Resource Developer Skill-Set

This article is part two of a three-part series: The Three Sides to a completing a successful VET Resource Development Project.

In this post, we will look at one of those sides: the resource developer skill-set. You can check out part-one (the simulated environment) here.

At this stage of the process you are ready to begin your journey creating compliant and engaging training and assessment resources for your students. You have already begun planning a relatable, realistic, consistent and scalable simulated environment. Your next focus will be on hiring resource developers.  After posting a job on Seek or LinkedIn your inbox has become jam-packed with expressions of interest. Loaded with choice, you may think to yourself: “this is going to be too easy!”

Nothing could be further from the truth!

Locating and hiring a resource developer is not difficult, but selecting the most qualified and suitable developer for your cohort and subject is much more challenging. 


If you are seeking to develop compliant, engaging, accurate, current training and assessment resources, then you will need to identify a resource developer that can tick all the following skill and knowledge requirements:

1. Subject: RD holds sufficient knowledge of the subject matter. 2. Industry: RD understands how the skills and knowledge are applied in a range of industry contexts. 3. Experience: RD has experienced working in the industry and is aware of standards, practices and terminology for all units they will be writing. 4. Currency: RD has current knowledge of industry needs, demands, new innovations and trends. 5. Practical Application: RD understands how the training and assessment resources are used in the training environment. 6. Cohort Needs: RD understands the cohort needs; appropriate activities for the AQF level; scaffolding subject and FSK learning and development. 7. Regulation: RD understands the ACSF, RTO standards, regulatory and governing body expectations, accepted practices and trends. 8. Foundation Skills: RD understands the ACSF & CSfW frameworks and how to integrate UoC requirements into training and development resources. 9.Dimensions of Competency: RD understands how a candidate must demonstrate competency across all dimensions, as per industry demands.

Critical Resource Developer Skills and Knowledge

If you want your project to succeed, then you may like to develop questions and/or tasks for the recruitment process to make sure your candidates can show their capability across each of the skills and knowledge in the above list. Be prepared, however that a perfect match is rare!

Of course, an employee who is deficient in one or more of these skills areas could still be an amazing team member and align well with your organisational values and direction. However, you must then be prepared to offer the necessary support to these people (we’ll talk about support in a future article).  Let’s look at a few examples:

1. Lack of subject knowledge.

It is not uncommon for RDs to be allocated a unit of competency to be developed that is outside of their skill set or experience, in the race for the project to be completed in a timely manner.

Warning:  It is certain the development will take longer in the absence of subject matter knowledge.  You will spend more time and money on a) the RD researching and/or b) rectifications during validation or QA.

2. Lack of industry knowledge.

It is not uncommon for an RD to be asked to write to a ‘simulated environment’ on a topic they have not actually experienced in the workplace, for which they have no frame of reference or experience.

Warning:  It is certain that your development will take longer in the absence of industry knowledge.  Errors in the simulated environment could impact other RDs using them for other assessment. You will also be unlikely to be preparing students with skills for the workplace and that could end up harming your reputation and lead to major rectifications when conducting industry consultation.

You are probably starting to get the picture, but just in case, let’s skip down and have a look at a few other consequences of skill/knowledge deficiencies from the diagram above:

5. Lack of knowledge about practical application of assessment or learner resources.

It is not uncommon for an RD to have never facilitated a course.

Warning:  An assessment task can look fine on paper, but given a group of 20 learners, and one trainer/assessor, is the application practical?  In the absence of experience, the application must be tested.  Your students and trainers/assessors are likely to reject or find fault with the product, leading to non-compliances. Expect expensive rectifications to be discovered during the validation and moderation process; and subsequently discontented staff and students if you miss this step!

6. Not understanding cohort needs.

It is not uncommon for an RD to have no knowledge or information on the cohort who will be using the resources.

Warning: One size does not fit all.  If you want a quality product, then educate and inform your resource developer on the cohort and their needs. Students are likely to be unhappy with the product, if you do not address this issue!

In Conclusion…

The consequences of not having resource developers that have all the skills and knowledge we listed at the start will lead to significant product failures and expense to your organisation. You can employ RDs without all the key competencies, but if you do, make sure you are ready to support them, to enable a quality product to be developed.

It’s not an easy job, and in addition to all of the above, some organisations also expect the RD to contribute with formatting, editing, graphics and instructional design.  Oh my!

At Leading Education Innovation, we have worked to identify the key competencies for RD and have developed strategies to support our writers; which means in turn we see a quality, innovative, compliant product produced. Browse our range, or consider getting in touch with us to help you develop product or validate your training and assessment resources against our quality standards.

Why not continue onto Part 3 in the VET Development Project Series: Management and Support or some of our other blog posts? Alternatively, give us a call or get in touch for more information about our training and assessment resources.