Training qualifications in Australia are revamped (Article)


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Derek Stockley comments on the new TAA training package which supports formal training qualifications in Australia. The release of the training and assessment package will be seen as a major milestone in future years. Please note: this article was written in 2004. A new TAE qualification has been released, see: IBSA website.

New trainer qualifications

After a long wait, the new TAAO4 training package has been released for Australian trainers. The package covers two qualifications:

  • TAA40104: Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (14 units of competency - 12 core units plus two elective units)

  • TAA50104: Diploma of Training and Assessment (12 units of competency five core units plus seven elective units).

The new package is described at Training and Assessment (TAA) Training Package.

The direction taken by the package has serious implications for all trainers, including those in countries other than Australia.

Some would argue that the training qualification system has been dominated by one part of the training industry, in this case the VET (Vocational Education and Training) system.

The link between training and education

In Australia, vocational education has become a key part of training in industry. This is in addition to the more traditional tertiary education role.

Many companies and organisations have embraced the VET system, aligning their training activities to the attainment of industry and job related qualifications.

Formal assessment of competencies against competency standards contained in industry specific training packages is a regular part of the development of staff in a wide variety of business, not-for-profit and government organisations.

However, many companies and organisations are not in industries covered by VET’s training packages. Importantly, even if the industry is covered, many companies/organisations are not part of the "system".

Why the concern?

The basic qualification has been significantly expanded in size and scope, see TAA Certificate Comparison.

The content includes specific VET related modules and is tailored to the competency assessment based approach inherent in the VET system.

The new Certificate IV is very comprehensive. It may be too comprehensive for those involved in basic training.

The new Certificate IV qualification has 14 core modules, whereas the previous certificate had eight modules. Course time varied, but the previous certificate took about 50 hours of class time, plus "private study" time as well.

For many people, 50 hours is/was too much. What will their reaction be to the new certificate, which (in module terms) is nearly twice as big?

These time commitments are radically different to the traditional three day "train-the-trainer" program, which often suited the basic trainer training requirement for more senior employees, supervisors, team leaders and managers.

Three days covered the essential theory and skills required by people who provided training as part of their day-to-day activities.

The "Training Guarantee" requirements introduced by the Australian Government in the early 1990’s affirmed the three day course structure.

Training is everyone's responsibility

For a long time, I have maintained that most employees have training responsibilities (see training responsibility article).

Increasingly, the importance of informal and formal training in the workplace is finally being recognised (see Employers’ contribution to training, a National Centre for Vocational Education Research report released in November, 2004).

Question: So what is the issue?

Answer: In 2005, we are going to have to decide what trainer development is necessary and appropriate to support skills development in Australia.

I have a long history in trainer development (see training impact newsletter article).

It is a subject that I am passionate about and it will be a personal focus in 2005.

If you have a comment you would like to make, please send it to one of the email addresses listed below.

Resource articles

The resources quoted above are:

Training and Assessment (TAA) Training Package - comment and links to the TAA package resources.

TAA Certificate Comparison - the previous and new Certificate IV modules are listed to see the extent of the change.

Training in Australia is everybody’s responsibility - a training article by Derek Stockley - published April/May 2004 in Training Australia Magazine.

Employers’ contribution to training - National Centre for Vocational Education Research Report - released in November, 2004.

The impact of training on others - training evaluation over the long term - a newsletter article by Derek Stockley.

To review the newsletter, see: Listing of recent newsletter articles.

You can publish this article, provided that you meet certain requirements, see: High Performance Newsletter Publication page.