The Effectiveness of Upgrading Certificate IV in Training & Assessment. Insights from a Survey of Candidates.

The following Abstract is based on research conducted by Fortress Learning’s Nik Bogduk and Bryan West.  It has been accepted for presentation at the Australian Deans of Education Vocational Education Group (ACDEVEG), 2019, Conference, to be held at Charles Sturt University in December.  The Conference website is here. 

Access to “quality and capable VET teachers” is a global concern (Rasmusssen, 2016) Recent changes in Vocational Education and Training have required Trainers to upgrade their Certificate IV.  While the intention was an effort to improve standards (Australian Skills Quality Authority, 2015), relying on upgrading the Certificate IV is dissonant with the recommendations of earlier (Simons & Smith, 2008; Smith & Grace, 2011; Smith & Yasukawa, 2017) and subsequent researchers (Rasmussen, 2016; Smith & Yasukawa, 2017). Read more…

How long your Cert IV TAE takes depends on marking times.

How long does it take to complete TAE Cert 4

Asking how long it takes to complete the Cert 4 in Training & Assessment (TAE40116) is very much like asking how long is a piece of string.  But, there is one thing more than others that has an incredible impact on how long it is going to take you to graduate.

And it is something that is entirely out of your control and which may cause you to pull your hair out if you are not aware of it.

What is it? Read more…

When it comes to upgrading the Cert IV TAE, meeting the April 1 deadline might be the most risky approach.

Running late for the TAE Upgrade

As the deadline for the change in Standards draws ever nearer, so the emotions surrounding the TAE Upgrade situation continue to rise.  Amid those emotions is the question of what will happen to people who have not upgraded?

Before launching into what we think, it is safe to say that the sky will likely not fall in and, to our minds, this means it is better to take a bit more time to get the Upgrade done properly, than try to shortcut it just to meet the deadline. Read more…

In defense of TAEASS502 – the single unit that might help the VET industry regain its confidence.

regOn the surface, it would seem that the majority opinion is that TAEASS502 does not belong in the TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training & Assessment.  We do not need to look far to find some very assertive – and often very aggressive – comments that lambast the decision to include it as a Core in the new Cert IV TAE.

We disagree.  And it is not because of the effect on people doing the whole TAE40116 qualification, who are starting from scratch.  Rather, it is because it of the effect on people who have done the old one.  It is quite possible that this effect will help the VET sector as a whole regain some confidence. Read more…

Why Upgrading the TAE40116 has to include more than we would like.

Okay, so the new TAE40116 includes two units that are not equivalent to their TAE40110 predecessors:  TAEASS401 and TAEASS403.

The old TAEASS401b required people to plan 2 assessments.  The new one requires people to plan 5 assessments.

The old TAEASS403b required people to participate in 2 validations.  The new requires people to participate in 3 validations.

On the face of it, it would seem then that all you should need to do is show the planning of 3 more assessments and participation in one more validation.  But there is more to it. Read more…

The Ten Painful Truths about the Cert IV TAE

Painful Truths Cert IV TAE RTO Fortress Learning

To be brutally frank, the Cert IV TAE may well be Australia’s most resented qualification. For many people, it is something that they would rather have done than something that they want to do. For many people, it is something that they have to do to satisfy someone else’s requirements rather than something that they want to do to satisfy their own requirements.

Regardless of the reasons for doing it, there are some realities about the Cert IV TAE that we believe prospective students should be aware of. Why? Because it is not in the interests of our students or ourselves to enrol in something that ends up being something that they did not expect. And, thinking bigger picture, it is not in the interests of our nation for people to walk around thinking that they are competent after completing a program that was not sufficiently robust to ensure that they were competent.
So, here it is….
The painful truths.  All 10 of them.

Read more…

The Cert IV TAE: How “unlearning” can help you learn more

“Unlearning is not about forgetting. It’s about the ability to choose an alternative mental model or paradigm. When we learn, we add new skills or knowledge to what we already know. When we unlearn, we step outside the mental model in order to choose a different one.” – Harvard Business Review.

Unlearning what we already know can be tricky. It’s like going to a new country and learning how to drive on the opposite side of the road. Your cognitive memory has to unlearn the old in order to make way for the new.

Read more…

Studying a Cert IV TAE with Fortress Learning: User-Friendly

Every now and then, a Cert IV TAE 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 Denise said:

“I found this RTO extremely user-friendly, my trainer Emma was fantastic and was always extremely kind and helpful throughout the course. She encouraged me and motivated me to pursue my studies in a very difficult time and made me feel on top of the world once I achieved the tasks at hand. Hands down the best RTO I have dealt with. Thank you Fortress Learning I look forward to my future studies with your organisation.”

Read more…

What the Cert IV TAE is and isn’t

The Cert IV TAE has changed over the years. While the qualification has been transforming and evolving over a period of decades, public perception of what the course involves has remained largely the same.

In an effort to clear up any myths and misconceptions associated with the Cert IV TAE, I interviewed Fortress Learning’s very own Cert IV TAE Trainer, Emma Siebuhr.

Here is what Emma had to say:

In your own words, what is the Cert IV TAE?

I believe that the CERT IV TAE is a great Qualification to support people already really knowledgeable about their own industries.

It lets you develop a lot more understanding of exactly what it means to design and create your own training and assessment materials – not just work off of someone else’s designs.

It gives you back the ownership for what you can do as a trainer and assessor and provides you with skills to be able to actually write your own sessions and design the perfect assessment tool for assessing the units that you deliver. Read more…

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”.

Read more…

How will I be assessed in Fortress Learning’s TAE40116 Cert IV TAE?

Everyone expects that the Cert IV TAE will include something to do with delivering training.  Everyone expects that they will be assessed in delivering some training.  But, there is much more to the Cert IV TAE and that means there is much more to its assessment than just delivering training.

This picture will show you how Fortress Learning has structured assessment in its Certificate IV in Training & Assessment course. Read more…

Should I Upgrade my Cert IV TAE or just do the Dip VET? Why not have the Option of doing both?


As we move away from the TAE40110 Cert IV TAE, more and more people are questioning the value of the qualification:  Do I even need a Cert IV TAE anymore?  Should I just do the Dip VET?

It is a great question, but one that is not so easily answered.   There certainly is a shift toward the Dip VET being the qualification held by people who want to be taken seriously as training professionals, and there are more and more jobs that have it as an essential requirement.

But, there are still lots of people – and employers – who want to see the Cert IV TAE as well.   Rightly or wrongly, there is an assumption that people who have the Dip VET but not the Cert IV have somehow jumped too far ahead – they might have learned to run, but they cannot be trusted to walk….

It’s a vexed situation, and one that complicates the decision about whether to upgrade the Cert IV or just go for the Dip VET. Read more…

Upgrading from TAE40110 to TAE40116 with Fortress Learning: What does it look like?

TAE40116 Upgrade

The new TAE40116 Cert IV in TAE is not entirely the same as the older TAE40110 Cert 4 TAE. While not everyone will be jumping to upgrade, people who are wanting to distinguish themselves as training professionals are telling us that they are keen to do so.

Yes, 8 of the 10 units are equivalent but don’t be fooled into thinking that a TAE40116 Upgrade can just be a matter of showing your old certificate and showing a resume or job description.
Knowing what is involved first requires knowledge of what has changed.  Here, we will go through the differences between TAE40116 and TAE40110, and what it means for your Upgrade with Fortress Learning.

Read more…

Studying your Cert IV TAE: 10 strategies to decimate distractions

Life is full of distractions (we promise this article isn’t one of them).

When it comes to completing your online Cert IV TAE course – or any other course for that matter – distractions could be the difference between success and failure.

We all know how good it feels to be completely consumed by a task and operating at maximum productivity, but how do you get rid of those pesky distractions and get in “THE ZONE”?

Here are 10 strategies to help you deal with distractions while you complete your Cert IV TAE. Read more…

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…

Why is Fortress Learning investing in VET research?

When we advertised the role of Research Coordinator we expected some people to ask about the job and see whether it might fit with them.  What we didn’t expect was the level of interest in why we are wanting to conduct research in VET in the first place.

This idea is one that has been discussed in Fortress Learning for some years, but it was only recently that the commitment was made to explore it further.  During a 2017 visit to China, our Manager, Bryan Read more…