Broader qualifications that lead to more than one job outcome

To support a modern economy the Australian workforce needs to be both geographically and occupationally mobile.  To support this, the national training system has an important role to play in skilling the workforce.

The Review of Training Packages and Accredited Courses found that some training package qualifications could be designed in a way that would better support occupational mobility by allowing for an easier transition from one related qualification to another.

For example, to move between related occupations an individual may need to add to their existing Certificate III level qualification by undertaking a second Certificate III. To help an individual to reskill, the system provides for recognition of prior learning (RPL) which recognises the relevant skills and knowledge an individual has already gained.  However, the consultation process indicated that there are issues with the availability, quality and cost of RPL processes. 

To help address this issue, some industries have already taken action to design qualifications that better support individuals to move within and between different industries over their careers without the need for RPL. 

An example of a qualification that does this is the new Certificate III in Individual Support. This new qualification is designed to provide a core set of units with specialisations in ageing, disability, or home and community support through the choice of electives.  All electives chosen must contribute to a valid, industry-supported vocational outcome.

This approach to qualification design will allow an individual to undertake the qualification and work in their area of specialisation.  It also allows them to move into one of the other two occupations by undertaking the relevant electives rather than by completing a completely new Certificate III level qualification.  For example, an individual could complete a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) and then undertake the disability electives which would result in the Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Disability).

The new arrangements for training package development provide a greater opportunity to seek industry advice about the best ways to design qualifications within their industry to support occupational mobility.

Where it suits industry’s needs, Industry Reference Committees will be able to work with their Skills Service Organisations to develop qualifications that are designed to allow people to reskill and upskill quickly by undertaking an additional specialised skill set rather than an entire qualification.