Holistic Training Program & Online Resources
Restaurant & Catering Industry Association (R&CA) – the national association that leads and represents the interests of 35,000 restaurants and catering businesses across Australia – has been focussing on the linkage between training and industry relevance in this vital sector for a number of years. With regular changes in training packages, and fragmentation of the industry, it was concerned with ensuring all trainees across the industry are provided with a strong focus on industry requirements.
John Hart, the Chief Executive, wanted to ensure that training reflected industry practice and stressed the importance of it being embedded into the daily tasks undertaken by staff within the sector. Alignment to training packages, whilst important, should be a secondary focus.
- Consultation and needs analysis
- Development of automated assessments and recording mechanisms
- Design and construction of a learning and assessment strategy with integrated resources
- Design and provision of a Learning Management System with an ePortfolio
- Ongoing updates & implementation support
- Consultancy and planning
- Learning and assessment strategy
- Content development (including facilitator guides, competencies & assessments)
- Courseware development
- LMS development and design
- Instructional Design
- Producing interactive eLearning objects (quizzes, animations etc.)
Industry Based Delivery Model – a Detailed Approach
R&CA recently engaged educational and training consultants at Futura Group to provide a holistic solution. Futura Group were selected due to their strong industry and curriculum expertise, their excellent resources in Tourism & Hospitality, and their commitment to ensuring that the industry is recognised as one of excellence and professionalism.
R&CA had developed the outlines of the courses in line with competency based, wage progression points of trainees and apprentices within their specific qualification. The qualifications chosen were designed for back-of-house culinary trainees, as well as front-of-house specialties trainees.
The front-of-house qualifications chosen were 3 strands in the Certificate 3 Hospitality Food & Beverage, namely:
Waiter with Sommelier and Barista specialisation
Café Dining with Waiter and Barista specialisation
Bar Operations with Multi Skilled specialisation
In Commercial Cookery, the Certificate 3 and Certificate 4 qualifications were chosen. Each qualification was broken into phases with learning clustered around a group of units. After considering the outlines of the courses Futura Group assessed the units required and constructed a blended delivery model for all qualifications. The key components were...
Considerations and Advantages of the Approach
Due to a range of impacts such as funding restraints and organisational or budgetary needs, many RTOs have reduced face-to-face contact - in some cases, the Certificate 3 in Cookery is now delivered in 320-420 hours compared to 700+ hours in the past.
Trainees and apprentices also prefer more flexible options due to the time demands in the industry, personal, lifestyle or location issues (to name but a few). Employers also look to gain efficiencies, and desire to have the trainee or apprentices spend more time at work - as a result they have to take on a more active role in the training and skills acquisition within the workplace.
The demand for faster, just in time and more consumer focussed training is only increasing. The key concern however is the quality of provision and assessment. Unless sound support is provided and clear structures are provided, the danger is that corners will be cut and the industry ends up with less skilled graduates. As a considerable amount of taxpayer funds are spent on their training this is not a desirable outcome.
The R&CA package developed by Futura Group provides a holistic solution that allows for learners, supervisors and trainers to have everything in one place with clear milestones. The RTO does not have to worry about IT infrastructure, eLearning resources, learning management systems, mapping or other compliance issues - but can instead focus on their key business: training and assessment. The organic nature of the product allows for adaptations to specific regional or industry needs, and will also save considerable time.
Consider that for each RTO to create the content, cluster the content (and mapping), and to provide their own LMS / ePortfolio, would require considerable hours and investment - a task that becomes further exacerbated by the regular changes to the training package!
The solution developed for R&CA combines industry input, RTO expertise, compliance and eLearning needs in a well-considered training program that considers the needs of industry and broader trends in the training landscape. Here’s how…
Structure of Qualification Programs
The qualification programs are broken into phases, which are aligned to the competency based wage progression points. In each phase there are theoretical and practical skill sets that need to be completed. The blended content is based on actual industry practices, application and context. The provided outlines must be delivered using either a blended or supervised on-the-job methodology to ensure compliance. Within this designated content, the RTO may use their validation processes and contextualisation approaches to add further material. It is still vital that all base evidence and student performance results are collected to maintain the integrity of the program and approach.
The program outlines provided give a clear indication of skills that must be covered by students.
For cookery this means recipes and menus as well as workplace-based projects linked to each phase.
For Food and Beverage this means core skill sets that are practiced on-the job and off-the-job, as well as specific workplace-based projects for theory related subjects.
Any workplace-based content must be based on the program provided criteria. The content can use any menu items or service skills that are specific to that particular workplace and utilise skills and dishes that reflect the phase outcomes. These additions must be mapped back to the performance criteria and match all of the required aspects in the Training Package. This will allow for an extension of student skills through ongoing practice so that students achieve expert levels. It will also allow graduates to have a broader reflection of the skill sets acquired in industry.
Clear mapping of the required core skill sets is required and the supplied mapping template provides a sound framework. The mapping document templates provide:
Mapping of the core skills to the individual training package units contained within the holistic program
Mapping against key skills requirements by industry
The theory components are either based on scenarios or specific checklists that address the key criteria within a phase or unit.
The estimated time for successful completion per phase is estimated at up to 6 months for hospitality, whilst cookery is up to 9 months. It allows for faster progression as a student successfully completes units based on the principles of competency based training.
Learning Management System
The gathering of all relevant evidence is at the core of a successful blended system. The evidence should be collected using a variety of means. The easy-to-use Learning Management System provides clear guideline for learners, the workplace supervisor and the RTO. It also provides access to the learning materials, assessments and the possibility to communicate with peers and assessors.
An integrated ePortfolio system records all the evidence collected and is linked automatically to the LMS, and provides a way to not only minimise technology issues and knowledge requirements by the end users, but semi-automates the collection of all required evidence into the student's personal ‘file’ (including multimedia galleries). All the ePortfolio record can be easily shared with prospective employers via a shareable link or added to a Linkedin profile.
The student/learner can expand on their resume by uploading additional details, certificates etc. It also allows for social media interaction and profiling. Trainers/assessors also have access to:
Photos of finished items including teacher/trainer comments
Audio files for question and answer responses
Short video segments via links to dropbox or similar storage accounts
Email or SMS verification of acquired skills by supervisors