There is no such thing as a quality Certificate IV TAE. And that is quite simply because:
- not all people who want to do the Certificate IV want the same thing from it
- not one training organisation can be all things to all people
Finding a quality Certificate IV TAE means finding out what you really want
The first thing to do is recognise that it is not actually the Certificate IV TAE that you need to be quality. What you actually do not need is an RTO that will tell you that they deliver a quality program. After all, that is irrelevant, because what they mean (if anything) by the word quality is quite possibly very different to what you mean.
How to tell if their quality is the same as your quality.
It all comes down to what is important to you. If you know what is important, then you can sort out if this Certificate IV TAE program or that Certificate IV TAE program is going to be the quality you want.
I’ll give an example from Fortress Learning.
We had two students. Let’s call them Robert and Marie. Both completed the same Certificate IV in Training & Assessment, and both through a blended program of RPL and coursework assessment.
Robert was confident he was competent and was keen to get the piece of paper as quickly as possible. He found some of the assessments to be “unnecessary” for someone who had his experience and believed that RPL was meant to be a shortcut. It ended up taking him longer than he wanted, and he said:
The marking time was great, but I shouldn’t have to prove that I did everything.
What Robert wanted most was a short course. He appreciated our quick marking turnaround times, but doing it thoroughly was not as important to him as getting it done quick. For Robert, a quality Certificate IV TAE was one that he could get done in a period of time that suited him.
Now, the other student is Marie. Like Robert, Marie was also confident she was competent and was keen to get the piece of paper as quickly as possible. She found some of the assessment challenging not because it was hard, but because it highlighted to her some gaps in what she knew and how she had been doing things. That gave rise to further learning. Marie said:
the process was very thorough and allowed me to see where I had gaps in my own experience and knowledge. I now know what I am good at and what I need to keep working on.
Just like Robert, Marie had certain things that she wanted. She wanted to engage in a process of professional process of reflection to gain confidence in herself. She would not think a short TAE course would be a quality one. Above, Instead, you should look at the comments, where you will be able to see what was important to the reviewer. You can see that Robert was concerned about time and ease, but Marie was more concerned about thoroughness and credibility.
What matters for your Certificate IV TAE may not be what matters to your training provider
If you know what is important to you, then you will be able to see which training provider is going to be able to deliver a Certificate IV TAE that will match what you want. But you must be clear on what you want first, and with that also comes being clear on what you don’t want.
A simple exercise to help you work it out
Here are five things that we are commonly asked about by people looking to complete the Certificate IV TAE:
- Cost – what will it cost me in dollars?
- Duration – how long do you allow me to complete it?
- Response times – emails & phone calls – how long will you keep me waiting for a reply to an email or missed phone call?
- Marking turnaround times – how long will you keep me waiting for you to mark my work?
- Trainer experience – how experienced are your Trainers?
- industry reputation – how much will a certificate with this RTO name on it be worth?
Now, before you go asking a training provider about those things, do this:
- Write your own list – or use the ones above – put them in an order that you think matters most.
- List the training providers you are considering.
- Search for their online reviews. (Not sure how? Just type in the name of the RTO plus reviews, eg Fortress Learning Reviews.)
- Ignore the stars. That’s very important – just jump straight into the comments and see if the things that people are raving about are the same things that you put at the top of your list. Also, look at the things that people might be complaining about (check out the 1 and 2-star reviews) – are their gripes things that might also bother you?
- Now go back to your list of items and do this: The ones that you think are must-haves go in the left-hand column of a table like the ones below. Look at the ones you have left – which of those are you prepared to compromise in order to get your must-haves?
If our friend Robert from above did it, then maybe the table would like this:
For Marie, it might look something like this:
It is really this last step that will be the most important in driving your Certificate IV TAE experience. Because not all RTOs can be all things, you need to be really clear on what you do want and what you don’t want. By being clear from the get-go, you can now go with confidence and phone those RTOs who are still on your list because you are in a much better place to decide if their definition of a quality Cert IV TAE will match yours.