So it’s finally happened…
The new Cert IV TAE (TAE40116) is here, and TAELLN411 Address adult language, literacy and numeracy skills is—finally—a core Cert IV TAE unit… now what?
In this post I’ll:
- Provide some background of the ‘LLN story’ and its relationship with the Cert IV TAE
- Highlight implications for:
- vocational trainers and assessors
- trainers and assessors of the Cert IV TAE
- Suggest some ‘first steps forward’ for VET practitioners wanting to further develop their ability to address LLN skills in their own training.
First some history
I say ‘finally’ in my opening line above, because we’ve been waiting for LLN to become a core unit in the Cert IV TAE for a long time, now.
Statistics dating back as far as 1996 (SAL) tell us that the LLN skills of adult Australians could be better. Similar results in the 2006 Adult Language and Life Skills (ALLS) survey were a significant contributor to the development of a government endorsed policy: National Foundation Skills strategy for Adults. The policy introduced national skill level targets, and endorsed the role that vocational trainers have to deliver foundation skills.
In 2012, Innovation and Skills Australia (IBSA) produced a pdf called Changes Ahead for VET Trainers and Assessors. This document announced that a new, mandatory unit focussing on language, literacy and numeracy would soon be added to the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Page 5 stated:
When the TAE10 Training Package is revised in July 2014 all new and existing trainers will need to hold, or demonstrate equivalent competency for, the unit TAELLN401A.
This announcement sent the VET world into a LLN frenzy—RTOs smothered social media and other networks, falling over each other to offer the ‘mandatory’ LLN unit. Trainers and assessors around the country were duped into thinking that they had to attain this unit, now.
And then a funny thing happened… IBSA realised that its current LLN unit at that time—TAELLN401A Address adult language, literacy and numeracy skills—went beyond reasonable expectations for VET practitioners who were not LLN specialists. So, IBSA wrote a new unit—same title, different code. TAELLN411 is the current ‘LLN’ unit and does quite a good job (in my opinion) of describing reasonable expectations for how VET practitioners can address adult LLN skills.
We settled in and became accustomed to TAELLN411. We have known for some time that TAELLN411 would be added as a core Cert IV TAE unit when the TAE Training Package was next updated. But we certainly didn’t expect to take so long! It’s a relief to know it’s finally here.
So TAELLN411 is now a core TAE40116 unit—what are the implications for trainers and assessors?
The answer depends on exactly how you ask the question:
If your question is: Must trainers and assessors attain TAELLN411?
The answer is, ‘no’. In fact, contrary to all those media advertisements you’ve likely seen over the past two years, it has never been—nor is it now (as yet)—mandatory for qualified trainers and assessors to add TAELLN401 or 411 to their list of units held.
Currently the VET world is waiting for an announcement from COAG with information about whether or not trainers and assessors who are already qualified will need to ‘upgrade’ their qualification to meet requirements of the new—and tougher—TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.
If the decision is taken that trainers and assessors will need to upgrade, they’ll need to complete more than just the LLN unit. View the post, TAE40116 endorsed… now what? from the TAE Talks blog for details of the key differences between TAE40110 and TAE40116.
But if your question is: Should trainers and assessors attain TAELLN411?
In our opinion, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’! This unit—if delivered by a reputable RTO—is fabulous professional development for trainers and assessors working in any industry. I know that completing this unit has certainly made me a better trainer, because:
- I am now far more aware of the foundation skills (including LLN) that my students need if they are to successfully complete my programs
- I’m better at being able to uncover and isolate foundation skills and explicitly teach these as I teach workplace skills
- It exposed me to endless possibilities and opportunities to keep learning how to address LLN skills in my vocational training… and I’m still learning!
Completing TAELLN411 is a fabulous way to get started building a realisation that LLN is everyone’s challenge, and we can make a positive difference to our students’ lives, even if we only work with them for a short time.
So where do I start?
Whether or not you have attained TAELLN411, we also recommend these resources as a way to refresh your thinking about how you can build LLN skills within your VET practice:
- Clarifying ‘foundation skills‘
- Past posts:
- Webinar recordings (Series 1 and Series 2) with a plethora of ideas and links to resources
- Stroll through our 5 pages of resource links – there is bound to be something to meet your needs
- Contact us for more information.