What are training products?

Training products are all training developed to support the Australian vocational education and training (VET) sector. Training products include:

  • training packages
  • accredited courses
  • industry certification
  • Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualifications.

A new model for engaging Australian industry in the development of training products was announced in April 2015. Under the new arrangements, which commenced in January 2016, training packages are developed by Industry Reference Committees (IRCs), with support from the Skills Service Organisations (SSOs), and are endorsed by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC).

Training packages

A training package is a set of nationally endorsed standards and qualifications for recognising and assessing people's skills in a specific industry, industry sector or enterprise. They define the competencies required by different occupations and industries and describe how these competencies may be packaged into nationally recognised and portable qualifications that comply with the AQF.

Training packages comprise:

Units of competency - the specifications of the standards of performance required in the workplace as defined in a training package

Qualifications - created by packaging units of competency into groups to make up a nationally recognised qualification

Skill sets - a single unit of competency or a combination of units of competency linked to a licensing or regulatory requirement, or a defined industry need.

Training package qualifications and units of competency can only be delivered by registered training organisations (RTOs) or organisations working in partnership with an RTO if they are listed by the RTO on its scope of registration (Source: Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015).

Accredited courses

Accredited courses address skill requirements for industry, enterprises and the community where these are not covered in nationally endorsed training packages, including skill needs in niche and emerging industries. Courses can be developed by registered training organisations (RTOs), individuals, governments, industry and community organisations.

VET accredited courses are based on nationally endorsed units of competency where these are available. Where these are not available, the course is based on units of competency developed as part of the course or on modules. Modules are a group of learning outcomes in a VET accredited course where it can be established that it is not possible to develop an appropriate unit of competency.

All VET accredited courses must comply with the Standards for VET Accredited Courses 2012 and the AQF, and be approved by VET regulators. Accreditation confirms that the course:

  • is a nationally recognised training product
  • meets an established industry, enterprise, educational, legislative or community need
  • provides appropriate competency outcomes and a satisfactory basis for assessment
  • meets national quality assurance requirements
  • is aligned appropriately to the AQF where it leads to a qualification.

VET accredited courses must be delivered by an RTO. The developer of an accredited course who is not an RTO is required to develop an agreement with an RTO for the delivery of the course under the conditions they have determined.

Industry certification

Industry certification is a way of recognising skills and competences acquired outside of the formal training system. The certification is provided by an established and recognised industry group or sector. Industry certified training programs ensure consistency of skills and competency within an industry and are used to respond to local industry and community needs. Although these programs per se are not part of the formal VET system they can be embedded into nationally accredited VET qualifications. Some industry certifications may be recognised and accepted worldwide. Examples include certifications from IT companies such as CISCO systems and SAS.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualifications

The AQF underpins the national system of qualifications in Australia. The qualifications within training products are aligned to the AQF and can be developed through industry training packages or VET accredited courses.

Non-accredited courses

When no training package qualification exists to cover a particular training need, a training provider can develop and deliver a non-accredited course that provides the necessary skills acquisition. These courses are not nationally recognised and do not lead to a qualification within the AQF (Source: Review of training packages and accredited courses: discussion paper).

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How to cite this overview

NCVER (National Centre for Vocational Education Research) 2018, Getting to know VET overview: Training products, VET Knowledge Bank, NCVER, Adelaide, <http://www.voced.edu.au/vet-knowledge-bank-getting-know-vet-overviews-training-products>.

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