Attention RTOs! Exciting shifts are underway in early childhood education, construction and plumbing, and services. These changes will directly impact the training packages for community services (CHC) and construction, plumbing, and services (CPC). Some of these updates have already been set in motion in the year’s first quarter, while others are slated to begin in the last quarter of 2023. If you’re providing training under the CHC or CPC, staying informed about these developments is crucial!
CHC Updates: Enhancing Early Childhood Education
In 2022, Education Ministers joined forces to enhance the National Quality Framework (NQF), drawing insights from the 2019 NQF Review. This comprehensive review involved extensive consultations with educators, families, and communities, helping shape important governmental decisions.
Phase One: Fostering Safe Transport
The initial wave of approved regulatory changes took effect on 1 March 2023. Solidifying the commitment to safety commitment within education, it focused on ensuring the secured transportation of children by centre-based services.
Phase Two: A Holistic Evolution for Education
The subsequent round of updates, which started on 1 July 2023, ushered a broader stride toward transformation, introducing impactful changes:
1. Boosting Workforce Flexibility
Addressing workforce challenges, this change offers more flexibility to services when they need to replace educators for short periods due to absences or resignations. With this approach, it ensures a continuous learning experience for children.
2. Enhancing Oversight for Better Governance
This will enhance how regulatory authorities monitor providers by broadening the description of a ‘person with management or control.’ It also means that the Education and Care Services National Law and the Family Assistance Law will work more closely together when deciding if service providers are suitable and proper for their role.
3. Streamlining Documentation for Efficiency
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) providers in Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia, and Victoria are at the forefront of this change. Shifting the focus to ‘program level’ documentation streamlines processes, enabling them to concentrate on the broader educational program rather than individual child records.
4. Empowering Family Day Care Services
An essential change, this gives more flexibility to family day care (FDC) services that have been running for a year or more. They can now make some changes when calculating how many family daycare coordinators they need compared to educators. This change will help deal with the difficulties in finding enough workers in the FDC sector.
5. Uplifting Education Standards
Elevating education quality, this change mandates that all FDC educators hold at least an approved certificate III level qualification before they start their job. Educators already working will have up to a year to finish getting their qualifications (this doesn’t apply in South Australia, where this rule is already in effect). This elevates the professional competence of educators, promising a higher standard of education and care.
6. Equitable Fee Adjustments
Apart from the yearly changes based on the consumer price index, this is the first time since the NQF started in 2012 that there will be some small increases in certain fees. Also, a new category will be added to show the fees for ‘large’ and ‘very large’ services separately.
7. Incentive for Excellence Amplified
To make it more rewarding and less work for services aiming for the Excellent Rating, they now have longer approval time, going from three to five years.
8. Embracing Dynamic Learning Frameworks
Phase two will also implement a set deadline in early 2024 for the original national Approved Learning Frameworks. By then, services will have to switch to using the new versions of the national Approved Learning Frameworks.
Phase Three: More Changes Coming
Anticipate a third wave of regulatory and legislative changes later in 2023, a testament to the ongoing commitment to progress.
For comprehensive insights, all decisions stemming from the 2019 NQF review are available on nqfreview.com.au.
CPC Updates: Key Changes in the National Construction Code 2022
Australia’s construction standards are based on the National Construction Code (NCC). In its latest version, NCC 2022, which is divided into separate parts called NCC Volume 1, 2, and 3, important changes have been made. These changes are especially relevant to homes and have significant implications that need to be considered.
Changes and Commencement Date:
- Bushfire Protection (Commenced on 1 May 2023)
Changes have been introduced to enhance safety for vulnerable occupants in response to the 2009 Victorian bushfire findings. New measures include performance requirements, verification methods, and deemed-to-satisfy (DTS) criteria. These aim to provide added protection for buildings where evacuation during bushfires might not be safe. It’s important to note that compliance doesn’t guarantee complete safety, acknowledging the challenges of addressing bushfire risks.
- Condensation (Starting on 1 October 2023)
The code addresses condensation concerns in Zone 5, Toowoomba region. It mandates using certain materials with specified vapour permeance to prevent condensation issues.
- Early Childhood Centres (Commenced on 1 May 2023)
There are updated provisions to address situations where early childhood centres are on upper levels of tall buildings. As more high-rise buildings include a mix of retail, offices, and parking, early childhood centres are becoming part of these structures as an attractive feature for property owners and tenants. Considering the vulnerability of children in buildings, these changes aim to enhance safety. They focus on fire separation to create secure spaces for children and occupants during emergencies before evacuation.
- Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging (Starting on 1 October 2023)
Certain buildings with at least 9 parking spaces must add electrical distribution boards for potential EV charging. The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) view EV installations as a ‘special hazard’ due to fire risks from battery failures. QFES urges Building Certifiers to consider these risks in assessments. The government states distribution board installation alone doesn’t trigger a ‘special hazard,’ but design collaboration among electrical, mechanical, and fire engineers is crucial.
- Energy Efficiency (Starting on 1 October 2023)
Class 1 buildings require a higher 7-star thermal performance under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS). For Class 2 buildings, the thermal performance standard will be raised to an average of 7 stars, and no individual sole occupancy unit should fall below 6 stars. The DTS elemental table requirements have also been increased, making it extensive. Additionally, a new separate rule is introduced, involving a “Whole of Home, annual energy usage budget.” It pertains to the energy consumption of a home’s heating and cooling systems, including air conditioning, heated water systems, lighting, as well as swimming pool and spa pumps. The changes come with significant challenges and costs, and Master Builders suggest a delay in implementation.
The NCC 2022 version has been revamped to be more user-friendly, emphasising digital access and readability.
These NCC changes collectively aim to ensure safety, sustainability, and usability in Australian buildings.
How Will the CHC and CPC Training Package Updates Affect Training
These regulatory changes in the CHC and CPC sectors will have a significant impact on vocational education and training (VET). These changes will enhance the quality and relevance of education and training programs in these fields. Let’s break it down:
For CHC Training Package:
- Enhanced Quality Standards: The changes in the NQF mean higher quality education and care standards. This will demand updated training and qualifications for educators in early childhood education. Your RTO can play a pivotal role in offering courses that align with these enhanced requirements.
- Compliance and Oversight: With tighter regulations, your RTO should focus on ensuring that your training programs comply with the latest standards. This is vital to help educators meet the updated qualifications and provide top-notch early education.
- Business Opportunities: Adapting your RTO to cater to these changes can lead to increased demand for your training services. By offering programs that support the updated learning frameworks and quality standards, your RTO can experience growth and expansion.
- Collaboration Potential: Forge partnerships with childcare centres, construction companies, and other stakeholders affected by these changes. Your RTO can provide essential training and support to help these organizations meet the new requirements, fostering collaboration and mutual growth.
For CPC Training Package:
- Safety and Sustainability Focus: The NCC 2022 updates emphasize safety and sustainability in construction. Your RTO can create training programs that educate builders, architects, and developers on eco-friendly building designs and materials.
- Compliance and Safety Training: With stricter building norms, your RTO can offer safety training courses that address these new standards, ensuring that professionals in the construction industry are well-prepared to adhere to the regulations.
- Innovation in Design: The NCC updates promote innovative building design. Your RTO can develop courses that encourage architects and designers to explore creative and forward-thinking construction solutions, aligned with the new code.
What We’re Doing About These Changes?
As part of our commitment to compliance and ensuring you have the latest training materials, we are currently making updates to the relevant RTO resources. All our current customers who acquired the following materials will receive the updated version for the affected units of competency for free.
CHC Units of Competency
The updates will address these CHC changes:
- Quality concerns like broken lines
- ACECQA updates, including the newest approved learning frameworks
- Changes to national frameworks
- Other requirements, such as transportation guidelines.
CPC Units of Competency
Meanwhile, updates on the CPC training resources will include:
- Quality issues, such as broken lines
- Changes relevant to NCC 2022
Looking for Updated Training Resources?
Explore our comprehensive collection of top-notch CHC and CPC training resources at Compliant Learning Resources. Elevate your training delivery with our high-quality materials and get free updates whenever regulatory changes and legislation updates occur. Fill in the form to receive complimentary samples, information packs, and a personalised walkthrough.