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News & Views from the RTBU NSW Locomotive Division

Certificate IV – Train Driving open for comment

Sep 5, 2013News

The Transport and Logistics certificate IV train driving package is now available for public comment.

In an attempt to get the package endorsed by new year, it is hoped the final submission will go to the NSSC by 24 October and the final version will be considered at a meeting on December 5th, 2013.

Should any further changes emerge through the public comment phase, they would become part of the Continuous Improvement Process.

The following packaging rules are proposed for the TLI4xx13 Certificate IV in Train driving:


·         Total Units = 21 units

·         13 Core Units

·         5 Elective Units from Group A or Group B or Group C or Group D or Group E

·         3 Elective Units 3 units from Group F or any currently endorsed national Training Package or accredited course, provided that the unit contributes to the vocational outcome of the qualification.

You can read more and provide feedback on the package here –


5 Comments to “Certificate IV – Train Driving open for comment”

  • We did not have that when I was there so just why do they need something that they don’t need?

    • Thanks for your question.

      The Australian rail sector employs more than 40,000 people directly and another 60,000 indirectly. An efficient, effective and safe rail system is required to meet Australia’s short and long-term transport needs. The focus on improving career paths within our industry is now an absolute priority. Training has been lost in some areas due to financial restraints [competition] within the rail industry and coupled with an ageing workforce, is creating greater demand for skills replenishment and better utilisation of existing skills. This critical situation is also compounded by the pull of resources on many of our industry’s youngest and brightest people who are on the cusp of entering the professional driving grades.

      Training Packages form an endorsed component of the national training arrangements will result in the individual obtaining national qualifications in which the Loco Division have been pursuing. These endorsed materials provide the key information required for a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), to deliver training, assess competencies and issue qualifications around Australia.

      The need for the Industry Skills Council and stakeholders is required to coordinate a review of the rail Training Packages to simplify and streamline the content in accordance with new design requirements. The Loco Division is a major stakeholder of this project and is seeking endorsement of the relevant training material.

  • Why devalue the Engineman’s position?

    Judging by my experiences at TAFE where successful students are awarded certificates at various levels as well as above the Enginemen’s position is definately higher than Certficate IV.

    I have acheived 3 Certificate IV’s being 2 at TAFE and one with a accredited Private Operator.

  • Hi Stephen,

    Like the NSW TAFE and other similar organisations, the courses are developed with both industry and community under the nationally agreed Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). This identifies the qualifications available in three sectors of education: schools, vocational education and training, and higher education and is there to help you move between these different education levels.

    Each qualification is based on the level of outcome and not on the length of the course. For example, some Certificate IV courses are quite short but have as an entry requirement the completion of a related Certificate III course.

    Below is a basic explanation of how the Certificate system operates:

    Certificate I: Certificate I courses teach the foundation skills required in some industries, and are often part of a suite of courses that you can progress through.

    Certificate II: Certificate II courses provide preparation for employment and/or apprenticeships. They may also include traineeships with an on-the-job component.

    Certificate III: Certificate III courses teach well-developed skills in a range of occupational areas. Certificate III courses are roughly the same level as the former trade certificate courses offered by TAFE NSW.

    Certificate IV: Certificate IV courses usually teach supervisory skills and advanced technical skills which may build upon skills acquired in the workplace, a Certificate III course or equivalent.

    Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas and Graduate Certificates and Graduate Diplomas are also offered on some courses at TAFE but these are not generally offered as part of the Trade Skills.

    Today, the majority of operators, both public and private, offer no certificate that is transportable between the rail companies. This should rectify the current situation and reaffirms why the Loco Division is endeavouring that VET / AQF qualifications are available to all our members. More and more job adverts are now requiring this as essential criteria.

    If you have any further questions, give the head office and someone there will be able to discuss it in more detail.

  • The reason that there is no transportable qualification is because most of the time it would not be relevant. eg a general freight driver in NSW opting to work in the pilbara would require complete retraining, as would someone who has only driven electric commuter trains wishing to move into the freight sector. Competency based training may look great on paper but it is no substitute for the longer, apprenticeship style of training which preceded it. Driving skills are not learned in a classroom, but in the field. I personally feel that the US style of starting as a conductor, gaining experience in that role and then progressing to driving roles is superior. The continuing acceleration of driver training is a concern, particularly when it is driven by managers who want drivers overnight. Many skills have been lost because the trainers themselves either don’t know or are being told to skip over them to save time.

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