Hammond Street Developments Pty Ltd

Case Study: training.gov.au

Australia turns to HSD developed website for authoritative information on vocational education.

training.gov.au (TGA) is the realisation of the ambitions of Australia’s Federal and State governments to have a one-stop-shop for comprehensive information on Australia’s Vocational Education Sector.

Situation

TGA replaced the legacy information system called the National Training Information Service (NTIS, ntis.gov.au).  Like the TGA, information contained in NTIS underpinned the day-to-day operation of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector in Australia.  For example, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) can’t deliver training and governments cannot purchase training without it.  Accordingly, thousands of users, including course designers, teachers, government purchasing officers and employers, access this information frequently.  However, NTIS suffered from a number of serious problems, as documented by the Department:

  • It was costly to maintain and operate;
  • The information it held was at times inaccurate and incomplete;
  • The process to update that information was error-prone and time-consuming; and
  • It did not provide access to the information it held in a manner that met user and system needs, resulting in:
    • Wastage of resources, and
    • Loss of experienced staff.

Business Needs

The VET sector gives Australians the opportunity to gain the skills they need to enter the workforce for the first time, to re-enter the workforce, to retrain for a new job or to upgrade their skills for an existing job.

Some of the key stakeholders in the training sector are:

  • Industries (including employers), who need staff with appropriate skills in order to be productive
  • Industry Skills Councils (ISCs), who represent industries and ensure that their skill needs, are identified in Training Packages
  • Individuals, who need skills that are relevant to their current or future employment
  • Training providers (RTOs), who deliver training that give individuals the skills they need, and who assess when individuals are competent to perform a particular job or task
  • Regulators (Registering and/or Course Accrediting Bodies, sometimes known as RCABs), who ensure that the training that RTOs deliver satisfies national quality standards and meets the needs of individuals and industries
  • Governments (Australian Government and STAs), who are responsible for ensuring the training sector works in a manner that maximises human potential and economic productivity, and who provide significant public funding to support these goals.

These stakeholders require access to authoritative, consistent and current training sector information.  training.gov.au was to provide them with this information.

Solution

TGA provides an extensive feature set for full use, support and administration.  There are various function sets specific to different user populations and access methods, namely public website, secured web portal, web-services and a content management system.  TGA is divided into a number of parts as follows.

  1. Content Management - Training Packages and Components

    Features include:
    • Store and support management, development and editing of content as collections of reusable and standardised components (not as individual massive monolithic documents)
    • Speedy maintenance promotes consistency: a component is updated and then used in multiple places rather requiring multiple updates
    • Manage access, ownership and edit rights
    • Support and enforce structure rules and standards
    • Support and enforce endorsement process
    • Full versioning/change history
    • Extensive report, search and compare facilities
    • Automatic integration into the National Register
  2. National Register (public website)

    This component is used by the public to obtain information on approved Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), Endorsed Training Packages and Training Package Components, Accredited Courses and the scope of services provided by RTOs.

    Features include:
    • Extensive report, search and compare facilities
    • Registered Training Organisations
      • Registration
      • Contracts
      • Scope
      • Delivery Notifications
      • Restrictions
    • Nationally Recognised Training
      • Registration/endorsement Details
      • Mapping
      • Components
      • History
      • Classifications
      • Download of content
      • Full versioning/change history
      • Display of meta data and download of content
      • Notifications (emails to subscribers to inform them of updates)
      • Statistical Classifications
  3. National Register

    Maintain RTOs, Training Packages, Training Package Components and Accredited Courses.
    • Extensive report, search and compare facilities
    • Full versioning and change history
    • Manage access, ownership and edit rights
    • Maintenance of RTO Details/Service Scope/accredited courses
    • Record RTO Delivery Notifications
  4. Web Services (Read Only and Update)

    • RTO Details/Service Scope/Delivery Notifications
    • Approved training products
    • Accredited courses
    • Maintenance of RTO Details/Service Scope
    • Recording of RTO Delivery Notifications
    • Maintenance of accredited courses
    • Update of statistical classifications
    • Extensive search and extraction
  5. System Monitoring and Site Usage

    TGA has site monitoring capabilities enabling review of how the website is being used (i.e. understanding the user population; identifying usage problems).  TGA provides a range of system activity and site monitoring reports.

Benefits

TGA replaced a legacy system; National Training Information System (NTIS) in July 2011.  NTIS was averaging 32,000 visits per month while TGA is averaging 176,000.  TGA usage reflects a five-fold increase since its production release.  This reflects the increased value provided by TGA.

training.gov.au Logo

Solution Overview

Organisation Profile

The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) is a national government agency providing leadership in education and workplace training, transition to work and conditions and values in the work place.

Sector

Government, Education

HSD Services

  • Systems Integration
  • Microsoft .NET Development
  • Systems Management and Support

HSD Solutions

  • Education systems
  • Configuration of COTS

Business Need

A public website, web hosting and document management system

Solution

ASP.NET MVC 3 web application with public facing website, windows and web services, website hosting and a document management system.

Benefits

  • Accurate and complete information capture and display
  • Simple and easy to use interface
  • Training package content management system for full accountability
  • Improve visibility of information to internal and public users
  • Site monitoring for performance and usage

Technologies

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services 7.5
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
  • ASP.NET MVC 3 (C#)
  • ADO.NET Entity Framework
  • Enterprise Library 5.0
  • SQL Full Text Search
  • Telerik Extensions for ASP.NET MVC.
  • Author-it