The Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management (AHC) Training Package is one of the most complex, diverse and largest in the Australian system. It covers industry sectors that employ almost 318,000 people with unique and interrelated skills.
Click across the tabs to view active and completed project stages. Consultation takes place at every stage of the project.
Over the past few years, the AHC training package has undergone significant revision using a ‘Unit Sector’ approach, to bring it up to date with current work methods and skills needs. As a result, several qualifications and skill sets need to be updated to incorporate units of competency that have been developed or revised in recent projects. In particular, several work health and safety and environmental care related units have been updated which are core units in numerous qualifications.
As part of this project, we are seeking feedback from trainers and industry to hear if those using the qualifications have any comments about the inclusion of the units, so that all relevant information has been considered before updates are made.
More information about how to provide feedback will be available on this webpage soon. In the meantime, you are welcome to contact Ruth Geldard [email protected] with any queries.
A group of qualifications and skill sets will be updated to incorporate the units of competency that have been developed and revised as part of work carried out in 2019-22.
40 qualifications will be reviewed
40 qualifications will be reviewed so that these updated core and elective units are included, as well as newly created units where relevant.
28 skill sets will be reviewed
28 skill sets will be reviewed and some with low enrolments will be considered for deletion.
Four units are proposed for deletion
Four units are proposed for deletion as they have been removed from AHC qualifications as part of project work between 2019-22, because they include skills that are no longer required by industry or are duplicated by another unit. These units are contained within the qualifications under review as part of this project. This project proposes to remove them from the qualifications and delete them from the AHC training package.
This project also provides the opportunity to update a small number of qualifications with forest and wood products (FWP) and business services (BSB) units that have also been revised as part of recent training package project work.
Some minor amendments have also been identified for the following three units. This project provides the opportunity to also review these units and update them in line with the suggested amendments.
In addition, the proposed new unit AHCARB6 Conduct complex tree hazard and health assessment post-fire is proposed to be added to the Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Arboriculture. It was developed as part of the Responding and Assisting in Bushfires Project, which addressed the forestry industry’s need for skills in clearing and cleaning up after a bushfire. The unit is also relevant to arborists, who already possess skills in working with hazardous trees and may be required to perform this work as well. This unit will be submitted for endorsement as part of this project.
Qualifications to be updated
This project is part of the 2022-23 Annual Training Product Development Plan.
Consultation Plan and Subject Matter Experts
Stakeholder input is appreciated throughout the duration of this project. A group of Subject matter experts (SME) working across specific qualification areas have been identified and will provide guidance on the proposed updates to qualifications and skills sets. Opportunities to provide targeted feedback will occur when the draft materials are made available in September/October 2023, and again for validation of final drafts in November 2023.
Following strategic revisions of the AHC Training Package by unit sector, several qualifications and skill sets require updating to include the improved units. This includes several work health and safety and environmental care related units that are core units in numerous qualifications.
Skills Insight is seeking comment from those who may be impacted by the replacement of the units so that disruptions can be minimised. These updates are not to change the intent of the qualifications, simply to include units already consulted on with stakeholders to better meet skills needs.
The project team are currently compiling information about which units are to be replaced, suggested replacements, and the differences between the current and updated versions of the units.
Subject matter experts working across specific qualification areas have been identified for this project and asked to provide their input. Areas where input is being sought includes:
Online Information Sessions
Online information sessions took place in September to provide further information about updates to the qualifications and skill sets and how to provide feedback.
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Development Outcomes and Next Steps
Details about which units are being replaced and where, along with information about the differences between the current unit and the updated one will be made available on this webpage in September. A survey will be linked on this webpage, providing stakeholders the opportunity to provide feedback. Your input is welcome.
As part of recent projects, units of competency describing core skills for work across the AHC sector were updated to reflect current technology, systems and regulations, as well as skills in biosecurity, environmental sustainability and quality assurance. They were also revised to include skills to support workplace health and safety, including skills to communicate work safety procedures respectfully between workers, supervisors and responsible officers.
As these units appear in many places across the training package, several qualifications and skill sets that were not part of the original projects need to be updated to incorporate the updated units. Feedback was collected on the proposed updates to the qualifications and skill sets via surveys from 8 September – 6 October 2023. Four online information sessions were also held in September to provide stakeholders the option to learn more about the project and how to provide feedback. Thank you to those who participated in this round of feedback. The documents will be available for validation in November.
The equivalency status for qualifications and skill sets that have a new code will be determined once the placement of the units are confirmed.
Post-consultation Information Sessions
As part of the next stage of the project (validation), Skills Insight will be running two online information session to provide information about the type of feedback received during the ‘broad consultation’ phase of the project and how it was dealt with, a summary of changes(in addition to those that had already been proposed), and what’s next as we move towards finalisation stages.
Times are in AEDT.
Common changes across all updated units
Many common changes have been made to units that are now required to be included in the qualifications and skill sets listed below.
The Foundation Skills listed in many units have been revised to reflect essential skills required from certificate level I to diploma, to ensure they meet workplace requirements while not creating barriers for individual learners. In some cases, core skills for work previously listed have been removed, in line with policy frameworks.
In many cases, Performance Evidence has been revised to include ‘frequency’ (number of times) that an individual must demonstrate performance under assessment conditions. Note: demonstration of a specified task or activity of at last once does not mean that the individual will only perform the task on one occasion. Rather it means that it has to be performed once under assessment conditions after competency has been established.
The Assessment Conditions for many updated units have been revised to specify what is required for the assessment to take place as well as requirements for assessors.
Language was checked and adjusted as appropriate for the skill level. Units at different levels across each unit sector were revised at the same time to promote consistency across the units.
Workplace health and safety units (AHCWHS)
The suite of AHCWHS units, which are core units across many qualifications, were reviewed with input from peak WHS bodies including FarmSafe Australia and FarmSafe QLD. As well as updates to terminology to be in line with legislative changes, clear communication channels ‘up and down the chain’ when identifying and reporting WHS issues was stressed as highly important to prevent accidents. Units were revised so that workplace communication requirements for dealing with and reporting workplace health and safety issues are understood across all industry sectors.
The suite of AHCWRK units are applied broadly across multiple qualifications and describe skills and knowledge required for wide ranging tasks typically required when working in the AHC sector. The importance of respectful communication was a key theme to embed in updated units as well as use of updated technology, understanding of environmental impacts, planning for optimal yields in changing conditions, recording data and quality assurance procedures.
Environmental and sustainability units (AHCWRK)
Environment and sustainability units are listed as core across many qualifications as the view was taken that the importance of sustainability across all sectors is key to ongoing viability.
Attention was paid to the level of skill and the language requirements used to describe skills at indicative levels for these units. Adjustments were made so that they are more in line with respective level.
Infrastructure units were updated to reflect current practice in building and maintaining infrastructure and fencing, which are required across many agricultural settings.
Community coordination and facilitation (AHCCCF)
All AHCCCF units and qualifications were considered for deletion due to low enrolments and were therefore retained and updated to meet current skill requirements. However, it was found through consultation that these units covered important skills needed for Landcare and working with volunteers, that can be applied across the agriculture and horticulture sectors in general.
On Country management units (AHCOCM)
Unit content was strengthened and updated to meet current needs. Updates were also made to reaffirm Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights to utilise the described knowledge and skills for their communities and for personal vocations. There was strong support from stakeholders that appropriate language and consistent terminology were used throughout.
View the documents
Click on the accordions below to view the qualifications, skill sets and other documents that were made available for feedback.
As part of recent projects, units of competency describing core skills for work across the AHC sector have been updated to reflect updates in technology, systems and regulations and shifting skill needs, including in biosecurity, environmental sustainability, quality assurance workplace health and safety. As these units appear in many places across the training package, several qualifications and skill sets that were not part of the original projects need to be updated to incorporate the updated units.
Draft qualifications and skills sets have been updated based on feedback received during the ‘broad consultation’ stage. The final drafts are now available for validation and comment, from 15 – 29 November.
Summary of Changes
Of the 40 qualifications being updated as part of this project, 12 have been updated to accommodate additional changes recommended by stakeholders as part of the ‘broad consultation’ stage. The remaining 28 qualifications were supported by stakeholders as part of the ‘broad consultation’ stage and so no additional changes have been made.
The Business Skills For Sports Turf Management Skill Set has been updated to replace the work health and safety unit with one that is a better fit for the business management skills required. The remaining 27 skill sets were supported by stakeholders as part of the ‘broad consultation’ stage and so no additional changes have been made.
Feedback from the ‘broad consultation’ stage has provided support for the inclusion of AHCARB613 Conduct complex tree hazard and health assessment post-fire as an elective unit in Diploma and Advanced Diploma arboriculture qualifications, minor changes to two units of competency and the deletion of four units of competency.
Feedback is particularly being encouraged on the units proposed for deletion and the word changes recommended to AHCAGB518 Develop climate risk management strategies and AHCMOM302 Perform machinery maintenance.
Further details about changes made in response to feedback received (in addition to what was proposed initially) are outlined in the ‘summary of feedback and responses’ document. Where feedback requests could not be implemented because they were outside the scope of this project, feedback will be carefully considered as part of our ongoing Workforce Plan, which guides our decisions on future initiatives. Some of this feedback reflects information we have already recorded, which has reiterated its importance.
A note for RTOs: Equivalency status has now been updated within the training products. Please note that for all qualifications with core unit changes which have been updated by a non equivalent unit, these qualification will be deemed as not equivalent.
Post-consultation Information Sessions
You have the opportunity to register for an information session where we will provide details about the type of feedback received during the ‘broad consultation’ phase of the project and how it was dealt with, a summary of changes (in addition to those that had already been proposed), and what’s next as we move towards finalisation stages.
Register for whichever time suits you best. Times are in AEDT.
Additional changes since broad consultation stage:
No additional changes since broad consultation stage:
Summary of Consultation to Date
Thank you to those who participated in the ‘broad consultation’ stage. Feedback was collected about the proposed updates to the qualifications and skill sets via online surveys from 8 September – 6 October 2023. Feedback was also encouraged and reported via email, phone calls and online meetings.
All feedback has been recorded and responded to in the Skills insight data base and can be viewed in the ‘summary of feedback and responses’. In total 142 items of stakeholder feedback have been collated, recorded and responded to in the feedback data base in response to questions about including updated units of competency across 40 qualifications and 28 skill sets.
There were also 95 attendees across four online information sessions held in September to provide stakeholders the option to learn more about the project and how to provide feedback.
Overall, stakeholders supported the replacement of the units with their updated versions across the 40 qualifications and 28 skill sets. In some cases, further clarification was provided to explain the differences between updated units and their superseded version. Clarification of terms and interpretation of the requirements for assessment were also explained where applicable.
This stage has not yet commenced.
At the finalisation stage, final checks are conducted and the outcomes of the project are submitted to the Department for consideration. Following this, outcomes are published or enacted.
As the agriculture, horticulture, conservation and land management industry adapts to technological advancements, shifting markets, and environmental concerns, it is important that the AHC training package can be updated holistically and on a regular basis.
Given the many unique and interrelated skills across the industry, a strategic approach is being undertaken to identify and review units by their sector classification rather than their listing in qualifications.
This project supports the broader Unit Sector approach, looking at qualifications and skill sets that contain recently reviewed units and replacing them with the latest version as applicable.
Following a staged process, the Unit Sector approach allows us to:
Recent Projects as part of the Unit Sector Approach include:
Further projects are planned in future to complete the full revision of the training package as part of the ‘Unit Sector’ approach.
Register your interest in this project
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