In Australia accredited training can take on different meaning based upon the perspective of the individual; for example accredited training for an employee may be training which has been approved by the organisation, within a university environment it usually means that the training will contribute towards an enrolled degree etc.
However and most commonly the term accredited training is used to differentiate course within the Vocational Education and Training (VET) environment. It is also referred to as Nationally Recognised Training. In this context accredited training generally leads to a nationally recognised qualification or unit of competency which can only be issued by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).
Non-accredited training refers to training which may not be recognised outside the entity delivering the training. Non-accredited training doesn’t have to comply with national standards or deliver against quality outcomes.
An easy example to contrast accredited versus non-accredited training would be:
I am wishing to start a business delivering a suite of training courses to improve the skills of those working as new supervisors. There is nothing stopping me writing some content, getting some students and having a great business. Technically I can write what I want, assess if I want to and issue certificates of completion. However when one of my students attaches the certificate to their resume, it may be meaningless to an employer as they are unaware of the program, what the student has learnt and what skills they have demonstrated. This would be an example of non-accredited training.
If I were to start the business to deliver nationally recognised training my approach to business would be a little different. I would have to demonstrate capability and meet strict quality requirements, be approved and registered by a registering body (ASQA) and apply to have the Certificate IV in Frontline Management added to the business’s scope of registration. I would then have to ensure that the training and assessments were congruent with the requirements of the qualification. As you can see the process is much more involved, but the benefits are that when a student adds the Certificate IV in Frontline Management to their resume, employers can identify exactly what skills the candidate has demonstrated in order to attain the qualification.
Accredited or Nationally Recognised Training aligns with an Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level. This applies to both units of competence and qualifications. The AQF level can normally be found in the codes, for example the code for the Diploma of Management is BSB51107 ; the first 3 letters refer to the training package (see below) and the “5” shows the AQF level. AQF level 5 means it is at Diploma level. See the qualification and unit codes article for further information.
Nationally Recognised Training courses can be identified through association with the NRT logo. This communicates that this training course is nationally recognised. Just note that whilst nationally recognised training must be delivered by an RTO, not all courses delivered by RTO’s are nationally recognised. As the NRT logo should be used only to reflect nationally recognised training it should assist in differentiating the recognition of the training.
There are 2 further types of nationally recognised or accredited training; the first is found in the form of training packages and the second are called accredited courses.
- Training packages contain qualifications and units which are aligned to specific work and employment outcomes. Training packages aim to group nationally recognised training by industry, for example all nationally recognised training for the sports and fitness are housed within SIS10 – Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package, similarly for Business which is where the majority of Scope Training’s courses originate are contained within BSB07 – Business Services Training Package. If a registered training organisation (RTO) wishes to issue qualifications from these packages they need to formally add it to their scope of registration through the Australia Quality Skills Authority (ASQA) or their accreditation council.
- Accredited Courses are courses developed by RTO’s to fill an industry, enterprise, educational , legislative or community need not currently addressed by the existing contents of training packages. Accredited courses appear to be the same as courses from training packages, the biggest difference is the copyright remains the intellectual property of the entity who accredited the course. This may be a public or private RTO. If another RTO wishes to issue qualifications or units from these accredited courses they require approval from the course owner.