This program allows teachers to demonstrate all of the four requirements needed to be reclassified to AQF Level 5 according to the Victorian TAFE Teaching Staff Agreement 2018. It includes studies in adult learning methodology, studies in teaching in a Vocational Education environment, Studies in Applied Research (linked to the Boyer framework of scholarship) and a supervised Practicum of 200 hours.
15% Subsidy for May Enrolments
As we look for the light at the end of this COVID-19 tunnel, we are all required to do our bit. To help students, all enrolments in online Fortress Learning programs in May will receive a 15% subsidy funded by us, for you. That’s 15% less out of your pocket.
Just to be clear, that is until midnight on May 31 2020, unless we become fully subscribed before then, and it does NOT apply to the Fortress Lite program or extensions or where other funding already provides a subsidy (eg, Skills Checkpoint).
About the Program
- What is this about?
- What does completing this course give me?
- Is this approved by VTA?
- How do I get Reclassified?
- RPL or Coursework? Probably both.
- What are the entry requirements?
- How long to return marking, emails & calls?
- Will we be a good fit?
- What about TAERES501?
- How long will it take me?
- Is it all or nothing? Single or Dual Diploma?
- How do I document everything?
- What will it cost?
- How do I get started?
- But I already have a Diploma?
- Any questions?
Fortress Learning has been delivering TAA/TAE qualifications to teachers within TAFE Victoria and elsewhere for a decade. Graduates have appreciated the process of structured professional reflection that underpins our approach to delivering those qualifications.
With the arrival of the new MEA, we have worked closely with many of those teachers to develop a program that builds on that foundation and enables the professionalism, knowledge and skills of TAFE Victoria teachers to be recognised through a reclassification of their pay scale.
Fortress Learning’s Reclassification Readiness Program is intended for experienced Trainers/Assessors who are currently working within TAFE Victoria, and are seeking to have their level of appointment reclassified by completing an approved AQF 5 Level Qualification.
This program includes
- TAE50116 Diploma of Vocational Education & Training
- TAE50216 Diploma of Training Design & Development (optional)
- 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
We structure the above into 3 components:
Component 1: TAE Diploma: either the single Dip VET or dual Dip VET/TDD program
Component 3: Professional Activity – 200 hours
Depending on what you have already done, you may need to do all or only some Components. The fee you end up paying, and the duration required, will depend on your particular situation.
Quite simply, it will prepare you to participate in a Request for Classification Assessment.
You will also receive:
Certificates of Graduation and Record of Results for:
TAE50116 Diploma of Vocational Education & Training
TAE50216 Diploma of Training Design & Development (if elected)
Certificate of Completion, attesting to you having completed a program of professional activity for the purposes of reclassification
By completing the program with Fortress Learning, you will not only gain the qualifications, you will also gain the confidence that you do possess the knowledge and skills that those qualifications are meant to represent.
Yes. The Victorian TAFE Association Qualifications Committee has approved the program as a legitimate means to address the requirements of the Victorian Staff Teaching Agreement. The approval is shown in the following (click to enlarge):
At the time of writing this, the Victoria TAFE Association appears to be the central location for information relevant to all institutes. They have a helpful document that you can access by clicking the image below, or clicking here: https://www.vta.vic.edu.au/docman-sortable-list/889-vta-teacher-guideline-for-classification-self-assessment/file
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.
Given the specific and robust requirement that we verify that you have met all aspects of the Reclassification Criteria, it is not likely (although not impossible) that you will gain RPL for the practical 200 hour component of the Practicum, nor for TAERES501.
We do not want anyone to commence this program unless they have a good chance of success. As a minimum you will:
- Possess a personal commitment to professional reflection, an openness to the tasks that will be required of you, a commitment to working with us to achieve them and a willingness to accept responsibility for your success or otherwise.
- Possess TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training & Assessment, or TAE40110 + TAEASS502 + TAELLN411 (or their equivalent predecessors).
- Be currently employed within an Australian Registered Training Organisation and be in a position/role that enables you to:
- Plan for delivery and assessment of accredited units of competency, and then implement those plans.
- Access peers and other colleagues with whom you can collaborate through a range of reflective activities including, but not limited to: qualified teachers or educators to observe your delivery of training (See note below), other colleagues whose delivery you can observe, colleagues with whom you can observe each other’s assessment, discussing issues related to both facilitation and assessment practice, consider current research and its implications for professional practice, support learners with identified needs.
- Conduct applied research related to, at the least, your own training & assessment practice.
Your own delivery must be observed by an appropriately qualified person. This means that they will possess, at a minimum:
- Diploma or higher level qualification in adult learning
- minimum 5 years relevant experience
Each supervisor will be required to confirm the authenticity of their observations, and provide us with evidence of their qualifications and experience.
If you do not have direct access to a suitably qualified Observer, we are able to view recordings of your delivery. This is an additional service that incurs additional costs. It’s something we can talk about if you think you might need it.
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.
Sure, here’s our data for 2020. It gets updated each Friday.
Marked within 1 day (%)
Marked within 2 days (%)
Marked within 4 days (%)
Reply within an hour (%)
Reply under 8 hrs (%)
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 a Core unit in this program, even though it is actually an elective unit in the Dip VET.
Completing it with Fortress Learning will show Studies in Applied Research that are linked to the Boyer framework of scholarship. (Note: if you look at TAERES501 at training.gov.au you will see that it makes no reference to Boyer. This means that the unit can be undertaken without actually meeting this particular reclassification requirement. We encourage you to check with your Training Provider to ensure that their way of delivering it will meet the reclassification criteria. Ours does, by the way.)
More information about the unit is available from here: https://fortresslearning.com.au/courses/taeres501/
We recommend a period of 18 months be allowed to complete the entire Program. This duration is based on the combination of your steadfast commitment to keep progressing, and our response times that will not keep you waiting for weeks or months to get an answer to a question or an assessment task marked.
Experience tells us that most experienced professionals usually take about 6 months to complete their personal program of blended RPL/Coursework Assessment for the Dip VET units. These people are usually working full-time and juggling families, pets, holidays and all the other things that seem to complicate our lives. Because of the requirement to undertake a further 200 hours of practical activity, many of which will depend on organising other people, we believe a further 12 months will be prudent.
The following table shows a recommended sequence and timing for an 18 month period. This can be compressed or extended depending on individual circumstances, and that is something we will both plan for at the beginning and revise as you make your way through the program.
You will note we have included a ‘Just in case’ month every quarter. Experience tells us that you will be a busy person, with all sorts of commitments and demands pulling you this way and that. Despite your best intentions, we know that sometimes these will take you away from your Program and so we prefer to factor them into the planning, so that their overall impact is not as great. The timing below is entirely notional, and is included just to provide a buffer in case things do go askew.
1: Not required for Single Dip VET. Can substitute two other Dip or higher units – to be determined through Personal Learning Plan process
2: For Dual Dip VET/TDD, Credit Transfer awarded for: TAEASS502 – Design & develop assessment tools
3: For single Dip VET, Credit Transfer awarded for: TAEASS502 – Design & develop assessment tools and TAELLN411 – Address adult language, literacy & numeracy skills
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.
Do I have to take the full time to finish?
No. If you move more rapidly through the program, then you will finish sooner. As soon as you have fulfilled requirements for the program, you can graduate.
You can undertake this program with a view to attaining either just the Dip VET or both the Dip VET and Dip TDD. This is something we will factor into developing your own Personal Learning Plan.
We understand that life is uncertain, and that 18 months is a long time so it is something that can also change along the way.
If an opportunity comes up and you need to have at least one qualification sooner rather than later, then we can probably find a way to make that happen for you, and you can then continue to complete the rest of the Program. Likewise, if life throws you some curve balls and you need to cut back from the Dual to Single Diploma program, then there are ways we can do that as well.
These are just two examples of situations we commonly encounter with our students. There are many others.
The key thing is to keep things nice and tight – if we know what is going on, we are better able to offer guidance.
A requirement of reclassification is that the 200 hours of Professional Activity be “fully documented”. This is a simple little phrase that means a whole lot of record keeping. Experience tells us that effectively documenting your activities along the way is going to be key to avoiding headaches (and heartaches!) at the other end. We provide a range of templates that have been specifically developed to capture the required information, as well as a bespoke web app, 200Hours.
Introducing the “200Hours” Web App
To assist with your record keeping, we have developed our own online application to enable you to:
- Record your activities and how long they took
- Add evidence for each activity
- See how you are tracking with the time required
- Export a PDF report that lists a summary of all your activity, as well as itemised list of each record
The following screenshot shows you what your Dashboard would look like. In this example, the green bar shows this particular person has completed all the hours needed for the first item, and is making progress for the others.
We are in the final stages of testing the app. If you are keen to give it a try, then let us know using the Form in the Any Questions? tab below.
The fee will ultimately depend on what you need to do as part of your particular program. We start with a base fee and duration, and then reduce that for every unit you can receive via Credit Transfer. You can exit with the single Dip VET or both Dip VET and Dip TDD. We can model some different options with you as part of the pre-enrolment process.
The table shows you how it works:
Fee is reduced by $300 for each unit awarded via Credit Transfer
Duration is reduced by 1 month for each unit awarded via Credit Transfer
|Tammy has both of the new TAE Diplomas, but did not do TAERES501.|
Tammy will need to do one unit, plus the 200 Hours.
$4000 - 9 x $300 = $1300
On enrolment: $1300
18 - 9 = 9 months
|Timmy has completed the TAE40116 Upgrade, which includes TAELLN411 and TAEASS502, but has not undertaken any TAE Diplomas. He wants to end up with both the Dip VET and Dip TDD.|
Timmy needs to still do 9 units, with the 200 Hours.
$4000 - 1 x $300 = $3700
On enrolment: $1500
18 - 1 = 17 months
|Sammy is just like Timmy, but only wants to complete the single Dip VET. Sammy has also completed an earlier Diploma in another area.|
Sammy needs to do 6 units, because 2 can come from the Cert IV and another 2 from the other Diploma.
$4000 - 4 x $300 = $2800
On enrolment: $1500
18 - 4 = 14 months
|Tommy has the old TAE50111 Dip VET, which did not include the core units from the Dip TDD. He wants to exit with both Dip VET and Dip TDD. |
Tommy still needs to do 4 units, with the 200 Hours.
$4000 - 6 x $300 = $2200
On enrolment: $1500
18 - 6 = 12 months
|How about you?|
If you would like us to work out what the fee would look like for you, get in touch by filling in the form in the "Any questions?" Tab below.
Units awarded via credit transfer attract a rebate of $300 each, which is deducted from the final invoice payable. Credit Transfer for TAERES501 applies only to graduates of the Fortress Learning TAERES501 unit since April 2019, since it was at that time that its relationship to Boyer was established.
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.
In the event that you require additional time, it is available at the standard rate offered by Fortress Learning, and subject to the standard conditions associated with Extensions, as outlined in the Student Handbook.
Because no two people are the same, making you jump through the same hoops as everyone else just doesn’t make sense. Experience tells us that students seeking to complete this program will have lots of questions. Because our program is so highly geared toward each individual student it is critical that we get to know each other from the very beginning.
That’s why our process begins with a conversation, which you can make happen by calling us on 1300 141 994, or scheduling directly with one of our Trainers, Bryan (HERE).
It’s not a sales pitch; just us having a conversation so we can both discover if we are a good fit and explore how it will all look.
Will you need to do the whole thing again?
No. You can have most units awarded through Credit Transfer and then undertake just those parts of the Practicum that are required to meet the Reclassification Criteria. For most people, this will involve either or both of:
- Documenting 200 hours of practical activities
- Completing TAERES501 in a manner that reflects the Boyer Framework of Scholarship
Would you like some more information?
If you have any questions, queries, thoughts or ideas, then you are welcome to share them. The form goes directly to one of the Trainers who works with TAFE Victoria teachers, so it won’t get lost in some sales pipeline.
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.
|Code||Title||Summary of Requirements|
|TAEASS501||Provide advanced assessment practice||Assess 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
|TAEASS502||Design and develop assessment tools||Develop three assessment tools to assess at least three units of competency |
Ensure your tools reflect the Principles of Assessment and Rules of Evidence
|TAEDEL502||Provide advanced facilitation practice||Conduct a minimum of 100 hours of group facilitation|
|TAEDES501||Design and develop learning strategies||Develop 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
|TAELLN501||Support the development of adult language literacy and numeracy skills||Use 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
|TAEPDD501||Maintain and enhance professional practice||Reviewing 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
|Code||Title||Summary of Requirements|
|TAEASS503||Lead assessment validation processes||Provide 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.
|Facilitate e-learning||Develop 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.
|TAEDES502||Design and develop learning resources||Research, design and develop two print resources to meet client needs|
Explain how your resources reflect learner and industry needs
|Design and develop e-learning resources||Research, design and develop e-learning resources to meet client needs?|
Explain how your resources reflect learner and industry needs
|TAEDES505||Evaluate a training program||Evaluate 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.
|TAELLN411||Address adult language, literacy and numeracy skills||Address 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
|TAERES501||Apply research to training & assessment practice||Find 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
|TAETAS501||Undertake organisational training needs analysis||Conduct 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.