Fact sheet—Amount of training

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When developing your training and assessment strategies, your RTO must ensure the amount of training you will provide is sufficient.

The amount of training must enable a learner to:

  • meet the requirements of each training product, and
  • gain the skills and knowledge specified in the relevant training product.

The amount of training essentially comprises the formal learning activities you provide to a learner.

These formal activities can include classes, lectures, tutorials, online or self-paced study, as well as workplace learning.

How do I determine the amount of training?

The amount of training you provide will be determined by:

  1. the training product
  2. your learner cohort, and
  3. the mode of delivery.

1. The training product

If you’re delivering an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualification, you should ensure that your training and assessment strategy reflects the complexity required of that qualification.

The complexity of a qualification is defined by:

  • the breadth and depth of the knowledge
  • skills required
  • application of knowledge and skills, and
  • the AQF volume of learning.

What is the AQF volume of learning?

The AQF volume of learning is part of the complexity requirements of a qualification. The AQF volume of learning describes how long a learner, who does not hold any competencies identified in the qualification, would normally take to develop all the required skills and knowledge at that qualification level.

The volume of learning includes all teaching, learning and assessment activities that are required to be undertaken by the typical student to achieve the learning outcomes.

What effect should the AQF volume of learning for a qualification have on my training and assessment strategy for that qualification?

RTOs’ training and assessment strategies should give consideration to the AQF volume of learning indicators.

If your training and assessment strategy doesn’t reflect the volume of learning indicators and the complex needs of the qualification, your training may not ensure the learner has the skills and knowledge required.

What amount of training would be required if I am delivering units of competency or skill sets?

If your RTO is not delivering a full qualification, the amount of training to be provided may be a proportion of the AQF volume of learning.

2. Your learner cohort

In order for a learner to be assessed in each of the requirements, they must first:

  • be trained in each skill and knowledge area, and
  • have the opportunity to practice and apply these skills and knowledge requirements.

If your RTO intends to deliver to learners who are new to the industry area and/or who do not have any workplace experience, the amount of training required that is described in the training and assessment strategy would closely match the timeframe listed with the AQF volume of learning.

You must give each learner the opportunity to:

  • fully absorb the required knowledge, and
  • develop skills over time in the different contexts they would experience in the workplace.

However, if you plan to deliver to a learner cohort that already has defined skills, knowledge and workplace experience appropriate to the industry, a smaller amount of training may be sufficient to ensure that each learner has fully absorbed the required knowledge and has developed the skills required in a range of different contexts.

A skilled/experienced learner cohort may be able to operate to a training and assessment strategy which incorporates ‘gap-training’ or accelerated learning reflective of the learner’s existing competencies.

3. Mode of delivery

When designing the structure of a training program, the way in which a course will be delivered may influence the amount of training to be provided.

Delivery modes can include:

  • face-to-face learning
  • online learning
  • self-paced distance delivery
  • workplace training, or
  • a mixture of modes.

The mode/s of delivery you choose for a training and assessment strategy will determine how your RTO will schedule training and assessment activities (to ensure learners are able to fully develop the required skills and knowledge prior to being assessed).

In scheduling the delivery, your RTO may choose to cluster the delivery of units of competency. Clustering units of competency allows similar or complementary content items to be delivered at the same time. This could reduce duplication in content covered and reduce the amount of training to be provided.

Other considerations for the amount of training required

Your RTO may need to develop multiple training and assessment strategies, if the needs of different learner cohorts require different approaches to the delivery of training and/or assessment (including the amount of training to be provided).

If your RTO is considering that its training and assessment strategy should specify a shorter timeframe than that defined in the AQF volume of learning, you will need to be able to identify and explain why there is a variation. Your training and assessment strategy may include a rationale explaining how, based on the previous skills and knowledge and needs of learners, a specific learner cohort:

  • has the characteristics to achieve the required rigor and depth of training; and
  • can meet all of the competency requirements in a shorter timeframe.

Refer to the case study below which provides an example of how a course shorter than the AQF’s volume of learning guidelines may be implemented.

More information

Contact ASQA

Contact the ASQA Infoline on 1300 701 801 or enquiries@asqa.gov.au.


Download the Fact sheet—Amount of training (PDF 267kb)

Case study—delivering a shorter course

Hospitable Training is a Melbourne-based RTO which delivers SIR30212 Certificate III in Retail Operations.

Its main client cohort comprises employees currently working in retail stores. Hospitable Training has developed its training and assessment strategy for SIR30212 Certificate III in Retail Operations specifically for this client cohort, who have existing retail skills and knowledge acquired from their current employment.

The strategy sets out that training and assessment will be provided through:

  • a series of workshops for theory assessment, and
  • practical delivery, which will be conducted at the learners’ workplace. Supervisor/third-party reports will be utilised in the practical assessment.

When developing the training and assessment strategy for SIR30212 Certificate III in Retail Operations, Hospitable Training’s Training Manager considered the AQF volume of learning guidelines for a Certificate III qualification. The guidelines recommend that it should take one to two years (or 1200 – 2400 hours) for a learner, who does not hold any of the competencies identified in the relevant units of competency, to develop all the required skills and knowledge for a Certificate III.

As Hospitable Training’s client cohort have existing retail skills and knowledge, the Training Manager identified that it is appropriate to provide the training and assessment in a shorter timeframe than that recommended by the AQF volume of learning guidelines. The training manager developed a rationale for the shorter timeframe, which explains that it is expected that:

  • learners will be able to obtain RPL for some of the units within the qualification, and
  • gap training will be provided for the remainder of the units.

This rationale is included in Hospitable Training’s training and assessment strategy for SIR30212 Certificate III in Retail Operations.

Hospitable Training holds interviews with learners prior to the commencement of study to:

  • confirm the learners’ previous retail experience, and
  • obtain copies of the learner’s resume and any qualifications or previous study associated with retail operations.

The outcomes of these interviews influence the RTO’s training and assessment strategy for this qualification.

If required, Hospitable training can provide additional teaching and learning activities to ensure that learners:

  • gain all relevant skills and knowledge, and
  • are able to successfully complete SIR30212 Certificate III in Retail Operations.

All documented evidence acquired from the learners’ interviews is securely retained and is readily available to be produced in the event of an ASQA audit.

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