The Cert IV TAE and the Labyrinth of Doors

If this title sounds a bit fantastical, then that is the purpose. Fantasy has an element of mystery, an element of magic and also an element of difficulty.

The TAE Cert IV is a bit the same.


I have been thinking lately about how the Certificate IV in Training & Assessment tries to be many things to many people. It is designed to provide the skills for so many different jobs, that it risks being seen as irrelevant to many of them.

That is what many of my students tell me.

But the other thing that many students tell me is that it opens doors.

This is not surprising. Indeed, most students do the course because they know it will open a new door for them. Or, because they know that a door will be closed on them if they do not get their Cert IV TAE.

But, there is something else happening.

It is not happening straight away, and it doesn’t happen to every student. But, it is happening enough to be certain.

The door that they know of is not the only one opening. There are other doors that they have never considered.

This is the mystery of the labyrinth.

Instead, by opening that door, they are finding new doors opening for them. These are the doors to opportunities that would have remained invisible had they not completed their Certificate 4.

But this is not all.

You see, not only does a door open for the person who holds the Certificate. Instead, the person upon graduating will see new doors that they can open for other people: Doors that they cannot go through themselves, but doors that they can now help other people to go through.

This is the magic of the labyrinth.

By completing the qualification, we will discover new opportunities for ourselves and we will discover new opportunities for others. Like one of my students, Rhonda, who graduated 6 months ago and recently wrote to tell me:

You will be happy to know that I have been training at Adult Education which I started last term and facilitated a program to help people obtain traineeships in aged care and will be training people in disabilities as well as a support group for parents with children who have disabilities as well as doing some training for another disability organization I work for as well. Without your help I would not have been able to diversify like this and help people obtain employment as well as facilitate a support group to help people with special emotional needs.

But what of the challenge of the labyrinth?

Every fantasy has a challenge, and the mystery and magic is only revealed to those who take the challenge, who commit to tackling it and who prevail. These are the people who:

· do not easily give up when confronted by the awkward terminology that the Cert IV TAE includes

· do not throw their hands in the air when they get a project back with recommendations for improvement

· do not baulk at the idea of setting aside dedicated and uninterrupted time for their studies

· accept that learning involves making mistakes and taking risks and trying new things that might take them outside their comfort zone

In short, the challenge is to stick at it.

This is clearly not easy, since about half of the people who started a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment with any of the almost 3000 training organisations nationally did not complete it.

But it is possible.

It takes courage.

But the mystery and magic will be revealed to those who, like Rhonda, will prevail.