Policy - Qualifications Framework

The Training Package Development Handbook (TPDH) has been superseded

Please Refer to the New Standards & Policies for Training Packages

On this page

  1. Australian Qualification Framework Alignment
  2. Coding and Titling for Qualifications
  3. Coding and Titling Maintenance for Qualifications
  4. Contextualisation of Qualifications
  5. Credit Transfer and Articulation
  6. Employability Skills Summaries
  7. Entry Requirements
  8. Importing Qualifications
  9. Mandatory Text
  10. Mapping of Qualifications
  11. Packaging Flexibility
  12. Pathways in Training Packages
  13. Skill Sets
  14. Specialisations in Qualifications
  15. Units of Competency used in more than one Qualification
  1. Australian Qualification Framework Alignment

    • Alignment to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) occurs when a group of units of competency are a viable AQF qualification or qualifications (in line with the guidance provided in the current AQF Implementation Handbook).
    • Training Package developers must ensure each AQF qualification has a distinct occupational outcome.
    • In aligning qualifications, Training Package developers must identify or verify the alignment against the AQF key work characteristic areas.
    • Because of the nature or specialisation of some qualifications Training Package developer s should clearly identify entry requirements where it is necessary for candidates to bring with them prior knowledge, skills and experience.
    • Training Package developers must consider language, literacy and numeracy requirements when packaging units of competency and aligning qualifications to the AQF.
    • Training Package developers must ensure that, when grouping units of competency:
      • units are grouped and packaged into meaningful workplace combinations reflecting complete and recognisable job roles
      • combinations of units are flexible to enable qualifications to be used by a diverse range of small, medium and large enterprises.
    • Qualifications included in the Training Package, and the qualification structure, must be clearly set out including the overall requirements to achieve the qualification with core and elective requirements clearly stated.
  2. Coding and Titling for Qualifications

    • Each qualification must be uniquely identified by the combination of its code and title.
    • Each Training Package qualification must have a unique eight-character code that conforms to the following:
      • using the code ‘ICT50308’ as an example, qualification codes must contain:
        • Training Package identifier—the ‘ICT’ identifies the Training Package
        • qualification identifier—the ‘5’, is an Arabic figure referring to the AQF qualification (the example is a Diploma qualification, noting however that Roman numerals must always be used in Certificate qualification titles)
        • sequence identifier—the ‘03’ identifies the position in the sequence of qualifications at that level (i.e. this represents the third Diploma qualification in that Training Package)
        • version identifier—the ‘08’ identifies the year in which the qualification was endorsed.
    • Training Package developers must ensure qualification titles meet the following requirements:
      • each title must be unique—do not duplicate titles within or between Training Packages
      • use no more than 100 characters, including any specialisation descriptor, in the qualification title (including spaces between words)
      • always identify the qualification by its full code and title
      • the qualification title must always reflect the identified occupational outcomes
      • use the following sequence and wording:
        • identify the qualification as Certificate I, Certificate II, Certificate III, Certificate IV, Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Vocational Graduate Certificate or Vocational Graduate Diploma
        • follow this with the words ‘in’ for Certificates and Vocational Graduate Certificates; and, ‘of’ for Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas and Vocational Graduate Diplomas
        • add the industry descriptor, for example Telecommunications, then if applicable, add the occupational or functional stream in brackets, for example (Computer Systems).
  3. Coding and Titling Maintenance for Qualifications

    • Qualification codes and titles remain the same when:
      • one or more endorsed units is added to or deleted from the electives
      • the units within a qualification are updated to a later version.
    • The qualification code’s version identifier is changed (e.g. XXX12105 becomes XXX12108), but the title of the qualification remains the same, when:
      • one or more endorsed units is added to or deleted from the core
      • a new stream is added to a qualification (which could include a number of new units)
      • there is a change in the number of units required for a qualification.
    • When qualifications are added after the Training Package endorsement, Training Package developers must ensure the version identifier (i.e. the last two numbers in the codes) of the new qualifications reflect the year of endorsement of the qualification and not the year of endorsement of the Training Package (therefore the version identifier on these codes will usually differ from those on the other Training Package qualifications).
    • Where a Training Package is reviewed, Training Package developers must ensure the version identifier of all the qualifications in the reviewed Training Package reflect the year of the review (not the year of the Training Package’s initial endorsement) and that the rest of the code sequence is retained.
  4. Contextualisation of Qualifications

    • Training Package developers must include advice on any allowable contextualisation for importing qualifications into other Training Packages.
    • Imported qualifications can only be contextualised in accordance with advice in the source Training Package.
  5. Credit Transfer and Articulation

    • Packaging of units of competency into AQF qualifications must maximise opportunities for developing credit transfer arrangements between VET and higher education qualifications where applicable, while also meeting industry needs.
  6. Employability Skills Summaries

    • An Employability Skill Summary must be provided for each qualification in the Training Package and must contain:
      • the words: ’The following table contains a summary of the Employability Skills as identified by [insert industry or enterprise detail] for this qualification. The Employability Skills facets described here are broad industry requirements that may vary depending on qualification packaging options.’
      • a table containing the eight Employability Skills with a summary of examples of contextualised Employability Skills facets; this may be a series of dot points or a single paragraph.
  7. Entry Requirements

    • Where entry requirements are identified, these are mandatory and must be clearly justified.
      Entry requirements:
      • Do not form part of a qualification for training and assessment purposes.
      • Must be achieved prior to enrolling in a qualification or being issued a qualification.
      • Must be specific to the knowledge, skills or experience required to enter a qualification.
      • Should be specified for the qualification where prior knowledge skill and experience is considered necessary.
      • Should be expressed in terms of competency, and may include licensing or industry recognised standards.
      • May be expressed as:
        • The core units of competency of a lower AQF level qualification.
        • A significant number of units of competency from a lower level qualification.
        • Specialist units of competency from a related stream.
        • Vocational expertise, including typical job roles.
        • A combination of units of competency and vocational expertise.
  8. Importing Qualifications

    • When importing qualifications from other Training Packages, developers must reference only the code and title of that qualification.
    • While the packaging rules from the source Training Package apply (to ensure the integrity of the qualification), they are not included in the Training Package into which it is imported. Instead, Training Package developers must refer the reader to the source Training Package.
  9. Mandatory Text

    • Mandatory text for the Qualification Framework section of the Training Package has been agreed by States and Territories and the Australian Government, and must be included.
    • Training Package developers must not alter the mandatory text; however contextualisation advice for a particular industry may be added at the end of the mandatory text section.
  10. Mapping of Qualifications

    • Training Package developers must list all qualifications included in the Training Package in code order, with any relationships to their predecessors clearly identified (eg differences and equivalences).
  11. Packaging Flexibility

    • Training Package developers must ensure that units of competency are packaged so that the resulting qualifications include a range of relevant competencies that industry agrees are sufficient for a broad range of typical jobs in that industry.
    • Training Package developers must give consideration to the useability and overall clarity of packaging approaches used in Training Packages to ensure that misinterpretation does not impede or confuse implementation.
    • All units of Competency in qualifications are to be described as either ‘core’ or ‘elective’.
    • Combinations of electives that result in particular specialisations to be called ‘Groups’ and labelled alphabetically e.g. Group A, Group B.
    • The proportion of elective choice in all qualifications must be one third or more of total units required to gain a qualification, rounded up or down to the nearest whole unit (see notes under next point).
    • The proportion of electives in all qualifications that can be sourced from other qualifications within the host Training Package, another Training Package, or from accredited courses, must be one sixth or more of the total units required to gain a qualification, rounded up or down to the nearest whole unit.

      Note 1: Developers can not increase the size of qualifications in order to comply with the elective requirements.

      Note 2: The National Quality Council may consider and grant exemptions from the elective requirements in response to a compelling business case within a Case for Endorsement.

    • Qualifications for licensed occupations and traditional trades are exempt from the above two dot points regarding elective requirements. Note on transition: For the new ‘Packaging Flexibility’ rules introduced from 1 January 2010 transition arrangements apply to 31 March 2010.

  12. Pathways in Training Packages

    • Training Package developers must provide advice on pathways (eg Australian Apprenticeships and VET in Schools) for qualifications within the Training Package.
    • If a qualification cannot be achieved through an Australian Apprenticeship, an explanation must be included in the qualification advice in the Training Package and the Case for Endorsement.
    • Pathways are generally defined as a path or sequence of learning or experiences that can be followed to attain competency. They also describe the way in which training and assessment is undertaken in an education or training program.
    • Specific pathways are not mandatory and may vary depending on the qualification or training program, and the needs of the individual.
    • Pathway advice should be provided in the Training Package in relation to requirements before, during and after training (in acknowledgment that learners can achieve the requirements of a qualification in various ways).
  13. Skill Sets

    Training Package developers must determine the need for Skill Sets in Training Packages.

    • Skill Sets are defined as single units of competency, or combinations of units of competency from an endorsed Training Package, which link to a licensing or regulatory requirement, or a defined industry need.
    • Skill Sets must include:
      • the disclaimer ‘Readers should ensure that they have also read the part of the Training Package that outlines licensing and regulatory requirements’
      • advice about other requirements or regulations that may need to be met such as any requirements for Australian citizenship or evidence of a certain period of work experience or an age requirement (e.g. liquor service)
      • advice about logical clustering of units for the Skill Set in meeting industry needs
      • advice about a Skill Set’s relationship with a qualification.
    • Skill Sets must not purport to be qualifications or include elective units.
  14. Specialisations in Qualifications

    • Where a qualification specialisation results in a significant change of the outcome of the occupational outcome of the qualification, the specialisation must have a separate code.
    • Qualification specialisations must be clearly defined.
  15. Units of Competency used in more than one Qualification

    • When packaging the same unit of competency across two or more AQF qualification outcomes, Training Package developers must be sure that the combination of skills and the workplace application are the same.
    • If the units of competency does not meet the qualification outcomes, a new unit must be considered.

Print this page | last updated: 22 Oct 2012 11:15am