Update to Certificate IV in Training and Assessment – TAE40116
After almost 2 years of delay, we now have a definitive announcement about the future of the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. As a cornerstone of the VET sector this qualification represents an important step in ensuring quality in training delivery, program design and assessment development. As such, it was important 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.
MRWED have been actively involved in the review process leading up to this announcement and have enthusiastically contributed to the development process through multiple consultations with IBSA, the former Industry Skills Council, and through the submission of a formal response to the recent discussion paper on VET reform championed by the Minister of Vocational Education and Skills. MRWED have also been active in the VET space supporting key professional development opportunities aimed at reducing many of the gaps identified in the review. This has been achieved by delivering workshops and webinars on topics such as advanced facilitation skills, developing best-practice assessment tools and creating sustainable industry engagement and assessment validation. This professional development has been conducted with key VET organisations including IBSA, ACPET, Velg Training and VETNetwork.
What do we know right now?
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:
Addressing adult language, literacy and numeracy skills; and
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. MRWED has included this as an elective unit in our Certificate IV in Training and Assessment program since January 2015 and has offered a popular LLN workshop for practitioners looking to complete it as a stand-alone unit since July 2013.
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. MRWED has offered the unit Design and develop assessment tools in our Diploma qualifications since 2011.
The AISC communique also stated that “full details of the training package approved for implementation will be available shortly on www.training.gov.au”.
Further to this, The Australian Quality Skills Authority 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 ASQA should they wish to offer the updated qualification”. Furthermore, they state 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 ASQA”. This will therefore create some delay before the actual qualification can be delivered by any RTO, including MRWED.
On April 7th, 2016 the National VET Register was updated to include information about the new Certificate IV 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).
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.
It is important to note though, that the current Standards for RTOs 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 RTOs 2015.
If you are a MRWED graduate from January 2015 onwards, you will already possess the LLN unit as part of your Certificate IV in Training and Assessment qualification. You could consider completing the unit 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?
Yes. The TAE40110 qualification is the only version of the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment that is presently available to study until extension of scope applications can be processed and approved by ASQA, and the first RTOs can deliver it. The TAE40110 currently meets the minimum requirements under Clause 1.14 and 1.15 of the Standards for RTOs 2015. If you want to work in training and assessment that leads to an Australian Qualification Framework qualification or statement of attainment then it is still an appropriate qualification to enrol in. Alternatively, you could study a diploma or higher level qualification in adult education (which will also meet the human resource requirements listed in Schedule 1 of the Standards of RTOs 2015).
What if I want to enrol in the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE40116) now?
Since changes were first mooted in 2013, MRWED 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 MRWED’s TAE40110 program and select the new units Addressing adult language, literacy and numeracy skills and Design and develop assessment tools as electives, should they want to, so they will be able to meet the new requirements. MRWED 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. MRWED 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. We also hope that the new qualification will bring greater community confidence in the capability of VET trainers and assessors and eagerly await the promised further details on the national VET register and by the national VET regulator.
CEO – MRWED Training and Assessment
To view the AISC communique from 1st April, 201 visit: https://docs.education.gov.au/node/40331
To view ASQA Media Statement from 1st April, 2016 visit: http://www.asqa.gov.au/news-and-publications/newly-endorsed-certificate-iv-in-training-and-assessment1.html