Should I upgrade to the new TAE40122 qualification?

I am regularly being asked, “should I upgrade to the new TAE40122 qualification?”

My initial response is, “it would be a very brave person to directly answer this question, and I am unsure if I am that brave”. I cannot give a short and direct answer, but I am happy to provide the following information so that people can make an informed decision.


The TAE40122 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment qualification has replaced the TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment qualification. Thankfully, the TAE40122 qualification has been deemed ‘equivalent to’ and the ‘successor of’ the TAE40116 qualification.

Qualifications are equivalent but units are not

The purpose of declaring the TAE40122 qualification as ‘equivalent to’ and the ‘successor of’ the TAE40116 qualification was to avoid creating a situation that would automatically require another TAE upgrade (like the upgrade from the TAE40110 qualification to the TAE40116 qualification).

The TAE40116 qualification required ten units of competency. The following chart compares the nine core units for the TAE40116 qualification with units for the TAE40122 qualification.

Only one unit of competency is equivalent (and it is not listed as a core unit for the TAE40122 qualification). This means that most TAE units of competency that people have attained are not equivalent.

It can get complicated for a person who wants to upgrade from the TAE40116 qualification to the TAE40122 qualification. There are several extra units required and many gaps because units from their TAE40116 qualification have been declared as ‘non-equivalent’. This means the opportunity for credit transfer is extremely limited. People may be able to apply for recognition of prior learning (RPL), but that will be dependent upon the person’s experience working for an RTO.

It will get more complicated for people wanting to upgrade from a TAE40110 qualification, and there are still some people who may want to upgrade from their TAA40104 qualification or BSZ40198 qualification.

What might create a situation that forces an upgrade?

The Standards for RTOs are the regulations that specify the credentials to be held by people delivering training and assessment services. Currently, the ‘TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment or its successor’ is the specified credential.

The following is an extract from the Standards for RTOs, Schedule 1 that shows the details, and it shows the additional complexity for people who have the TAE40110 qualification instead of the TAE40116 qualification.

Upgrade is not required just because the qualification has changed

The change of qualification, from TAE40116 to TAE40122, does not automatically require a trainer or assessor working for an RTO to upgrade. This is because the TAE40122 qualification has been deemed the successor of the TAE40116 qualification.

What happens when the Standards for RTOs get changed?

The Standards for RTOs are being reviewed, and new Standards for RTOs are likely to be released during 2023. Currently, there are no details regarding the credentials that will be specified for trainers and assessors working for an RTO.

It is the Standards for RTOs that will determine if trainers or assessors will be required to upgrade their TAE qualification. We need to wait for the details.

Should I upgrade?

At the time when this article was written, 5th of December 2022, it is unnecessary to upgrade because the TAE40116 qualification is still the credential that is specified in current Standards for RTOs. Therefore, upgrading from the TAE40116 qualification to the TAE40122 qualification is discretionary, not mandatory if you want to continue working as a trainer or assessor for an RTO. However, some people may still want to explore if they should upgrade.

What will it cost to upgrade? And how much time and effort will it take to upgrade?

Will it be worth the time and money to upgrade?

Answers to these questions may vary for each individual, and the amount and type of experience they have had working for an RTO. A person may be able to apply for recognition of prior learning (RPL). A person may need to do ‘gap training’ to cover non-equivalent units and ‘full training’ to cover new units.

The process to determine the upgrade pathway is likely to be complex. The time and effort needed will depend on the amount of RPL and the number of gap units that an individual has. And the cost is likely to depend on the amount of training cover the number of new units and the number of gap units required by the individual.

As an exercise, you might like to try mapping the non-equivalent TAE units to identify the gaps. (Then again, you may not like to try this!)

Is a TAE40122 qualified trainer better than a TAE40116 qualified trainer?

Will you be a better trainer and assessor if you upgrade to the TAE40122 qualification? Probably not!

And when will the TAE40122 qualification be replaced? This seems like a strange question to be asking since the new TAE40122 Certificate IV and Training and Assessment qualification has just been endorsed. I am assuming that many people will complain about TAE40122 (for a wide variety of reasons). The Education IRC and their SSO cease to exist after the 31st of December 2022. The Industry Cluster that takes over the responsibility for the TAE Training Package will have no ‘ownership’ of the new TAE40122 qualification. And Skill Standards are planned to replace Units of Competency by mid-2024. We will probably be talking about a new qualification for trainers and assessors working for RTOs in the next two years. Therefore, another upgrade to be considered.

Please tell me, has this article provided you with useful information?

Author: Alan Maguire

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

4 thoughts on “Should I upgrade to the new TAE40122 qualification?”

  1. YES – your overview was useful. It looks like I have about 2yrs to make arrangements to leave the vocational training sector (that I have been a ‘casual trainer’ in for 25yrs) & return to industry when the ‘next’ TAE upgrade likely becomes mandatory to remain a trainer/assessor 🙂


  2. Very Helpful, I too must plan my leaving the industry after 10 years of enjoyable training.
    I had intended to complete the new Diploma in VET to specialize in LLN, however the prerequisites ( TAEASS412, TAEASS413, TAEDEL411 & TAEDES411) are not equivalent to the TAE40110 upgraded or TAE40116.
    This pathway does appear to mandate an upgrade.


  3. I’m just about to complete a TAE40116 course. Sounds like I am okay for the moment but your statement ‘The Standards for RTOs are being reviewed, and new Standards for RTOs are likely to be released during 2023.’ has me worried that by mid 2023 the 40116 course will be rendered obsolete and I’ll need to get the 40122 qualification to work in the VET sector. In terms of upgrading to the 40122 qualification, from your comparison analysis table, given only 1 of the units is comparable – there is unlikely to be any significantly shortened upgrade courses available to convert from 40116 to 40122. Looks like I’ll have to do the full 40122 course bar possibly 1 unit. Its outrageous that they do this. The bulk of any significant teaching course should largely be based off learning fundamental principles that are timeless. The fact that nearly all of this course (TAE40116) become dated and obsolete so quickly (6-10) years demonstrates that these TAE courses are are completely made up of bollocks.


    1. It is extremely weird to have a qualification deemed equivalent but nearly all units of competency not equivalent. Currently, no upgrade is required. We must wait for the new Standards for RTOs to identify what credentials we need to be a trainer working for an RTO. We may not need to upgrade. Many people may agree with your comments (I do!).


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