Terms of Reference

Australian Industry and Skills Committee

Purpose

The Australian Industry and Skills Committee is established by the agreement of the members of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Industry and Skills Council as an industry-led body that provides advice on the implementation of national vocational education and training policies. The Committee’s role is to provide advice to ensure that the directions taken by ministers are informed by an industry-based perspective focused on the quality and relevance of the national training system. Where required, the Committee will be delegated the authority to approve industry-defined training qualifications.

Functions

The functions of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee are to:

  • Advise on the implementation of national training policies;
  • Quality assure and approve training packages for implementation;
  • Oversee the process for development and approval of accredited training;
  • Provide direction on the national vocation education and training (VET) sector research priorities, including the work of the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER);
  • Provide advice to the COAG Industry and Skills Council on training provider and regulator standards
  • Coordinate industry engagement through the COAG Industry and Skills Council meetings; and
  • Undertake work as directed by the COAG Industry and Skills Council.

Functions of the Committee may alter as reforms to the development of industry-based training qualifications are agreed. Revised functions, where considered major, would be agreed by COAG Industry and Skills Council members.

Membership

Members of the Committee will undertake the functions as outlined above and will be comprised of twelve members with significant industry experience, as follows:

  • Chair – Commonwealth nominee;
  • Industry peak body nominee – to be rotated annually between the Business Council of Australia (BCA), the Australian Industry Group (AIG) and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI);
  • Ministerial VET Advisory Board nominee - Commonwealth nominee;
  • Commonwealth nominee;
  • Australian Capital Territory nominee;
  • New South Wales nominee;
  • Northern Territory nominee;
  • Queensland nominee;
  • South Australian nominee;
  • Tasmanian nominee;
  • Victorian nominee; and
  • Western Australian nominee.

All members should be drawn from industry and have an understanding of the vocational education and training sector.

Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the Chair of the Committee and all members are as follows:

  • Providing expert advice on matters related to the implementation of national training policies.
  • On delegation from ministers, overseeing quality assurance processes and approval of industry-defined training qualifications, presently in the form of training packages. Approvals will be based on agreed endorsement processes to ensure industrydefined qualifications within training packages meet quality benchmarks. This will involve consideration of the implementation of the 2012 training package development standards and their impact on quality.
  • Advising the Council via regular reports from the Committee, on the operation of Standards (including the Standards for Registered Training Organisations, VET Regulators, Standards Training Packages and VET Accredited Courses). This includes provision of advice on consideration of any proposed changes to these Standards, considering research priorities for the VET sector and providing research directions which will guide work in the sector, including NCVER’s research program.
  • Providing an industry perspective on the vocational education and training sector, informed by consultation.

Expectations on Members

The Chair and members of the Committee, in fulfilling their roles are expected to:

  • Declare any real or potential conflicts of interest prior to appointment and during membership of the Committee, if and as conflicts arise.
  • Ensure the appropriate and proper use of information obtained through membership of the Committee.
  • Respect the diverse views and capacities of all members.
  • Contribute to consensus decision-making.

As required and with the Chair’s approval, other experts may be invited to attend and speak to specific agenda items at Committee meetings – for example, presentation of outcomes on a specific project or provision of information relevant to discussions.

Support from Officials

The Committee will work jointly with Skills Senior Officials Network from the Commonwealth, states and territories to ensure that policy advice and decisions consider perspectives from all jurisdictions. There will be two ex officio members on the Committee; one nominated by the Commonwealth and one jointly nominated by the states and territories. The role of ex officio members is to provide a link to the Skills Senior Officials Network and be able to provide government perspectives where requested by the Committee. There will also be the capacity for the Committee and the Skills Senior Officials Network to meet to facilitate the sharing of views and forming of advice to ministers.

Meeting arrangements

The Committee is expected to meet in-person at least six times per year, and where required, conduct out of session business.

Secretariat support will be provided to the Committee by the Commonwealth.

Operational arrangements

Committee members will be reimbursed by their jurisdiction for reasonable travel costs. The Commonwealth will reimburse the industry peak body member. Commonwealth members who are employees of a business will receive sitting fees set by the Commonwealth Remuneration Tribunal. Other payments to state and territory members are at the discretion of their jurisdiction.

Engagement with the Sector and stakeholders

The secretariat will establish processes on behalf of the Committee to engage with stakeholders in the sector to furnish advice for the Committee’s consideration.

Review

The role of the Committee and its ongoing functions will be subject to review by members of the COAG Industry and Skills Council as is agreed appropriate.