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Training packages

What is a training package?

Training packages are developed by Service Skills Organisations (formerly by Industry Skills Councils) to meet the training needs of an industry, or a group of industries.

Training packages do not suggest how a learner should be trained, rather, they specify the skills and knowledge required to perform effectively in the workplace.

Each training packages is made up of three components:

  • Units of competency: define the skills and knowledge to operate effectively and how they need to be applied to perform effectively in a workplace context.
  • Qualifications framework: groups of units of competency ranging from Certificate I to Graduate Diploma level.
  • Assessment guidelines: the industry's preferred approach to assessment, including the qualifications required by assessors, the design of assessment processes and how assessments should be conducted.

How are training packages developed?

Skills Service Organisations (SSOs) (formerly Industry Skills Councils) develop training packages when industry identifies the need for nationally recognised training that is not currently covered by a training package.

SSOs develop and validate training packages through extensive research and consultation with industry stakeholders. Training packages are then endorsed by the Australian Government and state and territory governments, and approved for use throughout Australia. 

Who can deliver training packages and training package products?

Registered training organisations (RTOs) or organisations working in partnership with an RTOare authorised to deliver training packages qualifications and units of competency, if the RTO has the training package product/s on their scope of registration.

When and how are training packages updated?

SSOs update training packages in accordance with the Training Package Development and Endorsement Process Policy when updating training packages. This policy ensures that training package products are:

  • developed to an agreed quality standard, and
  • responsive to industry’s existing and future demand for new skills.

When updating training packages, SSOs:

  • conduct an environmental scan to capture industry intelligence and existing and emerging skills shortages and training requirements
  • develop a continuous improvement plan to ensure training packages meet the existing and emerging skills needs of industry
  • undertake quality assurance activities throughout the development of the training package components
  • seek endorsement of the revised training package
  • publish the revised training package on the national register, and
  • publish a  Companion Volume Implementation Guide to help providers implement the training package.

Training package revisions that do not change the outcome of the endorsed components can be upgraded by the SSO without AISC endorsement.

Further information is available on the Department of Education and Training website—Training packages and VET Reform.

What information is available to explain training package changes?

SSOs are required to publish a Companion Volume Implementation Guide when they revise a training package. The Companion Volume Implementation Guide is designed to help providers implement the training package and contains information such as:

  • version control and modification history
  • mapping information (explaining whether the outcomes of the new products are  equivalent or not equivalent to the superseded products
  • regulation and licensing implications for implementation
  • mandatory entry requirements, pathways advice and access and entry conditions
  • resource and equipment lists, and
  • if relevant, links to learning strategies, knowledge and assessment guidance.

This Companion Volume Implementation Guide is usually uploaded by the SSOs on the national register, training.gov.au, under the heading Mapping of the new training package. Links to a Companion Volume may direct users to the relevant SSO’s website where the Companion Volume Implementation Guide can be found.

SSOs also publish additional information about training package developments on their websites, including:

  • a Continuous Improvement Plan for each training package, and
  • a Case for Endorsement providing a rationale for proposed changes to a training package which is published while the AISC is considering the changes.

When do providers need to transition to new versions of training packages?

Once a new training package is endorsed, the relevant SSO uploads the new product onto the national register, training.gov.au.

If the SSO has deemed a new training product (qualification and/or unit of competency) equivalent to a superseded product on your scope of registration, ASQA will automatically update your scope to allow you to transition to the new equivalent product.

Once a new training product is published on the national register, RTOs have 12 months to transition to delivering the new product. In some cases, RTOs can take an additional six months to teach-out a qualification if they can demonstrate students would be genuinely disadvantaged by transferring to the replacement qualification earlier.

RTOs that have new equivalent training package products automatically added to their scope of registration should continue to deliver the superseded product until ready to deliver the new equivalent product within the 12 month period.

RTOs that are registered to deliver a training package product that is superseded by a non-equivalent product will need to apply to ASQA to add this product to their scope of registration, and transition to deliver the new product with the 12 month period.

Further information is available in the General Direction—Learner transition.

What is ASQA's role in relation to training packages?

ASQA's role is to ensure that providers are ready to deliver/are delivering training and assessment that meets training package requirements. ASQA takes regulatory action if providers do not meet training package requirements. ASQA automatically updates its regulated providers’ scope of registration when new equivalent training package products are released.

ASQA has no role in the development, endorsement or maintenance of training packages.