Qualifications Reforms

Have your say or read feedback from stakeholders about how to improve the way we design qualifications and training in the VET sector.


We’re working with industries, unions and the vocational education and training (VET) sector to improve the way qualifications are designed. The Skills Reform includes simplifying, streamlining and rationalising national VET qualifications across industry occupation groupings and the Australian Qualifications Framework to improve Australia’s VET training system.

Qualification design trials were undertaken by three Skills Organisation Pilots covering Human Services, Digital and Mining sectors. The Skills Organisations Pilots had the opportunity to design new evidence-led approaches to qualification design in the real world, without disrupting the VET system. The trials were evaluated as part of building the evidence base required to inform the future standards and policies for national training products necessary to support a strong and adaptable national training system. Trials aimed to show evidence of:

  • Qualifications that recognise common skills, delivering broader vocational outcomes and promoting individual mobility and labour market resilience

  • A reduction in unnecessary training product duplication

  • A reduction in training product complexity

  • An enhanced relationship between training products, training needs and employment pathways

  • Greater training product flexibility and enhanced responsiveness to changing industry need

  • Improved articulation and pathways between education sectors.

For more information, please visit the Skills Organisation Pilots webpage.

Mining Skills Organisation Pilot

The Mining Skills Organisation (MSO) Pilot qualification design trial was aimed at designing better training to enable the mining sector to create new jobs and support the Australian economy. Informed by an assessment of industry need and existing training products, the MSO worked to develop a new apprenticeship for mobile plant diesel mechanics that incorporated critical skills from other occupations. This addressed and identified immediate skills need that provides learners with more career pathways.

For more information on the mining trial, visit the Mining Skills Organisation Pilot webpage.

Digital Skills Organisation Pilot

The Digital Skills Organisation (DSO) Pilot qualification design trial was aimed at ensuring digital training better met the evolving skills needs of employers and individuals. As part of the trial, the DSO worked with industry and training organisations to focus on the skills for data analysts as well as the more general digital literacy skills required by individuals, industry and employers. The trial built on the Pilot’s successful train 100 Data Analysts project which explored new and innovative opportunities for Australians to rapidly develop digital skills.

For more information on the digital trial, visit the Digital Skills Organisation Pilot webpage.

Human Services Skills Organisation Pilot

The Human Services Skills Organisation (HSSO) Pilot qualification design trial focused on the personal care worker job family for residential and in-home aged care and disability support. The trial designed job families, career pathways, occupational, training and assessment standards in order to compare an alternative model of VET qualification design to the current design approach. The trial developed a tool to support formal recognition of individuals’ skills, knowledge and experience along with mapping trial products against the requirements of the Certificate III in Individual Support.

For more information on the human services trial, visit the Human Services Skills Organisation Pilot webpage.

Qualifications Design Survey

Our Qualification Design Survey in early 2021 demonstrated strong support for the design concepts tested through the three Skills Organisation Pilot Qualification Design Trials, with 89% of respondents supporting the following design elements:

  • Qualifications based on appropriately grouped occupation and skills clusters to deliver broader vocational outcomes for students. This includes supporting stronger recognition of transferable skills across sectors.

  • Simplifying products through the separation of occupational and training standards, to reduce the level of prescriptive conditions in current qualifications, and make better use of industry and education expertise.

  • Stand-alone and/or stackable short form training products, with improved advice to support students to rapidly upskill or reskill to pursue career opportunities. This includes strengthening the pathways between school, VET, and Higher Education to support lifelong learning.

Qualifications Reform Survey

Stakeholder feedback and analysis of current qualifications informed initial thinking about how the training product design concepts might work in practice.

The Qualifications Reform Survey sought stakeholder feedback on the proposed approach to Qualification design. The survey was supported by two webinars held on 15 and 16 September 2021. Go here to find answers to some frequently asked questions raised by participants in the webinars.

You can continue to have your say by completing the Good Practice Story Submission Form to share your stories about innovation and/or effective collaboration in the VET sector.


In August 2020, the Australian, state and territory governments agreed that an immediate priority under the Heads of Agreement for Skills Reform was to simplify, rationalise and streamline national VET qualifications across industry occupation groupings and the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Better qualifications would help to strengthen the training system and the reforms could support greater employee mobility, meet the job and market demands of the future, and lead to better outcomes for employers and learners.

There are more than 1,300 qualifications in the current national training system, 13 per cent of which have zero enrolments and 50 per cent having less than 222 enrolments between 2016-2018.

The complexity of the national training system hinders employers and learners from readily identifying the qualifications and skillsets they need to gain the right skills and build their workforce. Stronger employer collaboration is needed to foster cross-sector career pathways and maximise mobility for workers.

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