What is the National Training System?
The national training system is the Australian system for Vocational Education and Training (VET). It provides people with the work-ready skills and qualifications needed to keep Australia’s industry sectors productive and competitive.
The system is based on Occupational Skills Standards, which are set out in Units of Competency within Training Packages. These packages reflect nationally consistent qualifications required for particular occupations, and because it’s a national system allows skilled workers to be employed Australia wide. The nationally recognised qualifications align with the Australian Qualifications Framework and industry recognised Skill Sets.
Registered Training Organisations deliver training in line with the endorsed Training Package components and are authorised to issue the qualifications or statements of attainment once learners have been assessed as being competent against the Training Package requirements.
Australia’s industry-led VET system has evolved over many decades. Under the current model, industry leadership is enabled through a number of bodies
- The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) – a committee of industry leaders from across Australia which will make decisions about what qualifications are needed and when. Members include industry leaders nominated by Commonwealth and state and territory ministers responsible for skills and training; a peak body representative (rotating between the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Industry Group); and two ex-officio members (senior government officials)
- Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) – committees made up of people with experience, skills and knowledge of industry sectors which will ensure that Training Packages meet the needs of employers
- Skills Service Organisations (SSOs) – organisations that support IRCs to develop the Training Packages that industry needs
- Technical Advisory Committees (TACs) – To ensure Training Packages accurately reflect the contemporary knowledge and skills needed by the workforce, an IRC may, through its SSO, establish one or more Technical Advisory Committees (TACs).
- State and territory industry training advisory bodies – Australia comprises eight states and territories. VET is a shared responsibility between the Federal Government and the state and territory governments with investment contributed by all parties. States and territories have established industry advisory bodies, including iTab’s in NSW, Industry Advisory Groups in Victoria, Industry Skills Councils in South Australia, Industry Training Councils in WA, Industry Skills Advisory Council in NT, Industry Skills Advisors in Qld and the Strategic Industry Advisory Framework in Tasmania. These bodies play a key role by providing a conduit between industry and government within each jurisdiction. AIS is contracted by the NSW Department of Education, Skills and Employment to engage with industry and training system stakeholders through the NSW ITAB.
Australian Industry and Skills Committee
The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) was established by the Commonwealth of Australian Governments Industry and Skills Council in May 2015 to give industry a formal, expanded role in policy direction and decision-making for the vocational education and training sector. The AISC plays a critical role in overseeing the development of training products, ensuring Australian workers are provided with industry-relevant skills that meet the needs of employers.
The AISC recommends national Training Packages (occupational standards) to the Federal, State and Territory Skills Ministers for endorsement. Endorsed products are then listed on the National Register (training.gov.au) for implementation by Registered Training Organisations.
Each member of the AISC is nominated by the Australian Government or the state and territory ministers responsible for skills and training. Members are appointed to the AISC because of their industry-based leadership, expertise and unique perspectives on the current and emerging needs of the national training system.
The AISC also has a rotating member from Australia’s key peak industry associations, currently the Business Council of Australia, as well as two ex-officio members, currently senior Australian Government officials. This combination of skills, leadership and expertise ensures the AISC operates with strong partnerships, bringing together the diverse range of stakeholders that makes up Australia’s VET sector.
In support of the key bodies, Australia has established and evolved a number of support mechanisms to help assure quality and assist prospective learners to make an informed choice:
- training.gov.au – TGA as it is commonly known, is the National Register on Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Australia. It is the authoritative and detailed repository of:
- All Training Packages and nationally accredited courses
- All Registered Training Organisations
- myskills.gov.au is an Australian Government initiative to ensure training consumers have access to current, straightforward, independent and trustworthy information to help them make choices about RTO Training Organisations and training programs by giving users the ability to search for, and compare, VET courses and training providers.
- National Centre for Vocational Education Research – NCVER is the body responsible for collecting, managing, analysing and communicating research and statistics on the Australian VET sector. The work of NCVER is vital in understanding the performance of the VET sector, informing policy and funding decisions and identifying any systemic issues.
Vocational Education and Training Quality Framework
Australia’s Vocational Education and Training Quality Framework is critical to this balance and ensures national consistency in the way Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) are registered and monitored and in how standards in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector are enforced. The VET Quality Framework includes the four key pillars of:
- Australian Qualifications Framework is the national policy for regulated qualifications in Australia. It incorporates the qualifications from the three sectors – school, VET and higher education – into a single comprehensive national qualifications framework. The framework provides relativity, the requirements for student pathways and the learning outcomes for each AQF level and qualification type.
- Standards for Training Packages set out the structure and templates for Training Packages and the components they comprise – Units of Competency, Qualifications, Assessment Guidelines.
- Standards for Registered Training Organisations describe the requirements that an organisation must meet in order to be an RTO in Australia.
- Standards for VET Regulators ensure accountability and transparency of the VET regulators’ role in registering and auditing RTOs in accordance with the Standards for RTOs.
An additional and critical element to ensuring quality, is the VET system’s specification of the minimum qualification for trainers and assessors. Certificate IV in Training and Assessment includes:
- Using training packages and accredited courses to meet client needs
- Addressing adult language, literacy and numeracy skills
- Designing and developing assessment tools
- Facilitating e-learning
AIS is pleased to work closely with State and Territory Government training authorities. We recognise their critical role in the implementation of vocational education and training (VET), within each state and territory. We also appreciate the key role they play in the Training Package development process.
We are proud to support local industries to ensure skills and training packages are contemporary, future-focused and aligned with industry needs.
Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) are the front line of the VET system. Employers rely on RTOs to provide essential skills and knowledge to both new entrants and existing workers. They are registered by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as providers and assessors of nationally recognised training and qualifications.
High-quality training and assessment allow students to feel well equipped for employment or further study. Their qualification is seen as valuable when they enter the job market as employers recognise they have the skills and competencies specified in their qualification.