How long does it take to complete the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment?
As an online course provider, we’re often asked ‘how long does a Cert 4 take?’. Our answer is: ‘it depends on many variables”’.
Before we get into why it is difficult to provide a specific timeframe for completing the TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, we want to provide some context as to why this question is a popular one. The predecessors of the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment were known to have been delivered within a very short almost unrealistic time frame, some in a few days, some in just a couple of weeks. But with the introduction of TAE16 (replacing TAE10) the industry’s feedback to the regulator was that longer, more in-depth training was required as trainers were not completing the course with the depth and breadth of skills and knowledge required to do the job. As a result, the units for the course, along with the learning and assessment required increased significantly meaning the time to complete was longer.
What the AQF says
The Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) states that the volume of learning is six months to two years (which equates to 600-2400 hours).
You can access more information about the AQF volume of learning here: https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/what-appropriate-volume-learning-qualification-type
What we say
Our courses are structured so that they can be completed within six months, but this can differ from student to student depending on many factors, some of which are in their control and some which aren’t.
Factors that can impact how long it takes to finish a course
There is a multitude of circumstances that can affect the time it takes to complete a course. Let’s explore them below.
The amount of experience you have under your belt, whether informal, formal or transferable skills, can impact how long it takes to complete the TAE40116 Cert IV TAE. If you can provide recognition of prior learning, you may be able to complete the course faster, but often there’s still a considerable amount of time to invest to show the evidence required for the qualification.
How fast you learn
Everyone learns at different speeds. The faster you learn, the quicker you’ll be able to complete the certificate and vice versa. How long it’s been since you last studied can also affect your studying speed. For example, students who haven’t studied since school can find it harder to get back into the books; and if they weren’t so great at school, the thought of studying can also put a barrier up that isn’t easy to overcome.
How disciplined you are
Let’s be honest, there’s always something more fun than doing assignments. Friends who call and want to hang out, the latest Netflix series, a good book or the fine weather can all tempt you to hop off the computer and leave the study for later. And there’s always something else that pops up later. If you don’t have the discipline to sit down and study, months can pass by before you’ve even started your certificate – meaning you’ll complete it later rather than sooner.
How long you study for
How many hours you spend studying each week will make a big difference to how long it takes you to complete the certificate. Most of our students schedule between 10 and 15 hours per week, but of course how much time you set aside will depend on your own commitments.
How many breaks you take
Life happens while you study and sometimes you need to pause for a holiday, a work commitment, to rest from an illness or just to get a breather and get your motivation back. The number of breaks you take will impact the time it takes to complete the certificate.
Life is unpredictable. We’ve had students who started new jobs, lost jobs or just changed jobs, or had a birth or a death in the family. These types of situations can affect your ability to study and extend the time it takes you to finish your certificate.
Access to practical requirements
How easy it is for you to meet practical requirements can also impact the duration of your study. Students with access to practical resources in their workplace usually find it easier to organise this aspect of the certification especially when studying with an online provider. The same goes for those who already work in an RTO as they’ll have access to many of the physical resources required outside of the offerings from the providing RTO. If you’re not working or can’t use your workplace for the delivery and assessment units, you’ll have to organise some friends and family to help simulate the training experience for you, which slows things down a bit.
How much support you receive from your RTO
Support can make or break your educational experience. We often hear horror stories from students who don’t get the support they need (we’ve showcased one particular student experience in our blog Why student support matters). Not only can it be frustrating and demotivating to not get the answers you need, but it can also slow you down and increase your workload if you veer in the wrong direction without the guidance of your training provider and have to start again.
How long it takes to get your assessments back
Some providers take weeks to return your assessment results and if they’re not satisfactory you need to go back and redo some of them. That can take time to wrap your head around and sometimes you need confirmation that you’re on the right track before you can move on to the next assessment. If you have to wait weeks for results this can delay your progress. (This blog highlights how efficient marking turnaround times can help you finish faster.)
Why should you care to do a course that’s sufficient in length?
We know it’s tempting to get the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment out of the way as quickly as possible, but the times of doing this qualification over a weekend are well and truly over.
We’re aware that there are still some training organisations out there offering quick results, but we recommend staying away from them and finding a provider who offers a course with a realistic length of time. Here’s why:
- Becoming a good trainer takes time and practice. A quality course will provide you with all the basics you need to survive your time as a newbie, as well as tools to manage your students and navigate the Vocational Education and Training (VET) industry and compliance. Short courses, however, don’t tend to go beyond the basics – leaving you missing out on valuable resources to help you be the best trainer you can be.
- The Australian VET industry is pretty small and the quality (or lack thereof) of your qualifications will be obvious to future employers and colleagues. Where you complete your qualification can influence whether you get your dream job or not.
- When you hold a qualification you’re expected to be able to perform certain tasks in a job. If you study a short version of the course, you’ll likely miss out on developing some important skills. This will be evident in your work performance and you’ll likely need a lot more training from your employer. This will impact your career improvements and job satisfaction (we haven’t met anyone who loved doing a bad job).
- You may also put your employer at risk if the regulator Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has a conversation with you during a performance review (audit). If they feel you don’t know what you’re talking about or question your ability to assess students, this may result in non-compliance for your employer.
- The regulator ASQA is always ensuring that course providers are offering Qualfiactions with sufficient volume of learning. If they audit your provider and discover that the provider was not assessing effectively, they can ask the training provider to recall your qualification – leaving you out of pocket and without the qualification you needed. (We don’t make this up – this has happened.)
How long it takes to complete the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment depends on your personal circumstances. Don’t fall for promises from providers offering you a quick solution, as that solution may not be the best for you in the long run.