Policy - Units of Competency

The Training Package Development Handbook (TPDH) has been superseded

Please Refer to the New Standards & Policies for Training Packages

On this page

  1. Access and Equity
  2. Australian Qualification Framework Alignment
  3. Coding Maintenance for Units of Competency
  4. Contextualisation of Units of Competency
  5. Endorsed Components of a Unit of Competency
  6. Imported Units of Competency
  7. Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN)
  8. Mandatory Text
  9. Mapping of Units of Competency
  10. Occupational Health and Safety
  11. Packaging Units of Competency into a Qualification
  12. Regulatory Requirements
  13. Size
  14. Transferability of Skills
  1. Access and Equity

    • Training Package developers must consider the following points when developing units of competency to ensure inclusivity for a diverse range of learners and enterprises:
      • use plain English
      • avoid using words that could invoke stereotypes, are culturally inappropriate or, create other barriers
      • include culturally specific competencies where required to achieve a workplace outcome
      • ensure range statements are sufficiently flexible to take into consideration differing work environments and individual needs
      • include non-discriminatory wording and requirements in evidence guides
      • provide advice on reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities.
  2. Australian Qualification Framework Alignment

    • Alignment to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) occurs when a group of units of competency are packaged into a viable AQF qualification or qualifications. Training Package developers must note that individual units of competency are not individually aligned to the AQF.
  3. Coding Maintenance for Units of Competency

    • Training Package developers must observe the following rules when making any changes to units of competency during the endorsement period:
      • For ISC Updates such as minor typographical changes, do not change the code or its version identifier.
      • For other ISC Updates such as amended or additional wording in the range statement or evidence guide, increment the version identifier by one, e.g. PDFCOM324A becomes PDFCOM324B.
      • For NQC Endorsement Required changes, for example those changes that alter the unit outcome or significantly change the structure and content of the unit, assign a new code and change the title.
      • If a pre-requisite unit of competency is removed, replaced or added to a unit of competency, the code of the unit of competency must be changed and the unit without the pre-requisite unit (or with a new or different pre-requisite unit) submitted as a NQC Endorsement Required change.
    • If a Training Package title and code changes, the Training Package identifier in the unit codes in that Training Package must also be changed to reflect this, and the units revert to an ‘A’ version.
    • If, after initial endorsement, a new industry sector is added to the Training Package, and existing endorsed units are used in that sector, the code of the original units must be retained.

    Transitional Note

    • Maintaining the same code throughout the life of a unit of competency will be possible when the new Training Package Content Platform becomes operational.
    • On implementation of this functionality, codes allocated before the Training Package Content Platform becomes operational will be retained indefinitely. However, the ‘A’, ’B, ’C’ component of the code will cease to be incremented, and the explicit Content Version Identifier must be used to identify a specific version of the text of that Unit of Competency.
    • New codes allocated after the Training Package Content Platform becomes operational will not include the ‘A’, ’B’, ’C’ suffix.
  4. Contextualisation of Units of Competency

    • Training Package developers can contextualise endorsed units of competency they import into a Training Package, where industry requires this to accommodate identified needs.
    • Contextualisation of endorsed units imported by Training Package developers is justified only if there are key differences to context and performance arising from licensing or industry application requirements.
    • Contextualisation can only involve providing additional information to the range statement and evidence guide, and such changes must not diminish the competency’s breadth, reduce its portability, or limit its use.
    • Where the outcomes of a contextualised unit are unchanged, the Training Package developer must retain the original unit code and title, and complete the Contextualisation Statement in the unit template.
    • Where the outcomes of a contextualised unit change, this constitutes a new unit, and the Training Package developer must assign a new unit code and title.
    • Where a Training Package developer imports units of competency that have already been contextualised, they must include the industry-specific contextualisation advice provided with the source Training Package.
    • To guide any contextualisation by RTOs, Training Package developers can also add industry-specific contextualisation advice to the mandatory contextualisation text in the Competency Standards section, but such advice must be consistent with the mandatory text.
  5. Endorsed Components of a Unit of Competency

  6. Imported Units of Competency

    • Training Package developers must include the rules for using any units of competency imported from other Training Packages; these must be consistent with the rules in the source Training Package, including the application of pre-requisite units.
    • If an imported unit of competency has a pre-requisite requirement, the pre-requisite must remain with the unit when imported into another Training Package.
    • If the pre-requisite is removed, the unit must be re-coded for inclusion in the importing industry Training Package.
    • Draft units of competency cannot be imported into Training Packages.
    • Where units of competency are imported into a Training Package, developers must retain the source Training Package’s endorsed unit code and title.
    • ISCs must ensure that the status of imported units in Training Packages is checked through continuous improvement or review processes, and that imported units are kept current through these processes.
  7. Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN)

    • Training Package developers must include language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) requirements in units of competency; these must be explicit and recognisable.
    • LLN requirements identified in units must reflect, but not exceed, those skills required for the particular work task the unit represents.
  8. Mandatory Text

    • Mandatory text for the Competency Standards component 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.
  9. Mapping of Units of Competency

    • Training Package developers must ensure that summary mapping information is provided in the Training Package showing relationships between new, revised or replaced units and their predecessors.
  10. Occupational Health and Safety

    • Training Package developers must ensure OHS requirements are embedded within units of competency.
  11. Packaging Units of Competency into a Qualification

    • Training Package developers must ensure that all units of competency contained in a Training Package are packaged within one or more qualifications (except as described in the ‘Note’ below).
    • Note: Where the Training Package developer considers that units should not be packaged in a particular qualification or listed as electives, the units may be included in the Training Package if the ISC:
      • provides evidence that including the units in this way is necessary, including a clear explanation of the reasons why, and evidence of validation by industry
      • provides evidence that State and Territory Training Authorities have been consulted about the units
      • includes, in the Case for Endorsement, information about the circumstances in which the units would be in demand, and industry expectations of their inclusion, for example that they:
        • meet a regulatory or licensing requirement
        • provide a combination to be offered as a training program or skill set
        • meet requirements for funding for delivery
        • provide pre-requisite skills
        • are beyond Vocational Graduate Certificate or Vocational Graduate Diploma qualifications.
      • specifically identifies in the Training Package those units that are not packaged in a qualification.
  12. Regulatory Requirements

    • The relationship of a unit of competency with any applicable licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements must be stated in the unit descriptor.
    • Where no such requirements exist, insert the following statement: ‘No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.’
  13. Size

    • The size of a unit of competency must:
      • reflect the complexity of skills and knowledge, and the range of activities undertaken
      • contain functions that would normally be completed by one person
      • be manageable for the purposes of training, recognition and assessment
      • not be influenced by external factors such as the time required for training.
  14. Transferability of Skills

    • Training Package developers must ensure units do not specify or are dependent on a single product, form of work organisation, or particular process or technology.
    • An appropriate range of industry-relevant products, organisational options, processes or technology specific information must be included in the range statement.

Print this page | last updated: 12 Sep 2012 2:59pm