International Vocational Education and Training Association

East Asia and the Pacific

Vice President for this Region:

Wendy Cato

Wendy is a well-respected VET professional who has over 25 years working in the sector as a trainer/ assessor, managed four RTOs as well as providing quality consulting services and professional development services across Australia.  She has been the manager of the Linked In group RTO Professionals Discussion Group for the past 5 years, which has in excess of 5,500 Australian and international members that discuss many topics of relevance to national and international vocational education.

Wendy is recognised at both national and international levels as a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) specialist and as such has presented at a number of international and domestic forums on RPL including IVETA (Fiji), the Canadian Association of Prior Learning Assessment (CAPLA), numerous VELG National Conferences and the Resources Training Council.

Wendy’s work during her term as the RTO Manager of Red R Australia (a humanitarian emergency response organisation) involved the identification of the need and processes for the recognition of the unaccredited training that is being broadly delivered by humanitarian agencies across Pacific nations in the areas of Logistics and Emergency Response. The process of RPL (in its various forms) is growing significantly internationally due to increase in people moving across countries / continents either voluntarily or involuntarily (refugees).

I believe I have much offer to the IVETA committee and IVETA members as a resource in regards to my broad range of experiences and networks.

Past Regional Vice President:

Javier Amaro
Javier is the director and founder of Insources, a privately owned Australian training and consulting organisation.  Insources is one of Australia’s leading providers of competency-based training, quality and compliance systems for training organisations, and return on investment methodology.

Other areas of specialisation are training and consulting in human capital development and process optimisation. Javier has been involved in vocational training and education for more than 17 years. His experience includes designing and delivering more than 500 training programs to training managers, supervisors, facilitators, trainers and assessors for Australia’s vocational and education sector. He is an entrepreneur and a skilled practitioner with expertise in all facets of instructional design, competency-based education and HR development programs.

During the last 10 years, Javier has contributed to the Australian vocational regulatory framework by participating in numerous consultation processes and delivering keynote presentations.  In 2010, Javier developed the first Code of Professional Practice for vocational education and training practitioners, which was published by the Australian Society of Training and Development (ASTDI). He was elected president of ASTDI in 2011.

Javier has delivered training programs and spoken at conferences and public events in Asia, USA, Central-America (in Spanish) and Australia. Javier has been recently accepted by Macquarie University as PHD candidate.

Javier wants to join IVETA’s executive team to put IVETA’s values into practice and promote greater cooperation and collaboration between individuals and organisations. Javier had taken leadership roles organising conferences, professional development and networking opportunities.

Australian VET System

by Javier Amaro

Vocational education has been around for centuries, the ability to master some traditional trades has been passed from generation to generation in pioneer versions of vocational education and training (VET) systems, since the very beginning of our societies.

The application of the same VET concepts in modern economies is a powerful tool for organisations and governments to produce key benefits for industry and individuals, stimulating local economies and promoting an even playing field for social inclusion.

The practical nature of VET provides an extended definition of value to learning outcomes. The expectations of vocational education programs are linked not only to meeting learners' needs, but also industry's needs. This extended definition of value allows us also to set objectives for a vocational education program at five different levels:

·       Reactions
·       Learning
·       Application
·       Impact
·       Return on Investment (ROI)

The dynamics of these five dimensions of value, are critical for vocational training practitioners to connect individual needs with industry needs, and from a national perspective, to set strategic directions to develop individuals and the economy in harmony with social goals.

For a VET system to work effectively, the environment where it is applied (country, community, organisation) must present the following conditions:

·       Industry relevance
·       Operational Standards
·       Global pathways.

Industry relevance of VET means that learning objectives of every training program must address standard industry practices. The skills and knowledge learners will learn during the training, must provide them with the ability to perform the tasks of a competent worker within a particular job role. Operational standards refer to the accountability of training providers within the system, in regards to the results of training, measured at the five dimensions of value. Finally, global pathways refer to the recognition and use of VET qualifications within the formal education system (including the school and higher education system).


Adopting a competency-based model

To ensure all stakeholders will receive the benefits of VET it is imperative that industry, government, training providers, content developers and students adopt a common model to specify learning objectives. The competency-based model works as a framework for stakeholders to set, communicate, apply, and evaluate the objectives, and impact of VET qualifications.

Industry uses competency standards to describe the attitudes, skills and knowledge of a competent person.


The accountability factor

During the design of vocational training, a critical process that must take place during an extensive consultation with the industry and learners is the definition of program objectives at the different dimensions of value. Training program objectives are linked to the needs assessment. Note that the dimensions of value have been aligned with the evaluation levels from the ROI Methodology. The current Australian regulatory framework has set minimum compliance requirements up to level 3 (Application). RTOs are encouraged to define objectives and evaluate training to levels 4 and 5 (Impact, and ROI).


Competencies are the link

Competencies are the critical link between learning and its application in the workplace. It is critical that competencies are used as the common measure for all stakeholders. Within the Australian system, the units of competency provide that link, working as the fundamental measure of competency.


New Language

The competency-based model jargon is also new for potential and current learners. The government needs to invest in an informative marketing campaign dedicated to educate learners and the community in general in the objectives, processes, and outcomes of VET, if we are to exploit the system to its maximum capacity.

Students and the community need to understand the benefits of VET in all its dimensions. How VET can support their lifelong learning, how VET can serve as a bridge for employment and further studies.

This is important not only so students are able to understand core VET concepts, but also to understand the application of VET courses.



In a results-driven economy with continuous and radical changes in workplace practices, Vocational Education and Training's value can be re-defined to meet the needs of learners, industry and communities.

A VET system can supply "job ready graduates" to industry, can provide a career pathway for learners, an alternative but convergent route to education embedded into the higher education system. VET can deliver the "just-in-time" "work-integrated" learning required by employers, can address gaps in strategic skills identified by the government, but for this to happen we need certain conditions to promote an even playing field.


Those conditions require a balance between three main areas:

·       Industry relevance
·       Operational Standards
·       Global pathways.

Maintaining the balance between these areas will ensure all stakeholders will benefit from the system. When there is an unbalanced mix in the system some stakeholders can obtain circumstantial benefits but the system loses credibility and generally is abandoned. In my experience, the same principle applies to VET systems used at organisational levels, nationwide or even on an international scale.


Useful publications

Identifying work skills: international approaches

The world of work is changing in ways that make it increasingly difficult for a large proportion of the workforce to gain and maintain consistent employment. More than ever, existing and future workers need to prepare for the changing skills requirements of jobs. With advancements ...

Read the research report here


Social media in VET courses: good practice guide

This good practice guide explores the types of social media being used in vocational education and training (VET) courses, the benefits and pitfalls of using social media in teaching and learning as well as tips for incorporating social media into VET courses. This guide is based on the report 'Social media and student outcomes: teacher, student and employer views' by Victor J Callan and Margaret A Johnston.

Read the report here

Are we all speaking the same language? Understanding 'quality' in the VET sector

Quality in VET is a perennial topic of interest, attracting much attention from participants, providers, funders, regulators and public commentators. Quality is as much subjectively in the ‘eye of the beholder’ as it is objectively assessed through hard data, measures and surveys. This paper summarises ...

Read the report here

InVET Magazine

This is a publication for VET practitioners published by Insources.

InVET Volume 1 here

InVET Volume 2 here

Upcoming regional events

7th National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference 'No Frills'

15-17 August 2018 – Sydney

'No Frills' is a well-known annual national conference where researchers and practitioners in the vocational education and training (VET) sector come together to present, discuss and share information about key issues confronting the sector. By partnering with New Zealand, this year's conference will provide an excellent opportunity to highlight international evidence for benchmarking policy best practice.

The conference also provides valuable professional development opportunities to enhance research capacity and capability in the VET sector by incorporating activities on data and research analytics, and research practice.

The 2018 conference program will focus on Skills for a global future: working and learning together.

More information here

2018 World Congress: Preparing For The Skills Future, Now

8 October 2018 - 10 October 2018 - Sydney, Australia

The World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics will explore new challenges in vocational and professional education and training arising from advances in technologies and automation and the impact on work, societies and peoples who may be displaced due to changing economic and global circumstances.


Hosted by Australian TAFEs, the Congress brings together community colleges and polytechnics from around the world and experts in professional and vocational education and training.

More information here

The ATD 2017 Asia Pacific Conference and Exhibition

The ATD 2017 Asia Pacific Conference and Exhibition will address how developing talent within an organization achieves bottom line results. This premier event will focus on talent development in the Asia Pacific region and will feature relevant conference tracks including organizational effectiveness, leadership development, and learning measurement and analytics. Thought leaders and experts from around the world will share their insights. Attendees will gain insight and knowledge to help them achieve real impact in their organizations through effective talent development practices.

More information here


PAST Region Reports - Click Here

   Countries in the Region:






Solomon Islands


Micronesia, Fed. Sts      







New Zealand    


Kiribati  Palau    



Papua New Guinea        



Lao PDR               



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