Replacement for the TAE40116 qualification (Part 1)

The TAE Training Package is currently under review. And this includes the development of one or more qualifications to replace the TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment qualification. I am publishing two article to explore what may replace the TAE40116 qualification.

This first article takes a historical look at the qualification packaging rules that have been used to develop training and assessment skills. A second article will look at what the future qualification packaging rules may look like.

Qualification packaging rules

The packaging rules for a qualification specify the total number of number required. It states the number of core units and the number of elective units. And it lists the core units and identifies what units can be selected as electives.

Some qualifications have a small number of core units and many elective units. And there are a small number of qualifications that have all core units and no elective units. Qualifications that are used for occupations or work functions in a highly regulated industry sector will usually have no or very few elective units.

How many units should a qualification have?

The TAE40116 qualification is used as the credential specified by VET regulation to work as a trainer and assessor. The qualification packaging rules requires a total of 10 units, consisting of 9 core units and 1 elective unit.

At recent presentations about the TAE Review, it has be said that the average number of units of Certificate IV qualifications is 14. And because of this a future replacement for the TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment qualification may require a total of 14 units.

Using the average number of units for qualifications at an AQF level is not a methodological way of deciding how many units a qualification should have. We may as well pull a number out of a bowl or use an app to randomly generate a number between 8 and 18.

Qualifications should be built to meet the requirements for performing an occupation or work function. If a proper occupational or functional analysis is conducted, the tasks performed will be identified and units of competency can be constructed. Starting with a number, like 14, and then figuring out what will be the units of competency seems to be an inappropriate way to develop a qualification.

How have the qualification packaging rules changed over time?

BSZ40198

The first training package qualification for trainers and assessors was the BSZ40198 Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training (released in 1998). The BSZ40198 qualification had 8 units of competency.

  • BSZ401A Plan assessment
  • BSZ402A Conduct assessment
  • BSZ403A Review assessment
  • BSZ404A Train small groups
  • BSZ405A Plan and promote a training program
  • BSZ406A Plan a series of training sessions
  • BSZ407A Deliver training sessions
  • BSZ408A Review training

All 8 units were required. No electives.

TAA40104

The BSZ40198 qualification was replaced by the TAA40104 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (released in 2004). The TAA40104 qualification required a total of 14 units. There were 12 core units and 2 units had to be selected as electives. The core units were:

Learning environment

  • TAAENV401B Work effectively in vocational education and training
  • TAAENV402B Foster and promote an inclusive learning culture
  • TAAENV403B Ensure a healthy and safe learning environment

Design

  • TAADES401B Use Training Packages to meet client needs
  • TAADES402B Design and develop learning programs

Delivery

  • TAADEL401B Plan and organise group-based delivery
  • TAADEL404B Facilitate work-based learning
  • TAADEL403B Facilitate individual learning

Assessment

  • TAAASS401C Plan and organise assessment
  • TAAASS402C Assess competence
  • TAAASS403B Develop assessment tools
  • TAAASS404B Participate in assessment validation

The listed elective units included:

  • TAADEL301C Provide training through instruction and demonstration of work skills
  • TAADEL402B Facilitate group-based learning
  • TAADEL405B Coordinate and facilitate distance-based learning
  • TAAENV404B Develop innovative ideas at work
  • TAATAS401B Maintain information requirements of training and/or assessment organisations
  • TAALLN401B Address language, literacy and numeracy issues within learning and assessment practice

How did we go from 8 units to 14 units?

The following table compares the BSZ40198 and TAA40104 qualifications.

The total total number of units had been increased because:

  • 3 generic units were added
  • a unit about using training packages was added
  • a unit about delivering work-based learning was added.

TAE40110

The TAA40104 qualification was replaced by the TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (released in 2010). The TAE40110 qualification required a total of 10 units. There were 7 core units and 3 units had to be selected as electives. The core units were:

Design

  • TAEDES402A Use training packages and accredited courses to meet client needs
  • TAEDES401A Design and develop learning programs

Delivery

  • TAEDEL401A Plan, organise and deliver group-based learning
  • TAEDEL402A Plan, organise and facilitate learning in the workplace

Assessment

  • TAEASS401B Plan assessment activities and processes
  • TAEASS402B Assess competence
  • TAEASS403B Participate in assessment validation

How did we go from 14 units to 10 units?

The following table compares the TAA40104 and TAE40110 qualifications.

The total total number of units had been increased because:

  • The three generic units were integrated within other units
  • Merging two units into one (twice).

TAE40116

The TAE40110 qualification was replaced by the TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (released in 2016). The TAE40116 qualification required a total of 10 units. There were 9 core units and 1 unit had to be selected as an elective. The core units were:

Design

  • TAEDES402 Use training packages and accredited courses to meet client needs
  • TAEDES401 Design and develop learning programs

Delivery

  • TAEDEL401 Plan, organise and deliver group-based learning
  • TAEDEL402 Plan, organise and facilitate learning in the workplace

Assessment

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

Language, literacy and numeracy

  • TAELLN411 Address adult language, literacy and numeracy skills

Why did the number of core units change?

The following table compares the TAE40110 and TAE40116 qualifications.

It had become common for trainers and assessors to have learners with low LLN skills. Therefore, the LLN unit became core.

ASQA had evidence that the quality of assessment was extremely poor and it believed that poorly skilled assessors was a significant contributing factor. It forced the re-classification of the TAEASS502 unit to become a core unit again, as it was in the TAA40104 qualification. (I actually think the inclusion of the TAEASS502 unit as a core was a good idea but there are many people who would disagree.)

Although the number of core units changed, the total number of units required remained the same.

In conclusion

The following graph shows how the qualification packaging rules have changed over time.

The VET sector is highly regulated. This leads to a greater number of core units. Also, the occupation or work function of a trainer and assessor working in VET has a defined set of tasks to be performed within much variation:

  • Trainers need to plan, organise and deliver group based learning
  • Assessors need to plan, organise and conduct assessment
  • Trainers and assessors working for an RTO are asked to participate at assessment validation meetings
  • Trainer and assessors working for an RTO are asked to develop simple training and assessment resources
  • Trainers and assessors need to know how to address LLN skills
  • Trainers and assessors need to know how training packages and accredited courses are used as the foundations for delivering competency-based training and assessment services.

Technology may have changed since 1998 but the fundamental competencies remain. It is my view that technology should be treated as a foundation skill or current units of competency can be contextualised for the application of various technologies.

What will replace the TAE40116 qualification?

The design of a qualification or qualifications to replace the TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment is underway.

  • Is 14 the right number of units?
  • If there is going to be 14 units, how many units will be core and how many units will be electives?
  • What will the core units be? And what will be the available elective units?

Is 14 the right number of units?

The number 14 has been based on an average. Here are some more numbers based on averages. For the past quarter of a century, there has been four successive qualifications for trainers and assessors to learn to delivery training and conduct assessments. On average, there has been 10.5 total number of units for these qualifications.

The average number of elective units has been 1.5 for these qualifications.

Based on the logic of averages, a replacement for the TAE40116 qualification should have a total of 10 or 11 units with 1 or 2 elective units.

This article has taken a historical view. Some people may not like looking at history. These people may prefer to look forward, and into the future. And that is exactly what I shall do in my next article about what will replace the TAE40116 qualification.

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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