Frequently Asked Questions about the Fortress Learning Dip VET/TDD Program


HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THIS DIPLOMA PROGRAM?

This is a fully accredited and complete course of study that allows you to gain the nationally recognised TAE50111 Diploma of Vocational Education & Training and TAE50211 Diploma of Training Design & Development.

It is the same course that TAFE and other Registered Training Organisations deliver, and also the same one that is becoming increasingly necessary to separate the truly dedicated professional from the seemingly endless number of people who hold the Cert IV TAE.

Your program is delivered online, through our proprietary Learning Management System. More importantly, it will be delivered by a single person who possesses both the skills and the authority to ensure that your particular needs can be accommodated.

WHO IS THIS PARTICULAR COURSE FOR?

It is intentionally developed for time-poor people who are committed to succeeding; people who understand that the best way to demonstrate their quality is by showing that it has been recognised with a qualification from an RTO with a reputation for quality.

It is ideally suited to people who possess the TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training & Assessment as well as a couple of years’ relevant experience within the training sector. Even if you are not seeking Recognition of Prior Learning, that experience will make the Coursework much more worthwhile.

HOW DO I ENROL?

We process enrolments online at http://www.tae.fortresslearning.com.au./

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I ENROL?

The first thing we do is some planning. By taking the time to plan at the beginning, we find we can save hours of unnecessary work later by finding and removing those hoops through which you need not jump.

To do this, you complete a Personal Learning Plan Survey, which will allow us to formalise many of the things we spoke about in our initial conversation. It will essentially tell you three things:

  • Where you might be eligible for RPL
  • Where you will need to provide evidence and third party reports
  • Which tasks you could do to fulfil any remaining course requirements

TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE PERSONAL LEARNING PLAN

No two people are the same.

For us, making you jump through the same hoops as everyone else just doesn’t make sense.

That’s why we collect a bit more information from you before you start, and use it to tailor your own Personal Learning Plan.

Quite simply, every student who enrols has a course of study put together just for them.

Your Personal Learning Plan becomes your unique roadmap for how you can make your way through the course. It reflects your unique set of knowledge and skills, and helps make sure that we have just the right hoops in the right order for you to accomplish your goals.

It will tell you exactly which tasks you need to do, which other items of evidence you need to provide to support any Recognition of Prior Learning claim, and a step-by-step guide to doing it all with the least hassle.

Because you will probably be working while studying, we expect it to evolve as we move ahead to reflect any new skills, knowledge or activities that you might encounter.

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH GAPS? CAN WE DO COURSEWORK FOR PARTS OF IT?

If you are unable to fully meet the evidence requirements by RPL, we will work with you to find ways to address them.

For small gaps, this could be through allocating a workplace project. We will work that out together.

For larger or multiple gaps, or where you simply would prefer to do the Coursework, we will prescribe additional assessment tasks. In this situation, the assessment tasks will be based upon the text Professional Training & Assessment, by Dan Hill, Lee Perlitz and Terry Hill. Students requiring this option will be required to purchase – or otherwise obtain – a copy of this text. (Ask us first since we might have some copies available at good rates.)

I AM VERY EXPERIENCED. WILL I BE TREATED THE SAME WAY AS SOMEONE WHO IS NOT?

To ensure that you do not get bogged down in doing things that are not necessary, we like to keep communication open through your time with us. We know that things change in students’ work lives; new information comes to hand, and sometimes it is best to change our plan to adapt to this.

We will never allow someone to graduate who has not authentically demonstrated that they are competent. But, we will always consider ways to enable each individual student to show their competency in ways that are most suited to them.

HOW LONG DO I HAVE?

You have 12 months from your date of commencement, not from the date of enrolment. Experience tells us that distance and online learning is frought with many dangers; perhaps the biggest of which is loss of momentum. For that reason, we aim for a quick turnaround time on submissions.

WHAT ARE YOUR RESPONSE TIMES?

What are your response times? Our goal for review of submissions is within 4 business days, although close to 90% are returned within 24 hours. For phone calls that are missed, we aim for reply within 4 hours. If your trainer is not available when you call, you are encouraged to make an appointment to avoid ‘phone-tennis’.

For emails, you can expect a reply within 8 business hours.

IF I WANT TO ENROL, AM I GUARANTEED A PLACE?

No.

This program is not for everybody, and we need to make sure that there is a good ‘fit’. We don’t want to waste anybody’s time – yours or ours – and are focussed on delivering this service to people who are truly committed to succeeding. During our initial Conversation, we will work out together if enrolling is a good idea.

Enrolments are processed in the order in which they are received, and places are allocated in the order in which fees are received. You get to nominate when you would like to begin, but if that particular month is fully subscribed, then we will let you know and invite you to select another month, or we can keep your application active in case someone else changes out of that month.

The only exception here is people who come to us by word of mouth – they get to start whenever they want, and we reserve places especially for them.

WHY DO YOU LIMIT PLACES IF YOU WANT TRAINING TO BE MORE ACCESSIBLE?

To serve you well means we cannot expect to serve everyone. It is a choice we make. Instead of you dealing with multiple trainers and markers, we want you to have a single trainer who will walk with you every step of the way.

Unfortunately, that means that sometimes people miss out.

WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO IN THIS COURSE?

That really depends on your particular balance of RPL and Coursework.

For Coursework, being a self-paced program that is delivered via distance learning, you will need to read the prescribed text, Professional Training & Assessment and complete a combination of short-response tasks (that assess your knowledge) and projects (that assess your skills). Many of these questions and projects will allow you to use your own workplace.

For RPL, being an individualised program means we do not have an RPL Kit for you to wade through. Instead, we will work out where you are likely to gain RPL and advise you on the evidence to provide. Students tell us this avoids the “hit and miss” approach of RPL that is commonly used, and saves them many hours.

CAN I GET RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING? DO I GET A DISCOUNT?

All students are eligible to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), and information about this is provided during our pre-enrolment conversation as well as once you have enrolled.

There is no reduction in fees for an RPL Pathway, nor is there an additional fee for undertaking Coursework.

There is a place on the Enrolment Form to indicate that you are interested in RPL, and the Personal Learning Plan Survey that we ask you to complete before beginning will give you the chance to tell us more about the sorts of things that we might be able to “recognise”.

Because so many students do not actually know what they could include for RPL, we will talk about this before you enrol and look at this for you in more detail as a part of developing your Personal Learning Plan.

DO I NEED TO HOLD THE TAE CERTIFICATE IV IN TRAINING AND ASSESSMENT?

It is preferred that you do hold the latest Cert IV in Training & Assessment. This is because the Diploma program presumes that you do possess some knowledge of Australia’s VET sector and training industry. Having said that, the Training Package does not insist on you holding it if you have relevant equivalent experience.

If you are unsure, this is something we can talk about during our initial Conversation.

DO I NEED TO BE WORKING IN A TRAINING ROLE?

No. But it will be very difficult to complete many aspects of the program if you are not. For example, one of the Diploma of Vocational Education & Training’s core units requires that you conduct 100 hours of group facilitation. If you are unable to demonstrate that via RPL and are not in a position to do this during the period of your enrolment, then this program will not be suitable for you at this time.

While simulated environments can work, experience tells us that people gain much more from the program if they are immersed in a training role.

Perhaps the best way to work out if you need to be currently in a training role is to take a look at the Unit Requirements that are provided on page 20-24.

HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO DO THE COURSE?

You will be allocated 12 months to complete your chosen Diploma program/s, commencing on the first day of your nominated start month.

Experience tells us that most people take 2-3 months to collate the required evidence, although because people operating at this level often have many interruptions to their study plans, we allow the additional time to ensure success.

To assist you maintain momentum, we like to keep fairly quick turnaround times. Our stated expectation is that you will have heard back from us within 4 business days of any submission. Historically, however, our return rate has been close to 98% of submissions being reviewed and returned within 24 hours; but do allow a bit longer in case of illness, absence or other unexpected calamity.

HOW DO YOU CATER FOR MY OWN SITUATION?

The way people go about doing the course should not be the same. We do not require people to all jump through a series of hoops in the same order and at the same time. Instead, we bring the course to people so that you are able to connect its skills and knowledge with your own world – that’s what your Personal Learning Plan is about. In short, our focus is working out what you need to achieve your success.

And, because learning requires taking someone from ‘here’ to ‘there’, we like to spend sometime working out where you are at now. The reason we start with a Conversation and the Personal Learning Plan Survey is to make sure that your program will balance your particular situation with the requirements of the Training Package. We understand that most people seeking these qualifications already have a wealth of relevant experience, and perform roles where they live and breathe much of what the two Diploma courses involve.

However, it seems that there are as many ways of doing these things as there are training organisations. For that reason, we prefer to address each student more holistically so that we can identify where their professional activities have – and do – overlap with parts of the course. With that information, experience has shown that we can devise highly targeted programs that blend RPL and Coursework in a way that saves many hours of unnecessary hoop jumping.

Through the program, we expect things will evolve to match your changing circumstances. For some people, this will be to switch between Coursework and RPL, for others it could be about changing the evidence to submit to match work being done for an upcoming audit. For everyone, it is about us being receptive to you and ensuring that communication channels remain open.

For professionals already struggling to balance the many demands of work and life, we believe this approach is simply about showing respect.

It also works.

WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?

Our immediate families depend on our success as a business. So do the people who choose to work with us, and their families. Being a part of the Australian training industry, it is important that we contribute to a general move toward better quality.

Our Diploma program is specifically crafted to allow us to:
• demonstrate our own quality
• model this quality for other training professionals
• engage with other professionals in critical conversations about quality
• through the above, make a contribution to the ongoing quality of the Australian VET sector

At a time when the Australian training industry appears under attack for a lack of quality, we believe it is up to training organisations and the professionals they employ to stand firm. If we can assist you to better support the quality of the system that feeds us all, then that is a benefit to not only the students whom we serve, but the nation whom we ultimately serve by training those students.

It might be a bit pie-in-the-sky for some, but that is the reality of it.

WHAT IF I NEED LONGER TO DO THE COURSE? OR NEED TO TAKE A BREAK?

Just let us know about your circumstances and we will do what we can to accommodate your needs. We understand that your studies with us will be just one of many commitments in your life. Instead of adding to the pressure of all that you do, we would prefer to work with you when you are ready, and give you the freedom to do the many other things that you need to do when you have to. In short, if you need to take time out, then we have a deferment process for that. We will be here when you return.

 

To learn more or request further information, click here.