Like you, I’ve trained TAE40116 and most of its earlier versions (TAE40110, TAA40104 and BSZ40198 – oh, the memories!) for quite a few years now.

As we grapple with the requirements of each supposedly improved and more rigorous (assessment-wise, anyway) iteration of the qualification, the one big thing that changes each time is the amount of assessment that each unit of competency demands.

Some people say this is good thing. Remember back to the early 2000s (when we were all young and beautiful!). We trained and assessed BSZ40198 – 8 units of competency with many trainers easily gaining RPL for a big chunk of it. It was pretty easy for trainers, assessors and learners, let’s face it.

Then TAA40104 emerged from the darkness as punishment for those of us who thought we had struck gold with BSZ. It contained a whopping 14 units of competency, nearly double its predecessor’s 8 units, with such gems as “Work effectively in vocational education and training” and “Foster and promote an inclusive learning culture”. Our lives as VET trainers and assessors were changed forever.

In 2010 sanity prevailed somewhat with the introduction of the new TAE40110 qualification. Only 10 units of competency but with a much heavier assessment load. We started spending more time in the classroom either explaining the assessment requirements or actually doing simulated assessments so as not to leave our students with a heartbreakingly heavy workload to take home at the end of the course.

Around 2014 we started to get news of the new TAE to be rolled out in 2016. 2 core units were to be added – TAELLN411 and TAEASS502. Savvy RTOs added these 2 units to their TAE40110 electives in preparation. As you no doubt recall, it took most RTOs an average of 18 months to get the new TAE on scope. We were able to teach out TAE40110 for 18 months until October 2017, simply because (much to ASQA’s discredit) there were very few RTOs who had the new version on scope before then.

Those of us who stayed training and assessing the new TAE (a lot of people didn’t hang around and sought the greener pastures of non-accredited training) had to contend with a mind-numbingly array of assessment requirements which we would spend hours in class and post-course explaining to our poor bewildered students. Our delivery module was taken up with 3 days of endless presentations, leaving precious little time for actual learning. Our assessment module was the same – almost no delivery or learning because we wanted to provide our learners with the opportunity to complete at least some of the assessments in class.

More recently, however, I’ve found some RTOs offering a vastly improved version of TAE40116 where their intructional designers have struck a much better balance between delivery and assessment. I’m sticking with them for the time being.