About the College for Adult Learning

Discover CAL’s Story

Our Story

The College for Adult Learning formed as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) in 2009, and through our dedication to outcomes-focused, practical training solutions with unparalleled support and flexibility, we’ve been making a real difference in thousands of lives over the last 10 years.

We were founded by a team of dedicated senior executives from the TAFE/University sector inspired by adult learners across Australia desperate for relevant courses, tailored learning, practical study options, comprehensive support, work-ready skills and real outcomes.

Michael Meere
Learning Coach

With 30 years’ experience across positions from Consultant to General Manager through to CEO, Michael’s extensive project work in both private and not for profit sectors has given him the drive to pass on his knowledge and empower his students to succeed.

Helen Sabell
Co-Founder, CEO, Principal

Passionate about adult and lifelong learning, Helen has extensive experience working with some of the leading names of the Australian University and TAFE sector, designing, developing and authoring numerous workplace leadership and training programs.

Rob Golding
Co-Founder, Director

With a keen understanding of the staff training and development needs of a business, former Swinburne University/TAFE senior manager, Rob, has worked closely with businesses, academics and students alike to create relevant, practical outcomes.

As passionate educators and leaders with over 30 years experience in vocational and higher education, we were continually frustrated with the ‘one size fits all’ training standards being forced on the Australian workforce.

“Unfortunately, the trend in vocational education is for RTOs to be run by business experts and sales & marketing gurus, not by educationalists or people who understand adult learning and how it works.” – Helen Sabell

We found too many learners were wasting time and money on qualifications that didn’t meet employers’ expectations and weren’t relevant to current industry standards. After graduating, many still had major gaps in their skill sets and lacked the ability to apply their learning into their workplace.

More than a piece of paper

Where industry demands confident, resourceful and practical problem-solvers, cookie-cutter qualifications failed to deliver real outcomes. Educational institutions were focused on creating essay-writers, not process-builders, building siloed workplaces, not progressive workforces, and they were generating passive followers instead of shaping dynamic leaders.

Not only were the qualifications irrelevant, the training was inflexible, there was no consideration for past experience and the institutions didn’t allow students to access focused support or valuable mentorship.

Professionals just looking to formalise their experience were made to study alongside school-leavers and those that needed to study around a busy lifestyle were made to slice and dice their schedules to fit in ridiculous commutes and contact hours. There was no consideration for what you’d already learned, no interest in adapting the course structure to work with your lifestyle and no tolerance for anyone requiring extra support.

That’s why we decided to make a change.

We broke away from these rigid educational institutions.

We started doing what we really believed in.


Empowering people to make a difference, since 2009

We’re marking our 10th anniversary by going back to our roots, looking forward to our future, and celebrating with you

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Our commitment to making a difference

Our vision focuses on igniting real change by inspiring one student at a time and giving them the power to shape their own world.

Knowing the struggles that learners faced, we started with practical, outcomes-focused training solutions then created a learning model that allowed students freedom and flexibility while providing a strong support foundation.

We focus on providing a unique student experience, building on a supportive online learning environment, 24/7 access to course content so you can go at your own pace, and unlimited opportunities to connect with experienced industry professionals for mentorship and support.

Courses designed for success

One of the first challenges we saw students encounter was the lack of practicality in their courses. Graduates weren’t able to apply their theory-based knowledge into the workforce and had trouble exercising their learning across different contexts.

So the first step to achieving our vision became clear: designing our training products for success.

As a team of highly experienced HR and project management practitioners, we began with what we knew: project management and human resources courses. By analysing our own experiences across these disciplines over various sectors, we had a sound understanding of exactly what a course would need to deliver for a student to succeed in the workplace. As we grew and offered more courses, we continued consulting with experienced professionals in the field and kept our focus on core skills that future leaders needed to succeed in any role: people management, planning, communication and leadership.

CAL continues to partner with industry leaders when we develop our training solutions to ensure that our content is accurate, current and relevant to the workplaces of today with the visions of tomorrow.

We proudly specialise in creating the courses that industry demands and future leaders need.

Focus on student experience

The next step in realising our vision was the easiest to put into place: an unwavering focus on each and every one of our students.

From improving our course delivery to constantly updating our course content through to innovating the way we provide support, we’re committed to creating an unmatched student experience.
When it came to support, students often felt that they weren’t being listened to or taken seriously. Unlike TAFEs, universities and large RTOs, we know that each student has their own learning journey and genuinely believe they should be supported to achieve their own goals – not just ours.

That’s also why we hand-pick our Student Support team and Learning Coaches to set our students up for success. Each of our team understands the difficulties our adult learners face every day and are committed to helping them through their studies. Our Learning Coaches love to pass on their knowledge and real-world experiences while our Student Support team works hard to provide guidance and ensure every student is heard. This makes our team an incredible source of support and mentorship for our students, and a driving force behind our students’ success.

Above all, we believe in ensuring the experiences we create for our students will set them up for success in their studies, career, industry and life.

Committed to creating real outcomes

From the start, we wanted to be different. We didn’t just want to start a business. We didn’t want to end up just ticking boxes. We wanted to make a real difference in our students’ lives. We dedicated our training model to pioneer future-focused, outcomes-based training that goes beyond the basics of the qualification framework.

We’re committed to developing and nourishing the transferable skills and values in our students to become leaders, push boundaries and champion innovation. In order to set our students up for success in their careers, we aim to nurture:

  • Resourcefulness
  • Adaptability
  • Critical-thinking
  • Creativity
  • Challenge-seeking leaders

Igniting Real Change.

In industry. In careers. In businesses. In the future. In people’s lives.

In the world.

discover more about our our vision and values

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