Education & Training Update – March 2009

Postgraduate / Postdoctoral / Intern Update

A Postgrad/Postdoc Session (workshops and industry visits) is currently being planned for May or June (exact dates still to be determined). This activity will be based in Armidale, with industry visits to a hatchery, an integrated layer farm and a feed mill. The format is an afternoon workshop for the postgraduates, a full day of industry visits for both postgrads and postdocs and then a morning workshop for postdocs (two days in total with each participant attending 1.5 days). Selected industry personnel will be invited to participate in the workshops to provide advice about career options and planning. Postgrads and Postdocs are invited to let me know if they have any specific areas that they would like to see covered in the workshops.

Industry Training Update

Industry Visits

Michael Williams and I have visited additional poultry industry facilities in order to produce a suggested list of qualifications (e.g. Certificate), and appropriate units of competency, for different occupations in the poultry industry. We have been most impressed by the level of interest and cooperation amongst industry personnel in relation to enhanced opportunities for training in the industry. The Poultry CRC is sponsoring Michael to develop a series of “Occupation” descriptions for different jobs/roles in the poultry industry. These descriptions will suggest the level of qualification appropriate to each role (e.g Certificate II, III or IV, Diploma, Degree, etc.) and, for the Certificates, the most appropriate series of units of competency to include.

Revision of Murrumbidgee College Poultry Training Manuals

Just a reminder that the following booklets/manuals are available for review by members of the Australian Poultry Industry:

  • Commercial Meat Chicken Management Health and Welfare (all text)
  • Commercial Layer Management Health and Welfare (all text)
  • Commercial Meat Chicken Management Manual:
    • “Managing Meat Breeders”
    • “Hatchery Management”
  • Commercial Layer Management Manual:
    • “Hatchery Management”
    • “Brooding Chicks”
    • “Rearing Layer Breeders”
    • “Rearing Commercial Layer Pullets”
    • “Quality Assurance”
    • “Managing business finances”
    • “Managing Staff”

DETA Conference

This month, I will be attending the Partners in Smart Training and Assessment conference at the Gold Coast, organised by the Queensland Department of Education, Training and the Arts. I have selected the following workshop sessions which form part of the conference:

  • Working with industry advisory groups to improve training and assessment practice
  • New models for skills assessment
  • Unpacking a unit of competency like you have never done it before
  • Twelve proven tricks to spice up your training

I will report back on the conference in the next edition of eChook.


Susan Gleeson, Michael Williams and I met again this month, at Susan’s offices at Marburg QLD, to discuss the Teachers’ Resource Kit Susan is developing for the Poultry CRC. Susan and I are attending the Australian Teachers’ Association of SA (ATASA) meeting in Murray Bridge in May to give a presentation about what the Poultry CRC is doing and to seek teacher input into the resource. I have received a positive response from the President of the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) about attending the national meeting at The University of Queensland’s Gatton Campus next January to “launch” the Teachers’ Resource Kit.

Chris Day and I are working on the Poultry CRC’s input into the Australian Science Festival to be held in Canberra at the same time as the Pathfinders (CRC Association) Conference in May. The Poultry CRC will have a booth at the Science Festival and I have requested time slots on the Friday and Saturday (May 29-30) to participate in the Fast Talk Your Career activity. The intention is to inform budding young scientists about the career opportunities that exist in the Australian poultry industry.

Resources Under Development

Michael Williams, Susan Gleeson and I are also developing a set of Recognition Documents suitable for the poultry industry. These documents can be used by industry, in conjunction with the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) of their choice, to officially recognise the skills that are already possessed by poultry industry employees. The recognition process is a part of the national Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and is formal acknowledgement of the skills and abilities that employees have, even if they do not already have formal qualifications in those areas. This process of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) allows people to gain credit for the equivalent units of competency which can then be accredited towards a qualification, if they wish to proceed to something like a certificate. The AQF also allows for articulation from one qualification (e.g. Certificate) to a higher level qualification (e.g. a Diploma or a Degree). People who were either not interested or did not have the opportunity earlier in their lives to obtain formal qualifications can still do so later in life if they wish to.

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