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our proceedings here terribly much. i understand the urge to do it. i nd myself subject to the same urges sometimes as well, but i remind myself that that's not the focus, and our work will be more productive if we don't head down that path so oen.
as for compliments to mr. evans, well, it's clear that his time as an interviewer himself shows that he is able to not only frame questions well but to respond eect- ively to questions. So i agree with the comment.
S. Simpson: at ability to restrain is why you are the chair and i'm not.
b. Ralston (Chair): You might have ummoxed your- self there, because i want you to be cautious in what you say.
S. Simpson: always. i think that the reality is…. i do appreciate the com- ments of mr. evans and the information that he's provided on the 12 recommendations. it is important. i think what we need to do is go back to the auditor general and remember that this is a program…. it's about seven years now that this program has been in place in some incarnation or other. Seven or eight years?
Simpson: So it's not brand-new. it's been around
for a while.
clearly, what the auditor general is telling us is that there were serious problems around direction. ere were serious issues around whether the money, par- ticularly going to the itos, was sucient to allow them to do the job and serious questions about stakeholder involvement — broadly, the stakeholders who have a legitimate interest in these questions. i'm pleased to see, from the presentation of mr. evans, that some real progress appears to have been made on the concerns that the auditor general identied in his report.
i want to go back to a question that comes back to the private trainers a little bit. i know that it appeared to me that one of the primary ways that the ita makes an as- sessment here is through these surveys of students as to their levels of satisfaction with the training they're getting. also, i think there are some common exams and the use of common exams and that, and those are tools.
e question i have is: is there any process here for or
any direct monitoring of these private trainers — you know, maybe sporadic monitoring, eorts to send your folks or the appropriate people out to go and visit these sites and do an assessment for yourself as to whether they're in fact delivering at a level or seem to be func- tioning at a level that satises your expectations?
K. Evans: right. ere is at the front end. We need to be assured that they have competent, qualied sta, that they have the facilities, the standards and the cur- riculum. en it's a ve-year cycle. We'll go back in ve years, when the designation term expires. in between there we're looking at those exam results. We're looking at those dashboard indicators that i talked about earlier to signal trouble for us.
itac sta was 155 people. e ita sta is 55 people.
e decision was made. are we going to be spending
money on inspectors in the eld, or are we going to be spending money on subsidizing training seats and increasing the number of people who are skilled trades- persons in British columbia?
Whether we've paid a cost for that in terms of quality, i think, is an interesting question. it was a question that the auditor general posed. again, we are going to be taking a look at evidence-based decision-making.
When we take a look at what a comprehensive, con- tinuous improvement program might look like, that's one of the things that are on the table. is what we have in place right now sucient to provide the assurance that the auditor general called for that the quality of the training is up to the standards?
S. Simpson: Just as a follow-up to the auditor general, do you see the need to get that quality assurance and kind of provide that satisfaction or that sense of satisfaction around the quality and sustaining the quality of training
that that kind of visitation or monitoring or increased
monitoring during the life of the designation cycle, the
ve-year cycle, is something that needs to happen over
and above the steps that the ita has already taken? 
J. Doyle: ank you for the question. i've actually got quite a big background in education, not necessarily in trades training but in university-type education pro- grams. i've also done inspections of trade training in Western australia, as well, as part of my background.
i believe that it's an ongoing process to maintain qual- ity, and there are numerous information feeds that can be collated by the ita about what is happening within private and public training providers.
to get the right mix is always going to be a dicult call, and there's always going to be the occasional insti- tution that provides diculties. in general terms, i think it is possible on an ongoing basis to have a risk-based approach — which is a detailed, in-depth review on a cyclical basis, once in every ve years — and also have the ongoing review of the quality of the programs and how they're being received by the various apprentice- ships, apprentices during the intermittent periods.
at process doesn't have to be that expensive an ex-
ercise, but it still needs to be done on a regular basis. now, the right mix, i think, is…. e strategy that's be-