The ultimate guide to picking the right RTO for you!
This article is here to help you make the fundamental decision that many struggle with-
“Which RTO should I choose to do my Cert IV in Training & Assessment course with?”
As a student everyone wants a course that is going to fit their lifestyle, their outcomes and even more importantly, not going to waste their time or money. Yet it can be so hard to choose the right RTO as there are over 80 RTO’s in Australia that deliver the Cert IV TAE and when you are ‘Shopping around’ you quickly discover that each RTO delivers the course slightly differently.
In this blog we give you 7 critical criteria to evaluate to help you choose the perfect course provider for you. Check out number 4 in particular as this is the most commonly forgotten.
Firstly, though let’s look at the 4 most common areas that students care about:
2. Length of time the course will take.
3. How quickly can I get my certificate?
4. How much work is involved?
There are two main reasons people decide to complete the Cert IV in Training and Assessment:
1. It has become a job/industry requirement for them to hold the qualification
2. Looking to get into a training role in the future, in either the vocational education sector or as a workplace trainer
Surprisingly many find the learning involved is certainly not a ‘walk in the park’ and many people can end up struggling or even withdrawing from a course, either due to logistical challenges, motivation levels or coming across an RTO that does not provide the value or the learning in a way that is conducive to each student’s, needs, lifestyle and desired outcome.
Seven Critical Criteria to consider when choosing the best provider for you:
1. Mode of Delivery – In your face or on your screen?
In practical terms this is otherwise known as TAE ‘face to face course’ vs. TAE ‘Online course’. Many people have perceptions about the benefits of each and both can be equally valid forms of study. Face to face can be more of a challenge as people need to find concentrated periods of time to take off work to study and to attend the training sessions. Here at RTO Leadership Institute, whilst we have found that Online Learning is the preferred method of training for the Cert IV TAE, it can present challenges as well, particularly regarding motivation levels and staying committed. To be successful with online study you need to have fantastic time management and self-motivational skills.
Therefore, when choosing which RTO to study with, firstly consider how the course is being delivered, and which option either Face to Face or Online is best suited to you. Ask yourself ‘Am I committed to seeing this through?’ ‘Will I be able to allocate the time in my schedule?’ ‘Which mode of delivery will give me the best possible chance of completing the course?’
2. Access to your Trainer
It can be very easy to get confused or lost as a student, whether studying online or even face to face. An important question to ask when making your enquiries is, “How much access to my trainer is available to me for support?” Even more importantly, how quickly will they respond?
Studies show that if a student doesn’t receive a response within 48 hrs, motivation and trust drop significantly towards the organisation and the trainer. Access to a trainer can range from nil, to a few hours a week, limited academic hours, to five days a week. So be very careful to choose the RTO that is going to make academic support as easily accessible as possible for you.
3. Length of course
Let’s get the skeleton out of the closet for a moment. The TAE Certificate IV in Training & Assessment has had an interesting history in this area. For many years RTO’s have been able to run courses in varying lengths. Previously courses have ranged from 3 to 10 day courses, each with their own structure and justification for their timeframe. Whilst times have changed, many RTO’s have not, and some are still using colourful terminology and catch-phrases to entice you to believe that a shorter timeframe is justifiable.
The verdict is in and it has been deemed that the Cert IV TAE40116 should take no less than 6 months for a person that is entering the VET sector for the first time. Therefore, when speaking to any RTO and they propose a timeframe that is less than 6 months, be sure to ask them, how and why this might be possible and if there is additional evidence that you may need to be provide as the student, to justify a shorter timeframe.
Learning is in the doing not the receiving. Many people forget that learning is an active process, so when you are choosing the right RTO for you, ensure the emphasis is always on encouraging students to interact with the materials, other students and the trainer. Choose the path that will motivate you to be actively engaged and that you are able to implement in your day to day workplace as much as possible.
Adult education is the bridge from the textbook to the workplace, it is essential that the RTO you choose helps you apply your learnings as smoothly as possible.
5. Public Speaking, Getting you over your Fears
The TAE or the ‘Piece of Paper’, (as it is colloquially known), ultimate aims are to equip you to do the following-
- Give you the skills and knowledge to design training programs.
- Deliver training competently.
- Assess students in a compliant manner.
Many prospective students forget the true significance of mastering public speaking and engaging an audience powerfully. The delivery modules make up around 30-40% of the course materials, yet often 80-90% of what a trainer might do in the workplace is around training small to medium, if not large groups.
No matter what your skill level is in public speaking and teaching in a classroom, it is a skill that people should constantly be looking to refine and enhance. So, when making your enquiries, ask the prospective RTO how much time and resources are made available in this area of public speaking.
6. Submission Protocol
Many people overlook this criterion, however ultimately one of the biggest frustrations students face in a course is completing and submitting their assessments.
As with delivery there can be varying means of submitting your assessments.
- Via post
- Scan and email
- Online portal
Before you get caught out, find out how your assessments are required to be submitted and make sure that approach will work for you!
7. Student Care
The primary focus of any Registered Training Organisation should always be their student. When you are “shopping around” you want to find the RTO that will go out of its way to make sure you succeed. Student success is the lifeblood of any RTO so ensure this is evident to you when you’re calling around.
Every RTO will be slightly different and has different focus points but ultimately you need to make the choice that is right for you. Hopefully the above criteria has given you a clear checklist on which you can base your decisions.
If you have any questions, comments or would like to provide feedback on this article, we would love to hear from you, you can contact RTO leadership institute via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone us on 1300 178 179
Author – Marc Miles
Lead TAE Trainer & Assessor.