TAE upgrade VET Glossary Vocational Education and Training. As part of your TAE Upgrade recognition process you are expected to correctly interpret the acronyms and terms used in VET.
We strongly recommend you review the list below often to refresh your memory, and to keep
yourself current with the constantly growing
number of new terms.
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- VET Glossary
3rd edition 2012
Part of a suite of support materials for the
TAE10 Training and Education Training Package
AQF: Australian Qualifications Framework
AQTF: (no longer used in some states) see NVR: Australian Quality Training Framework. The term AQTF is no longer applicable nationally. Please refer to NVR below.
ASQA: Australian Skills Quality Authority. Not all states are administered by ASQA. Some states have opted to be administered by their State Training Authority, whilst others have opted to be administered by ASQA. To find out who administers your training activities please contact your State Training Authority or visit training.gov.au
AWPA: Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency
COAG: Council of Australian Government
DEEWR: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (now DIISRTE)
DIISRTE: Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
ISC: Industry Skills Council
LLN: Language, Literacy and Numeracy
MCTEE: Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment
NQC: National Quality Council (succeeded by NSSC)
NRT: Nationally Recognised Training
NSF: National Skills Framework
NSSC: National Skills Standards Council
NTIS: National Training Information Service (replaced by training.gov.au)
NVR: National VET Regulator (not used in all states, please refer to AQTF above)
OHS: Occupational Health and Safety
RPL: Recognition of Prior Learning
RCC: Recognition of Current Competency
RTO: Registered Training Organisation
SNR: Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations
STA: State and Territory Training Authority
VET: Vocational Education and Training
VETiS: Vocational Education and Training in Schools
WHS: Work Health and Safety
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Apprentice: A person undertaking an apprenticeship.
Apprenticeship/Traineeship Training Contract: A contract for an apprenticeship/traineeship made between an employer and an apprentice/trainee, that is registered with the appropriate state or territory government department or agency as may be required by state/territory legislation. Adapted from National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Apprenticeships/traineeships: Regulated employment-based approaches to the gaining of a relevant recognised AQF qualification, involving a combination of work and structured training that is regulated through a training contract (also known as a training agreement), made between an employer and an apprentice/trainee, and their legal guardian if under 18 years of age.
Articulation: The process of linking two or more qualifications into a sequential and integrated pathway so that individuals can progress from one qualification to the next in a continuum that provides an agreed and transparent quantum of credit for achievement of the prior qualification/s in relation to the destination qualification.
Aspects of competency: The parts of a competency standard and includes the elements, performance criteria, range statement/range of variables, Evidence Guide requirements and dimensions of competency. Also referred to as ‘parts of the competency standards’ and the ‘components of competency’.
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. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Assessment context: The environment in which the assessment of competency will be carried out.
This may be the environment where the work is performed ‘in situ’ - a simulated environment which replicates the work environment and encompasses various contexts that address different aspects of the competency.
It also includes physical and operational factors, the assessment system within which assessment is carried out, the range of opportunities for gathering evidence in a number of situations, the purpose of the assessment, who carries out the assessment and the period of time during which the assessment takes place. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Assessment Guidelines: An endorsed component of a training package which underpins assessment and which sets out the industry approach to valid, reliable, flexible and fair assessment. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Assessment instrument: Developed by an assessor as part of formative or summative assessment activities, including:
profiles of acceptable performance measures
specific questions or activities
evidence and observation checklists
checklists for the evaluation of work samples
candidate self-assessment materials
Assessment only pathway: The achievement of competencies/qualifications recognised through a process of formal assessment by an assessor which involves evaluative judgement of collected evidence arising from any combination of formal or informal education and training and education, work experience and/or general life experience; and recognition of competence held through a process of assessment that is not directly linked to a structured learning process to support achievement of the competencies. See also Recognition processes. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Assessment plan: The overall planning document for the assessment process and includes a range of information to guide assessors which may include purpose, context, personnel, competency standards/assessment benchmarks, assessment methods and tools, the evidence plan, organisational arrangements including physical and material resources and equipment and other relevant information.
Assessment process:The series of key steps in the assessment cycle.
Assessment report: The report written by the assessor after the assessment decision has been made and recorded.
An assessment report may include: personal details of candidate, details of assessment events/activities, dates and times, venue/s etc, details of assessor’s summary of evidence, completed assessment tools, documented feedback to and from the candidate, justification of decision, summary of candidate’s action plan, other critical information including appeals and outcomes (if relevant), sign-off by assessor and candidate, electronic/paper reports to funding bodies.
Assessment strategy: A documented framework to guide and structure assessment arrangements for a VET qualification. In a learning and assessment pathway it is addressed as part of the learning strategy. In an assessment only pathway it is a separate document.
Assessment system: A controlled and ordered process designed to ensure that assessment decisions made in relation to many individuals, by many assessors, in many situations are consistent, fair, valid and reliable, and may include: grievances and appeals processes, validation systems and processes, reporting/recording arrangements, acquisition of physical and human resources, administrative procedures, roles and responsibilities, partnership arrangements, quality assurance mechanisms, risk management strategies and documented assessment processes. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Assessment tool: Both the instrument and the instructions for gathering and interpreting evidence:
● instruments/s - the specific questions or activity developed from the selected assessment method/s to be used for the assessment. (A profile of acceptable performance and the decision making rules for the assessor may also be included)
● procedures - the information/instructions given to the candidate and/or the assessor regarding conditions under which the assessment should be conducted and recorded.See also Evidence gathering tool and Assessment instruments.
Audit: A systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining evidence to determine whether the activities and related outcomes of a training organisation comply with the relevant regulatory standards.
These standards are, depending on the jurisdiction and the type of training undertaken by the RTO,
● VET Quality Framework, including Standards for National VET Regulator RTOs (SNR standards).Or
● AQTF Essential Conditions and Standards for Initial Registration and the AQTF Essential Conditions and Standards for Continuing Registration.Audit is also defined as a technique for systemic evaluations of training and/or assessment systems and services.
Auspicing: See Partnerships.
Australian National Training Authority (ANTA): The authority established under subsection 5(1) of the Australian National Training Authority Act 1992 of the Commonwealth of Australia. On 1 July 2005, the responsibilities and functions of ANTA were transferred to the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST). In October 2007 DEST became the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF):
The policy framework that defines all qualifications recognised nationally in post-compulsory education and training within Australia.
The AQF comprises titles and guidelines that define each qualification, together with principles and protocols covering articulation and issuance of qualifications and Statements of Attainment.
The AQF comprises the following qualification titles:
● Senior Secondary Certificate of Education● Certificate I
● Certificate II
● Certificate III
● Certificate IV
● Advanced Diploma
● Bachelor Degree Graduate Certificate● Graduate Diploma
● Vocational Graduate Certificate
● Vocational Graduate Diploma
● Masters Degree
● Doctoral Degree.
Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA): The national VET regulator. The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) was established under new legislation, enacted in 2011, to establish one national VET regulator, ASQA regulates courses and training providers to ensure nationally approved quality standards are met. At present, most Australian jurisdictions have referred their regulatory powers to ASQA.
Authenticity: One of the rules of evidence and relates to ensuring the evidence is from, or of, the candidate, not another person; i.e. the assessor needs to be satisfied that the evidence gathered is the candidate’s own work.
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Benchmarks for Assessment: The criterion against which the candidate is assessed may be a competency standard/unit of competency, assessment criteria of course curricula, performance specifications, or product specifications.
Candidate: The person presenting for assessment.
Client: A person (learner/candidate) or an organisation, that uses or purchases training and/or assessment services.
Clustering: The process of grouping competencies into combinations which have meaning and purpose for learning, assessment or work-related needs.
Coaching: A technique used to facilitate and support individual learning through one-on-one guided learning activities and skills acquisition in either a formal or informal process. See also Individual facilitation.
Code of practice for assessors: The code of practice based on an international code of ethics and practice, developed by the National Council for Measurement in Education (NCME) which forms part of the TAE10 Training and Assessment Training Package Assessment Guidelines.
Collaborative assessment arrangements: See Partnerships.
Competency: The broad concept of industry competency concerns the ability to perform particular tasks and duties to the standard of performance expected in the workplace. Competency requires the application of specified skills and knowledge relevant to effective participation in an industry, industry sector or enterprise. See Competency standard/s.
Competency specification/s: See Competency standard/s.
Competency standard/s: The requirements for effective workplace performance in a discrete area of work, work function, activity or process and are used as the basis for defining learning outcomes and the benchmarks for assessment within the VET sector.
Competency standards are expressed in outcome terms and specify knowledge and skill and the application of that knowledge and skill to the standards of performance required in the workplace.
Competency standards have a standard format defined by DEEWR and are also referred to as units, units of competency, competencies, and competency specifications.
Components of competency: See Aspects of competency.
Contingency management skills: One of the four dimensions of competency and involves the requirement to respond to irregularities and breakdowns in routine.
Contextualisation: The addition of industry or enterprise/organisation specific information to a unit of competency to tailor the standard to reflect the immediate operating context and thereby increase its relevance.
Contextualisation must be guided by the DEEWR Training Package Development Handbook and relevant training package contextualisation guidelines.
Continuous Improvement: Continuous improvement is about applying good business practices to ensure the best outcomes for our clients, namely: students, industry and the community. Continuous improvement is achieved by constant vigilance.
This vigilance must extend beyond our own appraisal of the assessment systems we have established. We must therefore seek and incorporate feedback and advice from industry, employers, other assessment professionals and the people we assess.
A commitment to continuous improvement is not only good for your business and your career--it is also a requirement. Under the NVR, all RTOs and Trainers must demonstrate a commitment to
continuous improvement during audits.
There is an excellent resource "A guide to continous improvement of assessment in VET" issued by Training WA. We strongly suggest you download and study this guide.
Credit transfer: The agreed value of the achievement or partial achievement of one qualification when related to another qualification.
This value translates to the learner as equivalent to an exemption from undertaking a component or components of the destination qualification based on the acceptance that these components have already been successfully completed through previous formal study.
This exemption reduces the amount of time and learning required in achieving the second qualification.
Currency in assessment: One of the rules of evidence and relates to the age of collected evidence. Competency requires demonstration of current performance - therefore the evidence collected must be current/very recent.
Currency in practice: Keeping up-to-date with the technical area of work which is the focus/subject area of delivery/assessment and keeping up-to-date as a trainer/VET practitioner/VET professional with developments in training/assessment/VET practice.
Customisation: See Contextualisation.
Delivery method/s: The particular techniques used to guide, facilitate and support the learning process.
From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary.
Delivery mode/s: The medium used to deliver the training/facilitate the learning and may be face-to-face, via technologies, distance-resource based, or blended.
Delivery plan: A context-specific plan for implementing the learning program and includes session plans, formative assessment opportunities, location of training delivery, the number of learners, activities to be used, resources to be used, any additional requirements to meet special needs of learners and work health and safety considerations.
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Delivery strategy: Part of the learning strategy and involves developing and documenting: the focus of delivery, the context of delivery, the mode of delivery and delivery methods.
From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE): Provides national leadership and works in collaboration with the states and territories, industry, other agencies and the community in support of the federal government’s objectives.
DIISRTE develops and implements policies to ensure the continuing relevance of education and training to contemporary needs and the growing requirement for lifelong learning.
Dimensions of competency: Forms 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. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Direct observation: An assessment method which involves opportunities to view real work/real-time activities in the workplace or work activities in a simulated workplace environment. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Direct supervision: A person conducting training who does not hold the training competencies determined by the NSSC receives regular guidance, support and direction from a person designated by their RTO who does hold those training competencies determined by the NSSC.
It is not necessary for the supervising person to be present during all training delivery.
Distance learning: A learner-managed learning process that is supported by the provision of learning resources and learning materials supplied by trainer/facilitator who guides the learner through completion of the materials to achieve the desired competency standards/learning outcomes.
E-learning: Learning processes which use available electronic media as the mode of delivery to provide flexible options that suit differing client needs. It covers any learning that is assisted by information and communications technology (ICT).
This mainly includes computer-based online learning, but also covers interactive CD-ROM, video, laptops and tablets, mobile phones, teleconferencing and videoconferencing.
E-learning delivery plan: A tool to manage and sequence e-learning and to guide implementation of the learning program through an e-based delivery mode.
E-learning resources: Any learning resource that is assisted by information and communication technology.
This includes, but is not limited to, web-based and computer-based learning resources, virtual recreations of vocational contexts, digital collaboration, internet, intranet, extranet, interactive CD-ROM, laptops and tablets and satellite broadcast.
Element/s of competency: Part of the format of competency standards. They are the basic building blocks of the unit of competency, specifying the critical outcomes to be achieved in demonstrating competence.
Employability Skills: Generic skills that describe employer’s requirements for effective and successful participation in the workplace. Employability Skills replaced the key competencies.
There are eight Employability Skills. These are:
● initiative and enterprise
● planning and organising
● technology.From DEST, 2006, Employability Skills from Framework to Practice
Endorsed components of training packages: The parts of a training package which are formally recognised by the NSSC as meeting the identified training and assessment needs of an industry/industry sector or enterprise.
These endorsed components are the competency standards, assessment guidelines and the qualifications framework.
Endorsement: The formal process of recognition of training packages undertaken by the NSSC.
From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Essential Standards: The standards an organisation (in some jurisdictions and offering certain types of training not covered by the national regulator) must meet in order to become a RTO and maintain its registration.
The AQTF Essential Conditions and Standards for Initial Registration and the AQTF Essential Conditions and Standards for Continuing Registration both comprise:
● conditions of registration
● standards and underpinning elements
● quality indicators in relation to the standards.
See also VET Quality Framework, Standards for National VET Regulator RTOs (SNRs).
Evaluation: Forms part of the quality management of the training/assessment organisation in relation to the services it provides.
Evaluation is a systematic and objective process measured against specified criteria using established evaluation methods.
The focus of the evaluation may include aspects such as risk, quality/quality improvement, professionalism, efficiency, client satisfaction and compliance with legal requirements. It may take the form of an audit (compliance evaluation), self-assessment process, benchmarking or client-focused evaluation.
Evidence: Information gathered to support a judgement of competence against the specifications of the relevant unit or units of competency.
Evidence can take many forms and be gathered from a number of sources. Assessors often categorise evidence in different ways, for example:
● direct, indirect and supplementary sources of evidence, or a combination of these
● evidence collected by the candidate or evidence collected by the assessor
● historical and recent evidence collected by the candidate and current evidence collected by the assessor.
Evidence gathering techniques: The particular technique or method used to gather different types of evidence. This may include methods or techniques such as questioning, direct observation, structured activities, third-party feedback, portfolios and review of products. See also Assessment method/s.
Evidence gathering tool: See Assessment tool.
Evidence guide: A part of the format of a competency standard and provides advice to inform and support appropriate assessment of the unit including assessment of required/ underpinning knowledge, skills, and key competencies necessary for competent performance.
The Evidence Guide identifies critical/specific evidence requirements, assessment resource implications and other relevant information.
Part of the documented assessment plan. The Evidence Guide documents the evidence requirements of the competency standard, information regarding who will collect the evidence and the time period involved.
Fairness: One of the principles of assessment. Fairness in assessment requires: consideration of the individual candidate’s needs and characteristics and any reasonable adjustments that should be applied; clarity of communication between the assessor and the candidate to ensure the candidate is fully informed of, participates in, and consents to, the assessment process; opportunities that allow the person/s being assessed to challenge assessments and with provision for reassessment are provided. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Flexible learning: An approach to VET which allows for the adoption of a range of learning strategies in a variety of learning environments to cater for differences in learning styles, learning interests and needs, and variations in learning opportunities (including online).
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Flexibility: One of the principles of assessment.
To be flexible, assessment should: reflect the candidate’s 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 be accessible to support continuous competency development.
Hazard: Referring to occupational health and safety: a source or situation with a potential for harm in terms of human injury or ill-health.
Hierarchy of control: In reference to occupational health and safety: the preferred priority for risk control, emphasising hazard elimination.
Where this is not possible, risk minimisation through the following means should be initiated: substitution with a lesser hazard, isolation of the hazard from personnel and clients at risk, engineering controls, administrative means (e.g. safe work practices, procedures and training), and the use of personal protective equipment.
Inclusivity: A term used to define behaviours which actively acknowledge, respect and build on individual differences, and individual needs to create a positive and inclusive learning culture and environment.
Individual facilitation: The application of techniques that centre on the development of interpersonal relationships between the trainer/facilitator and the learner, focusing on the learning and goals, the learner’s learning style and the learning context. Key techniques in individual facilitation are coaching and mentoring.
Individualised learning plan: Refers to the plan developed between the trainer/facilitator and the individual learner, in a learning/facilitation relationship, to meet the individual’s learning needs.
This plan contains the learning goals to be achieved and the structure and logistics of the learning relationship.
Industry Skills Councils (ISCs).
Bodies responsible for industry advisory arrangements in VET including the development and review of industry training packages. Formerly known as Industry Training Advisory Bodies (ITABs).
Instructional design: The design and development of instructional materials and learning activities to meet learning needs.
Instructional design principles: The set of principles relating to instructional methods, learner characteristics, learning environments and outcomes.
Integrated assessment: An approach to assessment that covers the clustering of multiple units/elements from relevant competency standards.
This approach focuses on the assessment of a ‘whole of job’ role or function that draws on a number of units/elements of competence.
This assessment approach also integrates the assessment of the application of knowledge, technical skills, problem solving and demonstration of attitudes and ethics.See also Clustering. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Job/role environment skills: One of the dimensions of competency which involves demonstrating the ability to deal with responsibilities and expectations of the workplace, including working with others.
Key competencies: Any of several generic skills or competencies considered essential for people to participate effectively in the workforce. Key competencies apply to work generally, rather than being specific to work in a particular occupation or industry.
The Finn report (1991) identified six key areas of competence which were subsequently developed by the Mayer committee (1992) into seven key competencies.
1) communicating ideas and information;
2) collecting, analysing and organising information;
3) planning and organising activities;
4) working with others in a team;
5) using mathematical ideas and techniques;
6) solving problems; and
7) using technology.
Knowledge: Conceptual and procedural forms of knowledge and the depositions (the values and attitudes) that underpin them.
Conceptual knowledge comprises facts, information, propositions, assertions and concepts that range in levels of increasing complexity.
Procedural knowledge comprises techniques, skills and the ability to secure goals. From Billett, 2001, Learning in the workplace: strategies for effective practice
Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN): Taken collectively, these are the skills to communicate in oral and written form.
The term includes reading and use of written information; the ability to write appropriately and in a range of contexts, and the integration of speaking, listening, and critical thinking with reading and writing. LLN includes numeracy, such as the recognition and use of numbers and basic mathematical signs and symbols within text. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Learner styles: The different ways in which individuals receive, respond and process information in order acquire and develop knowledge, skills and competence.
Learner styles may be: auditory, visual, kinaesthetic, tactile, left/right brain, global/ analytical, theoretical, activist, pragmatist, reflective.
Learner support needs: The needs of learners which require specific and/or additional attention.
Support needs may be determined by: physical, psychiatric, intellectual or sensory disabilities; learning difficulties; culture, gender, age, language and background.
Learner support strategies: The strategies used to address learner support needs.
These may include: providing referrals to internal and/or external services such as language, literacy and numeracy support, disability support services, counselling support, or incorporating techniques such as: modelling/demonstrating, chunking, providing opportunities to practise, and drawing on range of resources from learners’ first language, including peer support.
Learning: An active process which is influenced by external contributions but ultimately determined and regulated by individuals.
The learning process occurs with the integration of intellectual development and experience. Adapted from Billet, 2001, Learning in the workplace: strategies for effective practice
Learning activities: The activities used to support learning. Learning activities convey content, create meaning, and support the development and transfer of skills/knowledge through practice and experience.
Learning activities take many forms and may include group-based activities, role-plays, written activities, case studies, simulations, audio or visual activities, practise or demonstration, individual assignments, individual group projects, workplace practise and research.
Learning and assessment pathway: A pathway to achievement of competencies/qualifications involving participation in a structured and sequenced learning process that provides relevant learning experiences and which combines formative assessment and summative assessment to determine competence. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary.
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Learning materials: The tools used to support learning activities. Examples include: workplace practise, worksheets, workbooks, prepared case studies, prepared task sheets, prepared topic/unit/subject information sheets, prepared role-plays, prepared presentations and overheads, prepared scenarios, projects, assignments, materials sourced from the workplace, e.g. workplace documentation, operating procedures, specifications and prepared research tasks.
Learning outcomes/objectives: Evaluative statements which specify what is to be learned and assessed. In a competency-based training system, learning outcomes are derived from competency standards.
Learning program: A document that provides definition and structure to the learning process, providing the learner with a cohesive and integrated range of learning experiences and the trainer/facilitator with guidance and direction in facilitating these learning experiences.
A learning program sets out learning outcomes/objectives, outlines the content to be addressed in learning experiences, the sequence of that content and the delivery methods and assessment methods (where relevant).
A learning program can address a discrete area of learning/training need or may form a subset of a learning strategy, adding detail and definition to the content areas outlined in the learning strategy.
Learning principles: The conceptual tenets drawn from learning theory, research and practice that guide teaching and learning practices. See also Adult learning principles.
Learning resources: Products designed to enhance and support the effectiveness of the learning process, providing an integrated approach that commonly combines guidance, materials, activities, and relevant information to support delivery/facilitation, learning and/or assessment. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Learning strategy: A documented framework to guide and structure the learning requirements and the teaching/delivery and assessment arrangements of a VET qualification.
From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Learning theories: The diverse range of propositions or systems of ideas, based on educational psychology, which provides explanations of how learning occurs.
While there are many different approaches to learning theories, some examples include: behaviourist, social learning, discovery learning, cognitive, constructivist, situational, humanistic, action science, and applied.
Mentoring: A technique used to facilitate and support individual learning through one-on-one guided learning activities and skills acquisition in a formal, agreed and documented process between the mentor and mentee.
See also Individual facilitation.
Moderation: A process used in validation which involves assessors in discussing and reaching agreement about assessment processes and outcomes in a particular industry or industry sector.
This enables assessors to develop a shared understanding of the requirements of specific training packages, including the relevant competency standards and assessment guidelines, the nature of evidence, how evidence is collected and the basis on which assessment decisions are made.
Mutual recognition: Applies nationally and means:
● the acceptance and application of the decisions of a registering body that has registered a training organisation - or a course accrediting body that has accredited a course - by another registering body or course accrediting body, without there being any further requirement for a process beyond the initial process, including:
-- the recognition and application by the registering body of each state or territory of the decisions of the registering body of other states and territories in relation to the registration of, imposition of sanctions on, including the cancellation of registration of training organisations.
-- the recognition and application by the course accrediting body of each state or territory of the decisions of the course accrediting body of other states and territories in relation to the accreditation of courses where no relevant training package exists
● the recognition by state and territory registering bodies of the decisions of the NSSC in endorsing training packages
● the recognition and acceptance by a registered training organisation of Australian Qualifications Framework qualifications and Statements of Attainment issued by other registered training organisations, enabling individuals to receive national recognition of their achievements.© 2012 Innovation and Business Industry Skills Council Ltd Page 19 of 30.
National Reporting System (NRS): A national framework for reporting outcomes of adult English language, literacy and numeracy programs.
National Training Framework (NTF): The system of VET that until 2011 was:
● applied nationally,● endorsed by the Ministerial Council, and
● made up of the Australian Quality Training Framework and nationally endorsed Training Packages.See VET Quality Framework.
National Quality Council (NQC): See National Skills Standards Council (NSSC).
National Skills Standards Council (NSSC): The body established by the Ministerial Council, formerly known as the National Quality Council (NQC). In relation to quality assurance arrangements in the VET system, the NSSC has a role in:
● providing advice on the operation of, and any necessary change to national VET standards
● providing information and advice to state and territory training/recognition authorities on the implementation of national VET standards
● Ministerial Council, (including the Annual National Report), information and advice on the operation of the national VET regulator in each state and territory, including independent advice on state/territory registration, audit and related processes and related Commonwealth processes as deemed necessary by the NSSC.
Non-accredited training: See Non-recognised training.
Non-recognised training: Training, products and services operating outside nationally recognised VET standards. See VET Quality framework, Standards for VET Accredited Courses, National Training Framework (NTF).
National Training Information Service (NTIS): See Training.gov.au (TGA).
Occupational health and safety (OHS): To those activities concerned with the prevention and mitigation of work-related illness or injury including illness or injury that may be of long onset. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary. See Work Health and Safety
Organisational training profile: A document which sets out the areas of current and future raining/development and training priorities linked to industry/organisational training needs analysis and reflective of:
● workforce composition (occupational groups, formal education and training backgrounds, employment status, age, language and cultural backgrounds, and gender)
● industry trends● organisational strategies, business plans and other relevant documents.Outsourcing of training/assessment services. May include partnering or contracting to another training/assessment organisation to provide training/assessment services.
Packaging: The process of grouping units of competency into combinations that are meaningful in the workplace and which receive recognition as an AQF qualification. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Partnerships: Collaborative arrangements between a RTO and other organisations including other RTOs which enable the partners to share for mutual benefit their resources, effort, time, costs, responsibility and expertise in the provision of training and/or assessment services.
These arrangements are regulated by the relevant regulator standards, which require a written agreement between the RTO and each organisation that provides training and/or assessment services on behalf of the RTO. See also Outsourcing.
Performance criteria: Part of the format of a competency standard and specify the level of performance required to demonstrate achievement of the Element.
In the TAE10 Training and Assessment Training Package, terms used in the performance criteria that may have a range of indicative meanings or applications are italicised and elaborated in the Range Statement.
Principles of assessment: To ensure quality outcomes, assessment should be:● fair● flexible● valid● reliable● sufficient.
Professional development: The process of extending and maintaining knowledge, skill and expertise in a particular profession or occupation through ongoing learning.
Professional development needs are determined from the perspective of the individual and their lifelong learning and career needs, whether or not this is immediately relevant to organisational objectives.
Professional development promotes and maintains currency.
Qualification: Formal certification, issued by a relevant approved body, in recognition that a person has achieved learning outcomes or competencies relevant to identified individual, professional, industry or community needs.
In the VET sector, qualifications are awarded for the achievement of competencies. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Quality: The ability of a set of inherent characteristics of a product, system or process to fulfil requirements of customers and other interested parties. From AS/NZS ISO 9000: 2006 - Fundamentals and vocabulary.
Quality evidence: Evidence that meets the rules of evidence. Quality evidence is a sub-section of the Evidence Guide in each TAE10 Training and Assessment unit of competency, which addresses advice and guidance on meeting the rules of evidence in the TAE context.
Range Statement/Range of variables: A part of the format of a competency standard and provides a context for the unit of competency, describing essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment, depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.
As applicable, the meanings of key terms used in the performance criteria will also be explained in the range statement. From ANTA, 2007, Training Package Development Handbook
Reasonable adjustment: The process of adjusting or changing the assessment process to meet the needs and characteristics of the candidates being assessed and any equity requirements.
The determination of ‘reasonableness’ requires judgement that must take into account the impact on the organisation and the need to maintain the integrity of the unit of competency.
Reassessment: An assessment activity initiated as a result of an appeal against the outcome of a previous assessment.
Recognised training: Training conducted in accordance with the requirements of the relevant regulator standards.
Recognition processes: A term that covers RPL, RCC and Skills Recognition.
The term refers to assessment processes that enable recognition of competencies currently held, regardless of how, when or where the learning occurred.
Under the relevant VET regulatory framework, competencies may be attained a number of ways.
This includes through any combination of formal or informal training and education, work experience or general life experience.
In order to grant RPL/RCC the assessor must be confident that the candidate is currently competent against the endorsed industry or enterprise competency standards of training packages or competency outcomes specified in AQF-accredited courses.
The evidence may take a variety of forms and could include certification, references from past employers, testimonials from clients and work samples. The assessor must ensure that the evidence is authentic, valid, reliable, current and sufficient. See also Assessment only pathway.
Recognition of prior learning (RPL): An assessment process that assesses an individual’s non-formal and informal learning to determine the extent to which that individual has achieved the required learning outcomes, competency outcomes, or standards, for entry to and/or partial or total completion of, a qualification.From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary.
Records of assessment: The recorded information relating to the assessment process and the assessment outcomes of candidates that is stored and retained by the organisation responsible for issuing the nationally recognised Statements of Attainment or qualifications.
Registration: The process of formal approval and recognition of a training organisation, by a state or territory registering body, in accordance with the relevant regulatory standards.
Under Mutual Recognition registration has national effect and training organisations need register only with one registering body.
This will be the registering body in the state or territory in which the training organisation has its head office or where it provides most of its training and/or assessment.
Registered training organisation (RTO): A training organisation registered in accordance with the relevant regulatory standard, within a defined scope of registration. See also Training/assessment organisations.
Reliability: One of the principles of assessment and refers to the consistency of the interpretation of evidence and the consistency of assessment outcomes.
Reliability requires a standard benchmark of assessor competence and relevant vocational competence or access to subject matter expertise, and can only be achieved when assessors share a common interpretation of the unit/s being assessed. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Reporting assessment outcomes: The different ways in which the outcomes of the assessment process are reported to the candidate, employer and other appropriate personnel or stakeholders.
Assessment outcomes may be reported in a variety of ways including graded, non-graded, statistical or descriptive reporting decision when systems. See also Assessment report.
Risk management: Means the systematic application of management policies, procedures and practices to the tasks of identifying, analysing, evaluating, treating and monitoring risk.
Rules of evidence: Closely related to the assessment principles and provide guidance on the collection of evidence to ensure that it is valid, sufficient, authentic and current. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Scope of registration: Training organisations are registered for a defined scope that identifies the particular services and products that can be provided. A registered training organisation may be registered to provide either:
● training delivery and assessment services and products and issue AQF qualifications and Statements of Attainment or
● assessment services and products and issue AQF qualifications and Statements of Attainment.
The scope of registration is further defined by AQF qualifications and/or endorsed units of competency.
Simulation: A form of evidence gathering that involves the candidate in completing or dealing with a task, activity or problem in an off-the-job situation that replicates the workplace context.
Simulations vary from recreating realistic workplace situations such as in the use of flight simulators, through the creation of role-plays based on workplace scenarios to the reconstruction of a business situation on a spreadsheet.
In developing simulations, the emphasis is not so much on reproducing the external circumstance but on creating situations in which candidates are able to demonstrate:
● technical skills● underpinning knowledge
● generic skills such as decision making and problem solving
● workplace practices such as effective communication.Skills
An ability to perform a particular activity which may be developed by training or practice which may be intellectual, manual, motor, perceptual, social.
Specified skills are identified as part of each competency standard and competence usually requires a combination of skills in the application of cognitive and psycho-motor functions.
Staff development: The process of developing new, maintaining existing, and/or extending knowledge, skill and expertise in individual staff members to meet an organisation's human capital skill development and competency needs.
Standards for National VET Regulator (NVR) Registered Training Organisations (SNRs): Registered training organisations must comply with the requirements set out in the new VET Quality Framework, including Standards for National VET Regulator RTOs (SNR standards).
Note that these standards are not substantially different from AQTF standards and differ mainly with respect to the publishing, naming and numbering of standards.
Standards for VET Accredited Courses: The Standards for VET Accredited Courses apply to courses accredited by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).
Note that the content and requirements of the Standards for VET Accredited Courses do not differ significantly from that of the AQTF Standards for Accredited Courses. From About ASQA: Standards for VET Accredited Courses
State or territory registering body: The body responsible, under the state or territory VET legislation and decision making framework, for all decisions relating to the administration of the registration of training organisations, including the imposition of sanctions.
Statement of Attainment: A record of recognised learning which, although falling short of an AQF qualification, may contribute towards a qualification outcome, either as partial completion of a course leading to a qualification, attainment of competencies within a training package, or completion of a nationally accredited short course which may accumulate towards a qualification through RPL (and other recognition) processes.
Strategic industry audit: The compliance audit of registered training organisations operating in a specific industry or industry sector targeted on the basis of identified risks relating to that industry or sector.
Sufficiency: One of the rules of evidence and relates to the amount of evidence collected.
The collection of sufficient evidence is necessary to ensure all aspects of the competency have been captured and to satisfy the need for repeatable performance.
Supplementary sources of evidence may be necessary. See also Rules of evidence. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Support materials: See Training package support materials.
Task: A discrete meaningful component of work.
Task management skills: One of the four dimensions of competency.
Task management skills involve demonstrating the ability to manage a number of different asks/operations/activities within the job role or work environment. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Task skills: One of the four dimensions of competency.
Task skills encompass the ability to perform individual tasks. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Training.gov.au (TGA): The National Register for recording information about RTOs, training packages and accredited courses, formerly known as the National Training Information Service (NTIS).
Information held on the TGA database is searchable and publicly accessible via the internet. TGA contains comprehensive information on endorsed training packages which have been approved by ministers and includes: full details of competency standards; a listing of noted NSSC support materials with contact sources; details of AQF accredited courses/qualifications; and contact details and scope of registration of all RTOs.
Trainee: A person undertaking a traineeship.
Traineeships: Regulated employment based approaches to the gaining of a relevant recognised AQF qualification involving a combination of work and structured training that is regulated through a training contract (also known as a training agreement) between an employer and an apprentice/trainee, and their legal guardian if under 18 years of age. See also Apprenticeships.
Training/assessment organisation: This term is used to encompass all organisations/enterprises that carry out training and/or assessment services, and includes:
● a RTO, i.e. an enterprise/organisation registered to deliver recognised VET services; includes TAFE institutes, private commercial colleges/companies, enterprises, community organisations, group training companies and schools
● an enterprise/organisation working in a partnership arrangement with a RTO to deliver recognised vocational education and training● an enterprise/organisation that delivers non-recognised vocational education and training.
Training agreement/contract:: A written agreement between an employer and the apprentice/trainee (or other legal guardian if under 18 years of age), which sets out the regulated requirements of an apprenticeship/traineeship employment contract.
Training and assessment strategy: A framework that guides the learning requirements and the teaching, training and assessment arrangements of a VET qualification. It is the document that outlines the macro-level requirements of the learning and assessment process, usually at the qualification level. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Training package/s: The national industry benchmarks for nationally recognised vocational outcomes in the VET system.
They are an integrated set of nationally endorsed competency standards, Assessment Guidelines and Australian Qualifications Framework qualifications for a specific industry, industry sector or enterprise.
Training packages consist of:
● endorsed components of: competency standards, assessment guidelines and qualifications
● optional non-endorsed components of: support materials such as learning strategies, assessment resources and professional development materials.
Training package support materials: The non-endorsed components of training packages which may include learning resources, assessment resources and professional development resources, that are based on competency standards, assessment guidelines and qualifications framework of a particular training package.
Training plan: Forms part of a Training contract and sets out the training requirements including the competency standards to be achieved and the delivery/assessment arrangements to be provided.
Training program: See Learning program.
Unit/s of competency: See Competency standards.
User Choice: A provision of New Apprenticeships whereby an employer and an apprentice or trainee can choose the training provider for the government-funded, off-the-job elements of the training program.
The organisation chosen can be a TAFE college or any other registered training organisation (including a school) that has been registered to deliver the required training. From DEEWR, National Training Systems Glossary
Validation: Validation has two meanings:
1. A process involving assessors working in collaboration to review, compare and evaluate their assessment process and their assessment outcomes against the same competency standard.
This includes validating assessment methods/tools and collected evidence, and the interpretation of that evidence to make a judgement of competence, in relation to the same unit/s of competency.
2. Also used in competency standards development to describe the consultation processes used to validate draft products to ensure they meet industry/enterprise needs.
Validity: One of the principles of assessment; assessment is valid when the process assesses what it claims to assess.
Validity requires that:
● assessment against the units of competency must cover the broad range of skills and knowledge that are essential to competent performance
● assessment of knowledge and skills must be integrated with their practical application● judgement of competence must be based on sufficient evidence. Evidence should be gathered on a number of occasions and in a range of contexts, using different assessment methods.
The specific evidence requirements of the units provide advice relating to sufficiency.From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
VET Quality Framework: The VET Quality Framework was designed to promote national consistency in the way providers are registered and monitored and in how standards in the vocational education and training (VET) sector are enforced.
The VET Quality Framework has replaced the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) in most jurisdictions.
The VET Quality Framework comprises:
● the Standards for National VET Regulator (NVR) Registered Training Organisations
● the Fit and Proper Person Requirements
● the Financial Viability Risk Assessment Requirements
● the Data Provision Requirements, and● the Australian Qualifications Framework.The framework is applied by the national VET regulator, ASQA.
Vocational education and training (VET): The sector responsible for developing the skills and knowledge of individuals for work.
It includes vocational education and training undertaken in industries, enterprises, government agencies, and community and school settings.
The vocational education and training sector encompasses both recognised training leading to a qualification/Statement of Attainment under the AQF, and non-recognised training, such as in-house or product-based training.
Recognised training is delivered by organisations registered by STAs, in accordance with the AQTF. From National Quality Council, Training Package Glossary
Work Health and Safety (WHS): The Model Work Health and Safety Act 2010 provides for a nationally consistent legal framework of work health and safety standards and obligations.
By agreement, all state governments and the Commonwealth have committed to enact laws that reflect the model WHS Act.
At present, new Work Health and Safety laws, mirroring the model Act, have already commenced in New South Wales, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, the Commonwealth and the Northern Territory.
Note that, in jurisdictions that have not yet enacted mirror legislation, pre-existing OHS legislative frameworks and terms remain in effect.
● Australian Government, 2012, ‘About ASQA: National VET Regulation’, viewed September 2012, < http://www.asqa.gov.au/about-asqa/national-vet-regulation/national-vet-regulation.html>.
● Australian National Training Authority, 2011, Training Package Development Handbook, available online, viewed September 2012, <http://www.deewr.gov. au/SKILLS/OVERVIEW/POLICY/TPDH/Pages/main.aspx>.
● Billett, S., 2001, Learning in the workplace: strategies for effective practice, Allen & Unwin, Sydney.● National Quality Council, 2010, ‘Training Package Glossary’, Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, viewed September 2012, <http://www.deewr.gov.au/Skills/Overview/Policy/TPDH/ Downloads/Documents/TrainingPackGlossary.pdf>.
● Standards Australia, 2006, AS/NZS ISO 9000:2006 Quality Management Systems - Fundamentals and vocabulary,