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The MSS Sustainability Training Package is now released on training.gov.au. This is the first release of the ‘streamlined’ units of competency and qualifications which have been updated to meet the requirements of the Standards for Training Packages.

There are a number of changes in the new MSS Sustainability Training Package.  Some of the changes will have a significant impact for Registered Training Organisations, their Training and Assessment Strategies and assessment materials.

What is new in the ‘new’ units? Unit template changes

The main focus of this compliance work was updating each unit of competency to meet the new template requirements. The changes to the sections are:

  • omission of Unit descriptor
  • inclusion of Foundation Skills
  • omission of Employability Skills
  • inclusion of Range of Conditions
  • omission of Range Statements
  • inclusion of the Assessment Requirements for each unit of competency
  • omission of Required Skills, Required Knowledge and Evidence Guide.

While the new sections in the template sound similar to the previous ones they provide different information. And there are clearer definitions (tighter requirements) on the information conveyed in each section.

Assessment Requirements

The new template divides a unit of competency into two parts – ‘unit of competency’ and ‘assessment requirements’. This terminology is confusing and the two parts can be downloaded as separate files from training.gov.au. The rationale for this was that some people might want to refer to the ‘front’ part of the unit without needing to undertake an assessment. For example, enterprises might want to use the Elements and Performance Criteria as guidance or benchmarks for their procedures or workplace training.

However the two parts make up one complete unit of competency. And Registered Training Organisations must cover all of the requirements of the unit of competency (both parts) in order to assess and award the unit.

This Assessment Requirements define:

  • Performance Evidence – an outline of the minimum evidence of performance needed in order to demonstrate competency. In the MSS Sustainability units of competency this is a summary of the type and amount of evidence needed in key areas of performance. RTOs need to define the methods for collecting the evidence and the specific pieces of evidence and formats they will collect. This will be based on industry engagement and analysis of learner and industry needs.
    NB: This is one section where significant changes are likely to be found. In some units the Performance Evidence sets out specific practical activities and the number of times they must be performed (and evidence collected).
  • Knowledge Evidence – an outline of the minimum evidence of knowledge needed in order to demonstrate competency. In the MSS Sustainability units of competency this is a summary of the type and amount of evidence needed in key areas of knowledge. RTOs need to define the methods for collecting the evidence and the specific pieces of evidence and formats they will collect. This will be based on industry engagement and analysis of learner and industry needs.
  • Assessment Conditions – these are essential aspects of how the assessment must be conducted. The MSS Sustainability units of competency typically cover requirements around the use of project based and work based assessments, third party reports and demonstrating trainer/assessor vocational competency and currency.

Remember that the Assessment Requirements form part of the complete unit of competency and you must factor all of these requirements into your assessments.

Unit codes, titles and content

All unit codes have changed. The codes have dropped the version identifier (A, B etc) but the rest of the code is unchanged e.g. MSS015019A becomes MSS015019.

Refer to Appendix B in the MSS Training Package Implementation Guide for the full lists of mapping. The appendix includes mapping in both directions – from MSS11 to MSS and from MSS to MSS11.

Most titles are unchanged. However, titles have been amended for the following six units of competency and in some cases the content of the unit has been amended to reflect the title change.

New Old
MSS015019 Establish/review metrics for social  sustainability MSS015019A Establish metrics for social sustainability
Content changes:
  • ‘Review’ added to Element 1 and Element 3.
  • Detailed requirements in previous Required Knowledge and Required Skills have been omitted.
  • Performance Evidence is a broad summary of the Elements/PCs, similar to the previous Critical Aspects section.
  • Range of conditions defines parameters for selected aspects of the unit e.g. how the need for sustainability information dissemination must be determined.
New Old
MSS403006 Facilitate implementation or review of competitive systems and practices in an office MSS403006A Facilitate implementation of competitive systems and practices in an office
Content changes:
  • ‘Review’ added to selected PCs
  • Elements 1 and 4 re-worded
New Old
MSS404053 Use DMAIC techniques MSS404053A Use six sigma techniques
Content changes:
  • Pre-requisite removed
  • Does not specify use of statistics, charting methods
New Old
MSS407012 Lead a process to determine and solve root cause for a complex problem MSS407012A Lead a problem solving process to determine and solve root cause
Content changes:
  • Title amended to better reflect the content of the unit
New Old
MSS408005 Develop knowledge systems and learning processes for an organisation MSS408005A Develop the learning processes of the operations organisation
Content changes:
  • Title amended to better reflect the content of the unit
New Old
MSS408006 Develop and refine systems for improvement in operations MSS408006A Develop and refine systems for continuous improvement in operations
Content changes:
  • Amended to use the terms kaizen and kaizen blitz throughout
Summary of changes to units and potential impact

While the new units are deemed equivalent to the previous ones, equivalent does not mean identical.  As listed above the content of some units has been amended to reflect changes/clarifications in the title.

Other changes may have been made in the units of competency. For example the wording of Elements and Performance Criteria may have been amended to clarify the intent or to adjust for changes over time in areas such as industry practice or technology. Or the pre-requisites may have been dropped.

The units may be equivalent but these changes could have significant impact on training and assessment methods and/or materials. The changed template requirements may also affect training and assessment methods and/or materials.

At very least the changes to units are likely to affect Training and Assessment Strategies, assessment tools and mapping documents.

What’s new in the qualifications Qualification template changes

There are new codes for all of the qualifications. All qualifications are deemed equivalent. The Vocational Graduate Certificate no longer exists in the AQF and the relevant MSS Sustainability qualifications are now referred to as Graduate Certificates.

Source: MSS Sustainability Implementation Guide

The qualification template has been amended but the changes don’t have a significant effect on the content of the qualifications.

Packaging rules

The packaging rules for the MSS Sustainability qualifications have not changed. This means no changes to the core units to be achieved nor the number of electives and which elective Groups they can be taken from. Note however, that the Groups may have some changes to the electives available.

Competitive Systems and Practices

The Competitive Systems and Practices qualifications live in the MSS Sustainability Training Package. Actually this is not new as the CSP qualifications were added into the MSS11 Release 2.0 back in May 2012.

However it is important to note that the Skills for Sustainability website, including this article, does not provide any specific information or advice about the Competitive Systems and Practices qualifications or units of competency.

What’s new in the Skill Sets?

No changes have been made to the codes or titles of the MSS Energy Efficiency Skill Sets. However, the codes of the units that make up the Skill Sets have been changed, as per the previous sections.

Code Title
MSSSS00001 SS1 Audit energy usage for a work area
MSSSS00002 SS2 Determine energy usage
MSSSS00003 SS3 Improve energy usage for a process or organisation
MSSSS00004 SS4 Improve energy usage for a work area
MSSSS00005 SS5 Recommend energy improvements
MSSSS00006 SS6 Reduce sustainability risk
Implementation Guide

The Companion Volume Implementation Guide provides information to support the implementation of the MSS Sustainability Training Package.  The Implementation Guide contains:

  • mapping of qualifications and units between MSS and MSS11 (Appendix A and Appendix B)
  • an outline of the qualifications and how they align to the AQF levels
  • advice on choosing electives
  • a glossary of terms that relate to foundation skills (p37). This can be used to identify the foundation skills within a unit of competency and to interpret what type of evidence is acceptable.
  • explanation of other terms used in units of competency (Appendix C) e.g embodied carbon, social sustainability metrics and typical problems; it also shows the units in which the term is used.
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Businesses in pulp, paper and packaging in United States are achieving sustainability performance improvements and productivity gains.

The 2014 Sustainability Report by the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) outlines the sector’s metrics and progress towards sustainability goals for 2020.

Key points are also summarised in a video on YouTube.

Achievements include:

  • 63% recycling rate for paper
  • 15% reduction in GHG emissions compared to 2005
  • 8% reduction in purchased energy
  • 24% reduction in reportable safety incidents since 2006
  • 6% reduction in water use.

And these have not meant sacrificing efficiency and productivity with the sector showing:

  • 36% increase in productivity between 2001 and 2011.
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Sustainable Business Australia is a business think tank and advocacy group of companies committed to sustainable practices. It works to raise awareness about major environmental challenges and the commercial solutions that business and industry can provide.

Sustainable Business Australia is a not-for-profit membership-based organisation. Members include GE, IKEA, Brickworks and Dyesol.

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Business and Industry Portal – provides information for different sectors and a range of sustainability issues including:

  • Licenses and permits
  • Regulatory frameworks and compliance requirements
  • Managing waste, energy and water in your business.

The information links to or is drawn from the relevant Queensland government departments:

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CSR produces rockwool which is used for insulation. It is made from various rocks, such as basalt, limestone and iron slag. The rocks are melted in a cupola (furnace) to form lava that can be spun into fibres that can be formed into insulation products.

CSR, with funding assistance from Victoria’s Sustainability Fund, has developed an inorganic polymer (geopolymer) to bind the waste material so that it can be re-processed into product.

Completed in mid-2011, the plant is expected to reduce:

  • the amount of waste going to landfill by approximately 2,100 tonnes per annum
  • the amount of raw materials used to make the Rockwool.

About 250 less truck movements to and from the plant are also expected each year.

See http://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/sustainability-fund/case-studies/business-case-studies/rockwool-waste-briquette-plant

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MSA | Manufacturing Skills Australia | S.. by Celeste@rtobiz.org - 11M ago

Greenfly is a website that calculates the environmental impacts of product design options.

You enter information on your design concept including materials, manufacturing processes, transport assumptions, operational use and end of life options. As you build your product, Greenfly instantly calculates the environmental impacts of each life cycle phase.

See http://www.greenflyonline.org/

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The Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 replaced the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999.

The legislation requires non-public sector employers with 100 or more employees (relevant employers) to report to the Agency annually. If the number of employees falls below 100, it must continue to report unless its number of employees falls below 80.

The Act is administered by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

The Agency guidance on compliance and reporting requirements and other gender equality resources such as research papers, fact sheets and case studies.

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