We have had several thousand Cert IV TAE and Dip VET-TDD students go through our virtual doors since 2009. I don’t say that to brag.
The reality is that not everyone has had a great experience. To be brutally honest, some people probably wish they never enrolled with us.
Don’t get me wrong – I am not saying we spend our days fending off constant complaints. This article was first published in 2016 and since then we have referred 3 people to our Complaints Policy, and none have ever lodged a complaint.
But that doesn’t mean we are great for everyone who wants to do their TAE.
What it does mean is that for some people, we are probably not the right TAE training provider. And, for everyone’s sake, it is probably best if we don’t pretend to be all things to all people.
Our service standards reflect our commitment to helping you get things done. The reason we will get your marking done within 4 days is not because we take shortcuts with it, but because we staff ourselves so that our students don’t have to wait around for weeks to be able to move forwards. Likewise for answering your emails in 8 hours or less, and returning phone calls in 4 hours or less. Our graduates will say we were very supportive, and quick, and beneath that is a genuine desire for our graduates to really be competent. But that efficiency does not mean that we will take shortcuts with your training. If you are looking around, you will see lots of RTOs will talk about quality: what does that even mean when what matters to you might not be what matters to them?
It is good for people to be confident, and if you believe you are competent and are deserving of recognition, then that is great. But, we will not award any qualification for anyone before that person has demonstrated their competence. We will help you to find ways to demonstrate it, but if you cannot then we will not award you a Unit or Qualification. RPL is a way to be assessed, not a way to avoid being assessed.
This is an interesting one. For some people, the anonymity of a larger organisation is attractive; some people find comfort in that. But that is not Fortress Learning. We are a very small and tight-knit group. We meet weekly as a team to reflect on that, including on the feedback that we invite from our students on every piece of assessment, feedback like this:
We will care about you and will care about your progress. If you go AWOL for a while, we will get in touch. We will phone you and email you at random times just to see how you are going. We expect all of our students to succeed, and some people find that bothersome.
For some reason, some people seem to believe that being rude will help them get what they want. Not at Fortress Learning. We appreciate manners and an unwritten rule we have for when anyone asks us to do something unusual or extra is simply: did they say please? Our staff are all highly trained and, perhaps more importantly, highly committed to the success of every student. Students who take it upon themselves to be rude or offensive generally attract the Manager’s attention pretty quickly. We treat every student with courtesy and respect and enjoy our work so much more when our students do likewise.
It is true that many of the TAE courses we deliver can be done elsewhere in days or weeks. It is wrong to think that any of our programs are the equivalent of that. We do not believe it is possible to gain the knowledge and skills of a qualification in such a short period. Our programs are structured to ensure efficiency and avoid wasted time doing unnecessary things, but it will take time, and certainly more time than sitting passively in a class where attendance is mistaken for competency
The reason is simple.
Learning is ultimately about being vulnerable. Being vulnerable requires trust. Trust requires honesty.
We want you to trust us, and the beginning of our relationship should be based on a real understanding of what to expect.
If that makes sense to you, then that is a good start and makes for a great fit.
If you would like to know what real-life students have said about us, then check out our Trustpilot page. (What’s TrustPilot? It’s the only online review site we found that cannot be doctored to show false testimonials.)