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RTO Materials Contextualisation Guide

Contextualisation is the process of making adjustments to assessment tools/instrument for a unit of competency, or packaging units into a qualification to make training more relevant to students. Contextualisation gives RTOs the opportunity to design a learning program that is meaningful for students and create learning outcomes that are tailor-fit to the needs of a specific industry. Training packages are designed to offer RTOs a measure of flexibility when creating learning programs for their students. However, any contextualisation must ensure that the assessment remains compliant with unit requirements and standards for RTOs. Contextualisation of an assessment tool must never remove the requirements outlined in the unit or the unit assessment requirements.

RTO Materials Contextualisation Guide

Contextualisation is performed in two ways. The first is by selecting units of competency to reflect industry needs with guidance from the packaging rules for training packages. Secondly, by contextualising assessments to meet the needs of industry and your students being assessed.

How to Contextualise a Qualification?

The packaging rules for training packages contains information on how an RTO can select “elective” units of competency. Qualifications come with a set of “core” or “must-have” units of competency and “elective” units of competency. Contextualisation can be done by selecting from a list of allowed “elective” units to create a qualification that reflects the needs of the student and meet the industry need.


The packaging rules for CHC30113 CERTIFICATE III IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE based on should contain a total number of 18 units. Of these, 15 units should be composed of “core” units and 3 “elective” units.

Of the 3 “elective” units, an RTO must select at least 1 from the list of elective units and add 2 from any endorsed Training Packages or accredited courses. However, an RTO must ensure that these should be relevant to the work outcome.

To determine these electives, the RTO will need to survey industry for the learner cohort they are training to find out the most relevant electives for the work role and learner cohort they are training for. They will also need to determine the needs of their learners eg. what role will or are they working in, to determine the best electives for that learner. Any special needs of your learners must also be considered. This process should be documented to show the regulator how you have engaged in industry consultation in the development of your training and assessment strategy, as well as how you have determined the needs of your learners.

How to Contextualise an Assessment Tool?

Contextualisation can also be done by modifying training resources and assessment tasks to reflect the desired learning outcome to align to a particular industry or meet a learner’s needs. These changes must be done in order to provide additional information to the range of assessment conditions and requirements within the unit of competency. Contextualisation must not alter the elements or performance criteria and must not limit the unit of competency’s portability. RTOs can contextualise a unit of competency by:

  • Including any skill or knowledge that would be required for a specific job in an industry.
  • Develop new evidence requirements to prove students are qualified to be employed in a specific job role
  • Create evidence plans to show how a student can collect evidence
  • Create a delivery and assessment strategy for students with special needs

Contextualisation Don’ts

RTOs planning to contextualise a unit of competency by adding to the evidence guide or range of statement must be careful not to:

  • Reduce the unit of competency’s portability or breadth of application
  • Limit or modify the competency outcomes
  • Remove any elements and performance criteria

RTO Materials Contextualisation Guide

When contextualising training materials, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) must ensure that contextualisation is compliant with accepted adjustment practices and requirements for AQF qualifications. As an RTO, you must be able to deliver training that is not only consistent with nationally recognised standards for training but also be able to deliver quality training by:

  • Contextualising training resources specifically assessment materials to reflect the needs of a student or the training needs of an industry
  • Identify your target audience and develop relevant assessment materials accordingly

Planning to deliver a more meaningful and relevant learning experience for your students? Our team of course accreditation professionals and instructional designers can help you develop contextualised qualifications that are compliant with Australian’s strict VET standards. For more information on how we can help you design your new course for accreditation, CONTACT US HERE!