The process of formal recognition of a course by the national regulator or state or territory course accrediting body in line with the relevant regulatory standards.
A structured sequence of VET training that has been accredited and leads to an AQF qualification or Statement of Attainment.
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.
Aspects of competency
The parts of a competency standard, for example, the elements, performance criteria, relevant foundation skills, and dimensions of competency. Also referred to as ‘parts of the competency standards’ and the ‘components of competency’.
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.
Any physical and documentary resources that assist in any part of the assessment process. They may include information for the candidate, the documented competency standards or other documented assessment benchmarks, other related documentation impacting on assessment, the assessment tools, assessment exercises/activities, equipment and tools and any other resources for the quality assurance arrangements of the assessment system.
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
The policy framework that defines all qualifications recognised nationally in postcompulsory 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.
Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF)
The AQTF is a set of agreed quality assurance arrangements for training and assessment services delivered by training organisations. As of 2011, the VET Quality Framework has superseded the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) in most jurisdictions.
Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)
The national VET regulator. The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) was established under legislation enacted in 2011 to establish one national VET regulator. ASQA regulates courses and training providers to ensure nationally approved quality standards are met. 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.
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.
The person presenting for assessment.
The process of grouping competencies into combinations which have meaning and purpose for learning, assessment or work-related needs.
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.
Assessment in which the assessor makes a judgement of competency (competent or not yet competent) against clear benchmarks or criteria such as a competency standard/unit of competency, assessment criteria of course curricula, performance specifications, or product specifications. Competency-based assessment may be contrasted with assessment in which candidates are compared to others or graded, for example.
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 relevant training package contextualisation guidelines. Any contextualisation must ensure the integrity of the outcome of the relevant unit of competency is maintained.
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.
An assessment method which involves opportunities to view real work/real-time activities in the workplace or work activities in a simulated workplace environment.
A person conducting training who does not hold relevant training qualifications may work under the supervision of a person designated by their RTO who does hold those training qualifications, receiving regular guidance, support and direction. It is not necessary for the supervising person to be present during all training delivery.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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, practice or demonstration, individual assignments, individual group projects, workplace practice 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.
The tools used to support learning activities. Examples include: workplace practice, 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.
Evaluative statements which specify what is to be learned and assessed. In a competency-based training system, learning outcomes are derived from competency standards.
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.
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 regulatory decisions 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
Part of the format of a competency standard and specify the level of performance required to demonstrate achievement of the element, or overall outcome with respect to a job activity or task competency.
A qualification is a 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.
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.
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.
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.
Registered training organisation (RTO)
A training organisation registered in accordance with the relevant regulatory standard, within a defined scope of registration.
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.
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.
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:
generic skills such as decision making and problem solving
workplace practices such as effective communication.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The national industry benchmarks for nationally recognised vocational outcomes in the VET system. They are an integrated set of nationally endorsed and non-endorsed components. Training packages consist of:
endorsed components: qualifications, units of competency, assessment requirements, credit arrangements
optional non-endorsed components: skill sets, companion volumes, user guides
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.
Unique Student Identifier (USI)
A USI is a reference number is unique to individual participants in the Australian VET system. The USI will allow all of an individual’s training records to be linked, enabling students to find, collate and authenticate and incorporate their VET achievements into a single transcript. It will also ensure that students’ VET records are not lost.
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.
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.
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-rec