Below are responses to a number of commonly asked questions about the RSAS Training Strategy. We have also attempted to pre-empt a number of questions that may be asked going forward.
Through its funding of the RSAS Training Strategy, the PM&C is assisting providers to meet their obligations as employers for ensuring their RSAS staff receive the support and training they need to fulfil their roles effectively. The RSAS Provider Operational Framework (refer pp 7-9) requires RSAS providers to support and facilitate RSAS Employees to undertake RSAS training delivered by NESA (the training organisation funded by the Department to deliver RSAS training) including:
- supporting employees to participate in training and development opportunities provided by the Department; and
- providing access to computers and internet to facilitate participation in online training opportunities.
- Engage directly with NESA to formalise all relevant planning requirements related to RSAS training
Refer also to the below FAQ which outlines providers’ responsibilities for costs associated with RSAS staff undertaking training delivered by NESA.
The focus of all our RSAS training is the RSAS workforce. All training content is designed with the effective delivery of the Remote School Attendance Strategy as its focus. Participation in the online training and accredited training is restricted to RSAS staff.
For each face to face training element, we will work with providers to determine how many RSAS workers will be attending so we can ensure that the venue can cater for that number of participants. If is it apparent there is spare capacity in any particular workshop, providers and locally based PM&C staff may be invited to suggest additional participants to attend the training such as ‘pipeline’ RSAS staff, CDP workers and other key stakeholders or influential community members.
Participation in our RSAS webinars will be open to all interested RSAS stakeholders (eg RSAS staff, providers, school staff and even representatives from other agencies).
The purpose of the pre-departure meeting (PDM) is to ensure that the delivery of the local workshop is a success and that both providers and their RSAS workers experience a valuable training experience. The PDM approach will take approximately 45 minutes and will enable:
RSAS providers to discuss their:
• Staff training needs
• Highlight any operational or community issues that may impact the workshop
• Highlight any local issues that NESA trainers may be able to address throughout the workshop
PM&C RSAS Co-ordinators to discuss:
• Any local issues that may need to be addressed throughout the training
• Feedback on training priorities or guest speakers that should be built into the workshop
NESA to plan:
• Timing of the workshop to promote strong attendance and limit impact on providers
• A strong understanding of the direction that our trainers will need to take
• A understanding of any logistical issues we will need to plan for in delivering the workshops
• NESA’s remote training co-ordinator will walk through all requirements of the workshop e.g. interpreters, room requirements etc.
The Local Workshops will be delivered across 56 RSAS communities. As there are over 75 RSAS teams this means some teams (in close proximity of each other) will join together or cluster to participate in the training.
There will be far fewer Leadership and Train the Trainer workshops delivered. The venues for these workshops will be determined through a consultative process involving PM&C and RSAS providers – with logistics and practicalities (keeping providers’ costs to a minimum) in mind.
All travel expenses (travel, travel allowance and accommodation) incurred for RSAS staff to attend RSAS training will need to be covered by their employer – the RSAS provider. The RSAS Operational Framework stipulates that providers are responsible for supporting their staff to participate in all training offered by NESA.
NESA is not funded to cover the cost of RSAS workers attending any of our workshops. For the Local workshops NESA will cover costs for venue, resources and trainers. Where there are a few teams clustering together for a combined Local Workshop the involved providers may have some staff travel costs to cover.
For the Leadership and Train the Trainer workshops only, in addition to the above costs NESA will also cover catering costs. As this training will be delivered in clustered groupings, depending on the agreed venue location for training, the majority of providers can expect to have staff travel costs they will need to cover.
The total time commitment for staff will depend on their role and also interest in nomination based training (e.g. Train the Trainer workshops).
All staff are required to participate in the Tailored Local Workshop for their team, which has a time commitment of three days. In addition to the local workshop, senior RSAS staff will also participate in the 2 day Clustered Leadership Forums. Staff interested in participating in the Train the Trainer workshops will have an additional two to three day time commitment.
Webinar training will have a one hour time commitment monthly. While it is recommended senior RSAS staff participate in the webinars all RSAS staff are welcomed to attend. Training commitments for accredited training units and online portal training are all optional but also to be arranged between the individual staff members and their provider as per agreed work hours that this may take place. A summary of estimated time commitment is below:
SAOs– 3 days for Tailored Local Workshops = 3 days*
SASs/Mentors/Co-ordinators – 3 days for Tailored Local Workshops + 2 days Leadership training = 5 days in total*
*For individual staff members who undertake to do Train the Trainer training (this can be SAOs or senior RSAS staff) this will add an additional 2 to 3 days to their 2017 training commitment. In this instance, the breakdown for a SAO is 5 -6 days total, for a senior staff 7- 8 days total.
And what about Mental Health First Aid training? For staff who have not yet completed the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training (also delivered by NESA) this will add an additional 3 days to the estimated training commitment for RSAS staff in 2017.
As always, NESA will make every effort to coordinate the delivery of the MHFA training and RSAS training to meet the needs of the providers involved. Effort will be made to spread the training over the course of the year and to minimise disruption to business delivery.
Each RSAS provider is able to send all their senior RSAS staff to the clustered leadership workshops. NESA will work with each provider to determine how many RSAS workers you will be sending so we can ensure that the venue can cater for that number of participants.
No, as above – NESA is not funded to cover the cost of RSAS workers attending any of our workshops. For the Leadership and Train the Trainer workshops NESA will cover costs for venue, catering, resources and trainers for these workshops but all staff travel expenses (travel and accommodation) will need to be covered by the provider.
Ideally RSAS providers should be sending RSAS staff are committed to their RSAS roles, who have an interest in training and are confident in delivering training to fellow workers.
Each local workshop has been designed to run across two to three continuous days for 6 hours per day. The duration of workshops may increase to three days where there are larger numbers of participants.
For the Local Workshops, NESA will consult with providers and senior RSAS staff in completing a training profile for each RSAS team in order to identify teams’ training priorities and needs. From this NESA will work with their core trainers to develop a local workshop where we will build in these training priorities. Your NESA RSAS co-ordinator will work with you to develop the workshop agenda to ensure the workshop has been designed to meet your requirements.
For the Leadership Workshops the focus of the training will be agreed through negotiation. NESA will consult through the PM&C regionally-based planning groups initially before bringing the RSAS providers into the discussions.
This would be an internal HR issue for organisations to determine. Providers may award their staff time off in lieu for the extra hours worked; hours that could be used by staff as leave at a future time e.g. school holiday period. Providers may also decide to pay their staff for these extra hours.
NESA has introduced a new RSAS Training Administrator who will support all RSAS workers through our RSAS online training program. In addition our RSAS Training Co-ordinator and Project Manager are also available to support RSAS staff. NESA staff will be available 5 days a week to assist your staff with any issues they may experience in completing the online training.
NESA RSAS Co-ordinators will work closely with providers to identify access issues as well as identify possible solutions where access to computers is an issue. This will include contacting every RSAS provider to identify potential issues and working with local contacts to identify suitable solutions.
No, NESA has set up the online training as an option so RSAS workers are able to access important training at any stage of taking on their role. The online training will include both accredited and non-accredited options and NESA will ensure that a support person is assigned to support your staff if they access this training offer.
Yes, NESA will ensure that providers have a direct access to our RSAS training team if you require support. NESA will continually monitor RSAS staff who are accessing online training and we will check in to offer our support.
NESA will consider all options placed forward by RSAS Providers but we would encourage providers to use the trainers we place forward as they would have been trained in how to deliver this program to your organisation. NESA will provide training profiles on all trainers as part of our set-up stage and we are happy to put forward a number of trainers for you to consider.
Every month NESA will promote our upcoming webinar via our RSAS newsletter. RSAS Providers can also access our website which will also promote our upcoming webinars. Once RSAS providers click to register for the webinar, NESA RSAS training administrator will contact you to complete the registration.
NESA will be developing a new online accredited training course which we will be aiming to launch on early 2018. The course that we delivered last year has been renewed which requires NESA to rewrite our accredited training material for our Certificate IV units. The Certificate II units will be available throughout the year.
As part of our set up meetings with RSAS Providers, NESA RSAS Co-ordinator will ask providers if there is a requirement for interpreters to be support the delivery of the training within the local workshop. If it is identified that an interpreter is required NESA will co-ordinate this and cover the cost as part of our delivery offering.
NESA has developed a purpose-built website (www.nesa-rsas.com.au) for use by RSAS staff and RSAS providers. The section for RSA Providers includes a step-by-step description of the process for organising a workshop (found at – www.nesa-rsas.com.au/rsas-providers/local-workshop).
The website also includes full contact details for each member of NESA’s RSAS Co-ordination team. To assist with communications, each RSAS provider (be they a community organisation, a local council, a school or a government department of education) will also be asked to provide a direct contact point to NESA’s RSAS team.