We Revisit Painful Truth #8 as ASQA Cancels Qualifications


 

In January, Fortress Learning published an article called The Ten Painful Truths About The Cert IV TAE.

Recently, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) announced that it will cancel 432 Security and First Aid Qualifications and Statements of Attainment issued to 276 individuals.

This rings true to Painful Truth #8. Just because you get it, doesn’t always mean you get to keep it.

Read more…

The Cert IV TAE: You get out what you put in


Every now and then, a Cert IV TAE student writes a Review that we believe deserves to be featured and discussed. Instead of them ending up hidden among the others, we will share them with you, and let you know our thoughts about them.

This is what Michael said: 

The driest, most boring course I have ever had the misfortune of having to complete.

Why did this particular testimonial catch our attention? 

Michael does have a point when he says the Cert IV TAE is “dry” and “boring”. We sympathise – the Cert IV TAE can be tough going.

As mentioned in The Ten Painful Truths about the Cert IV TAE, “For many people, it is something that they would rather have done than something that they want to do. For many people, it is something that they have to do to satisfy someone else’s requirements rather than something that they want to do to satisfy their own requirements.”

While yes, it is not a course that is commonly described as “a bunch of fun”, it is what it is. Simply put: if you want to be a Trainer and Assessor, the Cert IV in Training and Assessment is something that you have to do.

Once you have accepted that, whether you like it or not, the next question to ask yourself is why are you doing it?

In study and in life, your ‘why’ is your motivating force. Your ‘why’ will shape the thoughts and feelings that you bring to your Cert IV TAE experience. Approaching your study with, “I hate this,” will inevitably mean that yes, you will hate it and you will continue to hate it…  unless you can change your approach.

If you are required to complete the Cert IV TAE for work and compliance purposes, it may be all too tempting to feel resentment, to simply “tick the boxes” and drag your feet all the way through the qualification.

If this is your ‘why’, you may be selling yourself short.

If your ‘why’ is to better yourself, to embrace the opportunity of learning new skills, gaining up-to-date knowledge and the genuine want to hone your performance, the qualification will look and feel completely different.

It’s all about getting the most out of the course, and you only get out what you put in.

 

If you would like to know more about what it means to be a student with us, how about you read Dear Future Student, check out Our Courses, or give us a call on 1300 141 994 and we can explore what that would look like.

Overcoming Learner Discomfort


 

What is learner discomfort?

“When a learner becomes conscious of their own performance – or lack of – that then can lead to them becoming anxious, which is an uncomfortable place to be.

So by “learner discomfort”, I guess I am talking about feelings of anxiety, worry or concern. A lack of confidence in the learner’s ability to participate in any meaningful way; to progress in any meaningful way.” – Dr Bryan West, Fortress Learning Diploma Trainer.

Now that we know what it is, how do we overcome it? 

The four episodes below are from Fortress Learning’s series on teaching microskills called The Small Stuff.

In each episode, Bryan offers some strategies that you can implement in the classroom to make learning a much more comfortable, and therefore more productive, experience.

Read more…

Didn’t get marked as Satisfactory the first time? It’s not the end of the world.


 

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison.

Sometimes at Fortress Learning, our students get an assessment submission marked as Not Yet Satisfactory. This can cause disappointment, anxiety, sadness, and even anger!

The reality is, being marked as Not Yet Satisfactory is not the end of the world. It just means you get to have another shot at fulfilling the requirements of the task.

I sat down with Diploma Trainer and Managing Director of Fortress Learning, Dr Bryan West, to pick his brain about what it means to be marked as Not Yet Satisfactory.

Read more…

Introducing Your Monthly Compliance Strategy


Your Monthly Compliance Strategy

Here at Fortress, we believe that by focusing on performance, compliance should follow.

It’s easy to get so caught up in ticking boxes and complying that we forget why we are doing it in the first place.

Ask yourself: are you simply complying, or are you performing?

With the VET sector’s changing landscape, compliance is paramount to an RTO’s success and longevity.

This is why Fortress Learning is pleased to share our free Your Monthly Compliance Strategy with you.

Your Monthly Compliance Strategy provides a structured approach to evaluating your organisation’s compliance with the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (2015).

Here is what Fortress Learning Managing Director, Dr Bryan West, had to say about the importance of staying compliant as an RTO.

“Compliance now is top of mind for people. Performance really should take precedence over compliance because if you’re performing properly and adequately then you will be complying.

However, the change in the landscape over the last couple of years, especially with a shift in the regulatory landscape, means that compliance is something now that people are really focusing on.

Part of the reason for that is because the goalposts appear to have been moved, but no one’s really sure where they’ve been put. And that’s why it’s important that during those times of uncertainty that we do fall back upon the basics that we know work, and one of those basics is having a clearly defined structure that does address all of the requirements of a fundamental document such as the Standards for RTOs 2015.

The framework we are providing to people is the same one that we use, it’s the same structure, the same questions that we are being asked and the same questions that we answer. It’s the same one that has been through our own audit process (this is for re-registration) and has been found to be compliant.

At a time when people are lacking confidence generally, it’s a way that people can know where the boundaries are in terms of compliance, and by having the big picture in front of them and broken down into smaller monthly chunks, they personally can be confident that they are doing what it is they need to be doing.”

Your Monthly Compliance Strategy mirrors the five phases of the student journey which form the basis of ASQA’s new audit model which can be seen in the image below:

ASQA student journey

Clicking HERE will allow you to download the complete Strategy, with 12 months of actionable items to ensure you are performing in line with the Standards.

Because many people ask for it in bite-sized chunks, we can also send to you each month a separate email with just that month’s compliance activities, along with a video to explain what to do in that month. To receive Your Monthly Compliance Strategy on the first Monday of each month, simply click the image below.

This Compliance Strategy is the same approach that we use at Fortress Learning, and we are happy to share it with you.

We hope it assists.

 

Feel the Power with The Small Stuff!


 

Silence… Pause… Predictability… While these three things may sound like the character traits of your 90-year-old Grandfather, they can prove to be very powerful when used in the classroom.

The three episodes below are from Fortress Learning’s series on teaching microskills called The Small Stuff.

Read more…

Fun games to boost learner engagement


Learner engagement: sounds easy enough, but in reality, sometimes engaging a class can prove to be an uphill battle.

Whether you have just started your lesson, just resumed class after a break, or if things are starting to get out of control, you need to have some strategies in place to get things back on track.

One way to do this could be to play a fun game.

While I call them games, Bryan doesn’t like them to be called games as they are “serious”. He prefers to use the term higher level engagement strategies.

Read more…

The Ten Painful Truths about the Cert IV TAE




Painful Truths Cert IV TAE RTO Fortress Learning

To be brutally frank, the Cert IV TAE may well be Australia’s most resented qualification. For many people, it is something that they would rather have done than something that they want to do. For many people, it is something that they have to do to satisfy someone else’s requirements rather than something that they want to do to satisfy their own requirements.

Regardless of the reasons for doing it, there are some realities about the Cert IV TAE that we believe prospective students should be aware of. Why? Because it is not in the interests of our students or ourselves to enrol in something that ends up being something that they did not expect. And, thinking bigger picture, it is not in the interests of our nation for people to walk around thinking that they are competent after completing a program that was not sufficiently robust to ensure that they were competent.
So, here it is….
The painful truths.  All 10 of them.

Read more…

What the Cert IV TAE is and isn’t


The Cert IV TAE has changed over the years. While the qualification has been transforming and evolving over a period of decades, public perception of what the course involves has remained largely the same.

In an effort to clear up any myths and misconceptions associated with the Cert IV TAE, I interviewed Fortress Learning’s very own Cert IV TAE Trainer, Emma Siebuhr.

Here is what Emma had to say:

In your own words, what is the Cert IV TAE?

I believe that the CERT IV TAE is a great Qualification to support people already really knowledgeable about their own industries.

It lets you develop a lot more understanding of exactly what it means to design and create your own training and assessment materials – not just work off of someone else’s designs.

It gives you back the ownership for what you can do as a trainer and assessor and provides you with skills to be able to actually write your own sessions and design the perfect assessment tool for assessing the units that you deliver. Read more…

VET: Challenging Assumptions


We often hear that some people find courses within the VET sector more difficult than a university degree.

Fortress Learning Diploma of Business Administration, Diploma of Leadership and Management, and Diploma of Training, Design and Development Graduate, Christopher Ward, recently shared his experience comparing VET and University education with us:

‘It’s just a vocational certificate, how hard can it be? It’s not like it is university.’ Quite often students seem to think that VET courses are all easy and take very little effort. That would at least be partly true due to the… well… you know, some of the less than compliant RTOs that seem to give out qualifications like they are a bag of chocolate all sorts.

My own experience (where I learnt my lesson) – Diploma of Business was going to be easy, right? I mean, I had a couple of years of management experience by then. And better yet, the girlfriend of my study friend was starting 2nd year university for Bachelor of Business, surely she could help. My study friend asked for her help and as it turns out, what we were learning to do during a 6 month Diploma was ahead of the practical learning at university… we ended up helping her instead! (So much for vocational learning being strictly sub-par to university).

Read more…

The single best predictor of success for Cert IV TAE and Diploma students


What do all successful Fortress Learning students have in common? Discipline.

“Discipline is the ability to give yourself a command and then follow it.” – Bob Proctor.

When it comes to completing your Cert IV TAE or Diploma, you don’t have to like it to do it; you don’t even have to want to do it; you just have to choose to do it.

“My only issues in completing the course were due to procrastination given the flexible study pattern.” – Jacob, Fortress Learning Cert IV TAE Graduate.

Jacob is not alone. When you have 6 months or a whole year to complete a qualification, it is very easy to think, “I’ve got heaps of time, I’ll just start it tomorrow”.

Read more…

10 Tips For When Procrastination Hits


which direction do you choose?

Procrastination can happen to the best of us. No matter whether it is your Cert IV TAE or a Diploma of VET or even Leadership & Management, it can get us all.

When the procrastination bug strikes, suddenly clipping your big toe nail is the most pressing thing on your to-do list. Or perhaps you suddenly have the undeniable urge to investigate Shania Twain’s wikipedia page.

Or maybe NOW is the only time to clean out the pantry?

You may know the feeling.

Here are ten helpful tips on how to beat procrastination when it hits, and finally finish that qualification that you have been meaning to finish for too long already. Read more…