Challenges facing VET: Effective adult class size

Challenges facing VET


The number of students in an adult classroom has been the center of attention for the researchers for a few years. There have been various manifolds in perspectives of research regarding this subject. Some of the researchers suggest smaller class sizes are better whereas others deny the productivity of small classroom sizes and recommend larger classrooms Read more…

Marking assessments – do we need to change our mind-set?

Challenges facing VET

Over the years, many of my colleagues have had a whinge about marking.  They enjoy the training but they see marking as an unpleasant chore.

I’m wondering if this is because it’s just seen as “compliance paperwork”, whereas I view marking as one of the best opportunities we can have to deliver training. Read more…

Challenges facing VET – Do learning resources motivate learning?

Challenges facing VET


I was talking to a client yesterday about learning resources.  He is happy to write his own assessment resources (and prefers to do so because he can tailor them to the learner groups).  On the other hand, he says he doesn’t have time to write the learning material.  He has tried several approaches, and the last approach was to provide a textbook.  That didn’t work either.  It was a good textbook but the learners were resistant to reading so much information.

Then there is the dilemma Read more…

Challenges facing VET – Is it too radical to require a workplace?

Challenges facing VET

I ‘joined’ the VET sector back in 1999 in a local not-for-profit VET provider (remember Skillshares?).

We were running primarily ‘jobseeker’ style courses.

We had three key focus – get people skills; get people a job; get a contract in the next tender round. I’m pleased to say that they were almost always in that order.

I didn’t have much experience in VET at the time. My only exposure had been a wholly poor previous experience as a student at my local TAFE (Don’t fret – I have had many wonderful experiences with TAFE over the years since as both student and teacher – I am reliably informed that in my teenage years [at least] I was not a great student to teach). Read more…

Challenges facing VET – Just turning up is not enough.

Challenges facing VET


I train First Aid  specifically. I find that there is an expectation that students will be deemed competent just by attending a course. We train a one day course with E-Learning and whilst not mandatory many students consider it an imposition on their time. Workplaces often say their employees won’t do it. Read more…

Challenges Facing VET – What is it and where did it come from?

Challenges facing VET

Challenges facing VET is a response to what has become a difficult landscape for all training professionals.   There is much to discuss, digest and directions to determine.

As an industry, it is critical that we do this together.  Our strength lies in our ability to take the best ideas from each other and nurture from those ideas greater ideas. Read more…

Challenges facing VET – Expectations associated with Assessment

Challenges facing VET

There’s probably no surprise that sooner or later someone would bring up assessment as a challenge in VET.

Audit results show it as a number one issue, anecdotal evidence shows it as a number one issue, and the number of forums, webinars and other PD offerings available and dedicated to explaining assessment-related concepts, show it as a number one issue.

Why is this the case? A number of reasons, I’m sure. However, I’m not entirely sure that I agree assessment per se is the issue. Read more…

Challenges facing VET – Do we need to re-think the role of trainers and assessors?

Challenges facing VET

Over the years the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment has been revised several times:

The purpose (or justification) of each change was to improve the overall quality and reliability of training and assessment by improving the competencies of trainer/assessors. Read more…

Challenges facing VET – is there a place for Training Products in a Service Sector?

Challenges facing VET


A common complaint among TAE Cert IV students is that it has far too much jargon and terminology.  Many of those students find the qualification somewhat impenetrable because of that language, and this reduced the qualification’s effectiveness.

That is not new to anyone.

But what if the language used more broadly in VET was also reducing the effectiveness of qualifications?

I am referring here to one term in particular: Training ProductRead more…

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…