Three Reasons Why People Don’t Finish Their Diploma of VET or Diploma of TDD

While we go to great lengths to make the process as smooth and efficient as possible, the reality is that not all people who commence their Diploma of Vocational Education & Training or Diploma of Training Design & Development will complete it.

Why? I think there are three reasons.

1. People sign up to do the TAE Diploma thinking that it is something that it is not.

The TAE Diploma is not just about learning how to train people. It is not just about how to come up with better PowerPoint presentations and have groups of people eating out of our hands. Expecting that the course will mostly be about the skills of teaching will lead to great disappointment, frustration and annoyance. It’s also not just about knowing which boxes to tick to pass an audit.

After all, it is about all the legal stuff and policies that say how we can train people and assess people. It is about knowing where training and assessment fits in the bigger picture of our industries and economy, and making sure that we know that our responsibilities go way beyond choosing a colour scheme for a handout. That’s where research comes in: find out what is involved so that there are no surprises.

2. People sign up to do the TAE Diploma because it is something that they think they have already done.

That may not make sense at first. But, believe me, there are many people who believe that simply by virtue of them being a trainer/assessor for x years, they have already done absolutely everything that the program requires. Unfortunately, these people find the going tough as soon as they are asked a question that they do not know the answer to (and I am yet to find a single person, no matter how experienced, who nailed everything perfectly first go). They crumble. They get very defensive. They argue about the point of it all.

But, shooting the messenger (ie, us) does not help anyone (ie, them) to get any closer to demonstrating competency or attaining the TAE Diploma qualification.

This reason for not completing is as much about attitude as it is about anything else. Perhaps ironically, being open to the possibility that you don’t know everything is actually a part of one of the core units, and in my opinion, it is this attitude of humility and willingness to learn that separates those who spend more time succeeding from those who spend more time complaining.

It is because of the prevalence of this attitude that we like to speak with prospective students before they enrol. Identifying people for whom such a sense of entitlement exists allows us to help them choose a different provider.  What is left is a group of highly motivated, self-aware people who appreciate that learning means doing new things.

3. People sign up to do the TAE Diploma but don’t do enough “doing”.

Enrolling is one thing and attending sessions, webinars, tutorials, lectures or whatever else is another. But neither will result in completion. Doing the Dip VET and/or Dip TDD is about learning, even via RPL. And, let’s face it, learning is a kind of work. Learning means putting ourselves in a position where we are not in control and where we must accept that we do not know everything. That means we must become vulnerable and that is not something we grown-ups are not so comfortable fact, we like to avoid it like a black snake.

Let’s face it if we can choose between doing an activity that is uncomfortable and that makes us feel vulnerable and one that is more immediately enjoyable, then it will be hard to not do the thing that is enjoyable. But, it will also mean that we are not doing enough of the things we need to be doing to complete the qualification. And, if we are not learning enough to be competent then we will never get the qualification.

That’s where discipline comes in: decide to put aside a regular time and make it happen. What this all means is that improving your chances of success really means taking a bit more time before signing up to discover:

  • what the course really is about
  • what the real benefits are you for in doing it
  • what commitment you are really prepared to make

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