The question about whether or not you should bother upgrading your TAE Diploma really is about looking at what is happening outside and then asking what you want to happen inside. It’s a personal thing.
What’s with the TAE?
Let’s face it. If you are reading this, then chances are you are aware of what has been happening in our industry in recent years. You probably have first-hand experience of this strange combination of declining standards on the one hand, and shifting regulatory goalposts on the other.
It’s a bit of a mess, really.
The fact that it was so hard to even gain approval to deliver the new TAE qualifications makes it clear that the old TAE is no longer worth what it once was.
There are many thousands of Certificate IV TAE graduates, with many of them possessing qualifications of dubious quality. We talk to them every day, and you probably do as well. They are in staffrooms, and they are applying for the same declining pool of training jobs and promotions that everyone else is.
Perhaps more alarmingly, they are often also the ones doing damage without even knowing it.
It is the chainsaw instructor who thinks it is fine to “pass” people who cannot hold a chainsaw…”takes too long to do the practical, and they’ll pick it up with a bit of experience”.
It is the firearms safety instructor who thinks it is fine to “pass” people who have not held a gun…”too many people and we don’t have enough time for everyone to have a go”.
It is even the TAE instructor who thinks an instrument is the same as a tool …
They are not alone. You would have met many, and probably have had to deal with the fallout from their work.
And the same thing is happening with the Diplomas – it started as soon as the new TAE was announced. RTOs were churning them out – discounting deeply and pushing people through.
Why Upgrade to the TAE50116 and TAE50216?
Actually, there is no ‘real’ reason to upgrade. The Standards don’t require it. In fact, I haven’t seen it written anywhere that anyone needs to have the latest TAEs for any reason at all. It will probably happen eventually, but until then there really is only one reason.
Some people will care.
They will want to be taken seriously and they are, quite frankly, tired of being put in the same boat as everyone else.
This was explained to me by a current student. They have been poking along with the old Diplomas for a while and will graduate late June, then upgrade through credit transfer to the latest TAE50116 Dip VET and TAE50216 Dip TDD. Let’s call her Tracey.
I asked Tracey why she was bothering to upgrade. After all, it is a bit of a cost and effort.
Tracey simply replied that it was a personal matter. If she didn’t have a permanent job, or if she wanted to go for Head Teacher, then those things would be motivators. But, for now, at least, it was something more personal.
It gave her confidence to stand firm in an industry that is more than a bit unsettled.
You see, Tracey sees it like this:
“People don’t just keep doing things the way they have always been done; they often are not doing things at all that need to be done! They have a TAE and that makes them dangerous.”
Holding the latest TAE Diplomas means that what she knows and can do has been recognised by one of the few RTOs that have managed to navigate the stricter standards required to get the current TAE on Scope. She can show that she cares about her own professional standing in an industry that seems to be lacking in professionalism. This in turn means that others will be more likely to value what she can do.
She will be more valued.
When that is combined with the harsh reality that we are facing a glut of trainers looking for work, it means that Tracey is in a more competitive position when it comes to seeking new opportunities.
“It’s about standing out from the crowd,” she told me, “and having the confidence to do what is right.”
It was that last bit that got me most.
And it seems to be that same sentiment that is driving so many serious training professionals to get in touch with us to have their TAE Diplomas updated as soon as they can.
What are your options?
The flowchart above – and the table below – will help you work out which Upgrade Option is best for you. Options 1, 2 and 3 are for a single Diploma. Options 4 and 5 are for the Dual Diploma.