Minimum Qualifications for Trainers

What is the minimum qualification a trainer should possess?

One of the things to come out of the recent Issue Paper – Review of the Standards of the Regulation of VET was commentary around quality training and assessment and the need to develop appropriate teacher, trainer and assessor standards and suggested that the standards could address three issues in relation to this;

  1. maintenance of vocational competency
  2. professional practice standards
  3. professional development and competency pathways

Personally I think all of these are vitally important issue that need to be addressed and addressed in terms of the standards and legislation.  The reason I say this is we really do need to have some minimum standards which can be enforced, not only by the regulator but by individual RTO’s and organisations as well as a means of ensuring at least the mandatory level of competence.

Anyone training in specialist or vocational areas, should have relevant industry qualifications and should be able to show that they undertake ongoing professional development activities.  I would be in support of a formal CPD points system for trainers and assessors, which could work across all three of the issues areas above, with perhaps a minimum number of CPD points required in each of the three areas in order to be able to show continued competency.  I am not sure though that a trainer/assessor needs to have the exact qualification that they are delivering (particularly in VET terms).  They do however need to have a recognised formal qualification form the field and experience/exposure to the areas they are training/assessing in.

For example;  A person with a degree in social work, 5 years recent work experience in child protection and a record of ongoing PD should be considered vocationally competent to deliver say the Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention.

There needs to be professional practice standards to which all trainers/assessors/RTO’s/ training organisations and other organisations can be held accountable against.  This to me is simply a no-brainer.

The area where I think the most work needs to be done is that of professional competency around being a trainer/assessor.  It needs to be formally stated that the certificate IV in training and assessment is the minimum entry-level qualification, and that depending on interests and vocational pathways VET professional would be expected to continue on to further study around the education sector either at a VET or Tertiary level.

The final thing that needs to be done is to tighten up substantially the provision and delivery of the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and in fact the entire TAE package.  There needs to be a solid work placement component included as mandatory in the Cert IV and serious scrutiny of providers.

About pauldrasmussen
Paul Rasmussen is one of Australia’s most widely read Vocational Education and Training Commentators. He provides deep, unbiased analysis and insights not only on topical issues, but also on the underlying structure and policy which supports the industry. His writing and analysis has been praised for its uncompromising and thought provoking style and its ability to focus on the issues of real importance to the sector. He has advised various government departments and ministers, training providers, public and private organisations, not for profits and small to medium enterprises on the VET sector and the issues and opportunities facing it. He is one of Australia’s most awarded learning professionals and a regular speaker at a range of conventions and forums. His extensive experience in vocational education, and learning and development coupled with formal qualifications in philosophy, ethics, business and education management allow Paul to provide a unique view of the road ahead and how to navigate it.

8 Responses to Minimum Qualifications for Trainers

  1. Your final paragraph I believe refers to what many of us see as the MAJOR issue with Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Those who deliver are NOT all the same. The mighty $ it appears determines the quality rather than the Regulators ensuring through audit that providers all meet the requirements of the Cert IV. Paper audits that look at numbers enrol/passing and records are not good enough. There needs to be audits that examine the delivery methods, quality of course, project work etc.
    It annoys me to think that the Certificate IV is held in such high esteem when many higher level Educational Degrees are ignored as being relevant. Professional development beyond Cert IV should be a goal of the smart thinking Trainer/Assessor.

    • pauldrasmussen says:


      I couldn’t agree more. Just looking at the paper work and basic compliance is not good enough if we really want the Certificate IV t be the basic qualification. I also agree that it is definitely the case the trainers and assessors should be looking for higher qualifications than simply the cert IV.

  2. Helen says:

    I completely agreed with Owen & Paul. People hold a piece of certificate paper do not necessary mean they are good trainers or assessors (I knew someone who attended a 5 day course without doing one single assignment or class presentation, certificate was then issued by the training provider)!

    To maintain good qualified traniners and assessors for quality training, I believe some sorts of regular re-validation should be in place to ensure no money grabbed training providers.

    • pauldrasmussen says:


      I think the issue you raise is a very valid one, just having a cert IV is not evidence of being a good trainer or assessor, nor is not having one and indicator of not being good. I believe that it should be impossible to be deemed competent without at the very least having done a presentation and there must be a solid understanding of how packages, quals and UoC’s work. I also tend to think that there should be a placement component as well within an RTO as part of the course.

      There should also be rigorous validations and audits done on RTO delivering the TAE qualification.

  3. Cj says:

    a) Trainers and assessors qualifications – up to Cert IV delivery CertIV in TAA /TAE Diploma and above Dip TAA / TAE or Higher Ed qualification based around Adult Education
    b) TAE trainers should have a minimum practice experience in training delivery prior to delivering a TAE qualification (12 months FTE delivery equivalency?)
    c) Subject matter expertise at a level one qualification above the level being delivered – why because there is a level of rigour, understanding, depth of knowledge, application, identification of transferability of skills. In the TAE space anyone delivering the Dip TAE shoulf have a Voc Grad Cert Learning.
    Seen a graduate form CIV TAE gain his certificate on a Friday from a 10 day course and commenced work on the Monday delivering the CIV TAE. Time in the training sector, 10 days.
    Just my thoughts

    • pauldrasmussen says:


      I agree with that kind of model, the real issue for me as you suggest is that people are getting trained in Cert IV TAE and then turning around and training others in it. To my mind an unacceptable situation. There must be some kind of placement arrangement in order to ensure that people with the Qual can actually do what the Qual says they can.

  4. Pauline Butler says:

    I completely agree – I know of providers who employ TAE trainers/assessors who have only just completed their TAE qual. themselves! A placement component is an excellent idea.

    • pauldrasmussen says:

      Over the years I have had so many people apply for training roles that looked really good on paper, but when they went through the interview process were actually terrible (I have always insisted as part of the interview process for trainers that they actually present something to the panel) and clearly didnt have the skills which they should have from the Qual. Often when questioned they had done a very short TAE or earlier qual, had not had to do any presentation or actual assessment as part of the course and had not really done anything when they returned to the workplace. I found it really frustrating as a manager.

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