TAE40116 is an entry requirement for working in VET

The TAE Training Package is being reviewed, including the TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment qualification. The TAE40116 qualification is the most important qualification in the Australian VET system because the quality delivery of training and assessment services depends upon having skilled trainers and assessors.

The TAE40116 qualification is the entry requirement for working in VET.

The Qualification Description states: [1]

“This qualification reflects the roles of individuals delivering training and assessment services in the vocational education and training (VET) sector.”

And the Entry Requirements states: [1]

“Those entering this program must be able to demonstrate vocational competency in their proposed teaching and assessing area. Vocational competency is defined as broad industry knowledge and experience, and may include, but is not limited to, holding a relevant unit of competency or qualification.”

The possibility of replacing the TAE40116 qualification with something else raises some questions:

  • Why do people do the TAE40116 qualification?
  • How many people do the TAE40116 qualification because they want to work in VET?
  • Is the TAE40116 qualification required by all trainers?
  • Who must have the TAE40116 qualification?

Answers to these questions will help to determine what will replace the TAE40116 qualification.

Why do people do the TAE40116 qualification?

Some people do it because they are told they must do it. For example,

  • An RTO offers someone a job on the proviso of them getting the TAE40116 qualification (usually trades people, especially plumbers because of the short supply of trainers in the plumbing industry sector)
  • Teachers who are going to deliver a VET in Schools program are told that they need to get the TAE40116 qualification
  • Employees who are going to deliver training or conduct assessments as part of a VET program (workplace trainers, industry trainers, enterprise trainers, etc.)
  • Volunteers who are going to deliver training or conduct assessments as part of a VET program (community services trainers, emergency services trainers, etc.)
  • People seeking a HR job that specifies holding the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment as a job selection criteria.

Some people may be told by a friend, work colleague or career adviser to do it because it would be good for their future employment. For example,

  • Trades people who are getting older and are needing a job that is ‘off the tools’
  • Unemployed people who are struggling to get a job
  • Employed people who are wanting a job with better pay
  • Employed people who are wanting a better job at work
  • People wanting to become a trainer (working outside of the VET system)
  • New migrants who are highly qualified and may have worked for overseas universities but can not get employed at an Australian university.

Some people do it because they want to get a job working for TAFE or other RTO. Often, these people have limited or no idea about the opportunities open to working for private RTOs or jobs outside of TAFE institutes.

How many people do the TAE40116 qualification because they want to work in VET?

From my experience, most people commence the TAE40116 qualification without much knowledge of VET. And many of these people do not understand that the purpose of the TAE40116 qualification is to develop the entry-level skills required to work in VET as a trainer and assessor.

Many people are surprised by the content that they must learn. The terminology of VET is new to most. The need to be compliant with VET regulations, and the rigor of competency-based assessment is challenging for many. Some wonder if it was a good decision to have started to do the TAE40116 qualification. But none of this is good reason to change the TAE40116 qualification.

I think about 50% start the TAE40116 qualification with a clear idea about the career pathway into VET. And about 50% are unclear about the prime purpose of the TAE40116 qualification or think it is something that it isn’t.

Is the TAE40116 qualification required by all trainers?

No. Not every trainer needs the TAE40116 qualification. It is only the trainers who will deliver VET programs that require it. And this requirement is primarily determined by the VET regulations.

Some people start the TAE40116 qualification without understanding that it has the prime purpose of providing a pathway into the role of trainer and assessor working in the VET sector. There are valid alternatives to doing the TAE40116 qualification, such as:

  • TAE skill set
  • TAE unit or units of competency
  • Non-VET training course to learn the skills of being a trainer.

I have explored these alternatives in an article titled, ‘What credentials do trainers need?

Who must have the TAE40116 qualification?

RTOs often want to employ trainers and assessors with the TAE40116 qualification. This makes it easier during an audit to prove that a person meets the requirements as specified by the Standards for RTOs (Clause 1.14 and Schedule 1). [2]

However, not every trainer need to have the TAE40116 qualification. A person can deliver training for an RTO without holding the TAE40116 qualification (but they must work under the supervision of a qualified trainer). Also, they cannot determine assessment outcome (but they can still contribute to assessment). The only people who can determine assessment outcomes are those who hold the following four units of competency: [3]

  • TAEASS401 Plan assessment activities and processes
  • TAEASS402 Assess competence
  • TAEASS403 Participate in assessment validation
  • TAEASS502 Design and develop assessment tools.

Most RTOs do not want to employ someone to only deliver training. They do want their trainers to conduct assessments. Therefore, the only mandated credential required to work for an RTO are the four specified TAEASS units.

In conclusion

TAE40116 qualification is the doorway to a career as a trainer and assessor working in the VET sector. But other people try to use it for other purposes. And then these people say that the TAE40116 qualification is ‘not fit for purpose’. It is fit for the purpose it was designed for. It has not been designed for non-VET applications.

The TAE Training Package review will need to tackle some tricky questions:

  • Will the TAE40116 qualification be replaced by more than one qualification?
  • If there will be more than one qualification, will there be a qualification that allows people to ‘work in VET’ and another qualification that allows people to ‘work outside of VET but prohibits them from working in VET’ because they won’t have the required credentials specified by the Standards for RTOs?
  • Will having different qualifications cause confusion and disappointment? Confusion at the time of enrolment because people won’t understand which qualification is ‘better’. Disappointment after attaining one qualification to only discover they can’t work in VET because they needed a different qualification (or different elective units).
  • What will the AQF level be for the qualification or qualifications that replace the TAE40116 qualification?

I am watching and waiting to see what the TAE Training Package review will bring. I anticipate that it will bring confusion and disappointment. And I anticipate the quality of VET will not be improved by replacing the current TAE40116 qualification.

What do you think?

References

[1] https://training.gov.au/Training/Details/TAE40116 accessed 19 November 2021

[2] https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.13-to-1.16 accessed 19 November 2021

[3] https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2019C00503 accessed 19 November 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.

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