Certificate II level qualifications can provide an important pathway into work for many learners, equipping them with the skills to enter the workforce or higher-level qualifications.

Click across the tabs to view active and completed project stages. Consultation takes place at every stage of the project.

The Certificate II in Rural Operations is a qualification used to provide learners with the foundational skills required for roles in rural and regional industries. It has had an average of 2500 enrolments a year between 2018 and 2022, and is particularly used in northern regions of Australia.  

During a project in 2022, issues were raised about the Certificate II in Rural Operations that required further investigation to resolve. The qualification is due for a review to see if it accurately reflects the evolving skills needs of industry and learners.  

It is important that all qualifications have distinct outcomes so that learners and employers can have confidence and clarity in what skills are being attained through training. It is equally important that learners in rural, regional and remote areas have access to training that can equip them with skills required to enter the workforce.  

This project will undertake research and in-depth analysis of the Certificate II in Rural Operations to better understand how the qualification is used (particularly in the northern region of Australia), and to clearly identify the intended job roles attainable upon completion of the qualification. These findings will be used to assess how the unique needs of the learners and workplaces that require these skills can be better met in future, while meeting the current requirements of policies that apply to Training Package products. 

Issues raised with Certificate II in Rural Operations 

According to the qualification description, the Certificate II in Rural Operations ‘provides an occupational outcome for industries and agencies in rural and regional Australia’, and ‘Depending on the units selected individuals can be employed not only in rural industries but also other rural and regional sectors, such as local government, tourism, hospitality, transport, construction, community services, information technology and metals’. Consultation is required to identify how the qualification is being used to prepare workers for various industries and whether the necessary skills for each are reflected.

The qualification also also contains similar content to the Certificate II in Agriculture, with all of the core units of the Rural Operations qualification appearing in the core of the Certificate II in Agriculture. A review of the electives within the Certificate II in Rural Operations could help determine if the qualification provides enough standalone value as part of the training solution for industry or whether it could be enhanced to better support skills not captured in the Certificate II in Agriculture.

Timeline

Next steps

A technical committee is being assembled to guide the project. A Consultation Strategy and Technical Committee (TC) Terms of Reference are in development and will be made available once the TC has signed off on these documents. 

During March, all RTOs that have the qualification on their scope of registration will be asked to complete a short questionnaire designed to collect information on how they use the qualification. Skills Insight is keen to work with RTOs to develop a deeper understanding on learner cohorts, why these learners undertake the qualification, the elective units being delivered and the context of delivery. 

Face to face and online consultation workshops are planned during April. Key stakeholders from sectors including livestock production, broadacre cropping and land management will be invited to participate. Workshops will include workforce functional analysis to identify and/or confirm entry level job roles and job tasks in these sectors, and other workforce outcomes/pathways these employers consider relevant to the qualification. If you are interested in contributing, please contact Tom Vassallo [email protected] by 31 March 2024.

  • Katherine, NT – Tue 9 April   
  • Broome, WA – Thu 11 April   
  • Toowoomba, QLD – Tue 16 April   
  • Brisbane, QLD – Wed 17 April   
  • Paterson, NSW – Fri 19 April 
  • Online Meeting – Tue 23 April 

Project Scope

The initial stages of this project will focus on research into how the Certificate II in Rural Operations is being used, which will determine the direction of the rest of the project.  

Thorough consultation with relevant stakeholders will determine whether:

  • the qualification should be updated with defined workforce outcomes and pathways 
  • the qualification outcomes could be met with another option such as one or more skill sets 
  • the qualification should be deleted or merged with another qualification with similar outcomes 
  • development of additional supports such as a User Guide which could assist with delivery in rural locations. 

Project Team

Tom headshot

Tom Vassallo

Andrew headshot

Andrew Horgan

The solution may combine several of these options. In the evaluation of the options, it is important to gain broad consensus and support from the key project stakeholders, including: 

  • industry stakeholders that employ or are likely to employ graduates of the qualification 
  • RTOs who currently deliver the qualification and those who may deliver it in future  
  • community organisations, especially those that provide support for particular groups of learners to access skills for work 
  • State and Territory Training Authorities that may fund the qualification.  

Further consultation will take place as necessary to guide the development or revision of any training products as needed. Any work undertaken will also adhere to the Training Package Products Development and Endorsement Process Policy (TPPDEPP) so that the training products are high quality and consistent. The aim is to better meet the unique needs of workplaces and learners in rural and remote areas

As AHC21216 Certificate II in Rural Operations is on the National Training Register (NTR), the options that apply to the potential outcomes of this project are also governed by the frameworks and terminology used by the NTR. For example: 

  • If the qualification is revised, the current qualification will be superseded by the updated qualification on the NTR 
  • The qualification can also be identified as superseded on the NTR if it is merged into another existing qualification 
  • There is also the possibility the qualification may deleted which means that it will be removed completely from the NTR. 

Opportunities for stakeholder input 

Stakeholder input is appreciated throughout the duration of this project. A list of key stakeholder organisations has been identified and Skills Insight ensure contact is made with each of these organisations during the development of the project. Consultation is not limited to the organisations on this list. The list simply helps us to identify those organisations that, because of their industry role, size or specialty, are likely to have a key interest in the development and outcomes of this project. If you are aware of an organisation that you think should be involved, please contact the project team. 

For updates and consultation opportunities, please follow the newsletter subscription link above. Alternatively, please feel free to contact the project manager, Tom Vassallo on 03 9321 3526 or [email protected] 

The Certificate II in Rural Operations, which is used to provide learners with the foundational skills required for roles in rural and regional industries, is due for a review to see if it reflects the evolving skills needs of industry and learners.  

Research is underway as part of this project to better understand how the Certificate II in Rural Operations is used to prepare workers for various industries and whether the necessary skills for each are reflected. Consultation will also take place to clarify the outcomes of the qualifications so that learners and employers can have confidence and clarity in the skills being attained through training.

Findings from initial consultations will be used to assess how the unique needs of learners and workplaces in rural, regional and remote Australia can be better met in future. 

Online Workshops

Online consultation workshops are taking place to discuss the Certificate II in Rural Operations with industry, trainers and others interested in the qualification. If you would like to attend an online workshop, please register for the session most applicable to you using the buttons below.

Industry consultation workshop

Tue 23 April, 10 am – 1 pm (AEST)

One online workshop is being held to seek industry and other stakeholder views on the workforce outcomes and learner pathways relevant to the Certificate II in Rural Operations. Workforce Functional Analysis will be undertaken to identify/confirm the entry level job roles and job tasks required in sectors stakeholders consider relevant to rural operations.

Training providers consultation workshop

Wed 24 April, 10 am – 1 pm (AEST)

Another online workshop is being held to seek views on how the Certificate II in Rural Operations is being used and delivered. During this workshop we will gather information on the learners undertaking the qualification, and suggestions on how it can be improved.

Face-to-face workshops

Key stakeholders have been invited to face-to-face consultation workshops during April. Workshops will include workforce functional analysis to identify and/or confirm entry level job roles and job tasks, and other workforce outcomes/pathways relevant to the qualification. 

If you are interested in attending one of the in person workshops, please contact Tom Vassallo [email protected]

  • Katherine, NT – Tue 9 April   
  • Broome, WA – Thu 11 April   
  • Toowoomba, QLD – Tue 16 April   
  • Brisbane, QLD – Wed 17 April   
  • Patterson, NSW – Fri 19 April 

Consultation to Date

A technical committee has been assembled to guide the project. A Consultation Strategy and Technical Committee (TC) Terms of Reference are in development and will be made available once the TC has signed off on these documents. 

During March, all RTOs that have the Certificate II in Rural Operations on their scope of registration were asked to complete a short questionnaire designed to collect information on how they use the qualification, why learners undertake it, the elective units being delivered and the context of delivery. Any RTO that has been unable to complete the questionnaire to date is welcome to do so. Please contact Tom Vassallo [email protected] for more information.

Next Steps

Following thorough consultation with those using the Certificate II in Rural Operations, a report will be developed outlining findings and next steps which will be confirmed with guidance from the technical committee. Further consultation will take place in the development and implementation of solutions that come out of these investigations.

This stage has not yet commenced.

At the broad consultation stage, we present and discuss potential solutions, collecting feedback from a wide range of stakeholder across the country. It follows consultation with various stakeholders that has already taken place throughout the project.

This stage has not yet commenced.

As part of consensus gathering, we check our work with stakeholders to confirm that solutions are in line with expectations.

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.