Why the new TAE must cost more

Fair Value Line

I believe the asking price for the new Cert IV TAE and Dip VET will go up. Why?

The TAE has become a commodity. The number of RTOs advertising the qualification has, in recent years, exploded. The number of people demanding the qualification has also increased, with many of these people not really needing all that the Cert IV TAE involves.

The commodification has created a downward pressure on prices, which has squeezed Read more…

Some questions about ASQA’s new Provider Profile

How ASQA chooses to do stuff has a lot to do with risk management. Until recently, this was based on a Risk Rating that they gave each RTO. That score used to essentially inform how closely they would be watching any particular RTO.

This is changing to a new system, called the Provider Risk Profile, which includes something called a Compliance History Indicator. This article will introduce the new system, and then pose some questions about how it will be administered and used to guide future regulatory decisions. Read more…

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…

Continuing Incompetence – The loophole that will undermine the quality of the new TAE Cert IV.

The TAE Cert IV cannot be trusted.  It is common knowledge that holding one does not actually mean you have the skills and knowledge that it is meant to reflect.  That’s why the powers that be have gone to a lot of effort to ensure that Trainers and Assessors are suitably skilled to make a professional contribution to the VET sector, with much of this aimed squarely at the poor quality of Cert IV TAE courses.

However, despite their great efforts, they have left a hole that will allow for continued erosion of standards and a further decline in confidence. Read more…

What we are doing about the new Dip TAE, Dip VET, Dip TDD … or whatever else they are called.

fork in the road

Source: emok.com

Well, this new TAE Training Package has certainly got people talking!

I thought I’d best tell you what is going to happen with the new Diplomas.

The Summary:

We have the new Dip TDD on Scope, and have applied for the new Dip VET.

Any student who enrolled in the old Dip TDD is being transferred to graduate in the new one.

We will likely do the same for anyone who enrols in the old Dip VET if/when we get the new one approved.

The cost of the new Diplomas will probably go up A LOT once people get it on Scope.

It will save a heap of time and money to start now.

Read more…

How did we apply for the new TAE40116 Cert IV TAE and TAE50116 Dip VET.


We submitted our application to have the newest Cert IV TAE and Dip VET in early June.  Since then, we have had a steady stream of people asking how we went about it since there seems to be general consensus that the whole thing is a bit of a mess, really (see image of my brain, above, taken during the process of putting together our application).

I’ll try to break it into some simple-ish steps that we followed, and then offer some thoughts on what seemed to work.

What did we do?

  1. Ensure that our house was in order

Read more…

Individualised RPL process for the Cert IV TAE and Dip VET

walking up stairs

Every now and then, a graduating student writes a Review that we believe really captures what we try to do, in this case about RPL for the Cert IV TAE and Dip VET. 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.

What did they say?

Owen: Provided one of the most suitable RPL programs I have seen. It addressed broader learning and skills through detailed authentification without being a tick and flick.  Where further training was required all resources provided a high level of information.

Cecile: I felt as though throughout my RPL the process was smooth and easy. Bryan was very patient with me and my OCD. Thank you for getting all my results back to me so quickly as well, it was great to get that feedback almost immediately.

Jason: As a VET professional, I am always concerned with integrity, as there are many RTOs and Assessors out there that give us all a bad name through the use of “tick and flick”. Fortress Learning is not like that at all, they assess and grant competency the right way every time, giving every learner the opportunity to show their underpinning knowledge in all forms of assessment.

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…

Dip VET-DipTDD: The way things should be done.

People 1a

Every now and then, a graduating student writes a Review that we believe really captures what we try to do; this time, it is about the Dual Dip VET – Dip TDD program.  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.

Coleen Rivas – what did she say?

Having worked in the VET sector for many years, these guys gave me a great demonstration of how things should be done. The LMS is easy to use, feedback and results are provided within 24 hours and support is available whenever required. Benchmark RTO. For those doing TAE qualifications, the learning includes a fantastic example of how an RTO should operate. 5 Star Rating well deserved.

Read more…

Wanting RPL for your TAE Cert IV or Dip VET? The first step is to make sure that you are competent.


To get RPL for any course of study, be it a single Unit or an entire Qualification, means that you can demonstrate that you are competent in all areas of the course. This might seem a bit basic, but experience tells me that there are many people who either wish to shortcut the RPL process, or who do not understand what RPL means in the context of the the Cert IV TAE and Dip VET.  Experience tells us that it is better for people to reduce the number of “unknown unknowns”.

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?

Source: emok.com

Source: emok.com


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…

There is only try. Or, why Yoda needs a footnote.


Do or do not.  There is no try.

Chances are we can all recall the scene.  Yoda was getting Luke to do something that Luke was not confident with – lifting rocks with his mind or some-such.

At the risk of pitting my wisdom against that of Yoda, I must disagree.  Well, until yesterday I agreed fully.  But something happened yesterday that caused me to question it.

So, what happened yesterday?

Well, after 6 terms of turning up to his weekly gymnastics lesson, our 9 year old son has “levelled up”.  (That’s him in the photo, teaching me how to play piano…)

Most kids, we are told, take maybe a term or two to move to their next level.    I suspect the ones that don’t tend to lose heart and give up.

And that is why I think we ought to be a bit cautious with accepting Yoda’s advice at face value.

Do needs Try

If our Tom had accepted Yoda’s wisdom, then he could easily have resigned himself to not being able to Do, and from that decided that there was no point in Try.

And yet, he did the opposite.  And, watching his humble smile as he accepted the handshake of his coach, I could not help but be inspired by his grit and determination to prevail.

When the Do did not come easy, when others came and went, he took the only available course of action, which was Try.

In fact, he stuck to the Try until that became a Do.  And, after the school holidays, he will return to Level 4, and will continue to Try.

Which is why I think Yoda’s words are perhaps best rephrased:

Do or do not.  There is only try.