Asking how long it takes to complete the Certificate IV in Training & Assessment (TAE40116) is very much like asking how long is a piece of string. But, there is one thing more than others that has an incredible impact on how long it is going to take you to graduate.
And it is something that is entirely out of your control and which may cause you to pull your hair out if you are not aware of it.
What is it?
How long your training provider takes to get back to you.
The faster your training provider answers your questions, the faster you can progress. Getting an answer to a small question can make a big difference to how you learn. Imagine being unsure of an assessment question that you think can be understood in two ways: all you need is to check your understanding is correct to be able to move on with confidence. Now, imagine if that email you sent did not get a reply for 3 weeks……not only will you need to backtrack to work out where you were at, you will need to spend more time going over old stuff simply to get to where you were 3 weeks ago.
Likewise, the faster your training provider is to get your marking done, the faster you can progress. Assessments in the Cert IV TAE are often developmental, meaning that one task must be completed before you move to the next one. And, within each task, there is development of its own. That is why students have opportunities for multiple submissions. If your training provider is taking six weeks to have something reviewed for you, then like with your simple question, you are going to have to backtrack to work out where you were when you left off. This is not only incredibly frustrating, but it is also very damaging from a learning point of view.
This last thing is especially important in the Certificate IV TAE. It is known for its jargon and terminology, and although many people come into it expecting something simple, it is not an easy course, but it is one that can many people find professionally rewarding. (More about the painful nature of the TAE is in this article: The 10 Painful Truths about the Cert IV TAE.)
For you, it means that things are going to take time, and you will be depending on your training provider to get things done in a reasonable time frame.
A big thing here is how long it is going to take them to mark your work.
Here at Fortress Learning, our online Certificate IV TAE course includes 14 assessment tasks. Let’s say you were brilliant and nailed each one on your first attempt and needed no additional submissions. As soon as you finished one, you got started straight on to the next one.
Now, let’s look at the effect of marking time on that.
At Fortress Learning, we will have your marking done within 4 business days. This is quite unusual; most others seem to take weeks or months. To make this maths easier, let’s say it takes Someone Else 30 days to mark each item.
What it means for you is shown below:
If each assessment you submit takes 30 days to be marked, then you are going to be spending 420 days just waiting for your RTO to tell you what to do next. By contrast, if it takes 4 days, then that comes down to 46 days.
Now, at Fortress Learning, that 4 days is the maximum number of business days. We actually have an internal measure of 80% of marking being done within 2 days, not 4. If we look at our rates of marking, then we find that about 35% get done within 1 day, a further 55% are done within 2 days, 15% within 3 days and the rest within 4 days.
What does that mean for you?
It means that we would make you wait a total of 29 days to get all 14 tasks marked. That is less than the 30 days it takes Someone Else to mark just a single item…and those 30 days may well be the minimum wait time, not the maximum. (We haven’t even started to count the weekends that you would be waiting…)
The reason we wanted to share this information is so you can see that not all training providers will be the same.
In fact, while Registered Training Organisations are all meant to be delivering a nationally recognised qualification, the reality is that the service we RTOs provide to our students will be very different.
One part of that service is marking times. How long you are made to wait for your work to be marked is something that you really should think carefully about, and for two reasons:
The above examples refer only to marking times. Our experience is that an RTO that takes weeks to mark something will probably also not be so quick at answering an email or phone call. If getting those answers is needed so you can get your assessment done, then you can expect that those delays will add quite a bit of wait time in your TAE course.
So, if you are looking around for a provider for your TAE training, we recommend that you ask them about their service standards. As a starting point, ours are:
Marking: maximum 4 business day return
Emails: maximum 8 business hour response
Phone calls: you will be able to make appointments directly in your Trainer’s calendar, but if you call at any other time and miss us, we will get back to you within 4 business hours.
It’s likely that not everyone will be able to tell you – if you are speaking with a salesperson rather than a Trainer then you are likely to instead hear words like “flexible” and “convenient”, but be wary since these words do not really show how accountable they are going to be once you have decided to enrol with them.