The 10 Leadership Attributes of a Trainer and Assessor


Trainer and Assessor marking paperwork from a Cert IV TAE student

The role of a Trainer and Assessor requires efficiency, an eye for detail and, most importantly, the ability to lead students to success.

Here are 10 leadership attributes of a Trainer and Assessor, with quotes from those who know the profession well:

1. Self-efficacy 

Self-efficacy can be defined as a person’s belief in their ability to succeed. Having a full belief in oneself and one’s occupation allows both the Trainer and Assessor and student to feel confident that they, together, can succeed.

“Teach with passion… A passion that comes from an innate place to harness knowledge and nurture skill.”

– Vijia Chain, Ready Health Nursing College CEO and Director of Clinical Governance.

“I believe it is difficult for most people to have a full belief in one’s self. A lot of people have trouble with that for whatever reason. I don’t believe it is necessary to have a full belief in one’s self in order to have a full belief in what you’re doing.

From a point of view of leadership it’s so much easier to lead others; to encourage others; to be a role model for others, if you believe, and if you together believe, in what it is you are trying to achieve.”

– Dr Bryan West, Fortress Learning Managing Director.

2. Integrity

A successful Trainer and Assessor takes pride in their work and does not cut corners.

“In the Australian VET sector there is a lot of talk about how regulated it is, but it’s largely self-regulating.

Quite often the commercial imperative, or even the personal imperative, can be to take short-cuts and to do the bare minimum of what is required. However, if we do that then we limit ourselves to purely a base level of compliance rather than necessarily actually moving towards performance.

So we end up complying rather than performing.”

– Dr Bryan West, Fortress Learning Managing Director.

3. Definiteness of decision

As a Trainer and Assessor, definiteness of decision is important. Trainers and Assessors must be strong in their decision making, as the alternative of being unsure and uncertain undermines authority and erodes trust. This does not encourage confidence within the student – either in you or in what they’re doing.

“The definiteness of decision definitely links in with authority of knowledge and if you have an authority of knowledge you can usually be definite in your decision making.”

– Emma Siebuhr, Fortress Learning Trainer and Assessor.

“I think in leadership generally it is essential in order to engender the trust of others that we make decisions and we make decisions that are clear and unambiguous.”

– Dr Bryan West, Fortress Learning Managing Director.

4. The ability to manage one’s time effectively

As the old saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

“Time is but a space in the large spectrum of quantum. Focus on this moment only and use it wisely… for it will never return.”

– Vijia Chain, Ready Health Nursing College CEO and Director of Clinical Governance.

“Once you’ve decided the direction in which you are going to go, then it’s important that you are definite about that and you stay the course. From a Trainer and Assessor’s point of view, it’s really important that we have a clear indication of what we are planning to do and where we are planning on going.”

– Dr Bryan West, Fortress Learning Managing Director.

5. The ability to accept the unavoidable truth: the job is not always a 9 to 5 gig

As a Trainer and Assessor, it is often that it gets to the end of the day and there is still more work to be done.

“That is inevitable, I think the fact of being a good leader isn’t confined to clock watching. It’s more that the role is fluid rather than static.”

– Emma Siebuhr, Fortress Learning Trainer and Assessor.

“To meet all your demands of everyday, everything, every time…do what is necessary to be true to everyday, everything, every time.”

– Vijia Chain, Ready Health Nursing College CEO and Director of Clinical Governance

6. A pleasing personality

Having a pleasing personality is a welcomed attribute. However, by itself, being “nice” and “pleasant” means nothing in terms of a Trainer and Assessor’s capacity to lead.

“I think this is a good example of how you could take any one of these attributes that is on your list and say no, by itself it would not be sufficient. I know many a person who is in a position of responsibility of others who has an incredibly pleasing personality and is incredibly ineffective.”

– Dr Bryan West, Fortress Learning Managing Director.

“As a leader you need to engage people to lead. You can easily be an authoritarian and dictate, but to lead properly and for people to follow, yes, I think you have to have an element of a pleasing personality; but a strong personality.”

– Emma Siebuhr, Fortress Learning Trainer and Assessor.

7. Sympathy and understanding

A great Trainer and Assessor can step outside themselves and take the time to understand their students’ situations.

“We’re dealing with people. Leadership and management is about managing people, not things. It’s about leading people, not things.

People don’t enter work at nine o’clock in the morning and leave behind everything about them and everything else in their life, they bring it with them.

I think it’s important that is acknowledged, not necessarily indulged, but factored in when making decisions about what it is we expect from people.”

– Dr Bryan West, Fortress Learning Managing Director.

“I think understanding is important. As a leader you have to have understanding of everything; of what people need to do, what they want to do, the situations that they’re in.

However, there are times you can show sympathy, but I think there are restrictions to the sympathy you can show, because it can be taken advantage of.”

– Emma Siebuhr, Fortress Learning Trainer and Assessor.

8. Attention to detail

The small things all add up, which is why attention to detail counts.

“This one sort of leads back to the whole issue of compliance versus performance.  But it also leads to, to my mind, a more substantial thing which is not about compliance, it’s about culture.

The smallest level of detail that I, as a manager of an RTO, overlook, is the standard that I am setting for everyone. If I allow a staff member to do something, or not do something, then I am knowingly or otherwise, setting that as the standard for that person.”

– Dr Bryan West, Fortress Learning Managing Director.

9. Willingness to assume full responsibility

A Trainer and Assessor must set a good example for their students. Sometimes, this involves admitting when you are wrong and having the perseverance to fix it and keep moving forward.

“If you’re not prepared to put your hand up and say, “Well I stuffed up, that was my fault”, then you really shouldn’t be in a position where you are allowing others to look to you for guidance.” – Dr Bryan West, Fortress Learning Managing Director.

“Accountability is one of the most important attributes anyone can have, and a good leader will be willing to admit when they’re wrong.”

– Emma Siebuhr, Fortress Learning Trainer and Assessor.

“Taking a risk is inherent in leaders, but it is when accountability for that responsibility is held, that true ownership or benefit or governance is met.”

– Vijia Chain, Ready Health Nursing College CEO and Director of Clinical Governance

10. The ability to be co-operative

Co-operation is essential when it comes to the successful relationship between a student and their Trainer and Assessor.

“Co-operation is a learned but instinctive art, that leaves only the beneficiaries in favour.”

– Vijia Chain, Ready Health Nursing College CEO and Director of Clinical Governance

“You have to be able to co-operate. You have to be able to work with others effectively. Which means that you have to understand others, the way that they learn, the way that they do things, because it might not be the same as you.”

– Emma Siebuhr, Fortress Learning Trainer and Assessor.

Happy Hampster is happy when Trainers and Assessors and students co-operate