ACAL Logo  ACAL's response to the TAA Advanced Diploma of LLN practice


Ms Jane Carnegie
National Manager NAWT
Business Services Training Australia
Level 7 163 Eastern Road
South Melbourne

Dear Jane

ACAL Response to TAA Advanced Diploma in Training and Assessment (LLN)

The Australian Council for Adult Literacy (ACAL) appreciates the opportunity provided to organisations and individual teachers to comment on the Language Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) components of the Training and Assessment Package. We have attempted to widen the consultation by encouraging use of the ACAL discussion board by practitioners and ACAL members.

We acknowledge that feedback is sought about the draft qualification and units and as such have attempted to provide appropriate feedback. However it is impossible to totally disregard implementation and transition issues because of the diverse contexts and programs in which adult language, literacy and numeracy is delivered in Australia.

We provide the following general comments as feedback on the Advanced Diploma of Training and Assessment: language, literacy and numeracy practice.
Entry requirements: The draft states that “Entrants to the Advanced Diploma must have the Cert IV or equivalent, and either a teaching qualification or the new Diploma in Training and Assessment” (Section 2, p.7). This would appear to equate a Diploma at AQF Level 5 with University qualifications at AQF Level 7-8. The use of a qualification at a lower AQF Level for equivalence would seem to lower the value of a teaching qualification. ACAL also has a concern that trainers with the Diploma only, would not have acquired sufficient knowledge of the underpinning skills in how people learn. Whilst not wishing to appear too protective of the LLN field, ACAL believes that LLN students often have special needs which require a specialist understanding.
Audience and Purpose: The overall Training Package is aimed at trainers who have considerable industry experience and qualifications, but no teaching qualifications. LLN teachers already have teaching qualification and need professional development for working in the VET sector.

ACAL recently conducted a national survey amongst adult LLN teachers about qualifications needed to successfully carry out their work. Although the writing up of the survey hasn’t been completed, scanning of the data reveals that overwhelmingly teachers believe that university teaching qualifications are essential. For teachers working in the WELL and LLNP programs which are workplace and employment focussed, additional training is required. There are units in the proposed Advance Diploma that complement these programs. Teachers should be able to complete these units without the requirement to complete the Advanced Diploma.

Significant LLN delivery is via General Education programs. Apart from TAA LLN608, the Units are clearly biased and weighted towards LLN integrated in VET – there is no clear support embedded for a general education prevocational approach and there is less relevance for teachers working on non-accredited programs. Teachers working in community-based general education programs would not necessarily find the large VET focus particularly relevant.

Accredited General Education curricula such as the Certificates in General Education for Adults (CGEA) require a teaching qualification and suggest that post-graduate studies in adult literacy and numeracy are desirable. If teachers meet these qualifications, it would seem unnecessary for them to do an Advanced Diploma as well.

Size and complexity of units: The units seem to be very large in content. ACAL understands that they are not required to be of any length or of equal duration. This is an area where it is hard to separate the implementation from the unit outlines because there is no indication of the time allocation for the development of underpinning skills. Skills developed in some units will be transferable to others and this is where some time-saving could occur. The complexity of the units is unlikely to be reflected in a dollar driven training environment. There is a considerable risk that some providers will cover the units at a much shallower level than that which is intended in the outlines.

Delivery of the Advanced Diploma
Consultation paper section 3 p.15 states….
Consideration needs to be given to whether a 5th point is required for practitioners who will be responsible for teaching/facilitating the learning/assessment of LLN units.

To teach these Units a teacher should have relevant Higher Ed qualifications and substantial experience in the field. The risk of the only requirement being to hold qualifications within the TAA package is that someone without any education qualifications will complete the Units and immediately be able to teach them.

Recognition of Prior Learning
Teachers are likely to end up having to work through three significant RPL procedures Certificate IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma. The financial and work load on casual teachers may prove to be a considerable barrier to their continued employment.

ACAL’s position is that the Units are very valuable as professional development for adult LLN teachers and VET trainers. They could also serve as a pathway into Adult LLN for teachers in other sectors who have a basic educational background. ACAL does not support their use as a base/entry level qualification to teach in the field.

Yours sincerely,

Jim Thompson
President ACAL
2nd June 2004