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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 and the 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 as an immediate priority, to strengthen the training system and support Australia’s immediate recovery.

Read the Ministerial Statement – 9 October 2020.

Qualification design trials are being run through three Skills Organisation Pilots covering Human Services, Digital and Mining, industry-led organisations funded by the Australian Government who are leading innovative projects to improve Australia’s VET system.

The Skills Organisations Pilots will trial new evidence-led approaches to qualifications, with a focus on what will better meet the needs of employers and learners now and into the future.

Trials will aim to achieve the following goals:

  • 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 on Skills Organisation Pilots, visit the Skills Organisation Pilots webpage

Mining Skills Organisation Pilot

The Mining Skills Organisation Pilot (MSOP) qualification design trial is 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 MSOP will work to develop a new apprenticeship for mobile plant diesel mechanics that incorporates critical skills from other occupations. This will address an immediate skills need that has been identified by the mining industry and provide 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 is undertaking a qualification design trial to ensure digital training better meets the evolving skills needs of employers and individuals. As part of the trial, the DSO will work 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 builds on the Pilot’s successful train 100 Data Analysts project which explored new and innovative opportunities for Australians to rapidly develop digital skills. Read more about the trial here.

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

Human Services SO Qualifications Trial

The Human Services Skills Organisation (HSSO) is undertaking a qualification design trial focusing on the personal care worker job family for residential and in-home aged care and disability support. The trial will design 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 will develop 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. Lessons will be drawn from these exploratory project materials which may inform future qualification policy.

Qualification Design Trials evaluation

Trials provide an opportunity to design and test evidence-led approaches to training product design in the real world, without disrupting the VET system. The trials will be evaluated to build 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.

Qualifications Design Survey

We want to hear your views on how vocational education and training (VET) qualifications could be redesigned to better meet the current and future training needs of employers and learners.

Our previous Qualification Design Survey in early 2021 demonstrated strong support for the design concepts being tested through 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 has informed initial thinking about how the training product design concepts might work in practice.

You can find out more about the proposed approach to qualification design by viewing the overview diagrams and reading the explanatory notes.

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.

to some frequently asked questions raised by participants in the recently held webinars. Please note, the answers reflect the proposed model outlined in the overview diagrams and explanatory notes. The model is conceptual, and answers are preliminary.

Thank you to everyone who completed the survey that recently closed on 27 September 2021. Your feedback and insights are valuable and the survey data is informing qualification design advice to Skills Ministers.

Watch this space for updates on the results of the Qualifications Reform Survey.

Another way to have your say is to complete the Good Practice Story Submission Form to share your stories about innovation and/or effective collaboration in the VET sector.


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

Better qualifications will help to strengthen the training system and support Australia’s immediate recovery from COVID-19. Reforms could also support greater employee mobility, to meet the job and market demands of the future, leading 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.

Read more in the discussion paper.

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