We Revisit Painful Truth #8 as ASQA Cancels Qualifications


Revisit #8 of The Painful Truths (1)

 

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.

Qualifications can be recalled by the regulator, ASQA. Some RTOs have had to recall the qualifications of their graduates, and others have had to re-assess hundreds. It is happening more frequently and, with the increased scrutiny on TAE qualifications in particular, it would not be a surprise if TAE qualifications were recalled if RTOs had been found to have taken short-cuts.

Complaints against RTOs are on the rise, and many of these are from students who object to being sold something that is not legitimate. Sure, there are some students who prefer RTOs who give them short-cuts. But, it only takes a few who are not so happy to capture the interest of the regulator, ASQA, and for that to trigger a formal investigation.

Even if your certificate is not recalled, any sort of regulatory decision will be made public (HERE) and it is the sort of stuff that your future employer will be keeping an eye on; your certificate will carry the stain of that RTO.

Who is to be held responsible?

While ultimately it is the RTO’s job to deliver legitimate qualifications, the onus also falls on the learner.

Fortress Learning Managing Director, Dr Bryan West, explains:

“There’s a lot of talk about dodgy providers, there’s a lot of finger pointing at them for doing the wrong thing.

I’m not excusing them at all. But, at the other end are at least some people who knowingly accept qualifications without having done whatever is necessary.

There are people who knowingly accept a qualification whilst knowing that the qualification could not possibly have been delivered with integrity.

They want the piece of paper. They themselves want the short cut.

ASQA’s recent decision to recall qualifications that have been issued has a huge impact on people’s lives. But, to be honest, I can’t help but believe that at least some of those students would have known that the ‘qualification’ they were receiving was not worth the piece of paper it was written on.

Whenever anyone chooses to engage in a program of study that seems too easy, too short, too simple, that involves shortcuts – they are opening themselves up to be feeding the dodginess that we seem to be complaining about within the system.

When it comes to completing the Cert IV TAE, as the saying goes: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

Fortress Learning’s Cert IV TAE Trainer, Emma Siebuhr, had this to say about the Cert IV TAE:

“It is not a Qualification for the faint-hearted and don’t let the AQF level 4 mislead you. This is a difficult qualification and requires lots of work. It is not just about the actual training and assessment in practical terms, but also the knowledge that goes along with training in this newly emerging and much more stringent VET world.

A common myth is that you can complete it in 3 days.

The volume of learning alone for the Cert IV is 600 – 2400 hours. That means that even if you have experience in training and assessment, this course still requires you to complete about 10-12 hours of study a week for a 12 month duration. This type of learning (and then we add assessment on top of that) cannot be crammed into 3 days or even 5 or 10.

Industry has, for too long, looked at the Cert IV TAE as just a piece of paper, but I really believe that in the current climate, industry will need to accept that employees just can’t get this done in a couple of days anymore. They will need to support their staff to be able to study while on the job.”

You can read more about what the Cert IV TAE is and isn’t HERE.