The TAE debacle – A Resources Sector View

Anybody in training world (unless you are hiding under a rock) will be aware of the TAE 40116Certificate IV in Training and Assessment debacle.

From the limited number of RTOs registered to deliver the course, through to the great RTO’s that have been “knocked back”and have decided to walk away from this qualification, the training world has been tipped on its head

I won’t dwell on the inconsistency of the registration process that appears to focus on volume of learning whilst approving RTOs that will be delivering entirely online – how do they guarantee volume of learning requirements?

Let’s fast forward to the resources sector and I will qualify this by recognising that we (the resources sector) are not Robinson Crusoe in this but (unapologetically) we don’t care.

I worked as an underground miner in Mt Isa from 1982 through to the end of 1993 and in 1991, I was asked by my foreman to attend a workplace trainer and assessor course. I admit that I wasn’t keen at the time and the only reason I attended was to get out shift work for the course duration.

The course was delivered over several weeks with classroom and practical activities conducted throughout that time. The trainer, who facilitated the course, was brilliant and from that first moment, I fell in love with training.

The course was an in-house, non-accredited program which, most importantly was fit for purpose. The workplace trainers and assessors did just that, trained one-on-one or with very small groups and conducted assessment in the workplace using pre-determined assessment instruments AND, guess what? That is still what the majority of our workplace trainers and assessors continue to do in the resources sector.

Now this probably means nothing to some in the training sector or even to our regulators, until you realise that the overwhelming number of trainers and assessors in Australia do not work for or with RTOs.

It is this writer’s opinion, that since BSZ, this program has been slowly hi-jacked by those who have no idea of what happens in the real world of workplace training. It has become a qualification for the training industry, not industry that trains. They do not understand workplaces where training and more importantly the outcomes (assessment) must be fit for purpose to achieve what VET is all about.  VET should be about producing safe, proficient (productive) workers and providing an opportunity for learning to be built on as people move along their chosen career path.

It is a fact that for the past 13 years we have been trying to jam square pegs into a round hole by insisting our workplace trainers/assessors hold competencies or qualifications designed for RTO trainers and assessors. We need to stop compromising the integrity of the training sector and deliver courses that meet our industry’s needs.

Fast forward to today, and the Resources Training Council (RTC) is pleased to announce an alternative for workplace trainers and assessors –a nationally accredited Course in Field-based Training and Assessment (10235NAT). This course has been accepted by our mine site members, the Coal Safety and Health Advisory Committee and the inspectorate.   It is a real, overdue and much welcomed option for our industry’s trainers and assessors.

RTC will enter into an agreement with the course owner and will in close consultation with that organisation, appoint a select group of FBTA course providers in Queensland.  The agreement will facilitate monitoring by the RTC of quality of delivery, by those providers.

This accredited course brings us back to what it is important and relevant – ensuring our industry has effective trainers and assessors.   It heralds a positive change in outcomes for all training delivered in our sector.

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