Investigating the Dip VET Unknown Unknowns: TAELLN501


Unknown Unknowns

If you missed the background, we have decided to take a look at what experienced training professionals do, and compare that with what the TAE50116 Dip VET says they should be doing.  You can read more about that HERE.  Following on from our first article about three core units (TAEASS501, TAEDEL502, TAEASS502), we have now collected some descriptive data related to a new core unit from within the TAE Diplomas, TAELLN501 – Support the development of adult language, literacy & numeracy skills.

The following table shows the summary of assessment outcomes in this unit.  For the sake of comparison, we will include in this table (and subsequent ones) the data for the earlier units for which we have collected data.  For Performance Evidence, the figures represent the average percentages of benchmarks that were satisfactorily demonstrated, and the range for that across all 50 sample candidates.  For the Knowledge Evidence, the figures represent the percentage who satisfactorily demonstrated all the benchmarks.

TAELLN501 Summary Data


For the unit, TAELLN501, of the 50 RPL candidates whose submissions were sampled, the average number of Performance Evidence benchmarks that were demonstrated satisfactorily was 60%.  This represents a stronger level of performance than in TAEASS501, but weaker when compared with TAEDEL502 and TAEASS502.

Looking at the range, among these 50 candidates it was 26-100%, which is closest again to the data for TAEASS501.  The issues surrounding trainer capacity in this particular part of their work is further foregrounded within the Knowledge Evidence area:  only 56% of RPL candidates satisfactorily demonstrated the required knowledge-related benchmarks.

Performance in the individual benchmarks.

The following table lists the benchmarks used for assessing Performance Evidence of RPL candidates; the right hand column indicates the percentage of candidates who demonstrated it satisfactorily.

TAELLN501 Summary Data

We will allow those data to speak for themselves, and move to the Discussion.



While these data are very interesting, and while it may be simple to draw inferences from and conclusions about them, we must exercise caution without first conducting further analyses.  However, given the current emphasis on LLN within VET is not likely to waver in the near future, there are no doubt some questions whose answers would be helpful.


What next for this investigation into Dip VET RPL outcomes?

We will continue to analyse data related to these and the other three Core units from within TAE50116 Diploma of Vocational Education & Training.   Ultimately, we are seeking to identify:

  1. those components that are commonly not demonstrated through an assessment based on RPL.
  2. if there exist any statistically significant differences in these ‘gaps’ between those RPL candidates who have more or less than 5 years’ experience, and who perform roles that are coal-face or back office roles.

We expect this investigation to be completed by about August 2018.  Results will be published at Fortress Learning and in relevant journal/s, and you can stay up to date with our Research program by adding your details below.  You can expect to receive a Monthly Roundup, and notification of other articles that we have written.



Why is Fortress Learning conducting research, anyway?

It’s a fair question.  As a private organisation, we certainly have no obligation to spend money on conducting research.

We believe that conducting a program of empirical research will allow us to better understand what is needed within our industry and how to provide for that.  Fortress Learning’s research program will certainly lead to refereed publications and conference presentations at the academic end of the spectrum and the process of conducting research will build valuable and exciting relationships with others, both in Australia and internationally.

Additionally, for the coalface of RTO operations, the findings that emerge from the research process will lead to a trickle-down effect, where findings and questions and issues can be identified and shared along the way in a range of forums (such as this one). It is these that we believe will have the greatest impact, by:

  1. Informing what we do and how we do it to ensure we are providing the best possible service for our learners and their future employers
  2. Communicating with likeminded organisations and individuals what we are discovering, and thus contributing in some small way to a restoration of confidence in what we do
  3. Providing our students, prospective students and employers with confidence in the commitment of Fortress Learning to best practice, and from that a confidence in the integrity of a Fortress Learning qualification
  4. Nurturing strong relationships within the VET sector, both domestically and internationally, by working together to identify opportunities of mutual benefit.

Click here to learn more about our Research Program.


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