are currently enrolled.
Learners may not apply for RPL for units of competency or qualification which are not included in KST’s scope of registration.
Whilst learners may apply for RPL at any time, they are encouraged to apply before commencing a training program. This will reduce unnecessary training and guide the learner down a more efficient path to competence.
Learners who are currently enrolled in a training program are eligible to apply for RPL in that program at no additional charge.
Assessment via RPL is to apply the principles of assessment and the rules of evidence.
RPL may only be awarded for whole units of competency.
Forms of evidence
RPL acknowledges that workplace skills and knowledge may be gained through a variety of ways including both formal and informal learning or through work-based or life experience.
In evaluating assessment evidence, KST applies the following rules of evidence:
Like assessment, RPL is a process whereby evidence is collected and a judgement is made by an assessor or assessment team. The judgement is made on evidence provided by candidates of the skills and knowledge that they have previously learnt through work, study, life and other experiences, and that they are currently using.
It also includes evidence to confirm a candidate’s ability to adapt prior learning or current competence to the context of the intended workplace or industry.
Forms of evidence toward RPL may include:
Records of workplace training;
Assessments of current skills;
Assessments of current knowledge;
Third party reports from current and previous supervisors or managers;
Evidence of relevant unpaid or volunteer experience;
Examples of work products;
Observation by an assessor in the workplace;
Performance appraisal; or
Many of these forms of evidence would not be sufficient evidence on their own. When combined together with a number of evidence items, the candidate will start to provide a strong case for competence.
KST reserves the right to require candidates to undertake practical assessment activities of skills and knowledge in order to satisfy itself of a candidate’s current competence.
Appealing RPL outcomes
If the learner is not satisfied with the outcomes of a RPL application, they may appeal the outcome like other assessment decisions. Further information on the appeals process is available in the Appeals Procedure.
The following procedure is to be applied by KST upon receipt of an application for RPL:
Step 1 Provide sufficient information to prospective learners to inform them of opportunities for alternative pathways via RPL and the RPL process.
Step 2 Learners who request RPL of their current competence are to be invited to carry out a self-assessment prior to enrolment to determine their suitability for an RPL application (using the RPL Self-Assessment form). This step is not compulsory but is strongly suggested. The learner should be provided a copy of the qualification outline and unit information.
Step 3 Undertake an RPL assessment planning interview between the assessor and the candidate. This is to include where possible:
Helping the candidate to identify appropriate forms of evidence;
Guiding the candidate on the use of RPL tools; and
Informing the candidate about the assessment process.
Step 4 Candidates are to compile their RPL submission (using an RPL Application form). This allows candidates to record their particular documentary evidence against each unit of competency and to attach this evidence as required.
Step 5 The Assessor is then to review the assessment evidence and decide on the need for additional evidence on perceived gaps. The Assessor may invite the candidate to undertake an RPL interview to answer verbal questions or a practical assessment.
At the end of the evidence gathering process the Assessor is to provide the candidate with written feedback regarding the assessment outcomes, including the procedure for the candidate to appeal the assessment outcome.
Step 6 If the candidate is not satisfied with the outcomes of an RPL application, they may appeal the outcome like any other assessment decision. Refer the candidate to the appeals process which can be found in the Student Information section of the website.
Step 7 When all assessment and appeal processes have concluded, the assessment outcome is to be recorded in the Student Records folder and the candidate issued with written advice of the outcome. This may include issuing statements of attainment or qualifications awarded through RPL in accordance with KST Qualifications Issuance policies and procedures.
Costs associated with RPL
The costs associated with RPL will depend on what course and how many units are applied for and the assessment process required based on information supplied regarding skills and knowledge. The cost of RPL is lower than training and RPL costs will be determined when the learner speaks with the RPL Assessor.
Credit Transfer Policy and Procedure
Karen Sheldon Training acknowledges the requirement as a Registered Training Organisation to recognise the awards issued by other RTOs. This is limited to outcomes that are drawn from the national skills framework being units of competency awarded and accurately identified in statements of attainment and qualifications.
What is credit transfer?
Credit transfer (also referred to as national recognition or universal recognition) is the recognition of learning achieved through formal education and training. Under the Standards for Registered Training Organisations, qualifications and statements of attainment issued by any RTO are to be accepted and recognised by all other RTOs.
Credit transfer allows the unit of competency previously achieved by a learner to be recognised when they are enrolling in a related course where those units can assist them in meeting the requirements for a qualification. It is important to note that credit transfer is not recognition of prior learning (RPL). RPL is assessment and is addressed within the Recognition policy.
When unit codes and titles are different
If credit transfer is being sought for a unit of competency which has a different title or code, then it is necessary to establish the equivalence status between the unit held and the unit being sought.
In many cases this information can be found in the mapping guide published on the National Training Register www.training.gov.au. Our training staff will obtain this information and validate claims of equivalence. Staff should note that the mapping notes within the National Training Register are sometimes very clear and in general will use language such as “Not equivalent” or “Is superseded by and is equivalent to”. In some cases, there will appear to be no direction and this may be because the unit is new and has no previous version of the unit. In some cases, it will say words to the effect: “Is superseded by:” without any clarification about the equivalence status. In these cases, the new unit should be considered as not equivalent. If in doubt, staff are to seek the advice of the Chief Executive Officer or the related industry skills council.
If there is no mapping available, the unit is deemed not equivalent then we are not to recognise the unit through credit transfer. In these circumstances, the applicant should be referred for RPL in accordance with our Recognition policies and procedures. Under no circumstances is a comparison between units to be used as the basis for issuing credit transfer. If the skills council has not determined it to be equivalent, then it is not. Subjective comparisons by the RTO are not valid.
An applicant will be required to present his or her statement of attainment or qualification for examination by KST. These documents will provide the detail of what units of competency the applicant has been previously issued. Applicants must provide satisfactory evidence that the statement of attainment or qualification is theirs and that it has been issued by an Australian RTO.
Statements of attainment or qualifications should be in the correct format as outlined in the Australian Qualifications Framework, Second Edition, 2013. The applicant is required to submitted copies only which are certified as true copies of the original by a Justice of the Peace (or equivalent).
Credit transfer guidelines
The following guidelines are to be followed when an application for credit transfer is received:
Any learner is entitled to apply for credit transfer in a course or qualification in which they are currently enrolled.
Learners may not apply for credit transfer for units of competency or qualification which are not included in our scope of registration.
Whilst learners may apply for credit transfer at any time, they are encouraged to apply before commencing a training program. This will reduce unnecessary training and guide the learner down a more efficient path to competence.
The learner does not incur any fees for credit transfer and we do not receive any funding when credit transfer is granted.
Credit transfer may only be awarded for whole units of competency. Where a mapping guide identifies a partial credit, this will not be considered for credit transfer and the applicant will be advised to seek recognition.
- Credit transfer will only be issued when the learner’s enrolment includes at least one other unit of competency for which the learner is participating in training or is seeking recognition. Learner may not enrol only for credit transfer.
The recognition of a unit of competency under a credit transfer arrangement is not contingent on the applicant demonstrating their currency. If the unit has been previously awarded and equivalence can be demonstrated then the unit can be recognised. The currency of the applicant is not a factor to be considered.
Fees, Charges & Refunds
Karen Sheldon Training is entitled to charge fees for services provided to learners undertaking training and assessment that leads to a nationally recognised outcome. These charges are generally for items such as course materials, text books, learner services and training and assessment services.
Fees payable by a learner or employer will be payable when the learner or employer has received a confirmation of enrolment or at a time mutually agreed with the employer.
The initial fee payment must be made within 30 days of receiving an invoice from Karen Sheldon Training or other trading terms as agreed form time to time with an employer. Karen Sheldon Training may discontinue training if fees are not paid in accordance with the agreed fee schedule.
The CEO shall ensure that the following fee information is provided to each client prior to their enrolment:
- the total amount of all fees including course fees, administration fees, materials fees and any other charges;
- payment terms, including the timing and amount of fees to be paid and any non-refundable deposit/administration fee;
- the nature of the guarantee given by Karen Sheldon Training to complete the training and/or assessment once the student has commenced study in their chosen qualification or course;
- the fees and charges for additional services, including such items as issuance of a replacement qualification testamur and the options available to students who are deemed not yet competent on completion of training and assessment; and
- the organisation’s refund policy.
Fees paid in advance shall not exceed $1,500.
Fees paid in advance that exceed one month in advance shall be placed in the Karen Sheldon Training trust account at the first banking opportunity.
Karen Sheldon Training will not refund fees paid in advance unless training cancellation INCLUDES more than 14 days’ notice in writing.
The following percentage of refund will apply to all training cancellations:
- Where 20% or less of the course has been provided to the learner a 100% refund less $200.00 admin fee will apply.
- Where less than 50% of the course has been provided to the learner a 50% refund less $200.00 admin fee will apply.
- Where 50% or more of the course has been provided to the learner no refund will apply
Discretion may be exercised by the Chief Executive Officer in all situations, if the learner can demonstrate that extenuating or significant personal circumstance led to their withdrawal.
In these cases, the learner should be offered a full credit toward the tuition fee in another scheduled program in-leu of a refund. Chief Executive Officer may also authorise a refund of tuition fees if the circumstances require it.
Issuing Duplicate Statements of Attainment
- A learner wanting to request a duplicate Testamur/ Statement of Attainment should complete an application in writing to the Administration Officer which will then be filed with the original learner record.
- The administrative fee for issuing replacement certificates or statements of attainment is $25.00 per course or qualification. Where a single course resulted in the award of two certificates both certificates will be issued under the single fee.
- Upon receipt of payment, the certificate/s with either be mailed out or emailed as per the learner’s request. All duplicates are to be issued within two weeks from receipt of payment.
At any time, you may contact Karen Sheldon Training to:
- Request access to your personal information
- Correct your personal information
- Make a complaint about how your personal information has been handled
- Ask a question about our Student Information
Please phone (08) 8945 6048 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for any further enquiries.