A voice for all Australian VET practitioners

Review of the TAE Training Package

The review of the TAE Training Package is likely (highly likely) to commence soon. The TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment qualification is the credential to be held by trainers and assessors working in the VET sector. We can expect that this qualification will be changed and implementation of the new requirements is likely (highly likely) to occur in 12 to 18 months (mid to late 2022).

During the review of the TAE Training Package, the requirements of the VET sector (industry) will be considered. RTOs (as employers) and RTO associations (TDA, ITECA, ERTOA, etc. representing RTOs as employers) will be consulted. And consultation with the VET regulators will occur to ensure their requirements are taken into account.

The Education Industry Reference Committee (IRC) can consist of fifteen members. As of the 13 July 2021, several Education IRC membership positions are vacant. Basically, RTOs (as employers) and RTO associations (representing RTOs as employers) are members of the committee. [1]

Who is going to represent you during the review of the TAE Training Package?

I am sure that many VET practitioners do not want to go through another TAE Upgrade. Who is going to speak up for the individual trainers and assessors working in the VET sector?

Please contact me if any of the following information is inaccurate or not current. This will allow me to correct any errors.

TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) is the peak national body which represents Australia’s national network of publicly owned TAFE institutes and university TAFE divisions. Basically, the members of the TDA are the TAFE directors and the purpose is to promote the interests of TAFE institutes to governments. This is interesting since state governments already own their TAFE institutes. The interests of individual VET practitioners who work for a TAFE is not TDA’s prime consideration.

The Australian Education Union (AEU) could be considered the body that has the interests of individual VET practitioners who work for a TAFE as their prime consideration. However, the AEU’s scope is beyond TAFE. It also has an interest in primary schools, secondary schools, early childhood centres, and disability services. The interests of non-TAFE VET practitioners are not well represented by the AEU. The annual fee for a full-time Victorian TAFE teacher is $796. The fee for members in other states or territories may vary.

The Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) is a peak body for independent higher education providers and RTOs (primarily for private RTOs). However, a few years ago it created the ITECA College of Vocational Education and Training Professionals. RTO trainers, assessors and managers can join the College. The annual membership fee is $185, and there are also ongoing continuing professional development requirements to maintain membership.

The Australian Institute of Training and Development (AITD) is another option for individual trainers, assessors and managers to join. The annual membership fee is $315. I think the AITD is more like a club and has VET and non-VET practitioners involved.

An alternative to the AITD is VELG. The membership to VELG for individuals starts at $299 and for RTOs starts at $999. It is a privately owned organisation that provides VET professional development and consulting services.

Who will be consulted during the review of the TAE Training Package?

For certain, the following will be consulted during the review of the TAE Training Package:

  • VET regulators
  • RTOs and their associations, such as TDA and ITECA
  • RTOs that deliver the TAE40116 qualification.

Do you want to contribute to the consultation?

I was thinking that Australian VET practitioners needs a strong voice during the review and implementation of the changed TAE Training Package. VET practitioners may include:

  • Trainers and assessors
  • Coordinators and managers
  • Course designers and developers.

VET practitioners can be:

  • TAFE teachers
  • Trainer and assessors working for private RTOs
  • Trainer and assessors working for an enterprise
  • Trainer and assessors working for a community centre
  • Teachers delivering VET in School programs
  • Workplace trainers, industry trainers, or employees involved in delivering VET programs to other employees.

A VET practitioner can be:

  • Full-time employee
  • Part-time employee
  • Casual employee
  • Seasonal or contractor
  • Volunteer.

I propose the establishment of a group for VET practitioners. Set up and organised by VET practitioners. The objective of this group is to represent the interests of individuals. It shall not have conflict of interests because members will be individuals, not RTOs or organisations representing RTOs.

Here is what I am thinking about:

  • Membership to the group is free
  • Membership is optional (an individual can opt in, or opt out at any time)
  • An individual can be an active member of the group by participating (for example, responding to surveys).

And I propose that the name of this group to be the Australian VET Practitioners Alliance (AVA).

The initial activity of the group shall be to use short, frequent surveys to gather data that represents the views of individual VET practitioners. This data would then be used to produce short, frequent statements or reports that represent the collective views of individual VET practitioners.

The aim is to establish ‘a voice for all VET Practitioners’. An aspirational goal for the group is to have at least 10,000 members. This would be about 5-10% of the VET workforce, and it would become Australia’s largest representative group of VET practitioners. A level of participation would be measured by survey responses. The larger the group number, the greater the participation, the louder the voice.

As an idea for the future, I was thinking that this group could also offer professional development events (webinars, conference, mentoring, etc.).

Expression of interest

What do you think about the idea of forming a VET practitioners’ group?

Do you want to be a member of this group of VET practitioners? I have established an Australian VET Practitioners Alliance (AVA) group on LinkedIn for all VET practitioners who want to join.

Would you like to volunteer some of your time and energy to be part of an organising committee?

Please post your comments or direct message me. I would hope to arrange a meeting of people interested in joining the organising committee in mid-August.


[1] https://www.aisc.net.au/committee/education-industry-reference-committee accessed 13 July 2021

Author: Alan Maguire

35+ years experience as a trainer, instructional designer, quality manager, project manager, program manager, RTO auditor, RTO manager and VET adviser.

9 thoughts on “A voice for all Australian VET practitioners”

  1. Hi Alan, I would be very interested in becoming a member of your Australian VET Practitioners Alliance (AVA) group. Currently I am updating my TAE qualifications so I can return to training after a work-related injury. I would also like to volunteer to help out any way I can. For a long time I have been arguing that the VET sector has ignored vet practioners throughout consultative processes for training package reform to TAE particularly, and failing to recognise the impact towards practioners of long standing or already practising in the sector. As I currently do not have a LinkedIn account as I will need to retrain before I can return to employment, will I still be able to join the alliance?


      1. Hi Alan, thank you. I look forward to spreading the word and assisting anyway I can about important role work place training has and how it is both a science and a trade in its own rights. Funny that since TAE came to be, vet practioners of differently specialities have had to hold the Cert IV qualification, industry/workplace expertise and the unit of competency required for certification training and skills assessment, that only now that Vetis and Higher Education practioners now have to hold the same level of currencies that questions are being asked about compliance expectations and who is really asking for such challenging professional requirements. Watch this space is an apt description of the direction of Vocational Education and Training.


  2. Hi Alan,
    What does this look like in terms of an upgrade? How much work is involved for VET trainers? I am already seeing VET Trainers in schools struggling with admin burden, maintaining industry currency, qualification upgrades, changes to training packages. This could possibly contribute to a reduction of VET trainers in schools. As VET plays an integral role in schools supporting students from varying backgrounds and providing real life experiences and real opportunities for employment, I am concerned of the flow on from the thought of another upgrade.


  3. Hi Alan, I have sent a request to join the LinkedIn AVA group. I would also like to express my interest to be part of the organising committee. I am a consultant who works with a number of RTOs who I have also invited to join AVA. I develop and design courses as well.


  4. While it may not strictly be in this remit, I would hope consultation includes consumers of TAE40116. For instance, I am a trainer / assessor in a very large emergency service which relies almost entirely on volunteers to deliver a huge number of internal and accredited courses. The organisation lost almost half its volunteer TA’s as a result of the recent 16 upgrade, with increasing difficulty retaining same due to increasing requirements for compliance, PD and the like. If professional TA’s are feeling the weight (which we are), imagine what it is like for a volunteer? I can only imagine what the response to yet another upgrade might be. While I certainly agree on the need for high standards and to maintain currency and relevance, those considering further upgrades should, at least, consider potential collateral damage at the consumer end.


    1. Colin, I hear what you are saying. It is not up to me to give an ‘official reply’ to what you have raised, but I have been told that the Education IRC will try to avoid the need for another TAE upgrade. We can only hope that the need for an upgrade can be avoided.
      Kind regards, Alan


  5. A great idea.
    As one who has been a VET trainer to both Local and International students for the past 20 years or so and had to go through the various upgrades at my own expense I am interested in joining please.

    Many thanks
    Michael Stockdale


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