Strengthening Adult Community Education (ACE) - Draft ACE Program Statement for 2018/19

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Consultation has concluded

About

We want to hear your views on the draft ACE Program Statement for 2018/19 and beyond, which has been directly influenced by the feedback received during the initial engagement phase with a broad range of stakeholders in May and June 2017.

What is being decided?

The Department of State Development, with Community Centres SA is strengthening the Adult Community Education (ACE) Program for 2018/19 and beyond through a comprehensive engagement process with stakeholders including past and current ACE providers and participants, as well as local communities.

In May of this year, we engaged with the community regarding their feedback

About

We want to hear your views on the draft ACE Program Statement for 2018/19 and beyond, which has been directly influenced by the feedback received during the initial engagement phase with a broad range of stakeholders in May and June 2017.

What is being decided?

The Department of State Development, with Community Centres SA is strengthening the Adult Community Education (ACE) Program for 2018/19 and beyond through a comprehensive engagement process with stakeholders including past and current ACE providers and participants, as well as local communities.

In May of this year, we engaged with the community regarding their feedback - click here to view this engagement. You can also:

In 2016, engagement with the ACE sector identified five key themes for strengthening the ACE program. We are building on these key themes, which are:

  1. Funding certainty and arrangements.
  2. Difficulties linking to other programs and services – how can we improve links for ACE participants with volunteering, further learning, training and work opportunities?
  3. Communications and marketing of ACE to attract partners and participants.
  4. Program management including reporting, data and evaluation – how can this process be streamlined for ACE training providers?
  5. Sector capacity and development to deliver on program outcomes – what do ACE providers need to improve program outcomes? What do participants need to improve their experience and outcomes?

The engagement process in 2017 will include:

  • Preliminary engagement with a broad range of stakeholders, communities and ACE participants - May 2017.
  • Co-design of a Strengthened ACE Program Statement and Guidelines in partnership with Community Centres SA and the Department of State Development, incorporating the ideas and feedback received - June 2017.
  • Consultation on the draft ACE Statement and Guidelines for 2018/19 and beyond with stakeholders, participants and local communities - July 2017.
  • Launch of the 2018/19 Strengthened ACE Program Statement and Guidelines - late 2017.

How can your input influence the decision?

The Department of State Development is strengthening the Adult Community Education (ACE) Program by seeking community and stakeholder input to identify strategies for improving the well-established ACE Program, particularly in relation to:

  • program outcomes
  • measures of success
  • transitions and pathways for participants
  • accessibility for participants
  • provider capacity and capability building
  • what is currently working well
  • what could be improved
  • new opportunities.

Stakeholder and community engagement will help shape the updated ACE Program Statement and Guidelines for 2018/19 and beyond.

Get involved

You can provide feedback on the Draft ACE Program Statement 2018/19 (PDF 620KB) by:

How will your input be used?

Community feedback received as part of the initial phase of engagement in May/June 2017 has directly influenced the development of the Draft ACE Program Statement for 2018/19 and beyond. This initial phase of engagement asked for feedback in relation to what a stronger ACE Program would look like.

The draft ACE Statement has been co-designed as a partnership between Community Centres SA and the Department of State Development, with assistance from the Department of Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI).

Your feedback on the draft will be used to finalise the ACE Program Statement for 2018/19 and beyond, which will be launched in September 2017.

For a summary of the feedback received from providers, participants, peak bodies, partners and the public during the initial phase of engagement in May/June 2017, please visit the ‘what you said’ page or download the feedback report (PDF 1MB).

To be kept informed, please join our mailing list so we can provide you with updates on Strengthening the ACE Program as the project progresses throughout 2017.

Want to know more?

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Websites

Email: DSD.ACEinfo@sa.gov.au

Phone: Skills and Employment Infoline - 1800 506 266




Background


Overview

In Australia there has been an increased focus on a group of non-technical skills that are considered essential to effective and successful participation in learning, training, and working. These skills are described as foundation skills.

Foundation skills are defined as the combination of:

  • English language, literacy and numeracy - listening, speaking, reading, writing, digital literacy and use of mathematical ideas, and
  • Employability skills - collaboration, problem-solving, self-management and learning, as well as information and communication technology required for participation in modern workplaces and contemporary life.

In South Australia, the Adult Community Education (ACE) Program has a long history of operating in SA. The program is a community learning gateway for people who want to participate in learning and further training but who may face social and economic barriers to participation in formal learning.

The ACE program provides a supportive entry point for people to participate in learning and to transition to volunteering, further education, training, and work.

For further information, please visit the Community Centres SA website: https://www.communitycentressa.asn.au/capacitybuilding/adult-community-education.

How can I access the ACE Program?

ACE provides learning programs in a supportive community setting, making it particularly valuable for learners who want to engage or re-engage in learning.

The ACE program is delivered by more than 50 training providers who meet the Program's selection criteria and are not-for-profit community based education and training organisations.

ACE programs are locally developed, locally delivered and locally owned. The programs are delivered throughout South Australia by community centres, local councils, libraries and other community-based organisations.

To find an ACE provider in your area, please visit the Department of State Development website: http://www.skills.sa.gov.au/training-learning/adult-community-education.

Consultation has concluded
  • Outcome

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    by BTT_Migration_Team,

    The new ACE Program Statement 2018/19 and beyond was launched by the Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Hon Susan Close MP, at an event with the ACE sector on 13 September 2017.

    As a result of the engagement feedback received from ACE providers, tutors, participants, program partners and peak bodies, an additional $3.83 million has been allocated to ACE over the next 4 years – a funding increase of approximately 30% for new initiatives including:

    • Increasing the grant amounts for non-accredited training;
    • Employing Pathway Coordinators to increase the number of ACE participants transitioning to further education, training or employment;
    • Expanding services in the regions and extending service provision to groups of people who are under-represented in ACE, for example Aboriginal people, young people and displaced workers; and
    • Supporting professional development of tutors delivering ACE projects.

    In addition, new strategies will improve the program model to enable greater flexibility for ACE providers and streamline processes.

    The launch of the new ACE Program Statement is the culmination of an extensive engagement process and we thank you for your contribution.

    To find out more about ACE, please visit the website for:

  • What you said

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    The Department of State Development and Community Centres SA jointly invited ACE providers, tutors, participants, training bodies and peak organisations, as well as Commonwealth and State Government agencies to partner with us in co-designing the future of ACE.

    This unique and extensive engagement process has meant working alongside those who deliver and benefit from ACE programs in the decision-making process.

    Experienced ACE tutors have met with over 50 participants to discover, through the sharing of stories and experiences, how ACE has impacted their lives. This valuable input has informed our new ACE vision and will inform program changes.

    The feedback provided with suggestions to strengthen ACE, reflect the key themes of:

    1. New vision, recognising the unique strengths of ACE
    2. Funding arrangements
    3. Improving connections with other programs and services
    4. Communications and marketing of ACE
    5. Streamlining program management
    6. Sector capacity and workforce capability
    1. New vision, recognising the unique strengths of ACE

    Feedback on this theme, focussed on a new vision, which outlines the benefits that ACE brings to participants; and secondly how ACE is connected to the whole education and employability journey to deliver its full potential.

    ACE participants identified the small class sizes, one-on-one support and local, non-threatening learning environment as the unique strengths of ACE, with key benefits of the program being increased confidence and the program’s role in providing a pathway to further learning, training, volunteering or work for ACE participants.

    The Draft ACE Program Statement has a new vision, which reflects stakeholder feedback.

    2. Funding arrangements

    ACE providers identified funding caps, contract length and the difference between the amount of funding for accredited and non-accredited grants as the more significant issues to deal with than the overall allocation of funds. The proposed new goal five - an improved ACE model, addresses this feedback.

    3. Improving connections with other programs and services

    To improve connections with other programs and services, providers have suggested additional resources are needed to better connect participants and facilitate pathways to volunteering, further learning or work. Providers also suggested ACE needs to be promoted as a preferred option, that is recognised and valued for its contribution to the individual’s pathway.

    Participants identified a need for clearer pathways to training / employment, more courses for career planning, volunteering placements with employers, and other support services referring them to ACE, as well as ACE units of competency contributing to a qualification.

    The proposed new goal four – formalise connections between ACE providers and other programs and services and goal three – create a framework that supports seamless pathways for individuals within and beyond the ACE program will both contribute to addressing this feedback from participants and providers.

    4. Communications and marketing of ACE

    ACE Providers generally felt that ACE is not promoted or marketed well and that the tools are missing to do this effectively, so marketing needs to be funded as part of a strengthened ACE Program. In addition, they felt a brand could be beneficial, as it would provide the Program with a clearer identity and credibility. The brand would need to capture the diversity of ACE and ensure that what makes it different from other training and employment programs is clear.

    Feedback from ACE participants and the public identified a need for better promotion of courses in local communities. ACE participants view the small class sizes, one-on-one support and local, non-threatening learning environment as the unique strengths of ACE.

    Peaks bodies and partner organisations stated better marketing would improve ACE, as well as strengthen relationships with ACE providers and other support services. Marketing should aim to reach a broader range of participants (e.g. young people and migrants) and provide wider promotion of good news stories related to successful transitions and pathways of ACE participants.

    The proposed new goal one - strengthen the profile of the ACE program and promote its unique strengths, addresses this feedback and is linked to goal four – formalise connections between ACE providers and other programs and services.

    5. Streamlining program management

    Feedback was generally consistent from ACE providers, which highlighted that decision-making on approvals and contracts both need to occur more quickly, with providers needing to know the status of their grant application by May 2017. This would allow sufficient time for providers to advertise, organise courses and ensure appropriate staffing arrangements are in place.

    Other feedback provided suggestions to streamline reporting and contract payments to align course delivery with school terms and to align reporting arrangements with Commonwealth requirements. This feedback has been addressed in goal five – an improved ACE Program model.

    ACE providers also suggested that reporting should measure all outcomes and success factors for ACE participants (beyond course hours, employment outcomes and number of participants). There was also support for Results Based Accountability (RBA) being rolled out to all ACE Providers (following the pilot program with 10 providers). This would better measure program success and implement a wider variety of measures to capture a broader range of outcomes (including improvements in the foundation skills of learners).

    The proposed new goal six – capture all measures of success addresses this feedback.

    6. Sector capacity and workforce capability

    The engagement feedback was clear that the current functions and success of the ACE program relies on many unfunded hours contributed by tutors, coordinators and volunteers toward mentoring, supporting and connecting participants with services and pathways into training or work.

    The proposed new goal two - recognise and build the capability of the ACE workforce, addresses this feedback.

    To find out more about the feedback, which has directly impacted the proposed new goals for ACE from 2018/19, please view the feedback report (PDF 1MB).

  • Previous Engagement

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    In July 2017, we asked for your feedback on the Draft ACE Program Statement, which was co-designed with Community Centres SA and incorporated feedback received from all stakeholders in May and June 2017. We wanted to hear your thoughts on the proposed goals for ACE, which have been finalised in the new ACE Program Statement 2018/19 and beyond.

    View the original engagement here.


    We have listened to the feedback we received during the initial engagement phase with a broad range of stakeholders in May and June 2017.

    The draft ACE Program Statement (PDF 620KB) recognises the unique strengths of the ACE Program and the significant changes to the sector in recent years. Fundamental changes are proposed to strengthen ACE, which directly reflect the feedback gathered during the engagement process from:

    • 52 current ACE participants
    • 41 existing providers (64 individuals)
    • 7 potential new providers (9 individuals)
    • 10 ACE tutors
    • 9 peak bodies
    • 10 partner organisations (local, state and commonwealth agencies)
    • 22 people from the public through the YourSAy website.

    The changes proposed to the ACE Program from 2018/19 include:

    • proposed new vision, which directly reflects stakeholder feedback
    • a new brand for ACE, to strengthen the program’s profile
    • more flexibility in contracts by requiring less course detail, so ACE Providers have more flexibility to meet local needs
    • reporting at the conclusion of the ACE Program to reduce the number of reports required from Providers
    • final report by 31 July to align with Commonwealth requirements and allow providers to align ACE course delivery with school terms
    • changes to payment dates and structure to accommodate new report timing and to reduce red tape
    • strengthening understanding of regional needs, employment opportunities and programs and services available to ACE participants
    • developing a framework to develop better partnerships that support participants to transition to further training, volunteering or work.

    The feedback provided by ACE participants, new and existing providers, peak bodies, partner organisations and the public has informed the proposed new goals for the ACE Program from 2018/19 and beyond, which are:

    Goal 1: Strengthen the profile of the ACE program and promote its unique strengths
    Goal 2: Recognise and build the capability of the ACE workforce
    Goal 3: Create a framework that supports seamless pathways for individuals within and beyond the ACE program
    Goal 4: Formalise Connections between ACE providers and other programs and services
    Goal 5: An improved ACE Program Model
    Goal 6: Capture all measures of success

    To provide your feedback on the proposed new goals and the draft ACE Program Statement (PDF 620KB), please complete the survey by 9 August 2017.

    To find out more about the feedback provided in relation to the proposed new goals, you can view the feedback summary report (PDF 1MB).