Reality: There are a large amount of RTOs out there offering the Cert IV in Training and Assessment which makes it harder to know who to go with, particularly when they all promise the moon and stars, but let's be real… Some are more like a dodgy carnival ride than a quality training course, so how do you choose wisely?
Eeny, meany, miny, moe and hoping for the best is probably not going to cut it here. Going for a cheap price tag isn’t either. Why? Because, despite having the same name, the quality can be vastly different!
Ever bought something that needed to be put together where the instructions were barely translated into English and the diagrams were, well, possibly backwards but who knows?!… Was it quick, easy and fun? Or did irritation start boiling as what should have been a simple task turned into a ninja-level test of wills, with every cryptic instruction adding fuel to the fire of raging frustration? It’s ok, we’ve all been there.
The truth is, the experience of doing the Cert IV in Training and Assessment with some RTOs is like that, and the support? Let's just say you'd get more help from a pet rock. This kind of experience is actually one of the main reasons many people start but don’t finish this course. Sad but true!
So, why are you diving into this adventure? Are you fired up to share your wisdom like a modern-day Yoda, or is it just something you “have to do”? If it's the latter, the reality is you're going to need extra help to get through because you’ll likely be less motivated when it feels like a hard slog.
With the new TAE40122, the journey's a tad smoother, but don't be fooled, it's still no walk in the park. So, if you “have to” do it, you might as well choose an RTO that makes the experience as easy and as enjoyable as it can possibly be, while still making sure you can walk into a job with confidence once you graduate, right?
We think so too, so here are the key things to explore and ask about, to give yourself the greatest chance of having a decent learning journey that also results in gaining your certificate:
Thinking that all Certificate IV in Training and Assessment materials are the same across different RTOs is like believing all pizzas taste the same regardless of where you get them – a common myth but far from reality. Yes, all RTOs have to stick to the recipe of learning outcomes set by the powers that be (check out training.gov.au for the details), but how they serve up the knowledge can vary wildly.
Some RTOs, in a bid to save time and money, opt for the fast food approach, grabbing off-the-shelf resources created by someone else, from somewhere out there. It's a bit like reheating frozen meals – quick and easy, but you’re not really sure what’s in it and you might end up with something that’s hard to digest, especially when it comes to understanding the content and nailing the assessments. This isn’t always the case, but it’s generally a huge gamble.
Then there are RTOs who are more like gourmet chefs, crafting their course materials in their own educational kitchen with a team of seasoned trainers and assessors. This “home-cooked” approach usually means a richer learning experience, kind of like enjoying a meal that’s been thoughtfully prepared with fresh ingredients. It's not just about filling up; it's about enjoying the journey to becoming a well-prepared trainer and assessor, ready to take on real-world challenges with confidence. Cert IV Creme Brulee anyone?
When it comes to the Cert IV in TAE, support is like having a trusty sidekick in a superhero movie – pretty essential unless you fancy yourself as a lone wolf in the wild world of training and assessment. Let's face it, this course can throw curveballs that feel like you're trying to crack an ancient code.
If you're new to the TAE universe, brace yourself for an avalanche of new terms and procedures. It can feel like you've been teleported to a country where you don't speak the language – exciting but a tad overwhelming. Support in this scenario becomes your light in the dark and a major sanity saver, helping you navigate this new terrain.
BUYER BEWARE: Let’s talk about the bargain bin option. Imagine it like buying a cheap parachute – it seems like a great deal until you're mid-air and realise it might not open. Cheaper courses often skimp on support, leaving you hanging when you most need help. You might end up paying more in the end, not just in cash to get the support you need but in precious time lost frantically trying to make sense of things on your own. So, make sure the support is more than just a decorative accessory.
IMPORTANT NOTE: While cheap often means little to no support, just know that it isn’t always a bad thing! If the quality of the content is high and you’re typically a better lone wolf (highly organised and self-motivated), you may not need it and why pay for something you won’t use?
So, before you leap, ask these crucial questions:
This is where you benefit most from knowing your own needs first; what option is going to fit with the timeframe you need to have your certificate by? How much available time do you have or can take off from work and family/life to do it? And what environment do you learn best in?
You might need to chat with a course advisor to help you figure out the best fit for your lifestyle and learning style. But here's a quick lowdown on the options, complete with pros and cons:
Face-to-Face: Old school classroom style. You, a group, and a trainer, all in one place.
- Pros: Fast and furious learning over a few weeks, great group dynamics, and immediate help from the trainer.
- Cons: Travel time and costs, taking significant time off work, and it can hit the wallet harder.
Virtual Classroom: Like Face-to-Face but with the option to stay in your pyjama bottoms, thanks to platforms like Zoom.
- Pros: Efficient learning from the comfort of your home, still get that group vibe, save on travel.
- Cons: You'll need good internet, and if tech isn't your friend, it might feel like a bad blind date. Also, noisy housemates/children can be disruptive.
Self-Paced Online: You're the boss of your learning schedule, all online.
- Pros: Flexible as a yoga instructor, no need to sync with others, great for lone wolves.
- Cons: Can be lonely without group interaction, might have extra fees for 1:1 trainer time, and you'll need ninja-level self-motivation.
Blended Delivery: A mixtape of the above options, for those who want a bit of everything.
- Pros: A bit of face-to-face action (real or virtual) for quick learning, plus the chill of self-paced progress.
- Cons: You’ll still need to keep yourself on track for the solo parts, and extra support might cost you extra.
Remember, what works for one might not work for another. So pick the option that motivates you to want to get going in the morning – or at least doesn't make you hit snooze too many times!
How quickly does your RTO mark assessments? For some of you, it will be really important. Slow marking can stretch your course out a lot longer than planned, particularly when it takes 20 - 30 days per assessment. Getting momentum isn’t easy for some, so if you prefer to wait for the assessment result before starting the next unit and you want to just keep going when you’re on a roll, you’ll want to ask about this one.
Keep in mind, while the Cert IV in TAE is packed with assessments for 12 units, you can generally keep moving on with the next unit while you’re waiting, but there's a sweet relief in knowing you've nailed the last one before starting the next. So, check those marking times unless you enjoy the suspense. 🐌🚀
How do you separate the educational wheat from the chaff when choosing an RTO? Sure, they all claim to have top-notch content and stellar support. But let's face it, in the world of RTOs, everyone's the hero of their own story. Your mission is to uncover the truth behind those glossy brochures and flashy websites.
The trick? Get comfy and dive into the deep end of student reviews. Think of it like checking a restaurant's rating before you dine; you want the real scoop from those who've already eaten there. Don't just skim the top layer – dig into a heap of reviews. Are students singing praises about the course material? Is the support team available and quicker than a speedy pizza delivery? How fast are they at marking assessments – tortoise or hare style? And let's not forget the overall vibe – are the staff more like friendly neighbours or the grumpy old man on the corner?
Remember, take the sales pitch with a pinch of salt – even ours. After all, seeing is believing, and in this case, reading is revealing!
IMPORTANT HINT: Go direct to platforms such as Trustpilot, Google Review, Product Review and even Facebook reviews because these independent platforms can’t be bribed or altered by the RTO/company so they’re great places to find genuine reviews.
Here’s a heads-up: Just because an RTO has been around since dinosaurs roamed the Earth doesn't mean it's immune to going extinct. Picture this: Since 2022, a few RTOs have disappeared overnight leaving a lot of students in limbo part way through their courses. It's like signing up for a marathon and finding out mid-race that the finish line has packed up and gone home.
Interestingly, the RTOs that folded were often the ones offering the cheaper courses. It's a bit like buying a cheap umbrella that turns inside out at the first hint of a breeze. So, if you're looking for an RTO, remember that cheaper isn't always cheerier.
Here's a pro tip: Check out training.gov.au to see if your chosen RTO and course are listed. If they're playing hide-and-seek on the official site, consider it a red flag waving furiously at you.
Also, check if they've passed any recent audits. It's like seeing if a restaurant has a clean health inspection sticker in the window – a sign that they're keeping up with standards. In the wild world of RTOs, a little homework goes a long way to stop you from boarding a sinking ship!
Alright, future trainers and assessors, we're nearing the end of our RTO treasure hunt! Remember, while your wallet might have a say in this (because, let's be real, everyone is watching their pennies), it shouldn't be the only voice in your head. Using everything we’ve shared above – from content chefs to support superheroes, and not forgetting the age-old wisdom of "older doesn't always mean wiser" – create a shortlist of RTOs to choose from.
Then, and only then, let the cost factor come into play. Think of it as the cherry on top but still balancing what you'll get for what you invest. The goal? To embark on a learning journey that's as enjoyable as a favourite book, and to reach the finish line with a certificate in hand and a smile on your face.
You have everything you need now so go, weigh your options, choose your RTO and get started. You’ve got this!