ML becomes ‘virtual TAFE’ to train locals
A QUEENSLAND Medicare Local has stepped in to become an official training provider for its employees, tackling the dearth of established local institutions and online learning models.
The Townsville-Mackay Medicare Local (TMML) became a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) late last year after it saw a need for providing nationally recognised qualifications for all members of a practice primary healthcare team.
TMML education and training manager Jean McCubben said the move to become an RTO also arose out of their isolation in north Queensland where it was difficult to get access to primary healthcare courses, particularly in a non-online setting.
“TAFE doesn’t run a lot of courses in what we do… Some people don’t learn well just with online; their learning styles don’t match that,” she said.
Ms McCubben said they also felt there needed to be a nationally recognised qualification for all members of a practice primary healthcare team.
“We are virtually a TAFE college for primary healthcare. People can get nationally recognised qualifications from us,” she said.
She explained that as part of the process to become an RTO the organisation had to go through an audit and adhere to strict standards set by an Australian skills quality authority for course resources, teachers and assessments.
“Being an industry body, our staff has industry currency. We are able to conduct courses with a degree of confidence,” she said.
“It’s good because there is a lot of networking that can happen. We have a collegial network thing going. There’s a degree of sharing that happens more easily in face-to-face… The second office is in Mackay and we’re teaching simultaneously through a video conferencing machine.”
Ms McCubben said TMML was looking to include mental health qualifications in the training and to expand the scope into Indigenous health workers and aged care.
TMML was also investigating technology that would allow them to extend further into rural and remote areas via virtual classes.