Deakin University
grace-trainingpackages-2005.pdf (123.96 kB)

Training packages and the AQTF: freedom to move or components of a compliance-driven straightjacket?

Download (123.96 kB)
conference contribution
posted on 2005-01-01, 00:00 authored by Lauris Grace
This paper reports on a PhD research project being undertaken through the Faculty of Education, Deakin University. Training Packages and the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) form part of the ruling relations of VET, but how do they operate in practice? Do they provide frameworks within which training professionals are free to use judgement and respond in innovative ways to local learning and assessment contexts? Do they impose rigid 'guidelines' within which the decision-making authority of practitioners over appropriate practices is displaced by that of auditors, constraining creativity and creating pressures towards conformity? Or does their impact vary, depending on how they are interpreted and who is doing the interpreting? My PhD research explores issues relating to the use of Training Packages in workbased learning. Interview data suggests that, in practice, different training organisations respond very differently to a regulatory framework that aims to achieve national consistency. Some practitioners describe working in a compliance-driven environment, in which their ability to meet the needs of learners is stifled by standardised training and assessment practices imposed by Training Packages and the AQTF. This view is reflected in phrases such as 'you're not allowed to…', and 'you always feel uneasy because you've got AQTF compliance, inspections, auditors'. In contrast, other practitioners talk about having freedom to design learning and assessment programs for their particular target group and context, providing they stay within broad guidelines that guarantee national recognition of qualifications they issue. This view is reflected in comments such as 'it just leaves it open … to be as creative and flexible as you like', and 'It just gives us freedom'. This paper explores the proposition that the impact of these abstract and generalised texts is influenced by local interpretations, and it considers the role that organisational culture plays in determining these interpretations.



1 - 10


Brisbane, Queensland

Open access

  • Yes

Start date


End date





Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.

Publication classification

E1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2005, Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association


J Blakeley

Title of proceedings

AVETRA 2005 8th annual conference: Emerging futures, recent responsive and relevant research

Usage metrics

    Research Publications


    No categories selected



    Ref. manager