Glossary of Training Terms and Abbreviations



Refers to courses developed by Registered Training Organisations and approved by the accreditor. They are nationally recognised.


Australian National Training Authority. Now abolished and its tasks transferred to the Department of Education Science and Training, which is now the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR)


The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), a system of qualifications that ranges from certificates for the simplest menial skill up to postgraduate research qualifications


Australian Quality Training Framework, predecessor to the Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations, which is part of the ASQA quality framework.


Australian Skills Quality Authority, the ACAS accreditation agency


Australian Recognition Framework, the predecessor to the AQTF


Australian Skills Quality Authority. ACAS's national accreditor since its accreditation was moved from the state-based Training Accreditation Council of WA.


Examination by any valid means. It does not mean only a written test, but can also be observation, interview, portfolio, references, etc.




Competency Based Assessment


Competency Based Training


Competency Based Training and Assessment


Refers to courses developed by industry in consultation with government and nationally approved.


Department of Education Science and Training, the federal department that oversaw training at national level and was renamed DEEWR.


Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.


Documentation (or sometimes artifacts) that support or demonstrate that the student has the required skills or abilities. It is often based on observed performance.


A comparison of two sets of requirements, normally written. The most common forms are to (1) lay out lists side by side and (2) embed references within one document to the other document.
Other forms of mapping are (3) colour coding on one document to refer to the other, (4) diagrams, and (5) narratives show how one document was developed to produce the other.


Checking to ensure that assessments of the same outcomes are consistent between assessors and between different groups of students.


A module is laid out quite differently from a unit of competency. The module represents a fairly inflexible, one-dimensional slab of knowledge. (Contrast "Unit".) Modules seem to have beocome obsolete.


Nationally Recognised Training (the ANTA logo which RTOs may use on recognized courses)


Goal, aim or objective. The trend is now to use the rather unwieldy term Element of competency (abbreviated to become Element).


One of the award levels of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF )


Recognition of Current Competencies. It once meant the same as RPL, but now sometimes means confirming whether or not certified competencies are still current.


The institutional approval given to an RTO (contr. "accredited" and "endorsed")

Registered Training Organisation (RTO)

An approved institution, which can be anything from a large college to a lone person who has contracted to comply with registration requirements.


Registered Training Organisation

Required Knowledge

Also often called "Essential knowledge" It is knowledge that you are required to assess.

Report or Project

Essay, practical report, or thesis


Recognition of Prior Learning. This is assessment of skills regardless of how they were acquired. It does not refer to transfer credit, although unrecognized credit from other insitutions may be assessed using RPL procedures.


The range of courses that an RTO is approved to offer.

Standards for National Recognition

ASQA's quality standard. The content is almost exactly the same as the AQTF, but it has the status of legislative instrument. Besides, ASQA can add any rules they like to it at any time, also with the status of legislative instrument.


People who depend in some way on the success of the program, so have a right to some kinds of information or a say in how it is run

Statement of Attainment

A kind of transcript of transferable credit.


Training Accreditation Council of WA, ACAS's accreditor before it moved to ASQA.


Lecturer, teacher

Unit of Competency

A layout for describing a skill area that might apply to a number of different occupations, making it very flexible. Hence the name Unit of Competency. It is more usually just called a unit, but some hard-core jargonists call it a UoC (pronounced "you-okk"). It is the smallest unit for which a statement of attainment may be issued. Contrast Module.


This term has several distinct meanings:

  • The process of checking that the contents of an assessment comply with the unit of competency.
  • The process of checking that an assessment procedure is sound and appropriate.
  • The same as moderation. (See above.)