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Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAA40104)

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Vocational Education and Training (VET) means education and training for work. This training system recognises the knowledge and skills of learners across 6 different levels of qualification ranging from Certificate 1 through to Advance Diploma.

VET programs are delivered in schools, private training organisations, workplaces, TAFE and community colleges.

Competency based training and assessment is the process used within the VET system to determine whether an individual can perform a task to a set of requirements that is benchmarked (identified with a specific industry training package).

The VETAB accredited course in Training and Assessment is ideal for those who want to become a trainer and assessor in either the workplace or within the VET sector (TAFE or other Registered Training Organisation).

It's a nationally recognised qualification and with it you can become trainer, training manager, teacher (TAFE, but not primary or secondary schools), facilitator or assessor.

You'll learn how the VET system works and also how to develop, design, deliver and assess training programs.

You need to complete 14 units for a TAA40104 qualification. Of those 12 are core (compulsory) units and 2 are elective. They are divided into 4 fields: Environment (which is the background of how the whole thing works), Design, Delivery and Assessment (those 3 are pretty much self explanatory).

Training & Assessment Glossary

Here are some words you're going to come across in the Certificate IV course...


  • AAC: Australian Apprenticeship Centre. Advice and assistance for apprentices, trainees and employers.
  • Access: Everyone has the right to the same opportunities without discrimination or barriers.
  • Allowable Adjustment: See 'Reasonable Adjustment'
  • Assess Competence
    Assessing a persons competence begins from the outset. At the beginning you should tell the participants:
    • the elements of the course
    • how it relates to their work or its purpose
    • the assessment points
    • the method of assessment
  • Assessment, Principles
    The Four Principles of Assessment are:
    • Validity
    • Reliability
    • Flexibility
    • Fairness
  • Assessment Tools
    Assessment tools are instruments and instruction to gather appropriate evidence of performance.
  • Assessment Tools, Types of
    • Observation of the task (demonstration)
    • Questionnarie
    • Checklist
    • Essay
    • Project
    • Assignment
  • Assessment, Types of
    • Summative Assessment - Typically a Final Test is required at the end of the learning.
    • Formative Assessment - Assessments take palce throughout the training program. They are ongoing and gradual. This method also helps reinforce learning.
    • Holistic Assessment - A test which may involve covering a number of elements or more than one unit of competence (also known as 'clustering').
  • Assessment Environment
    Strategies to help create a supportive non-threatening environment for assessment:
    • resources and materials are ready to go
    • familiar environment = relaxed
    • tell them how long it goes for
  • AQTF
    Australian Quality Training Framework
    Set the standards for training and/or assessment organisations who offer nationally recognised qualifications. RTO's must adhere to the guidelines and specifications of the AQTF.
  • AQF
    Australian Qualifications Framework. They set out the progression of qualifications.
  • AWT
    Assessment and Workplace Training. The old name for TAA (See 'TAA')


  • Benchmark: A measurement of performance against an industry standard.


  • CBA: Competency based assessment.
  • CBT: Competency based training.
  • Checklist: An assessment tool (see 'Assessment Tools'). The 'Performance Criteria' of a unit of competency could be used as the basis of a checklist.
  • Contextualisation: Adapting jargon (are the they calling them "clients" or "customers"?), making the material more relevant. Contextualisation is not Customisation
  • Competency: Ability to achieve outcomes to a required standard. A competent person has the required knowledge, skills and attitude.
  • Competency, Elements of
    • Establish an effective work environment for learning
    • Develop a work-based learning pathway
    • Implement the work-based learning pathway
    • Monitor learning and address barriers to effective participation
    • Review the effectiveness of the work-based learning pathway (See 'Learning Pathway')


  • DC: Direct Credit. Relates to RPL and RCC.
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  • DEEWR: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Government body responsible for education and employment.
  • Direct Learning: On the job coaching, form classroom training on site, computer-based training at the desk
  • Dimensions of Competence: See 'Competence, Dimensions of'
  • Diversity: Difference, disability, gender, language, cultural upbringing.


  • Element: A basic principle of a subject
  • Elements of Competency: See 'Competency, Elements of'
  • Employability Skills: Used to be known as 'Key Competencies'.
  • Equity: Every individual has the right to receive the same level of instruction and have the same chance of succeeding in their assessment and activities.
  • Evidence, Rules of
    • Valid
    • Authentic
    • Current
    • Sufficient
  • Evidence of Competency: See 'Competency, Evidence of'


  • Inclusivity: The understanding and catering of different cultural backgrounds, abilities and learning styles of students. Meeting the needs of all students. Involving all participants. Not excluding people or discriminating against them for any reason.
  • Industry Skills Council: Also known as ISC. An organisation that represents a particular industry.


  • Key Competencies: See 'Employability Skills'
  • KPI: Key Performance Indicators


  • Learning, Direct: See 'Direct Learning'
  • Learning, Indirect: See 'Indirect Learning'
  • Learning Outcome
    1. The action to be carried out by the learner.
    2. The standards by which their actions will be measured.
    3. The conditions under which the action must be carried out.
  • Learning Styles
    • Visual learners - learn by seeing what they are learning, picture things in their mind.
    • Auditory learners - learn by hearing what they learn, listening, talking and discussing.
    • Kinaesthetic learnings - experiencing what they are learning, doing things, constantly moving.
  • Learning Pathway
    The Learning Pathway has five steps:
    1. Define - the purpose
    2. Plan - learning activities
    3. Develop - learning resources
    4. Implement - deliver learning
    5. Review - success and failures
  • LLN: Language, Literacy and Numeracy.


  • Moderating: See 'Validation'
  • Methods of Assessment: See 'Assessment, Methods of'


  • National Training Framework: The system of vocational education and training that applies nationally. It is made up of the AQTF (see 'AQTF') and nationally endorsed training packages.
  • New Apprenticeships: The apprentice and traineeship system of vocational training that may combine off-the-job training at an approved training provider with on-the-job training and practical work experience.
  • NTIS: National Training Information Service. A database of accredited competency standards and qualifications.
  • NYC: Not Yet Competent. It's a nice way of saying 'you fail'. Or rather, you are not yet successful in completing this unit of competency.


  • Performance Criteria: A set of outcomes which need to be achieved (in order to be deemed competent)
  • Principles of Assessment: See 'Assessment, Principles'


  • Rules of Evidence: See 'Evidence, Rules of'
  • Reasonable Adjustment (AKA Allowable Adjustment): Allowable adjustment for delivery method, learning method, assessment. But it must not compromise the integrity of the competency standard. It should not alter the principles of assessment.
  • RTO: Registered Training Organisation. A company that offers accredited courses.
  • RPL: Recognised Prior Learning. Takes into account qualifications, work experience, job description, interest/hobbies, life experiences, awards. These things must be demonstrated and any qualifications sighted.
  • RCC: Recognised Current Competencies. What you're currently doing.


  • SMART/SMARTA: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-based, Agreed
  • STA: State and Territory Training Authorites. Response for the operation of the VET system.


  • TAA: Training and Assessment. The course code for the TAA qualification.
  • TAFE: Technical And Further Education. TAFE are a Registered Training Organisation.
  • TNA: Training Needs Analysis
  • Training Package: A set of nationally endorsed standards, guildeines and qualifications for training, assessing and recognising people's skills. Developed to meet the training needs of an industry.
  • Types of Evidence: See 'Evidence, Types of'
  • Types of Assessment Tools: See 'Assessment Tools, Types of'
  • Types of Assessment: See 'Assessment, Types of'


  • VET: Vocational Education and Training. Workplace training and skills assessment.
  • VETAB: Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board. The NSW Department of Education and Training.
  • Version Control Criteria: Determining when should a unit be reviewed and updated.


  • Workplace Learning: There are two forms of Workplace Learning... see 'Direct Learning' and 'Indirect Learning'.

National Websites

Industry Skills Councils


New South Wales

Got any questions?

Jessie Byrd on May 20, 2014:

Thanks for this helpful glossary! My daughter is trying to sign up for training and it can be difficult to decipher all the jargon when she's not even in the program yet! I'm sure she has more figured out than I do but this will help me to at least have an idea of what she's doing there.

Jessie Byrd

BOb on November 30, 2011:

In your own words, explain what Vocational Education and Training (VET) is and describe its key features. Explain key principles of how competency-based training and assessment (CBT/A) works.

ammy on March 28, 2011:

It is the good information we need to improve our knowledge,abilities and attitude. Thanks a lot


Glen (author) from Australia on March 26, 2011:

Interesting question Antony. Most likely not at a school, but if they have training organisations like in Australia there might be a chance that it could be recognised.

antony box on March 26, 2011:

Does anyone know if you can teach in the UK with the Cert4 in Training and Assessment qualification?

if anyone has any info can they pls email me on


Josh on January 12, 2011:

Great hub, the glossary is very comprehensive. Cert IV in Training and assessment is a popular course in the Gold Coast area.

Jyoti Kothari from Jaipur on October 07, 2009:

Hi Darkside,

You have posted a good article about training and assessment.

I am also a Quality management system Lead auditor and trainer. this info will help me a lot.


Jyoti Kothari

Nancy's Niche on October 07, 2009:

Great information at a very important time…Many people will be training for new fields in this changing time. Thanks for giving everyone a heads up!

dusanotes from Windermere, FL on October 07, 2009:

Thanks for the informative Hub, Darkside. I'm getting too old to renew my general training on almost everything except writing and surviving. I read a lot of books, but most of them are on how to write books, communicate better, etc. Some are novels. I really like mysteries and have one in the making now, myself. No, I'm not interested in being a trainer, but when you think about it, we are all trainers in some way when we write articles that get sent out broadly.

Don White

Andria on October 07, 2009:

This is similar to the NVQ system in the UK. At NVQ Level IIII - you can go on to do a training/trainers module (I don't think it's generic, tailored to the vocation) which allows you to train, teach, facilitate ... pretty much the same. It's a great career choice from what I remember, though the trainers I came across often did a fair bit of travelling.

I remember doing my Level III - the units coupled with the awful structure drove me crazy. One thing the NVQ system needs is tightening up. It's incredibly messy and besides being an awful lot of hard work, you also have a lot of ticking and cross referencing. I'd rather produce more essays or delivere on the job evidence than tick box after box :)

Glen (author) from Australia on October 06, 2009:

It's not hard to become a trainer, but to start your own RTO? I can't see that happening.

ht33rad from Southern Hemisphere, a little to the left. on October 06, 2009:

You thinking of becoming your own RTO?

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