Three Reasons Why People Don’t Finish Their TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment


The TAE Cert IV is not simple to complete. The last time I looked, of all the people who sign up to the Cert IV in the almost 3000 Australian training organisations who deliver it, only about 50% of people actually finish the course.

Why? I think there are three reasons.

1. People sign up to do the course thinking that it is something that it is not.

The course is not just about learning how to train people. It is not just about how to come up with better PowerPoint presentations and have groups of people eating out of our hands. Expecting that the course will mostly be about the skills of teaching will lead to great disappointment, frustration and annoyance. After all, it is about all the legal stuff and policies and gumpf that say how we can train people and assess people. It is about knowing where training and assessment fits in the bigger picture of our industries and economy, and making sure that we know that our responsibilities go way beyond choosing a colour scheme for a handout. That’s where research comes in: find out what is involved so that there are no surprises.

2. People sign up to do the course because it is something that they want to have done

There is not a single industry that the TAE Cert 4 does not apply to. It is intentionally broad like that and that makes it attractive to lots of people in lots of jobs. It is a qualification that lots of people want to have simply because it is a qualification that lots of people say it is worth having. But worth having is not the same as doing. It is kind of like the books of Dickens and Twain and Bronte and Hemingway and Lawrence and other writers from the olden days; books that we wish that we have read but books that we do not actually want to read. It is worth having, but until I also believe that it is worth doing then I will probably not get very far. That’s where clear purpose comes in: decide what doing it is worth to you personally and professionally.

3. People sign up to do the course but don’t do enough “doing”

Enrolling is one thing and attending sessions, webinars, tutorials, lectures or whatever else is another. But neither will result in completion. Doing the Cert IV TAE is about learning. And, let’s face it, learning is a kind of work. Learning means putting ourselves in a position where we are not in control and where we must accept that we do not know everything. That means we must become vulnerable and that is not something we grown-ups are not so comfortable with..in fact, we like to avoid it like a black snake.

Let’s face it, if we can choose between doing an activity that is uncomfortable and that makes us feel vulnerable and one that is more immediately enjoyable, then it will be hard to not do the thing that is enjoyable. But, it will also mean that we are not doing enough of the things we need to be doing to complete the qualification. And, if we are not learning enough to be competent then we will never get the qualification.

That’s where discipline comes in: decide to put aside regular time and make it happen. What this all means is that improving your chances of success really means taking a bit more time before signing up to discover:

  • what the course really is about
  • what the real benefits are for you in doing it
  • what commitment you are really prepared to make