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What is vocational education and training (VET)?

Australian vocational education and training (VET) provides high-quality, nationally recognised training.

Australia’s VET sector is based on strong partnerships between governments, VET institutions and industry bodies. Governments provide funding, develop policies and provide regulation and quality assurance of the sector. Industry and employer groups contribute to training policies and priorities, and in developing qualifications that can deliver skills to the workforce.

Australia’s VET sector is flexible, with multiple pathways to and from Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualifications. VET can be undertaken in schools, in the workplace, and in registered training organisations. Modes of delivery include full-time, part-time, online education, distance education, apprenticeships, traineeships and through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

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What is a vocational education and training qualification?

A vocational education and training (VET) qualification is a formal certification awarded by a training provider in recognition of the successful completion of an occupational or work-related knowledge and skills-based educational program.

There are eight types of VET qualifications:

       
  • Certificate I, II, III and IV
  • Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Graduate Diploma.

All VET qualifications must be listed on the National Register, training.gov.au.

Visit the Australian Qualifications Framework website for more information regarding VET qualifications.

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What training providers are on My Skills?

All training providers on My Skills are registered training organisations (RTOs).

This means they are registered by a state or territory or national regulator (ASQA) recognition authority to deliver training and/or conduct assessments and issue nationally recognised qualifications.

Only RTOs can:

  • Deliver nationally recognised courses and accredited Australian Qualifications Framework VET qualifications.
  • Apply for Australian State and Territory funding to deliver vocational education and training.

 

An RTO is an organisation that provides VET qualifications; e.g.

  • technical and further education (TAFE) institutes
  • adult and community education providers
  • agricultural colleges
  • industry skill centres
  • commercial and enterprise training providers
  • some universities, higher education providers, and high schools

 

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a USI?

The Unique Student Identifier or USI is a reference number made up of 10 numbers and letters that:

  • creates a secure online record of your recognised training and qualifications gained in Australia, even from different training organisations
  • will give you access to your training records and transcripts (available in late 2016)
  • can be accessed online, anytime and anywhere
  • is free and easy to create and
  • stays with you for life

If you are a new or continuing student undertaking nationally recognised training, you need a USI in order to receive your qualification or statement of attainment. If you don't have a USI you will not receive your qualification or statement of attainment.

More information about USI is available here: https://www.usi.gov.au

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What is Recognition of Prior Learning?

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is a way of using your existing skills to get a (full or part) formal qualification.

If you have work skills or knowledge acquired through paid or unpaid work experience, life experience or community work; you may be able to get RPL. The RPL process takes into account all the relevant skills, knowledge and experience that you have - regardless of the way you got them.

Having your knowledge and skills formally recognised can help your career development. Recognition of prior learning may:   

  • help you get a job   
  • help you get into a training course   
  • help you get into uni   
  • reduce the time you spend training   
  • reduce the cost of your course   
  • help you make a career change   
  • help you get a promotion
  • build your career confidence

Who is eligible?

You don't need to have already been a student or have done formal training. You may be eligible because of your work skills and knowledge, your paid or unpaid work experience, life experience or community work experience.

How does it work?

You will need to be assessed by a qualified assessor. An assessor works for, or on behalf of, a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). You provide evidence that your knowledge and skills meet the required standards. There are many ways of doing this. Evidence of your knowledge and skills can take a variety of forms; it could include a certification (formal qualification or statement of attainment), references from past employers, testimonials from clients, work samples or an assessor may observe you doing tasks and have a conversation with you about your skills. Once the qualification or RPL decision is awarded, it is recognised by every other RTO.

Getting started

Search My Skills to find the qualification you want. Contact the RTO or training provider that is offering that qualification to find out the best way to demonstrate your prior learning. Talk to an assessor about the evidence you can supply and ask them about applying for RPL. Many education and training providers have information about RPL on their websites.

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Australian Apprenticeships is the national scheme for apprenticeships and traineeships and are available in a variety of certificate and diploma levels in over 500 occupations across Australia. Courses lead to skills that are nationally recognised by the relevant industry, and to AQF qualifications. Apprenticeships cover both traditional trade areas and non-trade areas in services and a range of careers. Specialisations include agriculture, automotive, building and construction, business and finance services, community services and health, hairdressing, horticulture, information technology, manufacturing, public service, retail and telecommunications.

Australian Apprenticeships are contracts of training between an employer and the apprentice. Apprentices agree to achieve a level of competency through a combination of work-based training and training with an RTO. These courses can be taken either part-time or full-time and are based on Training Packages. Depending on the type of apprenticeship, it can take from 1 to 4 years to complete.   More information can be found at the Australian Apprenticeships website.

The Australian Apprenticeships Pathways website provides a broad range of Australian Apprenticeships information and resources including sample job and training descriptions, industry-based job pathway charts and practice aptitude quizzes.

Approval of Australian Apprenticeships training arrangements is the responsibility of the state and territory training authorities working in cooperation with employers and RTOs. All training agreements are registered with the relevant state or territory training authority.

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Many registered training organisations (RTOs) offer group training courses tailored to meet specific industry needs. To make training more accessible some RTOs will provide training at your business’s choice of premises. On the My Skills website this is referred to as ‘off-site training’. Contact the RTO directly to find out if they deliver training to suit your needs.

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Time of enrolment varies throughout the vocational education and training (VET) sector. To find out when you can enrol you need to contact the RTO directly to confirm the course availability and enrolment process.

Follow these steps

  1. Using the course search, review the courses and find the course you are interested in
  2. Expand the training provider list to find a registered training organisation (RTO) offering training in a location convenient for you
  3. View the RTO’s training offering details on My Skills
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Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) system has strong quality assurance arrangements in place to support quality education and training outcomes for students and employers.

The National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (the NVETR Act) and the National Standards for VET Regulators 2011 outline the requirements of training organisations, and what students can expect from RTOs.

The national standards require that RTOs:

  • ensure their marketing or advertising of their services is ethical, accurate and consistent with the range of training programs they are approved to provide
  • inform potential students about the training, assessment and support services provided, and students’ rights and obligations
  • formalise service arrangements with students upon enrolment
  • deliver training, assessment and support services that meet students’ needs, in accordance with students’ arrangements
  • provide students with timely access to current and accurate records of their participation and progress
  • have in place appropriate mechanisms and services for students to have their complaints and appeals addressed efficiently and effectively

There are further protections for students undertaking study with an approved VET FEE-HELP provider. From pre-enrolment with an approved provider through to the student undertaking their study, the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) includes a number of measures to protect students, including tuition assurance; for example, in the event of the provider ceasing to offer a unit, the student can choose between being placed with an alternate provider or having their fees refunded.

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Migration

See Skills assessment and assessing authorities for information about the recognition and assessment of overseas qualifications.

Employment

The requirements to work in Australia depend on the occupation:

Study

The education provider is responsible for the recognition of foreign qualifications for admission to study, see Study in Australia.

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Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) is a skills assessment service provider and is the designated assessing authority for a range of trade and associate professional occupations under the Migration Regulations 1994. TRA conducts skills assessments for applicants who are seeking to migrate to Australia on a temporary or permanent basis.

TRA also manages assessments for Australian residents seeking recognition in an automotive, electrical or metal trade for employment purposes and/or to access occupational licensing.

TRA can be contacted on the details below for further information about TRA and the skills assessment services it provides.

Web: Trades Recognition Australia - Home

Email: traenquiries@Education.gov.au

Telephone (within Australia): 1300 360 992 (10am – 12pm; 1pm – 4pm)

Telephone (outside Australia) : +61 2 6240 8778 (10am – 12pm; 1pm – 4pm)

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The language of vocational education and training (VET) can be complicated. The aim of the My Skills glossary is provide definitions of the VET-related terminology used on the My Skills website to help you better understand VET.

A to F
TermDefinition
Accredited course

Most nationally endorsed training is covered in current training packages (see ‘training packages’ in glossary for more information); however, sometimes all the skill requirements for industry, enterprises and the community are not covered by the training packages already in place. This additional training is covered in accredited courses. Like training package qualifications, accredited courses are nationally recognised and only a registered training organisation (RTO) can issue a nationally recognised qualification or Statement of Attainment following its full or partial completion. Accredited courses may be:

  • Specific only to a certain aspect of an industry (e.g. Diploma of Golf Management) and therefore not required as part of the general associated training package, or;
  • Specific to a new technology (e.g. Vocational Graduate Certificate in Tool Design for Plastics) that has not had time to be incorporated into the current training package.

 

Advanced Diploma

A qualification under the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Graduates at this level will have broad knowledge and skills for paraprofessional/highly skilled work and/or further learning

Apprentice

A person who is:

  • employed under a training contract that has been registered with, and validated by, the State Training Authority
  • involved in paid work and structured training that has on- and off-the-job training
  • undertaking an Australian Apprenticeship (see below)

Australian apprenticeships

Covers all Australian apprenticeships and traineeships.
Australian apprenticeships:

  • do not require entry qualifications
  • can be full-time, part-time or school-based
  • combine training and employment
  • can lead to a nationally recognised qualification
  • are available to anyone of working age including school-leavers, people re-entering the workforce or those wishing to change careers

Australian Qualifications Framework(AQF)

The Australian Qualifications Framework is the national policy for regulated qualifications in Australian education and training. It incorporates the qualifications from each education and training sector into a single comprehensive national qualifications framework.

Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)

A national regulatory body for the vocational education and training (VET) sector. ASQA are responsible for course accreditation and the regulation of registered training organisations.
Two state-based regulatory bodies also exist, the 
Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority  (VRQA), andWestern Australian Training Accreditation Council (WA TAC).

Certificate

A qualification showing that a student has achieved learning outcomes as described in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). 
There are four levels of certificates; they range from Certificate I (basic fundamental knowledge and understanding in a narrow area of work and learning) to Certificate IV (broad factual, technical and theoretical knowledge in a specialised field of work and learning).

Diploma

A qualification under the Australian Qualifications Framework.

  • graduates at this level will have technical and theoretical knowledge and concepts, with depth in some areas within a field of work and learning
  • Typically takes 1-2 years to complete
Fee-for-service training

Most or all of the cost of this training is borne by the student or a person or organisation on behalf of the student.

 

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G to R
TermDefinition
Graduate Certificate

A qualification under the Australian Qualifications Framework.

  • graduates at this level will have specialised knowledge within a systematic and coherent body of knowledge that may include the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills in a new or existing discipline or professional area
  • the volume of learning is typically 0.5-1 year
Graduate Diploma

A qualification under the Australian Qualifications Framework.

  • graduates at this level will have advanced knowledge within a systematic and coherent body of knowledge that may include the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills in a new or existing discipline or professional area
  • the volume of learning is typically 1-2 years
Legal name

The name by which a registered training organisation is legally known. This name may differ from the trading name.

National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)

Collects, analyses, evaluates and communicates research and statistics about vocational education and training (VET).

National Register

The National Register for vocational education and training (VET) is a record of all training organisations formally approved to deliver VET services by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (or, in some cases, a state regulator).
The registered training organisation’s (RTO) registration is recorded, and details are made publicly available, on the authoritative National Register of VET in Australia,
training.gov.au .

Qualification

Formal certification awarded in recognition of the successful completion of an educational program. Vocational education and training (VET) 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 .

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

Recognition of prior learning identifies your skills, knowledge and experiences no matter where, when or how you gained them. It offers the opportunity to have these attributes count towards a formal qualification. Your skills and knowledge are matched to current industry qualifications so you can gain that formal recognition.
Recognition of prior learning is ideal for people with industry relevant work skills or knowledge acquired through paid or unpaid work experience, life experience or community work.

Registered training organisation (RTO)

An organisation registered in accordance with vocational education and training (VET) legislation to deliver and/or assess nationally recognised training in accordance with the Australian Quality Training Framework. RTOs are also referred to as training organisations, and all RTOs are listed on the National Register, training.gov.au .

RTO code

A nationally unique code a registered training organisation (RTO) has been allocated to use for an identified period of time. An organisation's RTO code on My Skills is the same as on the National Register, training.gov.au .

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S to T
Term Definition
Scope

The units of competency, qualifications and accredited courses that a registered training organisation (RTO) is registered to deliver and/or assess. The scope found for a training organisation on My Skills is the same as on the National Register, training.gov.au.
The training organisation may not be currently delivering every item on its 'scope'. Please contact the relevant training organisation to confirm all delivery details of the training and how to enrol.

Statement of attainment

Formal certification provided by a registered training organisation, confirming that the person has achieved:

  1. part of an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualification; or
  2. one or more units of competency from a nationally endorsed training package; or
  3. all the units of competency or modules comprising an accredited short course
Subsidies

Money or other financial incentives paid by a government to help in the delivery and participation of students in training courses.

Technical and Further Education (TAFE)

Technical and further education institution; a registered training organisation owned and operated by a state government, or public provider of training.

Trading name

The particular name by which a registered training organisation is publicly known.

Training options (delivery)

A training organisation’s approach to providing education and training. An organisation’s training options dictates the training delivery modes available to students. Face-to-face is the more traditional training delivery mode, whilst flexible service delivery models may involve distance education, mixed-mode delivery, online learning, self-paced learning, self-directed learning, or combinations of these.

Training.gov.au (TGA)

The National Register of information on training packages, qualifications, courses, units of competency and registered training organisations (RTOs).

Training package

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.
Despite the name, training packages do not describe how people should be trained, nor does it refer to a package of training or qualification that can be delivered or attained. Rather, training packages provide the nationally endorsed industry standards against which training can be developed and flexibly delivered to meet particular local, individual, industry and enterprise requirements.
Training packages complete a quality assurance process and are then endorsed by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC)
. The training packages are reviewed regularly to ensure they continue to meet the needs of industry, students and the community.

 

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U to Z
Term Definition

Unit of competency

Units of competency are the building blocks of a qualification. Each unit of competency identifies a distinct workplace requirement or skill needed to perform the task effectively in the workplace. This can include work knowledge and skills, language, literacy and numeracy, or occupational health and safety requirements.
Legislation makes it a requirement that each unit of competency be listed on the National Register,
training.gov.au . Units of competency must be adhered to in training and assessment to ensure consistency of outcomes.

VET course

A vocational education and training (VET) course is defined by the
National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011, s.3
as:

  1. the units of competency of a training package that is endorsed by the Ministerial Council; or
  2. the modules of a VET accredited course; or
  3. the modules of a course accredited by a VET Regulator of a non‑referring state

VET FEE-HELP

VET FEE-HELP is an income contingent loan available for students undertaking higher level vocational education and training (VET) qualifications (Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma courses).

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

Vocational education and training (VET) is training in technical, job-related skills. It provides students with specific skills to help them in the workplace, and enables them to gain qualifications for all types of employment. All of the training on the My Skills website is VET.
VET is different from secondary (high school) education and tertiary (university) education, although some schools and universities offer VET courses; for further information visit
My School , or myfuture .

 

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For help with course information
Contact the relevant registered training organisation (RTO) directly for information about:
  • choosing a course
  • course duration
  • course structure
  • course cost
  • government subsidies
Use the search functions on the home page to locate the RTO that can provide the course you are interested in.
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If you are not satisfied with the quality of service or training being provided, and you think your training provider is breaching, or has breached, its legal requirements under National  Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (the NVETR Act); the first thing to do is to have your complaint investigated through your RTO’s internal complaints and appeals processes

Australian students (including permanent residents)

If you are not satisfied with the outcome after following your RTO’s internal procedures,  and still believe your RTO is breaching or has breached its legal requirements,  you have several options:

It is important that you can show the regulator that you have followed your RTO’s  formal complaints procedure and the response that you received from them.

  • Students enrolled with a public training provider (e.g. TAFE) can lodge  an external appeal with the State Ombudsman’s Office. Contact details for the  State Ombudsman Offices are available from the websites below:
State Ombudsman’s Website
ACT www.ombudsman.act.gov.au
NSW www.ombo.nsw.gov.au
NT www.ombudsman.nt.gov.au
TAS www.ombudsman.tas.gov.au
WA www.ombudsman.wa.gov.au
QLD www.ombudsman.qld.gov.au
VIC www.ombudsman.vic.gov.au
SA www.trainingadvocate.sa.gov.au

Students enrolled with a private RTO can lodge complaints with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The ACCC will only have jurisdiction to investigate complaints that are in breach of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Visit the ACCC website for details on how to submit a complaint.

If students enrolled with an approved VET FEE-HELP provider think the actions of their provider have led to them incurring a HELP debt unfairly, they can lodge a complaint with the Department of Education and Training. Students can contact the Department by emailing TSEnquiries@education.gov.au.

Overseas students

If you are an overseas student in Australia on an overseas student visa, and you are not satisfied with the outcome or the way the training provider handled your complaint, you are entitled to take your complaint to an external appeals body.

Overseas students enrolled with a public training provider can lodge an external appeal with their State Ombudsman Offices (listed above).

Overseas students enrolled in a private training provider can lodge an external appeal with the Commonwealth Overseas Students Ombudsman (www.oso.gov.au).

All students

  • If you are unsure who should handle your complaint, you may register your concerns with the  Training Complaints Hotline which will refer your complaint to the relevant authority for consideration.  

    Contact Skilling Australia on phone 13 38 73 (Monday–Friday, 8am to 6pm nationally) or email skilling@education.gov.au.  
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Contact the My Skills project team for information on how to:
  • use the search functions
  • sign in or update RTO details
  • find information on data definitions and data structure
Please complete all the fields in the contact form below and click 'Submit'. We aim to respond within 72 business hours.
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Average Price

The average price information provides consumers with an indication of approximate course enrolment/training costs. Registered training providers have the option to provide a student’s maximum training course cost. The average price is determined by using the median of the supplied training costs.

The average pricing information on My Skills may assist you in deciding which course best suits your needs. However, please note that not all training organisations currently have this information on My Skills, and in all cases it is best to contact the training organisation directly to see what they can offer.

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Student Outcomes Statistics

These statistics detail information on the outcomes of graduates approximately six months after they completed their Vocational Education and Training (VET). The employment outcomes, average salaries, and top three occupations and industries are shown for graduates. Data is displayed at three different levels:

  • The course level, for the 230 most popular courses;
  • "Similar courses", which includes the course and other courses within the same field of education at the same level; and
  • All courses at the same level as the course.

Data is sourced from the Student Outcomes Survey, conducted by NCVER, which focuses on students' employment outcomes and satisfaction with VET in Australia.

The Student Outcomes Survey is an annual survey, which covers students who have an Australian address as their usual address and are awarded a qualification (graduates) or who successfully complete part of a course and then leave the VET system (module completers). Students who undertake recreational, leisure or personal enrichment (short) courses are excluded. The survey has included students from all VET providers (not just TAFE), as well as students whose training was on a fee-for-service basis.

For further information on the data collection and the terms and definitions of these statistics please visit the Student Outcomes information at NCVER.

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