Challenges facing VET – Courses of Concern Create More Concerns

Challenges facing VET


The move to have Courses of Concern is in itself concerning, and makes the playing field anything but level.

What is a Course of Concern?

The Regulator tells us:TAE40116 Courses of Concern

At the time of writing this article, Schedule 1 included the following:

TAE Courses of Concern

The Problems with TAE40116 being a “Course of Concern”

  • The Cert IV TAE40116 has become a “monolith” of obscure assessment requirements
  • Trainers now have to spend a lot of time in class and post-course explaining to their poor learners what they have to do to be deemed competent
  • Instructional Designers have to continually redo their assessment tools as different ASQA auditors “find” different non-compliance issues in the same assessment tool
  • Learners spend a lot of time in class doing actual assessments because the assessment requirements of some units (TAEDEL401, for example) require a minimum number of people in the audience
  • Delivery time (where most real learning takes place) has been slashed as a result of the additional time spent on assessment in class
  • Completion rates for TAE40116 have plummeted (at least anecdotally) as people give up out of sheer frustration with both the workload and the nonsensical requirements of the course
  • The worse thing is that the course in its current format does not make people better trainers and assessors

The Solutions to TAE40116 being a “Course of Concern”

  • Once a suite of assessment tools has passed ASQA audit they should be given a tick of health (like the heart tick) which could last a year or 2. If another RTO uses the same assessment tools during that period the ASQA tick of health would mean that the assessment tools don’t have to be re-audited
  • Scrap the minimum 8 people in the assessment requirements for TAEDEL401
  • Remove one of the core assessment units and replace it with BSBCMM401 Make a presentation to allow much more emphasis on delivery
  • Allow for more flexibility in the online version of the TAE40116 qualification
  • Allow RTOs with TAE40116 on scope to partner with other RTOs to deliver the qualification. There are only 105 RTOs with this qual on scope – there is not nearly enough coverage, despite what ASQA says

(9 December 2019)

What do you think?

Join the discussion of this and other Challenges at the VET PD Group – Community of Practice.

About the Author:

The author of this piece wishes to remain anonymous. They identity has been confirmed prior to publication.

About this series 

There are many challenges facing VET.  One of them is the need for the industry’s own voice to be shared in a way that adds more light than heat.

This article is one in a series that will seek to explore some of those challenges.   The full series is available from HERE.

Invitation to Contribute

Contributions from others that explore issues and ideas in a polite and non-inflammatory manner are welcome, and may be sent to

If you would like to present an alternate view to one published, then you are most welcome to that as well.

Full attribution and relevant links will be provided for contributors.



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