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Accellier is the trading name of SAVE Training Pty Ltd and is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO 32395) that offers a range of nationally recognised courses in education and business Australia wide through our online and face to face courses.

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It’s not impossible – but here are some of the challenges

The biggest challenge with delivering the TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment as an entirely face-to-face course, is in something called “performance evidence.”

These appear in all units in the Cert IV, and apply no matter where or how you do the course.

Performance evidence say that students must perform skills, or produce certain outcomes a specific number of times, meeting specific requirements.

There’s no escaping performance evidence requirements. They must be fulfilled by any student doing a course at any provider. Not doing them, or ‘cutting corners’ with these important parts of the course, would result in an invalid assessment.

Dodgy providers who don’t address the requirements properly are typically found non-compliant by the regulator (the Australian Skills Quality Authority) and usually have to re-train, re-assess or revoke the awarded certificate entirely.

So all training organisations typically take the performance evidence part of a unit very seriously.

How does this affect the Cert IV TAE in the classroom?

Let’s look at four units in particular from the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, whose performance evidence make full class-room delivery very challenging:

TAEDEL401 Plan, organise and deliver group-based learning

This is the unit that deals with the skill of a classroom-based trainer/teacher. Students are assessed on their ability to deliver effective training to a group. It’s a great unit; it’s fun, challenging (in all the good ways), and extremely rewarding to complete.

At first glance it would seem logical that in a face-to-face TAE course, students would take turns at delivering short training sessions to each other. This is perfect for people to practice the skill of teaching adults and gain valuable feedback from others also developing their facilitation skills. But that only gets us so far.

Summarised, this unit’s performance evidence says that when we assess student’s ability to facilitate learning, they must:

  • Deliver 2 consecutive training sessions to a group of at least 8 real people
  • Another session to a different group of at least 8 real people
  • These sessions must be at least 40 minutes in duration

So we can see here there’s a total of at least 2 hours worth of delivery required when assessing each person. Let’s say you have 12 people in a group, all needing to do the same thing, you have 24 hours worth of training.

Then there’s the requirement for each person to deliver to two different groups.

So you can see this requires some real black-belt ninja level organisational and logistical skills to pull of just the assessment of just one unit.

With 17 or more students, two seperate training rooms, and 34+ hours of training, this one unit could be theoretically assessed in a week.

How we do it

When we deliver this one face to face, we cover one 40 minute session. For the other consecutive sessions delivered to a different group, it’s significantly easier for people to do this either in the workplace, or in a situation they’ve established themselves. This makes it more relevant for the participant, and allows for the application of skills in diverse settings.

TAEASS402 Assess competence

This unit requires participants to conduct five full assessments of other people. Initial impressions might suggest that students could just take turns assessing each other until they’ve completed five assessments. On further consideration we realise this is challenging with the typically diverse groups seen in a TAE audience, for example:

  • How do we know before-hand what the students will be reasonably knowledgeable and skilled in, to create a fair ‘mock’ assessment?
  • How do we get the right assessment tools prepared for students to assess other students with?
  • If you have participants assessing each other, how do we organise it? Not only must each person assess five others, they themselves will probably have to be assessed at least 3 or 4 times as well.

How we do it

We do a range of case studies and roleplays in the course to cover three of the assessments using carefully prepared scenarios and assessment tools. Students then are required to complete two more assessments in their own time, using units that are more relevant and applicable to their industry. It just makes more sense and makes for a far better learning experience, and more valid assessment.

TAEASS502 Design and develop assessment tools

This unit’s performance evidence requires people to develop three full assessment tools covering a whole unit of competency each. That means students have to develop – from scratch – all the checklists, questions, marking guides, roleplays and scenarios to cover an entire unit – three times.

In the wild, depending on the unit, it might take between 10 and 50 hours for an experienced professional to fully plan, design, develop, trial, review, validate and finalise an assessment tool.

How we do it

Depending on the delivery method and course duration, we may actually allow for the completion of all three assessment tools throughout the course. On shorter courses, we may complete one or two, then people have the skills, tools, templates and techniques to go off and develop a couple more in their own time.

TAELLN411 Address adult language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) skills

This unit requires that people provide LLN support to at least two real vocational learners. This includes, among a few other things, the need to analyse their own students’ needs and make adjustments to the way they teach and assess a course.

Again, at face value it seems we might be able to “role-play our way through” this unit. Indeed, some aspects we can, and do this way.

The catch, however, is where the unit insists on ‘real vocational learners.’ Now you could argue others in the face-to-face TAE group are indeed real vocational learners – and they are. But the unit still requires the participant to be able to support someone’s actual LLN difficulties. What if nobody in the TAE course has LLN difficulties? If you start “pretending” that a real person has imaginary LLN difficulties then they are no longer a real vocational learner.

How we do it

We have at hand a range of resources that include videos of interviews and profiles of real vocational learners with real LLN difficulties. We offer these as a learning tool to gain experience in determining strategies for support. This only gets us so far though. There is still the requirement for participants to support their own real students during their teaching and assessing.

Depending on the group, we will typically encourage this to be completed in the workplace, at the same time as the TAEDEL401 and TAEASS401 units. If there is no opportunity to provide LLN support to real students in their own workplace, the assessor may provide the participants with a range of case studies and establish role-plays with real people to create a realistic situation to demonstrate their skills.

So can you do the whole TAE Cert IV Face to Face?

As we’ve discovered by looking at just 4 of the 10 units in this course, there are significant challenges with doing the whole course properly face-to-face. It is certainly possible with the right conditions and resources, however the conclusion we draw from this is:

  • A full face to face delivery of Certificate IV in Training and Assessment done properly is necessarily a lengthy endeavour
  • The optimum approach is to do parts of the course face to face, then provide students with guidance and support to complete remaining tasks in their workplace or at home (where appropriate)
  • Choosing a reputable provider is paramount to success here. They need to be capable of maximising the usefulness class time, while providing first class support and guidance away from the class through communication, service and a modern, conducive online learning platform

What next?

If you’d like some assistance in choosing a TAE provider, whether it be for face-to-face, online or a combination, send us a message below and we can arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our trainers.

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