Home TAE Programs Single Units TAERES501 Apply Research to Training & Assessment Practice

TAERES501 Apply research to training & assessment practice

$600 – Online – 6 months enrolment period – RPL & Coursework – RPL & Coursework

This is an exciting unit.

Why is it exciting?
Because at its heart is the opportunity to roll up your sleeves and dig deep; to discover the reasons for things that have been driving you nuts or keeping you awake at night and, with those discoveries, you can make recommendations for a better way of doing things.

You see, research is about indulging your own curiosity. This unit cements that within your day to day work of training and assessment and while it can be complex and challenging and sometimes mind-bending, it is a terribly exciting thing to be able to do.


For many seasoned Trainers and Assessors, the act of research can be professionally invigorating and renew a sense of commitment to and enthusiasm for their chosen profession. Research allows us to illuminate things that otherwise lay in darkness, and that is both personally rewarding, professionally satisfying and, if you consider the bigger picture, organizationally essential. If the VET sector is really going to be equipped to address the challenges it faces, then it will be those training professionals who conduct research with real students and industries that will be doing the equipping.

Holding this unit results in a higher salary for Trainers in a growing number of RTOs. Doing TAERES501 will show Studies in Applied Research that is linked to the Boyer framework of scholarship.

We are being increasingly contacted by professional Trainers/Assessors who are saying that they need to have this unit in order to reach the next pay level. Of course, this does not affect everyone, so it would be worth talking to your own HR people to find out what is needed in your own situation.

There are some private RTOs who seem to be pushing for it. Most notable is in Victoria, where Schedule 4 of the Victorian TAFE Staff Teaching Agreement 2018 states that for either an AQF Level 5 or Level 6 teaching qualification to be approved for the purposes of determining salary, it must include (among other things):

While many Trainers/Assessors already possess the Dip VET and/or Dip TDD, few will have included TAERES501 – Apply research to training & assessment as an elective unit.

We are not accepting any further enrolments into this superseded Unit of Competency which is currently in a teach-out transition period until 8 December 2023. Please enquire now for more information or to join our waiting list for the updated version.


TAERES501 Apply Research to Training & Assessment Practice
TAERES501 Apply Research to Training & Assessment Practice


Why do we offer this course as a standalone unit?

  • Because most people who have completed either of the TAE Diplomas will not have included this unit.
  • Many people wanting to do TAERES501 will also want to complete their Dip VET as soon as possible to meet their employment requirements. These people often prefer to do the unit by itself after graduating with the Dip VET.

How is the course delivered?

This course is delivered online, which gives you flexibility in your study hours and allows you to complete the course at your own pace; perfect for balancing alongside work and family commitments! After enrolment, you will receive your login credentials for access to our learning platform. This is where you will find all your instructions, learning resources and assessments.

We know that TAE study is not easy and that it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” you will need a guiding hand. That’s why you will have unlimited access to your trainer and can schedule phone or video calls when you need support. Our trainers are available from 9 am to 5 pm QLD time, Monday to Friday.

Our service promises to you:
  • Any assessments you submit will be marked within four business days. That is our service standard guarantee to you.
  • All emails are responded to within 8 business hours.
  • If we miss your call, we’ll call you back within 4 business hours.

What will I learn?

In simplest terms, TAERES501 requires you to do three things:

  • find something in your RTO about training/assessment you think could be better understood
  • plan and then conduct some research to help to improve that understanding
  • report on and review everything you did

Of course, there are more hoops to jump through, and the process involves developing three reports:

  • A Statement of Context that explores what it is that you think could be researched, and possible ways of doing that research
  • A Research Brief that outlines how the research will be conducted
  • A Report of Findings that communicates what you did, what you discovered, and what you recommend happens next

We provide a structured process with helpful templates to scaffold the entire process.

A note about ethics approval:

Research projects that include other people may require ethics approval. Fortress Learning does not have a Higher Research Ethics Committee or equivalent. Although in 11 years of practice we have not encountered an institution who insisted on HREC approval, we recommend people who are considering this unit to satisfy themselves that the organisation in which they intend to conduct their research project will enable them to conduct research given the above, and where necessary, satisfy themselves that they will be able to make alternate arrangements to obtain the necessary approvals.

Full details about the TAERES501 Unit can be found at training.gov.au

What can I research?

The following are just some examples of possible research projects. You can replicate any of these, although we provide them with the expectation that they will trigger your own ideas.

Remember: you do not need to have your topic chosen before you begin. We expect to work it out together and narrow it down so that your end results will be both credible and useful.

Do Corrective Actions lead to improved Learner Engagement?

Method: Quantitative

This project contrasts the number and timing of items of corrective action that have been undertaken over a period of 3 years with changes in Learner Engagement data. The results will demonstrate if the corrective actions have led to discernible improvements in Learner Engagement and make recommendations for further research to quantify this connection better.

What do validation findings reveal about Assessor’s knowledge and skill?

Method: Qualitative

This project examines the nature of recommendations arising from validation activities in the 12 months to December 2018. The recommendations are then collated to identify any particular gaps in the knowledge or skill of assessors, and recommendations are made to determine further professional development to address those gaps.

A comparison of critical components of Training & Assessment Strategies in 3 RTOs

Method: Qualitative

The process for developing a new Training & Assessment Strategy in three separate RTOs is captured. Participants in the process are interviewed during open-ended interviews to identify their assumptions about what constitutes the critical elements of the TAS development process. These data are then compared with the researcher’s own RTO, and recommendations are made for how the development of TASs can be enhanced.

Does the mode of delivery affect outcomes?

Method: Quantitative/Qualitative

XYZ RTO delivers the same qualification in face-to-face and online modes.  Quantitative Data related to assessment outcomes for students studying in each mode is collected and analysed to determine if there is a significant difference in the quality of the training and assessment being provided.  Qualitative Data related to student feedback during the program is then collected and analysed to identify potential causes for any differences between the online and the face-to-face delivery and assessment models.

Practical Requirements and People You Will Need Access To

To complete the practical assessment requirements of TAERES501, you must:

  • Have access to an organisation on which to base your research
  • Have the ability to collect data related to your research

A Third Party Report will need to be completed by an observer who is TAE qualified at an AQF Level 5 or higher.

As per the “What will I learn?” section, you may possibly need ethics approval from your organisation.

IT Requirements

As this program is delivered online, it is essential that students are aware of the IT requirements of the program prior to enrolling to ensure that we’re the right fit.

To enrol for this program, you must be able to answer YES to the following questions;

  • Do you have access to a computer?
  • Does your computer have – a broadband internet connection – Laptop or PC – a video camera, either built into your device or a separate webcam – a microphone, either built into your device or in the webcam?
  • Do you have the ability to open web pages, view videos on youtube, download & extract zip folders, open and download pdf documents, and open, edit, save & upload documents created in word?

If your answer is NO to any of the above questions, please contact us on 1300 141 994 so that we can provide the best advice for your circumstance.

Are there any entry requirements?

There are no specific entry requirements for this unit.

How long does it take?

The enrolment duration for this course is 6 months.

Experience tells us that the following three factors affect the time it takes a student:

  1. Experience – if you have experience in training/assessing, then you will likely not need as long as people without experience.
  2. Dedication – if you have a good reason to do the course, and can hold yourself accountable, then you will likely not need as long as people who are less committed.
  3. Other commitments – if you have a busy life with many competing professional and personal demands, then you will likely need longer than those people with fewer demands.

While it differs for different people, we find that successful students usually dedicate 10- 15 hours per week. That said, some of our students take less time, while others take more. It is up to you.

Successful Study Habits

We have a video on Successful Study Habits that will support you in progressing through the course in a timely manner. Here is what we know to be true, based on our experience with thousands of students:

  • Talk to us! If you’re stuck on a problem at home or feel overwhelmed, don’t sit and stew, or worse, procrastinate! Connect with us in whatever way suits you, be it phone, chat, email, Google Meet or Zoom, and we’ll help you reach a solution so you can get on with your studies.
  • Schedule it in! Set aside “chunks’ of time to allow you to really sink your teeth (and brain) into the learning process and allow yourself to get “in the zone”. You can set your own pace, structuring your learning and your assessments to suit your lifestyle.
  • And lastly, take your course one step at a time… consistency is important, but if the unexpected happens, we can help you find solutions, like course deferral.

What if I need to take a break from study?

The flexibility of our online approach means that if you need to take a break from studying, we’ve got that covered too.

We offer the option to defer (pause) your studies. Whilst you are deferred, your enrolment is inactive, and we pause your enrolment duration. Then, when you are reactivated from deferment, you pick up exactly where you left off and carry on.

Here are the important details;

  • You can defer a maximum of two times. The first deferment is free. The second deferment incurs a $45 fee.
  • Payment plans continue on deferment, and your payments must be up to date before we can defer you.
  • You won’t have access to your trainer or learning platform whilst you are deferred.
  • If you have at least 6 weeks remaining in your enrolment, you can defer for up to 3 months. After that, you can defer for twice the amount of time remaining in your enrolment (for example, if you have 1 week left in your enrolment, you can defer for 2 weeks.)

The most important thing is to contact us if your enrolment isn’t working out as you had planned so that we can offer you the best support options as and when you need them.

Recognition of Prior Learning

All students who enrol are provided both RPL and Coursework Assessment options so that you can make an informed decision about which path to follow.

When it comes to RPL for the TAERES501 Unit, a number of items of evidence will be needed to demonstrate your competence. In simple terms, this includes showing all of the things in the above tab.

If you have conducted some research previously that is specifically related to Training and Assessment, then that may lead to fewer tasks for you to do. Just having done some research will likely not be enough – there are some very particular parts of this unit that will also need to be demonstrated, which may mean that a hybrid approach could be suitable, where we use a combination of what you have done before and add to it to address any gaps.

We will provide some templates that you can use to collate this information.

A Third Party Report from a suitable person will also be required, and we will provide a template for that.

Is this course a good fit for me?

We want to make sure that you are the right fit for us and that we are the right fit for you. Here are a few things for you to consider:

  • Fortress Learning is not a “tick and flick” RTO. If you want the fastest and easiest way, we probably won’t be a good fit.
  • We made the decision a long time ago to focus on quality and not quantity. As a result, our qualifications have a very good reputation in the industry.
  • Employers know that a Fortress Learning qualification is more than just a piece of paper; it has substance.
  • Our students finish their training with knowledge, competence and confidence.

Suitability Assessment

During your Enrolment Interview, before you are able to complete the enrolment form, our student support team member will guide you through a verbal conversation regarding suitability.

What will I be asked?

The Suitability assessment consists of different questions that will address the technical requirements of the program, such as required IT and digital literacy skills. We will also make sure you have access to the human and physical resources you need for the practical requirement of your course.

This ensures that you are placed in the right course for you before you enrol formally.

What happens if I am found not suitable?

If, for some reason, during your Enrolment Interview, we discover that based on the suitability responses you give, you cannot continue with the enrolment, we will offer other alternative solutions or refund your fees paid, including the application fee.

We are not accepting any further enrolments into this superseded Unit of Competency which is currently in a teach-out transition period until 8 December 2023. Please enquire now for more information or to join our waiting list for the updated version.