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End of Day 3 Certificate IV in Small Business Management [Jan. 9th, 2008|10:42 pm]
Bob Bain
Today marked the completion of day 3 of the Certificate IV in Small Business Management being conducted under NEIS rules.

A few points regarding the course. Firstly the course is "competency based" which means there is no "final examination". Students are assessed during the course by completing 20 task based assessments held either in the classroom environment or by completion at home. Groups of these assessments combine together to form a grade for a competency of which there are about 15. It is necessary to attend almost every session as "missing out" on instruction can lead to failure. Each of the 20 assessments direct the students towards preparing a "Business Plan". If the students get a passing grade with regards to the competencies then the Registered Training Organisation issues a Certificate IV in Small Business Management - a nationally recognised qualification under the Australian Educational Framework.

In the process of completing the competency assessments towards the award of a Certificate IV in Small Business Management the students are effectively producing a "Business Plan" which then has to be put together and presented to an interview panel who decide whether in their opinion the Business Plan represents a viable and genuine plan which will enable the participant to undertake business operations such that it can produce profit results acceptable under the NEIS scheme. If they believe it does then a graduate of the program can transition onto the NEIS allowance - which involves periodic mentoring to determine if the plan is achieving it's objectives and if not what can be done to bring the business into line with the Business Plan presented to the NEIS board.

The course runs for 6 weeks and the students have a variety of business ideas ranging from aromatherapy to web design to film production, animal welfare and ceramics.

Students are encouraged to communicate and share ideas on a variety of topics. Yesterday a non assessed task was to plan a 21st. birthday party, detail the arrangements, consider the complications that may arise and cost it in detail setting out the detailed cost for each and every item. The group to my right seemingly planned a party for a sibling of a well known person financing in the cost of "possible bribes to police" (sigh).

Today was mostly about establishing details regarding the suitability or otherwise of location and detailing the costs of establishing and running the business and setting a rate to charge for services or products. Tomorrow will concentrate on matters of legal structure and taxation.

Early next week students have to participate in an "Expo" which is where they mock up a typical stand at a typical trade fair and present their products or services to those who may have open or closed minds with regards to the viability of what they are offering. It is up to the student to make a tangible case for the provision of their products or services.

The course concentrates a great deal on the practicality and marketability of the business proposal and of the ability of the person proposing the business idea to manage and run the business. As such the "theory" is set toward practical cold hard reality and in the end if it is seen as being something that has a reasonable chance of working students will transfer to the NEIS allowance paid by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations. As previously noted It is not administered by Centrelink.

Bedtime !