Why RTOs need to assess LLN (Language, Literacy and Numeracy) of learners Leave a comment


Vocational education is a steppingstone to a strong career for all VET students. But what if the learners enrolled in the qualifications have low language literacy and numeracy? Then it becomes crucial for RTOs to conduct LLN tests to assess learners’ literacy and numeracy levels.

In the blog, “Why RTOs need to assess LLN (Language, Literacy and Numeracy) of learners”, we will discuss what is LLN and the reasons to do an LLN assessment. We will also provide the steps needed to conduct the LLN assessment. Let us begin.

What is meaning of LLN?

LLN skills are part of foundation skills along with employment skills. These foundation skills are necessary for VET learners to understand and receive training so that they can successfully retain employment. LLN stands for Language, Literacy and Numeracy.

According to (Australian Core Skills Framework) ACSF LLN skills are these core skills:

  • Language Skills- Oral communication is a language skill and it covers Speaking skills and Listening Skills
  • Literacy Skills- It covers reading skills and writing skills.
  • Numeracy Skills- It covers measuring and using measuring equipment, calculating, and using data, graphs, diagrams, tables, maps and plans.

Reasons why RTOs should conduct LLN assessment

  • RTOs will get reliable information about the LLN levels through the Literacy and Numeracy test.

LLN assessments or LLN tests are an excellent way to get reliable information on students’ LLN levels. It is crucial for the relevant training and assessment. It will also identify the skills gap and RTOs can provide support for students in need. It is strongly recommended that LLN tests be prepared by expert trainers or subject matter experts so that the LLN tests are effective and reliable.

  • RTOs can check for the Language literacy and numeracy that will be required by the relevant industry.

With LLN tests the learners can be tested for the kind of language literacy and numeracy the industry needs. This will help RTOs to develop their training resources in a more effective way.

  • Expert RTO trainers can identify the difficult parts of the training with LLN assessments.

The results of the LLN tests will help RTO trainers to identify the difficult part of the training and assessment of the qualification. This will help them to provide additional support and practice material to learners.

  • Lack of Language literacy and numeracy is a serious concern for RTO’s credibility.

Learners with poor levels of LLN skills will not be able to fully perform in assessments hampering the RTO’s completion rates. Low LLN levels also mean they may not perform optimally at an actual workplace putting RTO’s reputation in jeopardy.

Training organisations can use the following methods to conduct LLN assessment tests

  • Interviews before the course begins
  • Self assessment forms to identify prior learning
  • Enrolment forms with questions that identify the LLN needs of the learners
  • Through LLN quiz
  • Through Credit transfer forms
  • By using LLN assessment tools like Core Skills Profile for Adults.

How RTOs can do the LLN test

4-steps to identify LLN skill gap using ACSF

The below mentioned steps help you to identify LLN skill gaps using ACSF in a simple way.

Step-1. To identify and explain the required LLN skills.

In a VET program, the ASCF can be helpful in identifying the LLN skill requirements. There are two methods.

Method-1. By identifying the necessary LLN skills for units of competency with foundation skills.

Method-2. By identifying the necessary LLN skills for units of competency without foundation skills.

Step-2. To analyse the difficulty level of required LLN skills.

Keeping in mind, the day-to-day task and activities that are performed in the organisation , how difficult is the task to perform? Does it require supervision or not? What is the suitable AQF level?

Getting answers to these questions improves and helps you to figure out the complexity of the required LLN skills.

Step-3. Using ACSF performance indicators for estimating necessary ASCF levels.

For estimating the ASCF levels for each LLN skill, ASCF performance indicators are used. Please go to: (ACSF) for more details on ACSF performance indicators.

Step-4. Comparing an individual’s ACSF levels with ASCF levels.

Before enrolling into a training program, a pre-training review (PTR) is conducted by RTO. In this pre-training review, diagnostic assessment of a person’s current ACSF levels is a part which in turn can be compared with the ACSF levels required to perform the tasks and activities mentioned by the unit of competency. Additional support and training may be required in case of LLN skill gap.

Tips for RTOs to provide LLN to learners

  • Using nationally recognised qualifications and training
  • Conducting pre-training assessment to identify LLN issues
  • Providing the opportunity to observe and practice the LLN skills that are part of the competence training
  • Pre-teaching the use of workplace documents
  • Providing LLN support and skill development
  • Providing clear and concrete reasons for improving LLN through support, encouragement and rewards
  • Use online and self-paced blended learning when available

What steps RTOs should take after identifying LLN skill

The RTO should provide the learner with the resources they need to execute the plan of action. This could include practice tests, LLN specialists, or other support services.


LLN is crucial to RTO’s training programs. LLN tests can help RTOs understand the level of learners. The LLN assessment helps identify the gaps in skills. So, by following the 4-step method to use ACSF to find the skill gaps. If you are an RTO and looking to buy LLN kits, then VET Resources is your partner. We offer training resources, learner guides and training packages to RTOs. We also offer a free consultation to RTOs. For more information contact us here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q.1. What is the condition when RTO is required to use an approved LLN assessment tool?

A.1. If an RTO is funded by the government or a learner receiving a VET students loan then the RTO is required to use an approved LLN assessment tool to identify the current LLN skills of the learner.

Q.2. Are RTOs mandated to use a validated LLN assessment tool?

A.2. The Standards for RTOs, Clause 1.7, specifies that RTO will perform a review before the training has begun. This review will help RTOs determine LLN skills. To review the RTO are free to use any LLN assessment tool.

Q.3. What is Digital literacy?

A.3. Digital literacy was added to the ACSF in 2020. Digital literacy works on the Digital Literacy Skills Framework and was published by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment. Digital skills are combined with the five core sills given by the ACSF.

The information presented on the VET Resources blog is for general guidance only. While we strive for accuracy, we cannot guarantee the completeness or timeliness of the information. VET Resources is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. Always consult a professional for advice tailored to your circumstances.

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