Streamlining the National Training System

On 22 November 2019, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Skills Council agreed to streamline the national skills and training system to make it faster, simpler and better able to respond to the needs of industry.

Reforms will be made across each stage of the national training product system, including:

·         Identification: Improved identification of changing skill needs, and better prioritisation of effort for national qualifications.

·         Development: Faster development of qualifications in response to industry needs.

·         Delivery: Increased support for training providers in the delivery of high-quality training and responding to changing skill needs.

Each stage will have increased transparency of the end-to-end process, timeframes and forward schedule of work.

The ten actions agreed by Skills Ministers are listed below. IRCs are encouraged to consider how industry may best inform and contribute to their implementation.


Reform option Description and impact  



Improve use of labour market data The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC), in conjunction with Skills Senior Officials Network (SSON), to strengthen the early identification and prioritisation of industry skills needs through improved use of labour market data and strengthened industry consultation and validation. Tranche II

May – December 2020

Remove obsolete training products
The AISC and Industry Reference Committees to de-clutter the system through an increased focus on removing obsolete and superfluous training products from the system and on identifying and increasing the use of cross-sector training products. Tranche I

December 2019 – April 2020

Sharpen the focus of national training products The AISC, in conjunction with SSON, sharpen the focus for decisions on new or updated national training products to reflect clear industry and national priorities, through the establishment of threshold criteria for entry into the national training package system. Tranche I

December 2019 – April 2020

Accelerate training package development
The AISC, in conjunction with SSON, accelerate the timeframes for training package work by establishing clear expectations and timeframes for different categories of work, including fast-tracking straightforward cases for change and setting clearer expectations on the timeframes/process for more complex work. Tranche I

December 2019 – April 2020

Simplify qualifications in training packages The AISC, in conjunction with SSON, future-proof the system by reviewing the design and content of qualifications, and examining alternative models of qualification design to simplify structure and remove unnecessary prescriptive detail. Tranches I, II and III

December 2019 – June 2021

Maximise system flexibility through greater use of Accredited Courses The AISC, in conjunction with SSON, to increase speed to market in emerging industries by encouraging use of Accredited Courses and units of competency  with established criteria and processes for transitioning courses to national training packages when industry identifies a national need. Tranches I, II and III

December 2019 – June 2021

Enhance IT systems to provide increased transparency for RTOs The AISC, in conjunction with SSON, provide early advice to RTOs on timeframes for TP development, including through an enhanced rolling three year National Schedule and developing options for a dynamic digital platform that interfaces with the systems used by RTOs. Tranche II

May – December 2020

Improve resources to support implementation
SSON, in conjunction with the AISC, to enhance implementation of endorsed training packages by reviewing and improving the range of instruments that support the delivery of industry standards including Companion Volumes and trialling nationally developed model-curriculum in targeted industry sectors. Tranches II and III

May 2020 – June 2021

Increase visibility of implementation timeframes
SSON, in conjunction with the AISC, to strengthen understanding of end-to-end processes for the system by undertaking research to better understand implementation timeframes and identify impediments to RTOs quickly responding to rapid changes in industry and the training system. Tranche II

May – December 2020

Enhance performance
AISC, in conjunction with SSON, to drive greater transparency and performance throughout the end-to-end system through public reporting of anticipated timeframes and the development of key performance indicators for monitoring stakeholder performance. Tranche III

January – June 2021




Media Release from Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash on 22 November 2019