Currency is a factor in Skills Recognition for some roles and sectors of the rail industry. In areas where technology and industry standards are rapidly changing, workers’ knowledge, skills, competencies and experience obtained more than two or three years ago may no longer be adequate. This contrasts with some customer service, administration and management roles, where the rate of change may be slower. For example, a management or accountancy qualification may still be relevant many years after it was issued.
‘If you’ve done a Cert 4 in Business Studies, in five years’ time I don’t need to go back and get recertified, it’s just assumed that my on-the-job knowledge and experience keeps you current and up-to-date, but with rail, that doesn’t apply in some of the cases. Some of the units are re-certifiable’. (Rail industry RTO)
Where certificates and/or training have undergone changes over time, skills assessors and trainers need to map units of competency across different versions of the training package:
‘We have a look and see what they’ve done before, so let’s say for example … somebody attended [a course] in year 2001 … we have a look at what documents existed then, and we have a look at what we’ve got now, and we have a look at what was in the training then, and what’s in it now, and we form our decision on that basis … And probably in that instance, I’d say you have to re-do the course and the reason is that it’s changed significantly, it’s not current … It becomes a little bit less clear-cut if it was 2009 and the document hadn’t changed significantly’. (Human resources manager, passenger rail operator)