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Frequently asked questions

Does Fortress Learning consider Recognition of Prior Learning?

Everyone is different and we work with you to determine the most appropriate balance of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) supported with Coursework to fill any gaps.

Coursework generally comprises both Short-Answer Questions that assess your knowledge and Assignments that assess your skills.  Where possible, all assessment is highly integrated to ensure that you are not wasting your time doing the same thing repeatedly.  Many of these questions and assignments will draw on your experience and allow you to use your own workplace or a simulated workplace environment.

If you are interested in RPL the good news is that we do not have an RPL Kit for you to wade through. Instead, we will work with you and take the time to work out where you are likely to gain Recognition and advise you on the evidence to provide, through our Personal Learning Plan Survey.

Students tell us this avoids the “hit and miss” approach of RPL that is commonly used and saves them many hours.

Does RPL change the price?

No.  Most people take advantage of the fact that our programs allow you to complete your program through whatever combination is most suitable for you.  It means that you won’t be stung for extra fees if you cannot provide all the evidence needed for RPL, and it means you get lots of good support to help you with whatever way is best for you.

Is it true that you don't accept everyone? Why?

Yes, it is true.

There are thousands of training organisations out there, and we cannot be all things to all people.  The media is filled with stories of all sorts of horrible experiences with training organisations – we suspect much of this was avoidable.

Experience tells us that taking on someone who is not a good fit is a recipe for disaster – it is not likely to work out well, for them or for us.  Instead, there will be friction, dissatisfaction and the likelihood of successful completion will not be very high at all.

How do you make any money if you turn people away?

It’s true that we probably lose out on short-term income by doing this.  But, we are not just here to make money.

Fortress Learning is a happy place to work; our staff are cheery and our students are generally a happy lot.  By surrounding ourselves with students who are committed to learning, we find we are able to perform much better for our students.

Instead of allocating resources to overcome conflict, our focus is directed toward promoting success among those with whom we agree on what success looks like.  And when those students go out with their Fortress certificates, they know that it stands for something real.

How will I know if I am a good fit?

Talk to us – don’t be scared.  By getting to know you and talking about what your program will likely involve, it will soon become obvious if there is not a good fit.  This is not about being exclusive, but allowing you to make informed decisions.

I am really time-poor but want to complete a course. Can Fortress Learning help?

While we would very much like to, we are not able to add extra hours to your day.

But, we do understand the everyday pressures of balancing family, work-life and studying and we have used our years of experience delivering accredited training packages via online learning to develop our programs specifically for time-poor people who are committed to succeeding.

People who choose to enrol with Fortress Learning understand that the best way to demonstrate their skill and ability is through being recognised with a qualification from an RTO with a strong reputation.

You see, we will never allow someone to graduate from any of our other training programs if they have not authentically demonstrated competence.  It is this strict policy, along with the following, that has resulted in our strong reputation within the training industry:

  • Our focus on creating individualised and personalised learning plans,
  • Our outstanding and dedicated teaching staff, along with
  • Quick response times.
I am very experienced. Will I be treated the same way as someone who is not?

To ensure that you do not get bogged down in doing things that aren’t necessary, we like to keep communication open through your time with us and to fast-track your learning where possible.

Experience tells us that things change in students’ work and personal lives, new information comes to hand, and sometimes it is best to change our plan to adapt to this.

We will never allow someone to graduate who has not authentically demonstrated that they are competent, but we will always consider ways to enable each individual student to show their competency in ways that are most suited for their individual situation.

I hear there is a new TAE Training Package coming out. What does that mean for me?

As so often happens in our industry, stories pop up from time to time regarding Training Package changes and dates that these changes will come into effect. These stories tend to create a lot of confusion and sometimes panic. If we follow the pattern of past TAE changes, we see a distinct pattern of 6 years between changes. For example, TAA40104 was released in 2004, followed by the TAE40110 in 2010 (6 years’ difference), followed by TAE40116 in 2016 (again 6 years’ difference). This is leading to a lot of speculation that there is a 2022 version of the TAE and we want to let you know exactly what is happening with this.

Currently, PWC skills (the skills service organisation responsible for developing the TAE Training Package) is reviewing the TAE Training Package with a new skill set in e-learning and e-assessment due to be endorsed in the coming months. We will keep you informed when this happens.

So far, there have been no changes to the TAE Training Package (Release 3.2) and if and when this does happen, we want our Fortress Learning students to know that we will be the first to let you all know. For more information on this case for change, take a look at the PWC skills website here: https://www.skillsforaustralia.com/project…/education-tae/

How long do you take to answer my call, email, marking?

If you are like most people, then studying will just be one of many things that you are doing.  When you have a window of opportunity, you will want to make the most of it.

For that reason, we like to help people keep moving, and one way we can do that is to respond promptly.   We have strict standards that govern everything that we do – from emails to missed calls and marking, and we consistently beat those (as many testimonial comments attest).

Our service promise to you:

  • Any assessments you submit will be marked within 4 business days. That is our service standard guarantee to you.
  • All emails are responded to within 8 business hours.
  • If we miss your call, leave a message and we’ll call you back within 4 business hours.
Is online learning better than face to face?

This is a difficult question, and lots of people will have different answers.

We asked 300 people what they thought, and their answers are in this article:  It Just Depends: Online versus Face to Face Learning 

To learn more about how we approach online learning, take a look at this one: How Does Fortress Learning Respond to the Challenges of Online Learning?

Because there is no one best way for everyone, we offer a combination of online and blended online/face-to-face delivery options.

We also have a video where we discuss the difference between online and face-to-face training.

How come your fees are so cheap? How come your fees are so dear?

We get both of these questions.

Since VET-FEE help came in, we have seen an across the board increase in fees for programs.  Do those fees reflect the cost of delivering the programs, or reflect good value?

Honestly, we don’t know.

What we do know is that in 2009 we started Fortress Learning with the goal of making quality training accessible.  That means that our business is built on a foundation of operational efficiency.  Your fees represent what we need to cover the costs associated with delivering what we see is a quality product to motivated people.

Because we do not charge many thousands of dollars per student, and because we do not seek any external funding, our costs per student are much lower purely because you are not required to pay the higher costs that come with advertising and administering those things.

What we do know is that it is really hard for people to make a choice in what is a very challenging marketplace of training.  Who to believe? What to do?

All we would suggest is that you do your best to make an informed decision, and if talking with us can help with that, then give us a call or watch our video Does Price Matter

What is a Unique Student Identifier (USI)?

Essentially, a Unique Student Identifier is a way of making all your recognised Australian training available in one place. It will be easier for you to prove you have completed training, gain recognition of prior learning, and you can control who accesses your records and when.

Read more here: http://www.usi.gov.au

When should you create your USI?

We encourage you provide your USI upon enrolment. If you do not have one, you can register for one via the following link. It is an efficient and easy to follow process: https://www.usi.gov.au/students/get-a-usi

Top tip: When creating your USI, it is advisable to request that they notify you via email since postal notifications can take weeks.

What happens if you don't provide us with your USI?

Since it is a legal requirement for all RTOs, we need to ensure that all our students provide one. Essentially, you cannot commence your program of study with us until we have:

  • Received and verified your USI, or
  • We have confirmed that you are USI Exempt.
How do I find out if you are the right RTO for me?

It’s simple:

  • Talk to us
  • Read our reviews
  • Consider our Suitability Assessment (you will automatically be taken through the Suitability Assessment during the enrolment process.)
Do you have another question?

If you would like to know more about anything, then give us a call on 1300 141 994, or CLICK HERE to complete our Contact Form.