Glossary

Acronyms

AAC Australian Apprenticeships Centres
AATINFO Australian Apprenticeships Training Information Service
AFLF Australian Flexible Learning Framework
ANZSCO Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations
AQF Australian Qualifications Framework
AQTF Australian Quality Training Framework
ISC Industry Skills Council
LLN Language, Literacy and Numeracy
MCTEE Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment
NQC National Quality Council
NRT Nationally Recognised Training
NSF National Skills Framework
NTIS National Training Information Service
OHS Occupational Health and Safety
RPL Recognition of Prior Learning
RTO Registered Training Organisation
STA State and Territory Training Authority
VET Vocational Education and Training
VETiS Vocational Education and Training in Schools

A

Australian Apprenticeships Training Information Service

Acronym: AATINFO

A Commonwealth-funded Service that provides online access to Australian Apprenticeships training information, job and training package pathway charts, and marketing resources for Australian Apprenticeships Centres, registered training organisations and other stakeholders. Previously called NATINFO.
www.aatinfo.com.au

Acceleration

Progression through an education or training program at a faster rate than usual.

Access and equity

Also called: Equity

Policies and approaches aimed at ensuring that vocational education and training (VET) are responsive to the individual needs of clients whose age, gender, cultural or ethnic background, disability, sexuality, language skills, literacy or numeracy level, unemployment, imprisonment or remote location may present a barrier to access, participation and the achievement of suitable outcomes. Access and equity principles do not mean that an RTO has to accept anyone as a client.

Accreditation

The formal recognition of a vocational education and training (VET) course by the State or Territory course accrediting body, in accordance with the Standards for State and Territory Registering and Course Accrediting Bodies.

Accredited course

A structured sequence of vocational education and training that has been accredited by a state or territory course accrediting body and leads to an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualification or statement of attainment.

AEShareNet Licensing System

AEShareNet is an online service for trading and sharing of training materials and for streamlining the management of intellectual property for educational organisations. In effect, AEShareNet connects people who are looking for learning materials with those who own them, and automates the negotiation and licensing process. Website: www.aesharenet.com.au

Apprentice

A person, contracted to an employer, undergoing training for a recognised apprenticeable occupation during an established period.

Apprenticeship

A system of training regulated by law or custom which combines on-the-job training and work experience while in paid employment with formal off-the-job training. The apprentice enters into a contract of training or training agreement with an employer which imposes mutual obligations on both parties. Traditionally, apprenticeships were in trade occupations (declared vocations) and were of four years' duration, but the duration of contracts have been formally reduced in some trades.

Articulation

The arrangements which facilitate the movement or progression of students from one course to another, or from one education and training sector to another.

Assessment

The process of collecting evidence and making judgements on whether competency has been achieved, to confirm that an individual can perform to the standard expected in the workplace, as expressed by the relevant endorsed industry/enterprise competency standards of a Training Package or by the learning outcomes of an accredited course.

Assessment Guidelines

One of the three endorsed components of a Training Package that underpins assessment and sets out the industrys approach to valid, reliable, flexible and fair assessment.

Assessment Tools

An assessment tool is defined as the instrument(s) and procedures used to gather and interpret evidence of competence:
a) Instrument: the specific questions or activity used to assess competence by the assessment method selected. An assessment instrument may be supported by a profile of acceptable performance and the decision-making rules or guidelines to be used by the assessors.
b) Procedures: the information or instructions given to the candidate and the assessor about how the assessment is to be conducted and recorded.

In accordance with the AQTF Essential Standards for Registration, an assessment tool includes the following components:

  • The learning or competency unit(s) to be assessed;
  • The target group, context and conditions for the assessment;
  • The tasks to be administered to the candidate;
  • An outline of the evidence to be gathered from the candidate;
  • The evidence criteria used to judge the quality of performance (i.e. the assessment decision making rules); as well as
  • The administration, recording and reporting requirements.

Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations

Acronym: ANZSCO

A skill-based classification system used to classify all jobs in the Australian and New Zealand labour markets. It defines jobs and occupations according to level of skill and specialisation. It uses similarities between these attributes to organise them into five hierarchical levels - major group, sub-major group, minor group, unit group and occupation. ANZSCO replaced the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO) and the New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (NZSCO) in 2006.

Australian Apprenticeships

The name (from 1 July 2006) for the scheme formerly known as New Apprenticeships. Australian Apprenticeships cover both apprentices and trainee and are available in a variety of qualification levels in more than 500 occupations across Australia.

Australian Apprenticeships Centres

Acronym: AAC

'One-stop shops' that provide information, recruitment and administration services and support to employers and Australian Apprentices.
www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au

Australian Flexible Learning Framework

Acronym: AFLF

A national strategy that is collaboratively funded by the Australian Government and all states and territories to provide the vocational education and training system with e-learning skills, professional development opportunities, products, resources and support networks to meet the technology-driven learning environment.
www.flexiblelearning.net.au

Australian Qualifications Framework

Acronym: AQF

A unified system of national qualifications in schools, vocational education and training (TAFEs and private providers) and the higher education sector (mainly universities). The qualifications are: Senior Secondary Certificate of Education; Certificate I; Certificate II; Certificate III; Certificate IV; Diploma; Advanced Diploma; Associate Degree; Bachelor Degree; Vocational Graduate Certificate; Vocational Graduate Diploma; Graduate Certificate; Graduate Diploma; Masters Degree; Doctoral Degree.
www.aqf.edu.au

Australian Quality Training Framework

Acronym: AQTF

The set of nationally agreed quality assurance arrangements for training and assessment services delivered by Australian training providers. The AQTF comprises standards for registered training organisations (RTOs) and standards for State and Territory Registering and Course Accrediting Bodies. The first version of AQTF was implemented in 2002. It was revised in 2005, in 2007 and again in 2010 (AQTF 2010).
www.training.com.au

Australian Training Products Limited

The national provider of vocational education and training materials, including government-funded resources as well as those developed by commercial organisations. Formerly known as ACTRAC Products Limited.
www.atpl.net.au

B

Benchmarking

The continuous process of measuring and comparing products, services and practices with comparable systems or organisations both inside and outside the VET sector for the purpose of continuous improvement.

Blended learning

earning methods that combine e‑learning with other forms of flexible learning and more traditional forms of learning such as face to face classes.

Block release

The release of an employee from the workplace for periods of time, usually of a week or more, in order to undertake related training in an educational institution or the release of a student from an Australian Technical College to an employer. The term applies particularly to apprentices and trainees.

See also: Day release

C

Cadetship

An employment arrangement in which an employer undertakes to subsidise an employees formal training leading to certain qualifications, and in which the employee is usually required to remain with the employer for a specified period after completion of training.

Capability

A talent or ability that has the potential for development or use. Capability encompasses a combination of knowledge, understandings, attitudes, skills and personal qualities.

Capability development

A continuous process requiring a framework of action and effective learning experiences designed to develop the confidence to use capabilities in a range of contexts.

Certificates I, II, III, IV

A set of Australian qualifications that prepare candidates for both employment and further education and training. They recognise achievement of specified national industry competency standards at four Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) levels in a wide variety of trades, industries and enterprises.

CESOL

Certificate in English for speakers of other languages

Community of Practice

A loosely coupled group of practitioners who work and learn together around a certain broad topic over an extended period of time. Communities of Practice operate on the basis of joint interest, spontaneous interaction, and mutual development. Example: VET ePortfolios CoP

Competency

Competency is the consistent application of knowledge and skill to the standard of performance required in the workplace. It embodies the ability to transfer and apply skills and knowledge to new situations and environments.

See also: Competency standard, Element of competency

Competency standard

An industry-determined specification of performance which sets out the skills, knowledge and attitudes required to operate effectively in employment. In vocational education and training, competency standards are made up of units of competency, which are themselves made up of elements of competency, together with performance criteria, a range of variables, and an evidence guide. Competency standards are an endorsed component of a training package.

See also: Competency, Element of competency, Unit of competency

Competency-based assessment

Acronym: CBA

The gathering and judging of evidence in order to decide whether a person has achieved a standard of competence.

See also: Assessment

Competency-based training

Acronym: CBT

Training which develops the skills, knowledge and attitudes required to achieve competency standards.

Compliance audit

An external assessment administered by State and Territory Registering and Course Accrediting Bodies to determine whether a registered training organisation is operating effectively within its scope of registration. May also be referred to as compliance assessment.

Contextualisation

Tailoring a unit of competency or module to make it relevant to the specific needs of enterprises, industry sectors or particular client groups. Contextualisation rules are stated both within training package qualifications and accredited courses.

ContingencyManagementSkills

Oneofthefourdimensionsofcompetency. Theseskillsinvolvetherequirementtorespondtoirregularitiesandbreakdownsinroutine.

Continuous improvement

A planned and ongoing process that enables an RTO to systematically review and improve its policies, procedures, products and services in order to generate better outcomes for clients and to meet changing needs. It allows an RTO to constantly review its performance against the AQTF Essential Conditions and Standards for Continuing Registration and to plan ongoing improvements to its performance. Continuous improvement involves collecting, analysing and acting on relevant information collected from clients and other interested parties, including the RTOs staff.

Contract of training

Also called: Training agreement

Training contract

A legal agreement between an employer and an apprentice or trainee, which defines the rights and responsibilities of each party. These 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. It supersedes the indenture system.

Co-requisites

A co-requisite is a unit of competency that must be undertaken as part of the same program of training delivery and/or assessment as another unit, unless it has already been completed.

Core competency

A unit of competency within a competency standard that an industry has agreed is essential to be achieved if a person is to be accepted as competent at a particular level. All units may be core, but in many cases competency at a level will involve core units plus optional or specialisation units of competency. Core competencies are normally those central to the work of a particular industry or occupation.

Credit transfer

The granting of status or credit by an institution or training organisation to students for modules (subjects) or units of competency completed at the same or another institution or training organisation.

CRICOS

Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students, an online database of courses and educational institutions or providers who are registered to offer courses for overseas students in Australia. http://cricos.deewr.gov.au

CTE

Career and technical education

Current competency

A competency which continues to have currency in an industry or occupation. People can lose competence over time and may need further training and practice to demonstrate current competency.

See also: Recognition of current competency (RCC)

D

Day release

The release of an employee from the workplace, usually for one day per week, in order to undertake related training in an educational institution. The term applies particularly to apprentices and trainees.

See also: Block release

Declared vocation

A trade occupation specified in legislation, regulations or an industrial award for which the entrance requirement is successful completion of an apprenticeship. With the implementation of New Apprenticeships, declared vocations were abolished in most states and territories.

DEEWR

See also: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Demand occupation

An occupation in which there is an actual or expected shortage of qualified workers. The concept is currently used for awarding extra points for people wishing to migrate to Australia under the General Skilled Migration Programme.

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Acronym: DEEWR

This new Commonwealth department was created following the 2007 election. It replaces the former Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) and the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR).
www.deewr.gov.au

Desk audit

An audit where an applicant seeking registration or an RTO submits documents or information to the registering body to be assessed as evidence for compliance with the AQTF Essential Conditions and Standards for Initial Registration or the AQTF Essential Conditions and Standards for Continuing Registration.

Dimensions of competency

Dimensions are part of the broad concept of competency, which includes all aspects of work performance as represented by task skills, task management skills, contingency management skills and job/role environment skills.

See also: ContingencyManagementSkills,Job/RoleEnvironmentSkills,TaskManagement SkillsandTaskSkills

Dual accreditation / Dual recognition

Formal recognition of a course both academically (by a school or college) and vocationally (by an employer or industry).

E

EdNA

Education Network Australia (EdNA) is a service supporting and promoting the benefits of the Internet for learning, education and training in Australia. It is organised around Australian curriculum, its tools are free to Australian educators, and it is funded by the governments responsible for education provision in Australia. It provides a directory about education and training in Australia and a database of web-based resources useful for teaching and learning. W: www.edna.edu.au

e-learning

E-learning refers to the use of information and communication technology in the delivery of education and training.

Element of competency

Any of the basic building blocks of a unit of competency which describe the key activities that must be performed to demonstrate competence in the tasks covered by the unit.

See also: Competency, Competency standard, Unit of competency

Employability skills

Employability Skills are defined as "skills required not only to gain employment, but also to progress within an enterprise so as to achieve one's potential and contribute successfully to enterprise strategic directions". There are eight Employability Skills: communication, teamwork, problem solving, initiative and enterprise, planning and organising, self-management, learning, and technology. The Employability Skills Summary lists the elements of each skill that have been identified for the qualification in a Training Package. W: Employability Skills in Training Packages and Employability Skills Summaries; DEST Report 2004; A study into the assessment and reporting of employability skills of senior secondary students, January 2008

Endorsed component

The central part of a training package, endorsed by the National Quality Council (NQC), comprising competency standards, assessment guidelines and qualifications.

See also: Non-endorsed component

Enterprise competency standards

Competency standards developed and/or used specifically within an enterprise. They describe skills or collections of skills that are specific and unique to that enterprise and are not adequately described by the training package for that industry.

Entry-level skill

A skill required to commence employment in an organisation or more generally, to gain entry into the workforce.

Entry requirements

Specified prior knowledge, skill, and experience, expressed in terms of competency, and may include licensing or industry recognised standards. Where entry requirements are identified, these are mandatory. Entry requirements:

  • Do not form part of a qualification for training and assessment purposes
  • Must be completed prior to enrolling in a qualification
  • Must be specific to the knowledge, skills or experience required to enter a qualification.

Equity

Also called: Access and equity

A policy or set of strategies that ensure that vocational education and training is responsive to the needs of all members of the community.

Evidence guide

The part of a competency standard which provides a guide to the interpretation and assessment of the unit of competency, including the aspects which need to be emphasised in assessment, relationships to other units, and the required evidence of competency.

Excellence criteria

A set of criteria in the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) against which an RTO may self-evaluate for quality improvement, or be formally evaluated on a voluntary basis in order to seek recognition as either quality committed or outstanding.

F

Fee-for-service training

Training for which most or all of the cost is borne by the student or a person or organisation on behalf of the student

Fit and proper person requirements

Individual characteristics or past behaviour standards that must be met by individuals who are in a position to influence the management of an RTO. Failure to meet the requirements may impact on the suitability of the individual to contribute to the delivery of education and training. A test of whether an individual satisfies fit and proper person requirements may consider past criminal convictions, any record of registration cancellations or conditions on registration, a history of personal bankruptcy or insolvency, disqualifications under the Corporations Act 2001 and other relevant matters.

Flexible delivery / Flexible learning

A range of approaches to providing education and training that give learners greater choice of 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.

Formal training

Training that is given in an orderly logical planned and systematic manner in a specially equipped workshop under the guidance of a qualified trainer for a specific period of time in the specified field.

Formative assessment

Assessment that takes place at regular intervals during a course with feedback provided along the way to help improve the students performance.

See also: Summative assessment

Foundation Skills

Encompass the language, literacy and numeracy skills, or core skills, of reading, writing, oral communication, numeracy and learning described by the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF), as well as employability skills. Foundation Skills Briefing Paper >>

G

Generic skill

A skill which is not specific to work in a particular occupation or industry, but is important for work, education and life in general, e.g. communication skills, mathematical skills, organisational skills, computer literacy, interpersonal competence, and analytical skills.

See also: Employability skills, Key competency, Skill

Group Training Australia

Acronym: GTA

The national association for group training organisations (GTOs).
www.gtaltd.com.au

Group training organisation

Acronym: GTO

Also called: Group training company

A company or organisation that employs apprentices and trainees and places them with one or more host employers who are usually small to medium-sized businesses. The host employers provide on-the-job training and experience, while the group training organisation organises off-the-job training, and handles recruitment, job rotation and payroll.

I

In-service training

Training and professional development of staff, often sponsored by the employer, and usually provided during normal working hours.

Indenture

Historically, the legal agreement between an apprentice and an employer under which the apprentice was bound to the employer for a specified period in return for the training received; superseded by contract of training.

Industry

Representative bodies that have a stake in the training, assessment and client services provided by RTOs. These representative bodies could include industry skills councils, industry associations, unions, regulatory bodies, licensing bodies and group training companies (not an exhaustive list).

Industry Skills Council

Acronym: ISC

A set of 10 national bodies that have replaced the former national Industry Training Advisory Bodies (ITABs). They provide advice to Australian, state and territory governments on the training that is required by industry. The 10 ISCs are: Agri-Food Industry Skills Council; Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council; Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council; ElectroComms and Energy Utilities Industry Skills Council; Government Skills Australia; Innovation and Business Industry Skills Council; Manufacturing Industry Skills Council; Resources and Infrastructure Skills Council; Service Industry Skills Council; and Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council.
www.isc.org.au]

Industry Training Advisory Body

Acronym: ITAB

An autonomous industry body which was recognised by governments as the major source of advice from industry on training matters. ITABs existed at both national and state levels. In 2003, following the restructuring of the national industry training arrangements by the Australian National Training Authority, the national ITABs were replaced by 10 Industry Skills Councils. Some state and territory based ITABs continue to exist.

Informal training

Training that usually occurs on the job through interactions with co-workers as part of the day-to-day work.

See also: Structured training

Institute for Trade Skills Excellence

Acronym: ITSE

A government-funded industry-led body which was established to promote and advance learning, teaching and training in Australian trades education and elevate the status of traditional trades and trades education as career choices.
www.tradeskills.com.au

Integrated assessment

An approach to assessment that covers multiple elements and/or units of competence from relevant competency standards. The integrated approach attempts to combine knowledge, understanding, problem solving, technical skills, attitudes and ethics into an assessment task to reduce the time spent on testing and make assessment more 'authentic'.

J

Job/RoleEnvironmentSkills

One of the four dimensions of competency. These skills involve demonstrating the ability to deal with responsibilities and expectations of the workplace, including working with others.

L

Learning strategy

A non-endorsed component of a training package which provides information on how training programs may be organised in workplaces and training institutions. This may include information on learning pathways, model training programs, and training materials.

Lifelong learning

The process of acquiring knowledge or skills throughout life via education, training, work and general life experiences.

M

Minimum competency

An essential skill for a given age, grade, or level of performance.

Moderation

The process of bringing assessment judgements and standards into alignment. It is a process that ensures the same standards are applied to all assessment results within the same Unit(s) of Competency. It is an active process in the sense that adjustments to assessor judgements are made to overcome differences in the difficulty of the tool and/or the severity of judgements.

Multiskilling

Training of workers in a number of skills which enables them to perform a variety of tasks or functions across traditional boundaries. Multiskilling may be horizontal (broad skilling), vertical (upskilling) or diagonal (contributory skilling).

Mutual recognition

A feature of the Australian Quality Training Framework which allows a registered training organisation (RTO) registered in one State or Territory to operate in another without a further registration process. Qualifications and statements of attainment issued by any RTO are accepted and recognised by all other RTOs.


N

National Audit and Registration Agency

Acronym: NARA

NARA, the National Audit and Registration Agency, provides audit and registration services for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) that operate in more than one Australian State or Territory. These are known as multi-jurisdictional RTOs.
www.nara.tvetaustralia.com.au

National Centre for Vocational Education Research

Acronym: NCVER

A national research, evaluation and information organisation for the vocational education and training (VET) sector in Australia, jointly owned by the Commonwealth, state and territory ministers responsible for VET.
www.ncver.edu.au

National Quality Council

Acronym: NQC

A Committee of the Ministerial Council for Vocational and Technical Education (MCVTE), established in December 2005, which oversees quality assurance and ensures national consistency in the application of the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) standards for the audit and registration of training providers and registration and course accrediting bodies. Most members of the NQC were previously part of the National Training Quality Council (NTQC).
www.nqc.tvetaustralia.com.au

National Recognition

National Recognition covers three key aspects of the VET system.

  1. Recognition by an RTO of the AQF qualifications and statements of attainment issued by all other RTOs, thereby enabling national recognition of the qualifications and statements of attainment issued to any person.
  2. Recognition by each state and territorys registering body of the training organisations registered by any other state or territorys registering body and of its registration decisions.
  3. Recognition by all state and territory course-accrediting bodies and registering bodies of each others accredited courses and accreditation decisions.

Nationally Recognised Training

Acronym: NRT

An accredited program of study that leads to vocational qualifications that are recognised across Australia as part of the National Skills Framework. Only registered training organisations (RTOs) that meet government quality standards (the AQTF), such as TAFE, private providers and vocational divisions of schools and universities can provide nationally recognised training that includes endorsed training package qualifications and/or accredited courses. The NRT logo signifies the relevant training and assessment products and services.

National Skills Framework

Acronym: NSF

This framework sets out the national training system's requirements for quality and national consistency in terms of qualifications and the delivery of training. The NSF applies nationally and has been endorsed by the Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment (MCTEE). It replaces the National Training Framework.

National Training Information Service

Acronym: NTIS

The national register for recording information about RTOs, Training Packages and accredited courses. NTIS is part of the National Skills Framework. www.ntis.gov.au >>

New Apprenticeships

Acronym: NA

An umbrella term for the new national apprenticeship and traineeship arrangements which came into effect on 1 January 1998. The main characteristics of New Apprenticeships included a contract of training between employer and apprentice or trainee, public funding and support for employers, choice of training provider, a wider range of occupations and industries than previously, competency-based training using national training packages, apprenticeships in schools, and a continued role for group training organisations. From 1 July 2006, New Apprenticeships were replaced by Australian Apprenticeships.

New Apprenticeships Access Program

Acronym: NAAP

Now called Australian Apprenticeships Access Program (AAAP), it provides job seekers who experience barriers to skilled employment, with pre-vocational training, support and assistance to obtain and maintain an Australian Apprenticeship.

New Apprenticeships Incentives Program

Acronym: NAIP

Now called the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Programme (AAIP), its aim is to develop a more skilled Australian workforce by offering financial incentives to eligible employers to participate in the Australian Apprenticeships scheme.

Non-compliance

The requirements of the AQTF Essential Conditions and Standards for Initial Registration or the AQTF Essential Conditions and Standards for Continuing Registration have not been met, based on the evidence reviewed by the VET Regulator or Registering Body. There are three categories of non-compliance as follows:

  1. Minor non-compliance: The requirements of the AQTF Essential Conditions and Standards for Initial Registration or the AQTF Essential Conditions and Standards for Continuing Registration have not been met, based on the evidence reviewed, but there is no, or minor, adverse impact on learners and/or other consumers of goods and services produced in the training environment or the current (or future) workplace.
  2. Significant non-compliance: The AQTF requirements have not been met, based on the evidence reviewed, and there are indications of a significant adverse impact on learners and/or other consumers of goods and services produced in the training environment or the current (or future) workplace.
  3. Critical non-compliance: The AQTF requirements have not been met, based on the evidence reviewed, and there is a critical adverse impact on learners and/or consumers of goods and services produced in the training environment or the current (or future) workplace.

Non-endorsed component

The parts of a training package not required to be endorsed by the National Quality Council (NQC), including support materials for learning, training, assessment, and professional development.

See also: Endorsed component

O

Off-the-job training

Training which takes place away from a person's job, usually off the premises, e.g. at TAFE, but may also be on the premises, e.g. in a special training area.

See also: On-the-job training

On-site training

Training conducted at the work site (e.g. in a training room) but not on the job.

On-the-job training

Training undertaken in the workplace as part of the productive work of the learner.

See also: Off-the-job training

Open training market

A system of open competition among public and private training organisations in the provision of vocational education and training. It provides users with greater choice of programs and providers.

Outcomes

The consequences of actions implemented by an RTO to achieve high-quality training, assessment and client services.

P

Packaging requirements

The process of grouping relevant core and elective units of competency in a Training Package into a meaningful combination that becomes a qualification representing either a whole job or key functions in the workplace.

Partnerships

An organisation such as an enterprise or school, not wishing to be a registered training organisation or to provide training itself, can enter into a partnership with a registered training organisation (RTO). The RTO will be responsible for the quality of training and assessment, and issuing qualifications and statements of attainment, in compliance with the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF);

Performance criteria

The part of a competency standard which specifies the required level of performance to be demonstrated by students to be deemed competent.

Principles of Assessment

To ensure quality outcomes, assessment should be fair, flexible, valid, and reliable.

  • Fairness: in assessment requires consideration of the individual candidates needs and characteristics, and any reasonable adjustments that need to be applied to take account of them. It requires clear communication between the assessor and the candidate to ensure that the candidate is fully informed about, understands, is able to participate in, the assessment process, and agrees that the process is appropriate. It also includes an opportunity for the person being assessed to challenge the result of the assessment and to be reassessed if necessary
  • Flexibility: To be flexible, assessment should reflect the candidates needs; provide for recognition of competencies no matter how, where or when they have been acquired; draw on a range of methods appropriate to the context, competency and the candidate; and, support continuous competency development
  • Reliability: There are five types of reliability: internal consistency; parallel forms; split-half; inter-rater; and, intra rater. In general, reliability is an estimate of how accurate or precise the task is as a measurement instrument. Reliability is concerned with how much error is included in the evidence.
  • Validity: There are five major types of validity: face, content, criterion (i.e. predictive and concurrent), construct and consequential. In general, validity is concerned with the appropriateness of the inferences, use and consequences that result from the assessment. In simple terms, it is concerned with the extent to which an assessment decision about a candidate (e.g. competent/not yet competent, a grade and/or a mark), based on the evidence of performance by the candidate, is justified. It requires determining conditions that weaken the truthfulness of the decision, exploring alternative explanations for good or poor performance, and feeding them back into the assessment process to reduce errors when making inferences about competence. Unlike reliability, validity is not simply a property of the assessment tool. As such, an assessment tool designed for a particular purpose and target group may not necessarily lead to valid interpretations of performance and assessment decisions if the tool was used for a different purpose and/or target group.

Portable skill

A skill or competency that can be transferred from one work context to another.

Post-compulsory education

Education beyond the compulsory age prescribed by statute in each state or territory, including the senior years of secondary schooling, and all higher, further, or other post-secondary education.

Pre-apprenticeship course

Pre‐apprenticeship training provides pathways into Australian Apprenticeships through off‐the‐job training and simulated or real work experience. If the course is successfully completed, the pre‐ apprenticeship can provide a credit towards the first year of the relevant Apprenticeship. Pre‐apprenticeships provide participants with the opportunity to ‘test out’ an Australian Apprenticeship before you enter into an employment agreement. This gives you a better understanding of what the occupation – and its relevant Apprenticeship – entails, so they are better prepared for the challenges they will face.

Pre-traineeship course

A course which provides initial training in a particular industry or occupation. Successful completion of the course can assist participants in obtaining a traineeship, and may enable the term of the trainee's training agreement to be reduced.

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.

Pre-requisite

In vocational education and training, a requirement for admission to a particular unit, course or module, e.g. satisfactory completion of a specific unit, subject or course or nominated industry experience such as at least five years in the workforce, etc.

Private provider

A non-government training organisation, including commercial providers (providing courses to industry and individuals for profit), community providers (non-profit organisations, funded by government or community sponsors), enterprise providers (companies or other organisations providing training mainly for their own employees), and industry providers (organisations providing training to enterprises across an industry).

Also see Registered Training Organisation (RTO) - private

Publicly-funded VET

All activity delivered by TAFE institutes, other government providers and community providers as well as publicly funded activity delivered by private providers.

Q

Qualification

Certification awarded that recognises the successful completion of a course that has prepared a person for employment and or further education and training.

Also see Australian Qualifications Framework

R

Range statement / Range of variables

The part of a competency standard which specifies the range of contexts and conditions to which the performance criteria apply.

Re-training

Training to facilitate entry to a new occupation.

Recognition of current competency

Acronym: RCC

The assessment of a person's current capacity to perform; it applies if an individual has previously successfully completed the requirements for a unit of competency or a module and is now required to be reassessed to ensure that the competence is being maintained.

See also: Current competency, Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of prior learning

Acronym: RPL

The acknowledgement 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.

See also: Recognition of current competencies

Registered training organisation

Acronym: RTO

An organisation registered by a state or territory registering and accrediting body to deliver training and/or conduct assessments and issue nationally recognised qualifications in accordance with the Australian Quality Training Framework. RTOs include TAFE colleges and institutes, adult and community education providers, private providers, community organisations, schools, higher education institutions, commercial and enterprise training providers, industry bodies and other organisations meeting the registration requirements.

Registering body

The authority responsible under the vocational education and training legislation and decision-making framework of a particular state or territory, and in accordance with the 'AQTF 2007 standards for state and territory registering bodies', for registering training organisations, including all the processes relating to registration.

See also: State and Territory Registering and Course Accrediting Bodies

Registration

The authorisation of training organisations under the Australian Quality Training Framework to deliver training and/or conduct assessments and issue nationally recognised qualifications.

Return on investment in training

Acronym: ROIT

Gains derived by individuals, enterprises, governments or society from investing in training in terms of value adding, productivity and profitability.

Risk Indicators

  • Performance risk indicators: are indicators that reflect the performance outcomes from audit compliance, data from quality indicators and complaints history. They are indicators of the likelihood that quality skills outcomes will not be achieved.
  • Financial risk indicators: are indicators that reflect the financial health of an applicant/RTO and the potential impact on the delivery of quality skills outcomes. They are indicators of the likelihood that quality skills outcomes will not be achieved.
  • Governance risk indicators: are indicators that reflect the adequacy of governance structures in place to deliver quality skills outcomes. Indicators of Governance risk include quality of business planning and transparency of ownership and management structure. They are indicators of the likelihood that quality skills outcomes will not be achieved.
  • Supplementary risk indicators: are indicators that reflect aspects of the applicants/RTO operations. They are indicators of the potential impact if quality skills outcomes are not delivered and may also influence the scope of an audit or monitoring activity.

Rules of Evidence for Assessment

The four rules of evidence are closely related to the principles of assessment and provide guidance on the collection of evidence to ensure that it is:

  • validity: One of the rules of evidence and one of the principles of assessment. There are five major types of validity: face, content, criterion (i.e. predictive and concurrent), construct and consequential. In general, validity is concerned with the appropriateness of the inferences, use and consequences that result from the assessment. In simple terms, it is concerned with the extent to which an assessment decision about a candidate (e.g. competent/not yet competent, a grade and/or a mark), based on the evidence of performance by the candidate, is justified. It requires determining conditions that weaken the truthfulness of the decision, exploring alternative explanations for good or poor performance, and feeding them back into the assessment process to reduce errors when making inferences about competence. Unlike reliability, validity is not simply a property of the assessment tool. As such, an assessment tool designed for a particular purpose and target group may not necessarily lead to valid interpretations of performance and assessment decisions if the tool was used for a different purpose and/or target group.
  • sufficiency: relates to the quality and quantity of evidence assessed. It requires collection of enough appropriate evidence to ensure that all aspects of competency have been satisfied and that competency can be demonstrated repeatedly. Supplementary sources of evidence may be necessary. The specific evidence requirements of each unit of competency provide advice on sufficiency.
  • authenticity: To accept evidence as authentic, an assessor must be assured that the evidence presented for assessment is the candidates own work.
  • currency: In assessment, currency relates to the age of the evidence presented by candidates to demonstrate that they are still competent. Competency requires demonstration of current performance, so the evidence must be from either the present or the very recent past.

S

Skill

An ability to perform a particular mental or physical activity that may be developed through vocational training or practice.

Skills analysis

An identification of all the skills or competencies needed for each job.

Skills audit

An identification of the skills required and held by the workforce.

Skills Australia

An independent statutory body that will advise the government on Australia's future skills needs.
http://www.skillsaustralia.gov.au/

School Based New Apprenticeship

Acronym: SBNA

A formal, structured employment and training arrangement where 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 contract of training is established which is registered with the appropriate state registration authority. In addition to a vocational education and training qualification which is most commonly at AQF level 2, the training generally counts towards the student's senior secondary school certificate and in some cases for tertiary entrance ranking. Now called Australian School-based Apprenticeships.

School-industry program

A program for Year 11 and 12 students which combines school learning with workplace learning. Many programs lead to advanced standing in an apprenticeship or traineeship or credit towards a vocational education and training course.

School to work program

A government program aimed at developing partnerships between schools and industry, business and the vocational education and training sector in order to establish accredited vocational education and training.

School to work transition

The process of transferring from school to the workforce or further study.

Scope of Registration

Scope of registration specifies the Training Package/s, qualifications and/or units of competency for which the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) is audited and registered by the VET Regulator (Registering Body) to deliver, assess and issue certification under the AQTF. An RTO's scope is noted on the National Training Information Service (NTIS) at www.ntis.gov.au

State and Territory Training Authorities

Acronym: STA

Responsible for the operation of the vocational education and training system within a state or territory. Each state or territory training authority participates in the formulation of national policy, planning and objectives, and promotes and implements the agreed policies and priorities within the state or territory. Australian Capital Territory - Department of Education and Training; New South Wales - Department of Education and Training; Northern Territory - Department of Employment, Education and Training; Queensland - Department of Employment, Training and the Arts; South Australia - Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology; Tasmania - Department of Education; Victoria - Department of Education and Training; Western Australia - Department of Education and Training.

Statement of attainment

Formal certification in the vocational education and training sector by a registered training organisation that a person has achieved: (a) part of an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualification; or (b) one or more units of competency from a nationally endorsed training package; or (c) all the units of competency or modules comprising an accredited short course.;

Skill development / Skill formation

The development of work-related skills or competencies through vocational education and training.

Skills gap

A skills gap is the difference between the workforce required to perform a current or prospective operation and the workforce available. Skills gaps may include the number of qualified workers available to perform particular job roles, or the specific skills that workers need to perform a job role.

Skill recognition

The recognition, acknowledgement or verification of skills and qualifications by educational institutions, professional bodies, employers, registration authorities and other organisations.

Skills recognition agency

An organisation that provides an assessment service and issues qualifications and statements of attainment, but does not deliver training.

Skills set

Those single units or combinations of units which link to a licence or regulatory requirement, or defined industry need. Skill Sets in Training Packages are indentified and named by Industry Skills Councils but Registered Training Organisations can also identify skill sets in response to the needs of enterprises or individuals. The National Quality Council (NQC) has determined the different ways in which statements of attainment can be issued to show more clearly the skills achieved. More >>

Skill shortage

Where the demand for employees in specific occupations is greater than the supply of those who are qualified, available and willing to work under existing industry conditions.

Skills transfer

The transfer of skills or competencies from one work context to another.

Skill upgrading

Vocational training to provide supplementary and generally higher-grade qualifications and knowledge within the same trade to enable the trainee to better his/her work situation and eventually to become eligible for promotion.

Structured training

Training activities which have a specified content or predetermined plan designed to develop employment related skills and competencies.

See also: Informal training

Structured workplace learning

Acronym: SWL

Also called: Vocational placement

Work placement

The on-the-job or work placement component of a VET in Schools program. The competencies or 'learning outcomes' commonly reflect nationally recognised, industry-defined competency standards. The student is not paid by the employer.

Summative assessment

Assessment that occurs at a point in time and is carried out to summarise achievement at that point in time. Often more structured than formative assessment, it provides teachers, students and parents with information on student progress and level of achievement.

See also: Formative assessment

Sustainable development

Development that meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

T

TAFE

(1) Technical and Further Education, a government training provider which provides a range of technical and vocational education and training courses and other programs (e.g. entry and bridging courses, language and literacy courses, adult basic education courses, Senior Secondary Certificate of Education courses, personal enrichment courses, and small business courses). Each state its own TAFE system: TAFE NSW; TAFE Queensland; TAFESA; TAFEWA; TAFE Tasmania; Office of Training and Tertiary Education in Victoria. Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory do not have separate TAFE sectors but provide vocational education through the tertiary education sector. (2) An institution offering TAFE courses; a college or institute.

TaskManagementSkills

One of the four dimensions of competency. These skills involve demonstrating the ability to manage a number of different tasks/operations/activities within th job role or work environment

TaskSkills

One of the four dimensions of competency. These skills encompass the ability to perform individual tasks.

Tertiary admissions centre

Acronym: TAC

A state-based central office that receives and processes applications for admission to participating higher education providers (providers). Rather than applying separately to each institution, TACs streamline the application process by accepting a single application from a person that contains a list of preferences. The Northern Territory and Tasmania do not have a central admissions office. The following are the TACs for the other states and ACT: New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory - Universities Admissions Centre (UAC); Queensland - Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC); South Australia - South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC); Victoria - Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC); Western Australia - Tertiary Institutions Service Centre (TISC).

Tertiary education

Also called: Further education

Post-secondary education
Formal education beyond secondary education, including higher education, vocational education and training, or other specialist post-secondary education or training.

TESL

Teaching English as a second language

TESOL

Teaching English to speakers of other languages

Trainee

A person undertaking a traineeship.

See also: Australian Apprenticeships

Traineeship

A system of vocational training combining off-the-job training with an approved training provider with on-the-job training and practical work experience. Traineeships generally take one to two years and are now a part of the Australian Apprenticeships system.

See also: Apprenticeship

Trainer

Anyone who fulfils one or more activities linked to the (theoretical or practical) training function, either in an educational institution, training institution or at the workplace.

Training agreement

Also called: Contract of training

A legally binding agreement between an apprentice or trainee and an employer which defines the rights and responsibilities of each party. These 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. It supersedes the indenture system

Training and Assessment Strategy

Under the AQTF, RTOs must develop a Training and Assessment Strategy that guides the learning requirements and the teaching, training and assessment arrangements of a vocational education and training (VET) qualification. It is the document that outlines the macro-level requirements of the learning and assessment process, usually at the qualification level.

Training culture

An environment in which training is seen as important and is closely linked with business strategy, particularly in creating competitive advantage for an enterprise. Opportunities are given to all employees to participate in training to develop their skills and competencies.

Training market

Individuals, enterprises and governments interacting with public and private providers for the delivery of training services and products leading to a diverse and flexible national skills pool.

See also: Open training market

Training Package

An integrated set of nationally endorsed standards, guidelines and qualifications for training, assessing and recognising people's skills, developed by industry to meet the training needs of an industry or group of industries. Training Packages consist of core endorsed components of competency standards, assessment guidelines and qualifications, and optional non-endorsed components of support materials such as learning strategies, assessment resources and professional development materials. View all Training Packages on the National Training Information Service (NTIS)

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.

Training Program

A learning program developed by an RTO, that meets the training and assessment requirements of a qualification from a Training Package, one or more designated units of competency, or an accredited course. The training program may specify such matters as essential and elective units, the sequence and timing of training and assessments, and the resources required. It may form part of a training and assessment strategy.

Training Provider

Also called: VET provider or Registered Training Organisation (RTO)

Vocational education and training provider

An organisation which delivers vocational education and training (VET) programs. In Australia, VET providers comprise the State and Territory TAFE systems, Australian Technical Colleges, adult and community education providers, agricultural colleges, the VET operations of some universities, schools, private providers, community organisations, industry skill centres, and commercial and enterprise training providers.

training.com.au

An initiative of the Australian federal government designed to facilitate discovery and accessibility of information about the vocational education and training sector in Australia.

www.training.com.au

TVE

Technical and vocational education, used as an equivalent term for vocational education and training (VET) in some countries.

TVET

Technical and vocational education and training, used as an equivalent term for vocational education and training (VET) especially in the Asia-Pacific region. This is the term used by UNESCO.
Note: TVET, VET, and Career and Technical education (CTE) are almost identical in meaning. What is most prominently used depends on what part of the world you are talking about. The USA used Vocational and Technical Education until a few years ago when it was changed to Career and Technical Education.

TVET Australia

Technical and Vocational Education and Training Australia Limited (TVET Australia), a ministerial company owned by the Commonwealth, state and territory ministers responsible for training. It was established by the Ministerial Council for Vocational and Technical Education (MCVTE) on 18 November 2005 to provide responsive and high quality services to support the National Training System. Web: www.tvetaustralia.com.au

U

Unaccredited training

Training that does not lead to a nationally recognised qualification. The training activity must have a specified content or predetermined plan designed to develop employment related skills and competencies. It does not include apprenticeships and traineeships and other nationally recognised training.

Unit of competency

A nationally agreed specification of the skills and knowledge required for effective performance in a particular job or job function as expected in the workplace; describes a work outcome; can logically stand alone when applied in a work situation.

See called: Industry standard or competency or unit

Upskilling

Improving skills (e.g. by further training).

User choice

A national policy governing the flow of public funds to registered training organisations (RTOs) selected by employers to deliver the off-the-job training components of apprenticeships and traineeships. Its purpose is to make vocational education and training more responsive to the needs of industry and employers.

V

VET

See also: Vocational education and training

Validation

Validation is a quality review process that involves checking that the assessment tool produced valid, reliable, sufficient, current and authentic evidence to enable reasonable judgements to be made as to whether the requirements of the relevant aspects of the Training Package or accredited course have been met. It includes reviewing and making recommendations for future improvements to the assessment tool, process and/or outcomes.

VET in Schools

Acronym: VETiS

A program which allows students to combine vocational studies with their general education curriculum. Students participating in VET in Schools continue to work towards their Senior Secondary School Certificate, while the VET component of their studies gives them credit towards a nationally recognised VET qualification. VET in Schools programs may involve structured work placements.

VET provider

Also called: Training provider

Vocational education and training provider

An organisation which delivers vocational education and training (VET) programs. In Australia, VET providers comprise the State and Territory TAFE systems, adult and community education providers, agricultural colleges, the VET operations of some universities, schools, private providers, community organisations, industry skill centres, and commercial and enterprise training providers.

See also: Registered training organisation

VETiS

See also: VET in Schools

Vocational competency

Vocational competency in a particular industry consists of broad industry knowledge and experience, usually combined with a relevant industry qualification. A person who has vocational competency will be familiar with the content of the vocation and will have relevant current experience in the industry. Vocational competencies must be considered on an industry-by-industry basis and with reference to the guidance provided in the assessment guidelines of the relevant training package

Vocational education and training

Acronym: VET

Post-compulsory education and training, excluding degree and higher level programs delivered by further education institutions, which provides people with occupational or work-related knowledge and skills.

VET also includes programs which provide the basis for subsequent vocational programs. Alternative terms used internationally include:

  • technical and vocational education and training (TVET)
  • vocational and technical education and training (VTET)
  • technical and vocational education (TVE)
  • vocational and technical education (VTE)
  • further education and training (FET)
  • and career and technical education (CTE)

Vocational qualification

Qualifications that are delivered by registered training organisations such as TAFE, private providers and vocational divisions of universities that are nationally recognised.

See also: Qualification

Vocational Training Tribunal
Acronym: VTTA statutory body in New South Wales responsible for trade skills recognition, resolving complaints and disputes and considering applications for the transfer, suspension, cancellation and variation of apprenticeships and traineeships. It was formerly known as the Vocational Training Board (VTB).

VTE

Vocational and technical education, another term for vocational education and training used in Australia.

VTET

Vocational and technical education and training, used mainly in Southeast Asia to refer to vocational education and training.

W

Work-based learning

Acronym: WBL

Programs for both secondary and postsecondary students which provide opportunities to achieve employment-related competencies in the workplace. Work-based learning is often undertaken in conjunction with classroom or related learning, and may take the form of work placements, work experience, workplace mentoring, instruction in general workplace competencies, and broad instruction in all aspects of industry.

Work-based training

Training provided by an organisation primarily for its own employees using the employer's own staff or external consultants. Work-based training can be conducted either on-site or at an off-site location.

Work placement

Also called: Structured workplace learning

Vocational placement

A period of unpaid work with an employer undertaken by vocational education and training students in order to satisfy the requirements of a course or module, with supervision provided by the employer, the training provider or both.

Workforce development

The holistic concept that integrates workforce analysis and planning, human resource management and capability development to strengthen organisational success by aligning the workforce to both current and future service demands.

Workplace assessment

The gathering and judging of evidence during normal work activities in order to determine whether a required standard of competence, knowledge or skill has been achieved. Workplace assessment usually involves observation of work in progress, checking the product(s) of a work activity, and receiving oral responses to questions posed while work is in progress.

Workplace English Language and Literacy Program

Acronym: WELL

A program provided in the workplace to develop workers' English language and literacy skills.

Workplace learning

Learning or training undertaken in the workplace, usually on the job, including on-the-job training under normal operational conditions, and on-site training, which is conducted away from the work process (e.g. in a training room).

WorldSkills Australia

Formerly called WorkSkill Australia Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to encourage young Australians to celebrate vocational education and training.

www.worldskills.org.au

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