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Term Meaning

Activity order

An order issued by the Commonwealth to the Skills Service Organisation (SSO), under the direction of an Industry Reference Committee (IRC), to perform the development or review of a training package, qualification or unit of competency.

Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC)

Committee of industry leaders appointed to advise Government on the skills and knowledge industry needs, now and into the future. The AISC provides this industry perspective to ministers through the Skills Council. This helps ensure the national training system provides the qualifications, knowledge and skill sets that industry needs to meet industry needs.

AISC Secretariat

Secretariat assisting the functioning of the AISC, within the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

Australian Qualifications Framework

National policy for regulated qualifications in Australian education and training. Incorporates the qualifications from each education and training sector into a single comprehensive national qualifications framework.

Case for change

Part of the IRCs skills forecasts. Sets out evidence for proposed changes to a training package, including the scope of the research, analysis and industry engagement undertaken to collate the evidence base. Prepared by an SSO under direction of an IRC. Assessed by the AISC Secretariat then submitted to the AISC.

Case for endorsement

Sets out the rationale for proposed changes to a training package, including evidence of consultation with the states and territories and evidence that all stakeholder views have been considered. Prepared by an SSO under direction of an IRC. Submitted to the AISC through the AISC Secretariat.

Industry Reference Committee (IRC)

Formal channels for considering industry skills requirements when developing training packages. The AISC relies on advice from over 60 IRCs, made up of experts in different industry sectors from across Australia. IRCs advise the AISC about their industry sector skills needs, oversee development and review of training packages and promote VET with their sector.

Industry sector

Groups of similar or related business that share common markets, technologies and worker skills needs.

National schedule

Details all training package review and development work currently underway, as commissioned by the AISC following advice from its network of IRCs. Source of information for industry stakeholders, governments and VET regulators. 

National training system

Australian system for VET aimed to provide people with the work-ready skills and qualifications needed to keep Australia’s industry sectors productive and competitive. The VET 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 (RTOs)

Training providers registered by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (or in some cases, a state regulator) to deliver VET. Defined under the National Vocational and Education Training Regulator Act 2011 (Commonwealth).

Skills forecast and proposed schedule of work

An IRC’s four-year skills forecast and proposed schedule of work. Covers industry analysis, analysis of new and emerging skills and associated training needs for the IRC’s industry sector, as well as a proposed plan for reviewing and developing the relevant training products. Prepared by an SSO under direction of an IRC.

Skills National Reform Committee (The Skills Committee)

The Skills Committee was established by the National Cabinet to support the ongoing reforms to Vocational Education and Training (VET) outlined in the Heads of Agreement on Skills Reform, including:

  • simplifying, rationalising and streamlining national VET qualifications across industry occupation clusters and the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), and introducing improved industry engagement arrangements
  • strengthening quality standards, building Registered Training Organisations’ (RTOs) capacity and capability for continuous improvement and developing a VET workforce quality strategy.
  • working together collaboratively, including sharing data, to develop the new National Skills Agreement to replace the NASWD.

Skills Service Organisation (SSO)

Independent, professional service organisations that support IRCs in their work developing and reviewing training packages. Funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills, and Employment to provide services to IRCs, including secretariat support and preparing documentation. Also a key access point for other industry stakeholders who want to play a part in the development of training packages.

Skill sets

Single unit of competency or logical groupings of units of competency from an endorsed training package, linked to a licensing or regulatory requirement, or defined industry need.

Standards for Training Packages 2012

Standards to ensure all training packages are of high quality and meet the workforce development needs of industry, enterprises and individuals. Apply to the design and development of training packages for endorsement by the Skills Council.

Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)

In the course of the development and maintenance of training packages, an IRC may, through its SSO, establish and work through one or more Technical Advisory Committees (TACs).

A TAC may include technical industry experts, industry associations, regulators and training providers, and can assist the IRC by providing technical input to the review and development of training packages.

The establishment of a TAC is not subject to approval by the AISC and may be done on an ad-hoc basis as the need arises.

Training packages

Specify the skills and knowledge required to perform effectively in the workplace. Consist of occupational skills standards, set out in units of competency. Reflect nationally consistent qualifications required for particular occupations.

Training Package Development and Endorsement Process Policy

Sets out the key principles for training package development and endorsement and provides guidance for training package developers in relation to Standard 3 from the Standards for Training Packages 2012.