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AVETMISS sorted: Meet the team behind this reporting resource godsend

November 14, 2018

It's time to brush up on your AVETMISS basics and here to help are Nick McEwan-Hall and Marie Vassallo, founders of AVETMESS (no, that's not a typo).

We chat to them about the process behind founding AVETMESS and hear their thoughts on the VET industry.

1. What was the inspiration behind starting AVETMESS?

Nick: It was really about sharing knowledge but also just making sure we were all looking out for each other in a complex and stressful industry. At the time we started, funding in Victoria was really complicated and we wanted to share our skills and knowledge. I had been made redundant and said to Marie, "Hey, wanna do a webinar on funding?" It was a hit, and the rest is history!

Marie: We were also feeling down about all the bad press the sector was getting. We know that great people work at not-so-great RTOs and it was time to put some positivity back into our sector, sharing information and forming a community.

2. You have a history of working as a trainer and also in RTO management roles. Were there any particular experiences in these roles that motivated you to focus on coaching and helping others working in the VET industry?

Nick: I think the main thing for me is realising that organisations are only as good as their people. Coaching is the single best way to lead people who are knowledgeable about a topic, and everyone I worked with in VET was an expert in something. Coaching allows the person to focus on what's important for them and achieve their own goals. We now offer free coaching for anyone who does our webinars to help them embed what they've learnt into their workplaces and work practices. Our compliance and admin team members love this free service!

Marie: We are a people industry—this can get lost in all the jargon and talk of funding, student loans, compliance. Both Nick and I are people-focused.

3. What are your go-to methods for keeping up with industry updates and changes?

Nick: Well, of course we would suggest our webinars! Seriously though, staying connected to all the regulatory bodies is a good start, but make sure you stay in touch with your industries too. For example, if you deliver hospitality, make sure you stay in touch with the hospitality peak bodies. Subscribing to email newsletters is a great thing.

Marie: Yes, definitely staying connected and undertaking regular professional development!

4. What's the most overrated topic in education right now?

Nick: I'm not really sure! At AVETMESS we focus on the basics and essentials, keeping people up to date with what they need to know to be compliant and high quality. There will always be bright, shiny things to distract us, but the essentials of education and compliance remain the same.

Marie: I agree with Nick - fads will come and go, but if you get the basics right, you're set for success.

5. What actor would play you in the movie about your life?

Nick: Oh gee..... I'll have to get back to you on that one! :)

Marie: Someone tall and thin! :)


AVETMESS is a series of webinars to help you manage your RTO's data. aXcelerate users can enjoy 10% off any AVETMESS product by using the code "axcelerateuser" at checkout.

For more help on AVETMISS reporting, see our guide on How to Solve the Top 5 AVETMISS Errors.

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