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TAE40116 – Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

After waiting for what seems like forever, we now have a definitive announcement about the future of the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. As a cornerstone of the Vocation Educational Training sector this qualification represents an important step in ensuring quality in the following:

  • Training
  • Delivery
  • Program design
  • Assessment development

Because of this course’s importance, it was paramount to ensure that the updated qualification reflected the needs of our industry and was robust enough to meet the expectations of all stakeholders; government, employers, students and end-user clients. These updates also specifically responded to the quality issues identified by the Australian Skills Quality Authority through its strategic reviews.

On April 1st,2016 the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) released a communique which announced that they “have approved an important update to the Training and Education (TAE) Training Package”.

This communique specifically confirmed that the updated Certificate IV in Training and Assessment will have two new core units:

  • TAELLN411 Addressing adult language, literacy and numeracy skills; and
  • TAEASS502 Design and develop assessment tools.

The inclusion of the additional LLN unit will ensure that VET practitioners will have a greater understanding of the foundation skills required in their industry sectors for both training and assessment and be better equipped to support their learners. Coral Reef Institute has included this as an elective unit in our Certificate IV in Training and Assessment program since 2015.
The addition of a core unit on the development of effective assessment tools will help to assure employers that students graduating from VET courses will be more effectively assessed as having the necessary skills and knowledge to do the job

Further to this, The Australian Quality Skills Authority (ASQA) explained in a media statement released on April 1st, 2016 that “all registered training organisations, whether currently delivering the old Cert IV TAE qualification (TAE40110) or not, will need to apply to the regulator should they wish to offer the updated qualification”. Furthermore, they stated that “reflecting the critical role this qualification plays in assuring quality in the VET sector, all applications for this qualification will undergo enhanced scrutiny by the regulator”. This will therefore create some delay before the actual qualification can be delivered by any RTO.

On April 7th, 2016 the National VET Register was updated to include information about the new Certificate IV and Diploma products and we were able to review the accompanying transition documents which mapped the updates between versions. It was confirmed in the published packaging rules that the two new core units were included, giving the qualification a total of 10 units (9 core and 1 elective). The update also revealed that the Diploma of Vocational Education and Training (TAE50116) was modified to include the new core unit TAELLN501 Support the development of adult language, literacy and numeracy skill, replacing the unit TAELLN401A.

On April 11th, 2016 ASQA published an update on their website which outlined the new evidence requirements for RTO’s who wish to apply for TAE products to be added to their scope of registration. There are 7 additional evidence requirements listed which are aimed at ensuring that TAE providers have the highest standards in place, the most robust assessment systems and suitably qualified and experienced personnel to offer these critical VET products. Whilst applications are now open, it will take some time to compile the required evidence and submit to the regulator. This is because the new provider requirements are considerable and complex. Given that all TAE providers have to make new applications, there are also likely to be some delays experienced during the regulator’s audit process, due to the sheer volume of applications anticipated.

The Australian Institute of Accredited Training, in partnership with our 3rd party arrangement with Logicus Training Solutions has commenced development of an upgrade strategy for our existing students together with a wider development plan to support the extension of scope application for the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE40116). We have an experienced and dedicated team of developers working on the project and have engaged independent external validators, as per the regulator requirements, to support a swift transition. Logicus Training Solutions anticipate lodging extension of scope application very soon.

Given the importance of improving assessment and foundation skills within the VET system, the AISC has recommended that the COAG Industry and Skills Council consider applying the new requirements to the existing workforce. This means that their preference is for existing holders of the TAE40110 to undertake the two additional core units contained in the new update. The COAG Industry and Skills Council have established a taskforce to consider these recommendations. We should have a response by July 2016. It is important to note though, that the current Standards for RTO’s 2015 do not require trainers and assessors of Australian Qualification Framework qualifications or statements of attainment to undertake this. Rather, they state that the TAE40110 qualification or its successor would be appropriate in meeting the human resource requirements. (See Appendix 2, Schedule 1 of the User Guide to the Standards: http://www.asqa.gov.au/users-guide-to-the-standards-for-registered-training-organisations-2015/appendices/appendix-2/appendix-2.html)
For things to change, the COAG Industry and Skills Council would have to agree with the AISC recommendations and then move to have these changes reflected as an amendment to the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 through a legislative instrument. Therefore, it could be some time before these recommendations come to fruition, if at all.

What to do if you hold the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE40110)?

At this stage there is no action required as your qualification still meets the minimum requirements under Clause 1.14 and 1.15 of the Standards for RTO’s 2015. If you are a Coral Reef Institute graduate from January 2015 onwards, you most likely possess the TAELLN411 unit as part of your Certificate IV in Training and Assessment qualification. You could consider completing the unit TAEASS502 Design and develop assessment tools as part of your on-going professional development commitments, but this is not necessary at this time.

Can I still enrol in the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE40110) now?

Since changes were first mooted in 2013, the Australian Institute of Accredited Training has worked hard to integrate the proposed amendments into our existing programs to make future transitions as seamless as possible for students. As such, all of the major changes identified in IBSA’s case for endorsement for the Certificate IV are reflected in our current offerings. We were surprised by the inclusion of the unit Design and develop assessment tools described in the AISC communique, as this was not part of the original case for endorsement and was widely unsupported by our industry during consultations. However, we recognise that it is one solution to the quality issues raised about assessment in ASQA’s strategic reviews. Until the TAE40116 is available to deliver, students can confidently enrol in Coral Reef Institute’s TAE40110 program and select the new units TAELLN411 Addressing adult language, literacy and numeracy skills and TAEASS502 Design and develop assessment tools as electives, should they want to, so they will be able to move towards the new requirements. We will be seeking extension of scope to include TAE40116 as soon as possible and will support all students in their transition from TAE40110 to TAE40116. This is the first major review of the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment since 2010. We welcome these updates and look forward to integrating the changes into our program. Coral Reef Institute echoes the regulator’s comments on the changes and agree that it is an important first step in a range of reforms that are required to enhance the reputation and standing of the VET industry and its workforce.