TAE50116 Diploma of Vocational Education and Training

2.8.21_Cathy_Dual Dip VET TDD Review



NRT logoThis TAE50116 is the latest version of the Diploma of Vocational Education & Training which is now the minimum qualification required to train and assess others in Certificate IV in Training & Assessment (TAE40116) and is perfect for those who want to continue their professional development to stand tall as leaders and educators.

Over 45? You might be eligible for 50% funding.

If you are over 45, you might have half of your course fees paid by the government’s Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers (SCOW) program.

More information on this page.


We're in it together: Doing your TAE during a pandemic.

We prefer to work with our students, and experience tells us that even in the best of worlds our students are very much caught between a world of competing demands, being pulled this way and that.  Their circumstances change rapidly and frequently, and we have learned how to bend and adjust with them, and for them.

In the current situation, we know that our students are experiencing additional demands, and additional uncertainties.  We asked them what they need.  The response was surprisingly simple, and is perhaps best captured in this comment from a current student who is facing redundancy if this situation does not improve quickly:

Don’t change.  Actually, the best thing you can do is just keep doing what you do.

There’s already enough things changing.  We just need to know you will be there when we need you to be.  We always knew you cared, so just keep doing that.

So, that is what we will keep doing, and it is what we will continue doing with you when you decide that we are a good fit.

You see, no matter what is happening ‘out there’ our focus is always going to be with you.  We believe that amid the horrible things that are happening at the moment, there are also opportunities for people who wish to take them.  Thinking bigger, more nationally, I actually believe it is a responsibility.  This will end, and at that time there will be so many opportunities awaiting those who are prepared.  Thinking bigger, I actually believe it is a responsibility for us to use this time to prepare ourselves (we wrote about that HERE).  This will end, and when it does our nation will depend on people being equipped with the skills needed to get things moving, and get things moving quickly. For many of us, that means getting equipped with new skills.  The ability to equip others with new skills is going to be very much a key to our nation’s recovery.

The next few tabs will share some information about our particular way of delivering the program.

If you do not find the answer you are looking for, or if you just want to talk to a real person, then you are welcome to give us a call. 1300 141 994 is the number, or you can book an appointment HERE.


Bryan and Emma: Get To Know Your Trainer


Let’s talk.

If you would like to just talk to a real live human who is living through the same things you are, then give us a call on 1300 141 994, or click here to make an appointment.  It’s the same link our students use, and is part of the way we keep ourselves available to them when they need it.

We look forward to it.

About the Program

Fortress Learning’s Diploma of VET program is intended for experienced VET professionals who hold or seek responsibility for the full range of activities associated with designing, conducting, assessing and evaluating training within an RTO.

We are noticing more and more people saying that they have to have at least the Dip VET to be taken seriously as a training professional, and many others who find that they are unable to progress without it.  The Fortress Learning TAE Diploma program takes this one step further by being specifically designed for people who are seeking the opportunity to develop confidence by reflecting deeply on their professional practice.

Holding a TAE Diploma is key to attaining many Head Teacher and other promotional positions, and an increasing number of RTOs are paying Trainers more when they hold at least the Dip VET.

According to the so-called Packaging Rules, there are no pre-requisites for the TAE Diplomas.  This means that, theoretically, it is possible to go straight into a TAE Diploma without first doing the Cert IV TAE.

However, we do not recommend it, and only in rare situations do we allow people to enter the Fortress TAE Diploma program without first holding the Cert IV TAE.


Quite simply, we do not want to set people up to fail.

The core units of the Diploma of Vocational Education & Training require a fair bit of activity at the coal face of an RTO, including assessment.  These are things that are very difficult to do unless you are working in an RTO as a Trainer/Assessor, and to be working as a Trainer/Assessor in an RTO, you really need to have the Cert IV TAE.

Our experience is that it takes people longer to do just the Dip VET than it is to first do the Cert IV TAE and then do the Dip VET.  This is one of the reasons we usually require people to have the Cert IV TAE before entering the Fortress Learning TAE Diploma program.

Quite simply, it will give you an edge.

At a time when lots of people are complaining about having to do a unit or two to meet the absolute minimum requirement, there is a need for people who are committed to professional growth and excellence.  These people are the ones who are doing more than the minimum, and are reaping the rewards:

  • higher rates of pay (eg, in Victoria, a Dip VET is worth about $6ooo a year extra)
  • better promotional opportunities (eg, in NSW, a Dip VET is needed to be a Head Teacher)
  • improved confidence and credibility arising from our program of structured professional reflection

Fortress Learning’s TAE Diploma program is designed for trainers already working in the Vocational Education & Training sector who recognise that the TAE Diplomas are quickly replacing the Cert IV TAE as the minimum standard required to be taken seriously as a professional trainer/assessor.

You will graduate with the following qualification:

TAE50116 – Diploma of Vocational Education & Training, with a Record of Results showing its units

By completing the program with Fortress Learning, you will not only gain the qualifications, you will gain the confidence that you do possess the knowledge and skills that those qualifications are meant to represent.

Maybe.  Maybe not.

If you are looking to do your TAE Diploma to help get reclassified under the new MEA for TAFE Victoria, then this section is for you.

If you want to be reclassified, you need to cover off  four things:

  • Studies in adult learning methodology
  • Studies in teaching in a Vocational Education environment
  • Studies in Applied Research (linked to the Boyer framework of scholarship)
  • 200 hour teaching practicum

Now, here are some painful truths:

  • neither of the TAE Diplomas is guaranteed to cover off all of the above
  • the above requirements are greater than what the TAE Diploma requires
  • the TAE Diploma can help you to cover off some of the above
  • there will be more to do to get reclassified than just a TAE Diploma

Here is where it gets really messy:

  • There are some TAE Diploma programs that say they meet the requirements.
  • Most won’t.
  • Of the ones that do, be sure that you consider if they:
    • will be very limited in how they allow you to meet the requirements
    • will offer only limited or no RPL, making you do stuff again that you have already done (after all, if you are at this stage of your career, chances are you will have done many things that address many parts of many units)
    • will be all or nothing, requiring you to complete the whole thing before receiving anything to show for it (and risking you losing it all, depending on how strong their business model is)
    • will expect you to keep full documentation of all professional activity for 18 months.
    • will be quick enough to help when you need it
    • are costing the same as their standard Diploma program, despite the additional time and effort required.  This might sound like a good thing, but it could also raise questions.

Here is what we do:

We have structured a specific program for committed training professionals who wish to be reclassified as well as hone their skills.  It is called the Reclassification Readiness Program.

Our program:

  • includes the Dip VET, plus the Dip TDD if you want it.
  • addresses all of the requirements listed above
  • allows you to choose whether to:
    • complete each unit through a combination of RPL or other assessment, reflecting your needs, or
    • complete a suite of professional activity that addresses the requirements of BOTH the TAE Diploma/s and the MEA Reclassification Requirements, or
    • a combination of the above, which we can adjust together throughout the program to ensure we adapt the program when your circumstances change (which they will!)
  • allows you to graduate with the Dip VET (and TDD if you chose that as well) before finishing off the rest.
  • provides you with a specific web application where you can record your professional activity progressively, keeping it safe and showing your progress toward the goals. It looks like THIS.
  • is supported by our swift response times (prove it), and the reputation of a Fortress Learning qualification as meaning what it is meant to
  • is approved by the Victorian TAFE Association as a program to equip you for the reclassification process
  • costs more than the standard TAE Diploma program, because it requires more and takes longer.

You can learn more about the Reclassification Readiness Program from this page.

If you have experience at the coalface of training and assessment in an RTO, then our program is designed for you.

You can expect that there will be many parts of many units that align with many things that you have done in your work.  We will tease out those things, and work out for you the best combination of assessment that reflects both what you have done before and what you will be doing while you are enrolled with us; our goal is to meet the Rules of Evidence, not limit ourselves to traditional definitions.

We do that when you get started, through what we call the Personal Learning Plan process.  That plan will tell you how to approach each unit, in which order and over what time frame to help you succeed in your preferred length of time. (If you’d like to complete the Survey now, you can get hold of it from the Download More Information tab, below.)

Then, we begin.

And as we move forwards, we will together adjust the plan however we need to in response to new information and changed circumstances.

For many of our students, the process is viewed more as one of structured professional reflection rather than mindless hoop-jumping.  And from that reflection comes a personal confidence in your own professional competence.

The simple truth is that very few people who seek to attain a TAE Diploma via RPL will end up doing it entirely via RPL.


We researched this.  People do not know what they do not know and while many highly experienced professionals believed that they could get through entirely through RPL, very few did.  There were always gaps.

That’s not to say that people aren’t capable at doing well what their jobs require. Rather, it is just a reality that very few people do or have done all the things that are required by all the units.  It just doesn’t happen, and our research about that is currently being considered for publication in the International Journal of Training Research. (You will find preliminary findings here.)

So, instead of clawing your way alone through an RPL-Only process only to discover at the end that there are gaps to fill, we do it together as you go.  It means you will be learning what you need to and right when you need to learn it, and progressing more smoothly.

Chances are you will have done the Cert IV TAE Upgrade, which will have included TAELLN411 and TAEASS502.

Both of those can come into your Dip VET via Credit Transfer.  That will leave 8 units left to complete in your Dip VET.

At this time, you can also take care of another two units in one of two ways:

Option A: if you hold another Diploma or Advanced Diploma, we will see if we can bring in another 2 units via Credit Transfer from there.

Option B: If you don’t, then we know there are a couple of units in the Business Diploma program that align very well with the core TAE units, so they don’t take very long to complete via RPL.

That would leave only 6 units to complete, of which there are 5 core and one elective.

We will work all of this out together as part of developing your Personal Learning Plan and remember that we can adjust your Plan and unit selection at any time should you so choose (such as when life throws you another curve ball, or a new opportunity arises).

We won’t leave you in the dark.  We know that once you are underway, making you wait for weeks or months for an email or a phone call for your marking to be reviewed is not just going to lower your motivation and disrupt your learning, it is probably going to make you very frustrated and delay your progress.

Our students are very busy people with narrow windows of opportunity to study.  If you are like them, then when one of those windows opens, you’ll want to make the most of it and you’ll rely on us to help with that.  That’s why you can expect:

  • emails: response within 8 business hours
  • missed calls:  response within 4 business hours
  • marking your submissions:  feedback provided within 4 business days

Actually, these are what we call ‘external measures’.  Our ‘internal measures’ are even stricter (eg, 80% of marking is done within 2 business days…) and when we have trouble meeting our internal measures, we know it is time to slow new enrolments to make sure we maintain our promise to current students.  That’s because we are not driven by the pursuit of more students at the expense of lower standards.

There’s a few others, but these seem to be the main ones that keep our students motivated rather than waiting and wondering.

We know from experience that we cannot be all things to all people.

What we do know is that we work best with people who:

  • Want a training provider who walks the walk, has runs on the board in the VET sector, and is not driven just by short term profits
  • Are horrified by the prospect of being delayed for weeks or months each time they submit an assessment, send an email or make a call to ask a simple question
  • Want to reflect on their own knowledge and skills, and make improvements to both
  • Are open to being assessed fully, and in accordance with the requirements of the qualification in which they are enrolled
  • Appreciate a training provider who can balance a rigorous program with dedicated support
  • Value the windows of opportunity that open for them
  • Are polite and courteous, and who choose to overcome challenges with grace and communication rather than with rude words and a big stick
  • Have a sense of humour and an appreciation for others
  • Strive to be true professionals in their chosen field
  • Want to know that their qualification is more than just a piece of paper.

TAERES501 – Apply research to training & assessment practice is increasingly being sought after because doing it will show Studies in Applied Research that are linked to the Boyer framework of scholarship.

This is particularly relevant to Victorian TAFE Trainers/Assessors, whose  Staff Teaching Agreement states that for either an AQF Level 5 or Level 6 teaching qualification to be approved for the purposes of determining salary, it must include (among other things):

This unit can be included as part of your TAE Diploma or as a standalone unit.  More information is available from here:  https://fortresslearning.com.au/courses/taeres501/


You can choose between a 6 and 12 month enrolment period.  If required, extensions may be available beyond that time.

Experience tells us that most experienced professionals usually take about 6 months to complete their personal program of blended RPL/Coursework Assessment (or closer to 3 months if they are bringing in more units via Credit Transfer).   These people are usually working full-time and juggling families, pets, holidays and all the other things that seem to complicate our lives.

Bear in mind that our quick response times also helps to reduce the total time that it might otherwise take; after all, getting your marking done in less than 4 days (really? prove it) is going to make the whole thing a lot quicker than if it took weeks or months.

This graph shows the percentage of our graduates who took different lengths of time to complete.  The median duration sits between 5 and 6 months.

how long does it take to do a TAE Diploma?


Those without substantial prior experience in delivery and assessment will likely require longer to fulfill all course requirements.

As part of the Personal Learning Plan process, we will ask how long you would ideally like to take to complete and provide guidance about what you would need to do and when in order to complete the course in that timeframe.

How long is it meant to take?

The Australian Qualifications Framework publishes what they believe is a good indication of how long different courses should take.  These are called the Volume of Learning Indicators, and they suggest that a Diploma level qualification should take 1200-2400 hours.


Does it really take that long?

Experience tells us that people entering our programs are not blank slates.  They bring a range of knowledge and experience, and that includes the ability and desire to learn.  Their experience usually allows them to avoid many of the practical components that would otherwise add considerably to the duration; this is largely why the above graph shows that the time it takes is closer to the lower end of the range.

 Over 45? You might be eligible for 50% funding.

If you are over 45, you might have half of your course fees paid by the government’s Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers (SCOW) program.

More information on this page.

The fee will depend on duration of enrolment.  Most people will start with a 6 month enrolment and then extend on that time if required – there is a fee to extend, but it generally works out less costly than paying for time that you may not end up needing.  (The ‘How long will it take’ tab above shows how long most people take.)

Some people ask why we have shorter enrolment durations than other training organisations.  There are two reasons:

  1. Our students are motivated and are keen to get the job done
  2. Because of our quick turnaround times, you won’t find your enrolment period being eaten up waiting for weeks/months every time you need us to mark something, reply to an email or answer the phone.  (Consider this:  we’ll take less than a week to mark your work.  Imagine how much longer your enrolment period would need to be if we kept you waiting for weeks/months to get stuff done…).

You will find the current fees are on our Course Fees page, including payment plan options.

You may select your preferred duration and payment option on the Enrolment Form.

Credit Transfer

TAE Units awarded via credit transfer attract a rebate of $150 each, which will reduce the fee to not less than the minimum qualification fee.  Any rebates are deducted from the final invoice payable.

Hidden Costs?

If your program requires the textbook, Professional Training & Assessment, then you may need to purchase this.  This will be determined once the Personal Learning Plan process has been completed.  About 5% of students will require it.

Experience tells us that students seeking the Dip VET with us will possess a range of relevant experience and qualifications.  That is why we offer the Diploma of VET through a blended pathway of RPL & Coursework Assessment based on your particular needs.

Because no two people are the same, making you jump through the same hoops as everyone else just doesn’t make sense.

That’s why our process often begins with a conversation, which you can make happen by calling us on 1300 141 994, or scheduling directly with one of our Trainers, Emma (HERE) or Bryan (HERE).

It’s not a sales pitch; just us having a conversation so we can both discover if we are a good fit.

Diploma, VET and TDD Process Infographic

Would you like some more information?

If you would like to receive all the relevant information in one go, complete the following form.

Also, because experience tells us that most people don’t actually know what the Diploma units will involve, or what their particular program will need to include, we’ll provide you with the Personal Learning Plan Survey that will help you to discover what you are likely to be “in for”.


First name

The Units of Study

The TAE50116 Diploma of Vocational Education & Training  includes 10 Units of Competency, which are made up of:

6 Core units, plus
4 Elective units

At least 2 Elective units must be selected from the Elective Units tab located on the left.

The remaining 2 Elective units may be selected from any currently endorsed Training Package or accredited course.

We will work out the best combination of units as part of the Personal Learning Plan process once you have started, and can change the combination of units through the course to reflect changes in your circumstance.

Some points to remember:

  • There are no prerequisite requirements for individual Units of Competency.
  • Where a unit is chosen from another currently endorsed Training Package or accredited course, it must be from a qualification or course at Diploma level or above.
  • Elective units must be relevant to the work outcome, local industry requirements and the qualification level.
  • All units are available via RPL. Some units are not available by Coursework Assessment – these are noted as “RPL Only” in the Elective Units tab located on the left.
CodeTitleSummary of Requirements
TAEASS501Provide advanced assessment practiceAssess at least 20 individual candidates from a total of at least 50 units of competency from training packages or accredited courses

Lead assessment processes with and for at least 3 assessors
TAEASS502Design and develop assessment toolsDevelop three assessment tools to assess at least three units of competency

Ensure your tools reflect the Principles of Assessment and Rules of Evidence
TAEDEL502Provide advanced facilitation practiceConduct a minimum of 100 hours of group facilitation
TAEDES501Design and develop learning strategiesDevelop two learning programs and explain how they reflect the needs of your client and the training package.

Review a learning strategy that you or someone else has implemented to make sure that it is improved
TAELLN501Support the development of adult language literacy and numeracy skillsUse tools to identify the LLN skill requirements of the training specification and/or assessment process relevant to vocational delivery

Use various sources to gather information on the current LLN skills of a group of learners, and list at least 5 learners whose LLN levels you have determined using tools based on the ACSF

Select, apply and review the effectiveness of language, literacy and numeracy support strategies relevant to each 5 learners’ context

Determine areas for improvement of own practice

Demonstrate your own continued learning in the topic, and support for other trainers/assessors in relation to LLN practice
TAEPDD501Maintain and enhance professional practiceReviewing with your peers the feedback received from at least 10 hours of training that you have conducted

Reviewing with your peers the assessment of 10 candidates

Maintain your professional currency in your chosen field
CodeTitleSummary of Requirements
TAEASS503Lead assessment validation processesProvide support to other assessors, including modelling good assessment and validation practice

Contribute positively to the work of assessors and others involved in carrying out assessments and validation

Initiate, organise and facilitate assessment validation on at least three occasions

Use outcomes of validation and appeals to improve assessment practice.
(RPL only)
Facilitate e-learningDevelop an e-learning program

Describe at least two e-learning activities that you have organized and facilitated, and explain how each catered for the needs of client and learner.
TAEDES502Design and develop learning resourcesResearch, design and develop two print resources to meet client needs

Explain how your resources reflect learner and industry needs
(RPL only)
Design and develop e-learning resourcesResearch, design and develop e-learning resources to meet client needs?

Explain how your resources reflect learner and industry needs
TAEDES505Evaluate a training programEvaluate a training program against workforce performance needs and capability requirements

Produce an evaluation report that addresses all phases of the evaluation process including recommendations on areas for improvement

Critically review the evaluation process and approaches taken and propose changes to improve the process.
TAELLN411Address adult language, literacy and numeracy skillsAddress core LLN issues in training and assessment practice on at least two different occasions

Cater for the LLN needs of a particular student

Use the ACSF to determine the level of a student and training demand
TAERES501Apply research to training & assessment practiceFind something in your RTO about training/assessment you think could be better understood
Plan and then conduct some research to help to improve that understanding
Report on and review everything you did
TAETAS501Undertake organisational training needs analysisConduct at least two organisational training needs analyses, outlining the processes you followed, the outcomes and recommendations.

Note:  The Qualification Packaging Rules also allow for the import of Diploma or higher units:

  • for a Single TAE Diploma, you can import 2 of them

We will factor this in when we develop your Personal Learning Plan

How We Do It

 You can call us on 1300 141 994 or fill out the Contact Form.
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