At Understand TAE we are passionate about helping RTOs, VET Practitioners and Trainers & Assessors have more confidence about how to do what they do more effectively, to a higher standard and with more confidence. 

As part of our mission, we participate in and offer a wide range of professional development at conferences and around the country! 

See below some of the conferences that we are attending this year! If you have another event that you would like us to attend or speak at, please contact us at 


International VET Conference- June 19-20

The two-day International VET Conference and IVETA Asia Pacific Regional Conference will be held on 19 - 20 June at the International Convention Centre Sydney. This event is organised by Insources and IVETA. Our Founder & Managing Director, Lauren Hollows, will be speaking on June 20th. 

Topic: The Trainer Development Dilemma; Assess; Engage; Measure and Repeat


TAFE Directors Australia Convention 2017 - Networked TAFE- September 7-8 

The 2017 TDA Convention will be held at the Adelaide Hilton on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 September with the Welcome Reception at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday 6 September.
The overarching theme is 'Networked TAFE', reflecting TAFE Institutes' connections with a network of individuals, communities, enterprises, industries and governments, both in Australia and overseas.
Speakers and delegates will explore topics including, Working in the 21st century; Learning experiences and outcomes; Matters of leadership; Energy roadmaps; and What we can learn from other countries? Our Chief of Operations and Partner, Wayne Spackman, will be speaking.

Topic: Validation – Cart before the horse? or Are you validating non-compliant training products?


VELG 2017 National VET Conference: Building Quality in VET September 14-15

The 2017 National VET Conference will be delivered over two days on the 14-15 September at the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) through an exciting range of presentations, providing attendees the opportunity to engage in a wide variety of plenary and elective sessions. Pre-conference Master Classes will be held on Wednesday 13 September.

The theme for the two day conference is 'Building Quality in VET' and will focus on multiple streams including; Policy & Reform, RTO Management & Compliance, Training & Assessing, RTO Administration and Master Classes. Our Founder & Managing Director, Lauren Hollows, will be speaking.

Topic: Start with Why: Engagement, compliance and quality will follow


Empower 2017 - Canberra Institute of Technology Skills Summit

Empower is a 2 day skills summit that was originally piloted in 2015 and since has gained momentum across the Institute and is now regarded as a highly sought after professional development opportunity for both teachers and general staff. Empower offers 20 two-hour interactive workshops and 6, 1-hour keynote sessions over the two days.Our Founder & Managing Director, Lauren Hollows, will be speaking.

Topics: Six ingredients for a great teacher and the puzzle of engagement
The Trainer Development Dilemma; Assess; Engage; Measure and Repeat


Hi all,

Just a quick one today with an update on the key changes and overview of the new amendment to the Standards:

Definition of training and assessment credentials definition has been added, basically this highlights all the variations of the TAE qualifications, skill sets and combinations that might be held. It is used later in the variations to explain requirements for different purposes. Sadly, they didn't clarify the term training product better in relation to validation requirements against all units or qualifications, so I guess for now the debate continues on this one.

(1.11) Validation- The Standards have been clarified in relation to what skills, knowledge and currency must be held to validate a training product: basically, as of March 31 2019, holding the assessor skill set will no longer meet the validation requirements, you will need to hold the TAE16 or TAE10 plus LLN & TAEASS502 Design assessment tools or Assessor Skill Set plus TAEASS502 Design assessment tools. (Remembering that this is the unit which requires you to develop, trial and review assessment tools against three full units of competency, at least if you are going to be assessed compliantly). Note: This reinforces that if you having the product externally validated, if the validator doesn't have the vocational competency and currency, it doesn't count towards your systematic validation so ensure that you understand the purpose of sending your assessment to a consultant and know that it may not tick the 1.9-1.11 boxes if that is what you are hoping. You will also need to evidence that vocational competency and currency, making going external challenging, so take time to ensure your validation policy takes this into account, this is not a change just a common non-compliance I see.

(1.14/1.15) Trainer & Assessor Requirements- Yes, this was the one we were all waiting for and they really are giving heaps of time to move over to the new TAE40116, all the way until April 1, 2019, by which time I am fairly confident it would have been replaced, but hey, at least there's no pressure to upskill right? The late timeframe may have been due to the small number of providers approved so far and the issues, criticisms and challenges that have plagued TAE40116 to date.

(1.18) Change to Trainers under supervision- Just a small update to the latest skill set codes.

(1.21) This one was irrelevant as it only pertained to pre Jan 1 2016 anyway.

(1.22) TAE Trainers- Removed pre 2016 statement, nil effect.

(1.24) TAE Trainers working under supervision- so I have to state that I find it utterly ridiculous that anyone could train TAE under supervision, how you can deliver quality training in this circumstance is beyond me! However, they have outlined here that at least it will come into immediate effect that these trainers will no longer be able to determine assessment outcomes, even when under supervision.

(1.25) Removed pre 2016 statement, nil effect.


Overall effect & recommendations- Not a whole lot that needs to happen anytime soon!

  1. Check your validation policy as per recommendations above and ensure that you are documenting who does your validation and when.
  2. If you want to be proactive- get your LLN unit and the TAEASS502, please please do this through a reputable provider, my top two recommendations are MR WED, Marc and Jason are some of the most knowledgeable guys I know in this sector. I also think that Australian College of Training do a great job, most of the trainers I have seen come of there (their TAE courses run for like 20 days face to face) have a much better baseline than most. Don't take shortcuts, don't RPL it, you will only be doing yourself a disservice in the long run.
  3. Get your vocational competency and currency in order! If you have read this article, make a note of it somewhere, keep a log, send an email to your compliance officer noting you want to set a plan for your vocational currency. Believe me when I say that trainer and assessor capabilities is a massive focus for ASQA, its a main focus of audit and a common area of compliance.

As Bugs Bunny says, that's all folks! Till the next amendment, I'm Lauren Hollows from Understand TAE, signing off.

Over 50 years ago, in 1966, UNESCO made a Recommendation concerning the status of Teachers. In it, the international organisation recognised that "advance in education depends largely on the qualifications and ability of the teaching staff in general and on the human, pedagogical and technical qualities of the individual teachers." In other words, quality education is reliant on quality educators. The document goes on to set out the rights and responsibilities of teachers, as well as the international standards for their initial training and continued professional development, recruitment, employment, and the conditions in which teaching and learning should take place in their classrooms. Sadly, fifty years down the track, there are very few countries who can say that they have achieved these objectives, Australia among them. The inability to invest in our educators has a profound impact on a range of levels, for the students, educators, RTOs and our sector as a whole.

Being authentic to our purpose; As a sector our purpose is to provide education and a requirement of that is that we sell education (profit/not for profit, private and public alike). We help students and employers understand the benefits of education, not just the development of skills and knowledge but increased engagement, opportunities and confidence. When we fail to see the benefits of that for ourselves and our own staff, we are being inauthentic to our purpose and that comes across to our students and clients alike. As Simon Sinek puts it, people don't buy what you do, they buy what you believe. When we do practice what we preach, that authenticity flows through in everything we say and do. If we are going to build back the reputation of the sector, we need to build trust with students and clients and that requires being authentic to our purpose. We need to lead by example.

For all the reasons that we promote education to employers; Just like I don't have to explain the benefits of renewable energy to Elon Musk, RTOs know the benefit of professional development and education. Employee engagement, building loyalty, building staff capacity, increased retention and general staff happiness, yes, the investment in staff always pays off tenfold.

Because quality training is built on quality educators; You can have the best materials, great facilities, but if your trainer can't engage your students or assess, then your reputation and product can disappear overnight. The trainer is the face of the school for a student, and a great trainer even without the best resources can make a course a life changing experience. When you look back on your own experiences, at your own favourite moments in your education, I bet it comes back to people and moments, not facilities and materials. It was those teachers, trainers and educators that challenged you, supported you and pushed you to be a better version of yourself.

The most important reason; It's not what you think, yes PD is built into the standards and you are required to do this and that, but really, that shouldn't be the motivator, because it's a poor one. If there was one reason that education providers should invest in educators, it's this; it's the why that binds us, we are all educators, our purpose is to use education and training as a tool to develop and grow, ourselves and others, to embody the lifelong learner and to spark that same passion in others.


If you are looking to invest in and develop your educators but are not sure how, start today by checking us out at