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Glossary of terms


accredited course
(see also TGA)

A nationally accredited course developed to meet training needs that are not addressed by existing training packages. Details of nationally accredited courses and the training providers that deliver these courses are provided by training.gov.au (TGA)

apprenticeship A system of training regulated by law that combines on-the-job training in paid employment with formal (usually off-the-job) training. The apprentice and the employer enter into a training contract or training agreement that imposes mutual obligations on both parties. Traditionally apprenticeships were in trade occupations (declared vocations) and were of 4 years' duration, but the duration of contracts has been formally reduced in some trades and the apprenticeship system broadened.
auspicing The process of an organisation entering into partnership with a registered training organisation (RTO) in order to have the training and assessment that it undertakes recognised under the National Training Framework. This is how schools can deliver aspects of VET on their own campus.
Australasian Curriculum, Assessment and Certification Authorities
The body for the chief executives of the authorities in the Australian states and territories and New Zealand responsible for curriculum, assessment, and certification in education.
Australian Qualifications Framework
The national policy for regulated qualifications in Australian education and training. Introduced in 1995 to underpin the national system of qualifications in Australia, it incorporates the qualifications from each education and training sector into a single comprehensive national qualifications framework.
Australian Skills Quality Authority
The national regulator for Australia's vocational education and training sector, which maintains the sector's quality through the effective regulation of providers and accredited courses to ensure that nationally approved quality standards are met.
competency-based assessment
The gathering and judging of evidence in order to decide whether a person has achieved a standard of competence. VET is not graded like the school system; students are deemed as 'competent' or 'not yet competent'.

contract, training

(also called training agreement)
See 'training contract'
flexible delivery A range of approaches to providing education and training that give learners greater choices in when, where, and how they learn. Flexible delivery may involve distance education, mixed-mode delivery, online learning, self-paced learning, self-directed learning, or combinations of these.
group training organisation
A company or organisation that employs apprentices and trainees and places them with one or more host employers that are usually small to medium-sized businesses. The host employers provide on-the-job training and experience, while the GTO organises off-the-job training, recruitment, job rotation, and payroll. You can search GTOs on the National Apprentice Employment Network website.
Industry Reference Committees
These committees drive the process of training package development and are made up of people with experience, skills, and knowledge in a particular industry sector.
National Centre for Vocational Education Research
A national organisation responsible for collecting, managing, analysing, evaluating, and communicating research and statistics about the vocational education and training (VET) sector in Australia, and jointly owned by the Commonwealth, state, and territory ministers responsible for VET.
pre-vocational course A course designed to prepare people for vocational education and training or work, including bridging courses, basic literacy and numeracy training, or training in job skills.
private provider A non-government training organisation
qualification Formal certification that is awarded by an accredited authority in recognition of the successful completion of an educational program. In the vocational education and training (VET) sector, qualifications are awarded when a person has satisfied all requirements of the units of competency or modules that comprise an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualification, as specified by a nationally endorsed training package or an accredited course that provides training for that qualification.
recognition of prior learning
The acknowledgment of a person's skills and knowledge acquired through previous training, work, or life experience, which may be used to grant status or credit in a subject or module. It can lead to a full qualification in the VET sector.
registered training organisation
Training providers registered to deliver vocational education and training (VET) services.RTOs are recognised as providers of quality-assured and nationally recognised training and qualifications.
School-based apprenticeship / traineeship
A formal, structured employment and training arrangement in which the student, while counting as a full-time school student, is employed part time as an apprentice or trainee. As with other apprentices and trainees, a training contract is established and registered with the appropriate state registration authority. In addition to a vocational education and training (VET) qualification, the training generally counts towards the student's senior secondary school certificate and in some cases tertiary entrance ranking.
Skills Service Organisations
Organisations funded by the Commonwealth Government to work with Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) to develop and maintain training packages.
Skills set Skill Sets are outlined in nationally endorsed Training Packages, and are shorter than a qualification, usually comprising a couple of units of competency that link to a licence or regulatory requirement, or defined industry need.  Skill Sets have an official VET code and can be found on training.gov.au.  Skill Sets included at the end of the Department for Education’s Summary of VET Training Products document can be found in the VET Recognition Register and in Schools Online – for example New Business Ventures Skill Set BSBSS00103 and Entry into Care Roles Skill Set CHCSS00114.
South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre
The body that accepts, assesses, and processes applications for courses on behalf of TAFE SA and the main universities in South Australia and the Northern Territory.
Technical and Further Education
A government training provider that provides a range of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) courses and other programs.
traineeship A system of vocational training combining off-the-job training by an approved training provider with on-the-job training and practical work experience. Traineeships generally take 1 to 2 years and are now a part of the Australian Apprenticeships system.
training contract
(also called training agreement)
A legal agreement between an employer and an apprentice or trainee that defines the rights and responsibilities of each party. Responsibilities include the employer guaranteeing to train the apprentice or trainee in the agreed occupation or training area and to allow time off work to attend any required off-the-job training, and the apprentice or trainee agreeing to learn all aspects of the occupation or training area and to work for the employer for a specified period.
training package A document that defines the competencies required by a specific occupation and/or industry and describes how these competencies may be packaged into a nationally recognised and portable qualification that complies with the Australian Qualifications Framework.
training plan A documented program of training and assessment required for an apprenticeship/traineeship training contract. It is developed by a registered training organisation in consultation with the parties to the contract as the basis for training and assessing a person undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship.
The official national register of information on training packages, qualifications, courses, units of competency and registered training organisations (RTOs). It is Australia's main database of vocational education and training information: RTOs, training packages, qualifications, accredited courses, skill sets, and units of competency.
units of competency
The nationally agreed statements of the skills and knowledge required for effective performance in a particular job or job function. They identify the skills and knowledge as outcomes that contribute to the whole job function. Units of competency are an endorsed component of training packages. Each training package is made up of a prescribed number of units of competency, all of which must be attained to successfully complete the qualification.
vocational education and training
Enables students to acquire workplace skills through nationally recognised training as part of an industry developed training package or accredited course. VET qualifications are recognised nationally and are delivered, assessed, and certified by registered training organisations (RTOs).
VET broker  
Victorian Purchasing Guides
The source used by the SACE Board to determine the amount of SACE credits attributed towards a qualification, which gives the:
  • minimum and maximum nominal hour range for a qualification
  • contact nominal hour allocations for units of competency.
work experience A period (usually 1 or 2 weeks) of unpaid work undertaken by secondary school students, typically during Year 10, as part of their careers education, to gain some insight into the world of work.
work placement
(also called structured workplace learning)
A period of unpaid work with an employer undertaken by vocational education and training (VET) students in order to satisfy the requirements of a course or module, with supervision provided by the employer, the training provider, or both.

Source: Adapted from www.voced.edu.au