Your ‘why’: to comply or to perform?

Every now and then, a Triple Diploma student writes a Review that we believe deserves to be featured and discussed. Instead of them ending up hidden among the others, we will share them with you, and let you know our thoughts about them.

This is what Raj said:

When I started this program almost a year ago, my aim was to quickly go through a program to maintain industry currency and compliance in an industry sector that is becoming more and more complicated with stricter governance standards.

However, as I started working through the materials, I was pleasantly surprised at the level of support, and professionalism from you and your team.  That level of professionalism forced me to stop and reconsider my motives, and apply what I already knew, more professionally, and as would be expected from a professional in the L&D sector.

I want to thank you and your team for all your support and efficiency in making this possible.  As you know, in this year I have also embarked on a new business venture and having someone from your office monitoring my progress and keeping me on track has been a huge plus.

I would recommend your RTO – and I do – to anyone looking to further their studies.

All the best to you and your team.

Best Regards

Raj Nathoo, Fortress Learning Triple Diploma of Business, Business Administration and Leadership and Management Graduate.

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The single best predictor of success for Cert IV TAE and Diploma students

What do all successful Fortress Learning students have in common? Discipline.

“Discipline is the ability to give yourself a command and then follow it.” – Bob Proctor.

When it comes to completing your Cert IV TAE or Diploma, you don’t have to like it to do it; you don’t even have to want to do it; you just have to choose to do it.

“My only issues in completing the course were due to procrastination given the flexible study pattern.” – Jacob, Fortress Learning Cert IV TAE Graduate.

Jacob is not alone. When you have 6 months or a whole year to complete a qualification, it is very easy to think, “I’ve got heaps of time, I’ll just start it tomorrow”.

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Why response times matter for Cert IV TAE and Dip VET online learners.

Cert IV TAE and Dip VET online

If there is one thing we have learned over our years of training Cert IV TAE and Dip VET students, it is this:  people don’t just like to know what is happening, they need to know when it will happen.

Everyone is busy.   Our students are busy professionals who are juggling the often competing demands for limited time.  And limited energy.

So, when they have a window of opportunity to get some of their course done, they need to make the most of it. Read more…

Uncomfortable… Difficult.. I’m happy.


Every now and then, a Business Diploma student writes a Review that we believe really captures what Fortress Learning tries do. Instead of them ending up hidden among the others, we will share them with you, and try to explain why we think they are so appropriate.

Sienna – what did she say?

The trainers and the staff working at the academy are very nice, and most of time they reply within 3 days or so.

What I found very disappointing is:

  1. Every time I had to submit an assessment, the observer had to sign and write some feedback about me… 18 times is way too much, it was very uncomfortable..
  2. Some assessments are too long to complete, and quite difficult … But I have to say that every time I had a problem, they called me to try to help me…

… Overall, my experience was good, however, I wouldn’t repeat with them but now that I finished I´m happy with the result. Read more…

Conversations: Meagan talks about her Diploma with Fortress Learning (video).

I had the pleasure of speaking with Meagan Probert from Key Assets, an Australia-wide foster care organisation.
Meagan is currently enrolled in a Diploma of Leadership & Management with Fortress Learning. The mother of two has a Bachelor of Social Work and has worked in the field for over 20 years. Her current role at Key Assets is Manager of Learning Development and Practice.
I had a lovely chat with Meagan, where among other things, we discussed:
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My Role as Your Trainer (Infographic)

Trainers don’t just train.  They listen, they learn, they plan, they adapt, they help, they soothe, they challenge and they tolerate.

Students expect all this, and often more besides.  But, for a Trainer to be effective at training, they must be very clear about what is most important. Read more…

Dear Future Student

Dear future student

Soon, you will be starting a journey of sorts.  It could be an amazingly wonderful experience filled with great moments of illumination, or it could be aching drudgery.  It will probably be a bit of both.  Either way, we will be in it together.

In many ways, it is like going for a walk in the woods.

When we begin, we will Read more…

Just because nobody ever told you, doesn’t mean you’re not.

The former Google employee who worked out the value of honest feedback has something that all managers can learn from.  In simple terms, her model of Radical Candour offers hope to those people who feel trapped in a world where being anything but nice is considered the same as harassment, bullying and betrayal.

But, if someone in the Manager’s chair is to do their job, then they will have to Read more…

To cut the rope? Lessons for leaders from Touching the Void.

So much is written about leadership & management.  And how it is about people, and relationships.

While that may be true, someone who occupies such a position is ultimately there to make decisions.  These are often made within difficult circumstances and these decisions will invariably affect those people and those relationships, in different ways and to different degrees.

After all, the leader is by virtue of their position tethered to not just one, but to the many.

For the leader, the decision to act this way or that is not always about making thebest decision.

Instead, it is often about making the least-worst decision.

At its most basic, it is about making decisions when we really would rather not. Read more…

How does Fortress Learning respond to the challenges of online learning?

Child listeningIt starts by listening.

One thing our staff like to do is listen.  It’s a skill we look for when recruiting our people.  We like to listen because that tells us if our students are succeeding, and we want to know that for the simple reason that if they don’t succeed, then neither do we.

Since we started delivering the TAA Cert IV online in 2009, we have listened to thousands of students.

So, what have we heard?

We have heard that online learning offers many advantages, and our recent survey of 300 people confirmed what we already believed (you can read about that here):  It can be flexible, it can be rewarding, it can be affordable, it can be efficient.  But, it also can be a lonely path filled with anxiety and uncertainty.

But, as with all things, can does not equal is.  It is only when conscious choices are made that the benefits of online learning can be achieved.

For us, online learning is first and foremost about people. Read more…

It just depends: Online versus Face-to-Face?




This article will seek to summarise the recurring themes that emerged from a survey of 300 people, drawn mostly from a number of Linkedin and Facebook groups related to VET and higher education.  Where used here, the responses of participants will be in italics – other than correcting a few typos, the comments are unedited.

Perhaps not surprisingly is the almost universal agreement that one is not intrinsically better than the other.  Or, in the words of one respondent:

…it just depends.

While that may be true, it is not by itself helpful for people trying to decide which way is best for them.

Read more…

Pieces of Paper Say More about Attitude than Skills


Bernard Salt was giving advice in his Weekend Australian column.  He reckons that being over 50, he is entitled to do so (with the European cruise to come later, in his 60s).

Anyway, his advice was to kids, and it was simply two things that he believes are required  to ensure career and/or business success.  

1. the first thing you need is training.  I wouldn’t want to be … approaching the 2020s without an accredited set of skills.

2. the second thing is less tangible.  It is a set of qualities; the all important soft-skills, including the killer soft skill that … comes deep within the core personality.  Are you resilient?

I tend to agree, and wonder if these two are very closely linked.

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Three Steps to Effective Learning Objectives

Vect-11-12 [Converted]

All learning must be focused towards a goal. Without a goal, one has no way of knowing whether they’ve arrived or not. In VET, we call these goals our “Learning Objectives.” They define what we expect our learners to be able to do once the training is over and they are assessed.
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Changes in Business Document Design


Business documentation has changed through the years. Whereas documentation used to refer to printed paper forms which had to be filled out and filed, today’s business uses mostly electronic forms. While some of these are still printed and filled out manually, the majority of them are only created electronically and are maintained only as computer records.
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Has Your Company Gone Green Yet?


It seems like there’s a lot of focus in today’s marketplace over the idea of “going green.” The general public has taken at least a passing interest in ecology and is rewarding companies which show the same interest with brand loyalty. This, of course, gives companies a reason to profess an interest in the environment as well, implementing sustainability strategies to garner public approval.
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Getting Your Team Together


Leading a project team is even more challenging than managing a department; even more so if one has to lead an inter-disciplinary team. A manager has the pull of controlling their employees’ performance reviews and therefore their raises, while a team leader doesn’t. So, it takes considerably more leadership skill to be a team leader than it does to be a manager.
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The Learner Who Just Doesn’t Get It


One of the saddest things to face in a training cycle is when a learner doesn’t pass their qualifications assessment. This can be particularly hard on some learners, depending upon their individual personality. Some will want to quit, others will blame the trainer, and still others will just get depressed.
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