National training system

What is the national training system?

The national training system is the Australian system for vocational education and training. The aim is to provide 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 training packages reflect nationally consistent qualifications required for particular occupations. The nationally recognised qualifications align with the Australian Qualifications Framework and industry recognised skill sets.

Registered Training Organisations deliver training and are authorised to issue the qualifications or statements of attainment once people have met the requirements of training packages.

Who develops training packages for the national training system?

  • The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC)—The AISC consists of industry leaders from across Australia. One of its roles is to quality assure and approve training packages for implementation. It provides leadership and guidance to help make sure the national training system provides the qualifications, knowledge and skill sets that industry needs, now and into the future. The AISC provides this industry perspective to ministers through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Industry and Skills Council. The AISC is supported by a secretariat within the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.
  • Industry Reference Committees (IRCs)—IRCs are made up of industry experts and organisational representatives who have knowledge of the skills needs of their sector, industry or occupation. They provide a channel between industry and government on the skills needed, to inform the development of training packages. IRCs gather feedback from their sectors and oversee the development and review of training packages, to inform the AISC’s decisions. IRCs also promote the use of vocational education and training within their sector.
  • Skills Services Organisations (SSOs)—SSOs are independent, professional service organisations that provide support to IRCs in their work developing and reviewing training packages. They are funded by the Australian Government to provide IRCs with secretariat, travel and accommodation. SSOs also prepare documentation for IRCs such as the skills forecast and proposed schedule of work, the case for change, and case for endorsement for proposed changes to training packages. SSOs are also a key access point for other industry stakeholders who want to play a part in the development of training packages. 

How are training packages developed?

Industry is at the centre of developing effective training packages, based on the following process.

IRCs advise their SSO on the development of a four-year, rolling skills forecasts and a schedule of work to review and develop the training package relevant to their industry sector. This informs the national schedule of training package development and review work
IRCs work with their SSO to gather views from their industry sector and to develop a case for change, as part of the skills forecast. This sets out the evidence for the IRC’s recommendations for change, to ensure the proposed training package meets industry needs.
The AISC considers the case for change and determines the scope of training package development work to be undertaken by the SSO.
IRCs work with their SSO on a case for endorsement. This provides the AISC with a compelling case for approving the relevant training package components. The Quality Assurance Panel reviews this document to make sure it complies with required policy and standards.
The AISC considers the case for endorsement.