Appendix 1: Definitions

   Term                                                                                 Definition


Formal recognition of a course by the National VET Regulator under the Act.

Access and equity

Policies and approaches aimed at ensuring that VET is responsive to the individual needs of clients whose age, gender, cultural or ethnic background, disability, sexuality, language skills, literacy or numeracy level, unemployment, imprisonment or remote location may present a barrier to access, participation and the achievement of suitable outcomes.


National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011

Amount of training

The amount of training is part of the overall volume of learning. It relates primarily to formal activities, including online or self-paced study.


The arrangements that facilitate movement or progression of students from one qualification or course to another, or from one education and training sector to another.


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 specified in a training package or VET accredited course.

Assessment requirements

The endorsed component of a VET accredited course. Assessment requirements set out the approach to valid, reliable, flexible and fair assessment.

Australian Industry Skills Committee (ASIC)

A committee of industry leaders from across Australia who are responsible for national training package product development under our VET sector.

Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO)

A classification system used in the collection, publication and analysis of occupation statistics.

Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)

The agency established in 2011 to support the National VET Regulator in their decision-making.

Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED)

Two statistical classifications used to collect and analyse data on educational activity and attainment, namely, ‘level of education’ and ‘field of education’.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)

The framework for regulated qualifications in the Australian education and training system, as agreed by the Australian Government, state and territory ministerial council with responsibility for higher education.

Australian Vocational Education and Training Management Information Statistical Standard (AVETMISS)

A national data standard for VET providers that ensures consistent and accurate capture of VET information about students, courses, units of activity, and qualifications completed. It provides the mechanism for national reporting of the VET system.


The unique identifier for units of competency, skill sets, VET accredited courses, AQF qualifications or training packages as required by the Standards for Training Packages and Standards for VET Accredited 2021.


The consistent application of knowledge and skill to the standard of performance required in the workplace. It embodies the ability to transfer and apply skills and knowledge to new situations and environments.

Course document

The legal specification of a VET accredited course in the prescribed format. The course document describes essential course information and provides the basis for the development of strategies for training and assessment for each training provider.

Credit arrangements

The arrangements that facilitate the movement or profession of students from one qualification or course to another, or from one learning education and training sector to another.

Enterprise unit of competency

A unit of competency developed specifically for inclusion in an accredited course to meet a vocational, education, legislative, enterprise or community need, that is not covered by a training package unit of competency.


The bodies that have a stake in the development of courses and the training and assessment services provided by training providers These can include:

  • enterprise industry clients e.g. employers
  • group training organisations
  • industry organisation
  • industry regulators
  • professional associations
  • skill service organisations
  • industry training advisory bodies, and
  • unions.

Industry Reference Committees (IRCs)

Committees made up of people with experience, skills and knowledge of particular industry sectors which ensure that training packages meet the needs of industry and employers.

Industry regulator

A body or organisation responsible for the regulation and/or licensing arrangements within a specific industry or occupation.


A person being trained and/or assessed by a training provider for the purpose of issuing AQF certification documentation.


The process followed by a student. There are three types:

  • Formal learning – learning that takes place through a structured program of instruction and is linked to the attainment of a formal qualification or award (for example, a Certificate, Diploma or University Degree).
  • Non-formal learning – learning that takes place through a structured program of instruction but does not lead to the attainment of a formal qualification or award (for example, in-house, professional development programs conducted by a business).
  • Informal learning – learning that results from work-related, social, family, hobby or leisure activities (for example, the acquisition of interpersonal skills developed through several years as a sales representative).

Licensed or regulated outcome

Compliance with an eligibility requirement for an occupational licence or a legislative requirement to hold a particular AQF qualification, skill set, VET accredited course or unit of competency, in order to carry out an activity.

Mode of delivery

The method adopted to deliver training and assessment, including online, distance or blended methods.


Relates to a specific area of learning at a given level of knowledge or skills performance and is made up of several learning outcomes and assessment criteria. It directly aligns to the stated educational, community or legislative outcomes of its course. 


National register

The register maintained by the Australian Government department responsible for VET and referred to Section 216 of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011, located at


It is the authoritative source of information on training packages, qualifications, accredited courses, units of competency, skill sets and registered training organisations.

National RTO code

The registration identifier given to the registered training providers on the national register.

National VET Regulator

The person appointed under subsection 162(1) to the position of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator referred to in subsection 155(1) under the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011.

Nominal/supervised hours

The supervised structured learning and assessment activity required to sufficiently address the content of each unit of competency (acknowledging that progress can vary between students).


A path or sequence of learning or experiences that can be followed to attain competency. These can be specific mandated pathways or may vary to reflect individual needs.

Packaging rules

The rules which state what units of competency must or can be selected to make up a qualification or a ‘Course in’.


Formal certification issued by a relevant approved body, to recognise that a person has achieved learning outcomes or competency relevant to identified individual, professional, industry or community needs.

Recognition of prior learning

A process that assesses an individual’s formal, non-formal and informal learning to determine the extent to which the individual meets the requirements specified in the training package or VET accredited course.

See also Learning for further learning definitions.


Registration as a registered training provider by the VET regulator where that registration is entered on the National Register.

Registered training organisation

A training organisation listed on the National Register as a registered training organisation.

Scope of registration

The activities a registered training organisation is registered to do, such as:

  • provide training and assessments resulting in the issue of VET qualifications or VET statement of attainment; or
  • provide assessments resulting in the issue of VET qualifications or VET statement of attainment.

Skills service organisations (SSOs)

Organisations that support industry reference committees to develop and review the training packages. SSOs are also a key access point for other industry stakeholders who want to contribute to the development of training packages.

Standards for training packages

One of three products (along with the Training Package Products Policy and the Training Package Development and Endorsement Policy) that form the organising framework that supports the development of industry training packages.

Skill set

A single unit of competency or a combination of units of competency from a training package that link to a licensing or regulatory requirement, or a defined industry need.

Statement of attainment

A statement issued to a person confirming that they have satisfied the requirements of a specified unit or units of competency.

Training and assessment

The training and/or assessment provided to a student by a training provider or its subcontractor in relation to the AQF qualifications and/or units of competency within the training provider’s scope of registration.

Training package

The components endorsed by the Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC) or its delegate in accordance with the Standards for Training Packages. The endorsed components of a training package are:

  • units of competency
  • assessment requirements (associated with each unit of competency)
  • qualifications
  • credit arrangements.

A training package also consists of a non-endorsed, quality assured companion volume, which does not form part of the requirements that a training provider must meet under Standard.

Unit of competency

The specification of the standards of performance required in the workplace.

Unsupervised hours

The hours associated with the activities that contribute to achieving unit of competency/course outcomes that are not supervised by training provider trainer or assessor, e.g. work experience, field placement, private study and/or assignment work.


Vocational education and training

VET accredited course

A course accredited by the VET regulator in accordance with the Standards for VET Accredited Courses 2021.

VET qualification

A testamur given to a person confirming that they have achieved learning outcomes and competencies that satisfy the requirements of a qualification recognised under the Australian Qualifications Framework.

VET statement of attainment

A statement given to a person confirming that they have satisfied the requirements of specified units of competency.

VET regulator

The National VET Regulator (ASQA’s chief executive officer) and/or a non-referring state body responsible for VET.

Vocational competencies

Broad industry knowledge and experience, usually combined with a relevant industry qualification. Vocational competency is determined on an industry-by-industry basis and with reference to the relevant training package or VET accredited course.

Vocational outcome

An occupational or job-specific workplace outcome.

Volume of learning

The national duration of all activities required for achieving learning outcomes. Volume of learning includes nominal (supervised) hours and unsupervised hours.

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