Falling through the cracks – when training organisations fail you…

This story is not complete yet – but I thought I would share what we have experienced so far…

You would think that choosing an organisation that provides Government Accredited training packages would mean that you should receive a certain level of service.  More importantly, after reading the training organisations sales literature, speaking to them on the phone to clarify your questions and then reading their impressive procedures and policies in terms of supporting students – you could expect that you wouldn’t “fall through the cracks”.

Unfortunately, that has not been my experience…

My daughter started a Certificate II in Animal Studies in August last year… Stuart and I were stoked she wanted to this but we were concerned because we knew she had to do a work placement – and work placements for Animal Care are tough to get… however, the training organisation PROMISED they would help with that and work with our daughter to secure a placement…. so, we signed her up and started paying the funds for the course.

I should add that Rhi started this course whilst finishing Year 11 and knew that she would have a pretty massive course load for Year 12, as well as studying for this course.  Which is one reason why the level of support offered by the training organisation was appealing.

All was good – Rhi started her first module immediately and within 3 months had submitted and passed it.  What happens next?  Well, the online portal didn’t update to the next module.  She knew she had to find a work placement so started contacting organisations … as detailed in the handbook provided by the Training organisation.  Several MONTHS pass with rejection after rejection and finally, in desperation she contacts her support officer to ask for help.  What is she given?  A “canned response” saying see the handbook.

What should have happened???  According to the training organisations procedure, a training officer should have contacted her within 2 business days to interview her about what she had done and provide her with the support and action plan to find a placement.   However, before that even happened after 90 days of no assessable work being submitted, they were supposed to have contacted her.

Did any of this happen?  No!  Instead, she’s near to the end of her course and is now requesting an extension to allow her to complete the work placement that took so long to find and the final pieces of assessment that will be provided on the completion of her work placement.

This training organisation has failed to meet its obligations to their learner.  They have falsely represented the services they provide.  And what do they want in return?  Oh, they will consider an extension – at a monthly fee for the extension – providing they get payment in full for the course they have not delivered.  How does that work?

Now, Rhi has been trying to deal with all this herself – it was only that I asked a question this week that prompted an uncharacteristic outburst that I found out.   She was prepared to just give up – obviously because she didn’t get her work placement in time, it’s her issue… um No.  I’m definitely a Mumma Bear – don’t mess with my kid.  So I downloaded all their policies and procedures and checked her communications with the business – we’re now talking turkey about how they are going to help her get this finished.

The point is – Rhi has someone like me to help her navigate these issues.  I would think that not many people have someone who will advocate as strongly as I do.  How many young people have signed up and paid their fees to find themselves in a similar situation?  Does that make the behaviour of  the organisation, predatory?  Do they prey on the fact that people don’t know what they should expect and just let things ride?  I reckon it does.

So what do we learn from this experience?

Do your homework … check with previous course attendee’s about their experience; check forums and the like for what people are saying.  In this case, there wasn’t much good or bad on the organisation.

Make sure you familiarise yourself with their processes and procedures – be really aware of what the organisations responsibilities to you are.

Follow their processes and document everything.

Be proactive and act early

Get help – asking someone to advocate for you and provide assistance is a good thing.  Just make sure the person is the right one.



One Comment

  1. Jodes October 26, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

    I am currently studying Cert II in Animal Studies and I completed my units but with no actual feedback other than its competent. I took nearly 4 months after finishing the last written unit to find a placement, and when I asked for help they said “I’m sure you are having trouble finding placement.” Which was a real downer for me because I really only needed words of encouragement, not a ‘its not my problem’ response. (only got one in the end because someone cancelled) In fact the course actually states on their website that they will organise a placement for you but nope.
    You are lucky that the organisation gave a handbook and polices/procedures guide because I got none of that but I guess it might be because I am doing it ‘distance learning’ as in online, unfortunately there wasn’t a classroom based in my area so the whole course is done with no discussions, ideas, stories etc that come with that and I feel that I have no connections to anyone that could help me get a job after the course. I bet if I asked the tutors for help they would be like ‘oh well, too bad but we took your money and you did your course and it not my concern’
    They did take my money, no probs. Oh yeah I had no problems communicating with them when I needed to pay the fees, they were more than happy to help! I feel as if I have just bought a expensive cert II qualification and that I don’t really have the actual know how. Like I haven’t actually been trained for anything.
    My placement starts tomorrow, I have no paperwork for it? No one is coming to assess me while I am there. I am not actually sure what I am going to be doing. I am anxious and scared because I feel so unprepared. It’s ridiculous.
    As I suffer from social anxiety this whole experience has made it worse, the only thing that is keeping me from freaking out is that I have visited that shelter and the people there seem friendly and kind. I hope people don’t judge me for being 26 yrs old with no friends – I was born and bought up overseas and don’t know anyone in this area 🙁
    Wish me luck.

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