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This glossary includes terms and abbreviations likely to be found on this site and in associated educational and training publications. Where a term has a broader general meaning, the definition given here refers to its use in the vocational education and training context.

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There are 1042 entries in the glossary.
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Term Definition
Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association(AVETRA) A national independent association of researchers in vocational education and training.
Australian Vocational Training System(AVTS) A later name for the Australian Vocational Certificate Training System (AVCTS), a precursor to the Modern Australian Apprenticeship and Traineeship System (MAATS), now known as New Apprenticeships.
Australian Workplace Agreement(AWA) A written agreement between an employer and an employee setting out the employees wages and conditions of employment. Australian Workplace Agreement s may be negotiated collectively between an employer and a group of employees, as long as they are signed by each employee who wishes to be a party to the agreement. See also Enterprise Agreement.
AUSTUDYAn income support scheme for full-time students aged 25 years and over.
AVCAustralian Vocational Certificate.
AVCCAustralian Vice-Chancellors Committee.
AVCTSSee Australian Vocational Certificate Training System.
AVETMIS Standard(Also called: AVETMISS) See Australian Vocational Education and Training Management Information Statistical Standard.
AVETRASee Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association.
AVTSSee Australian Vocational Training System.
AWASee Australian Workplace Agreement.
Award courseA course that leads to a recognised qualification.
Award restructuringThe changing of industrial awards - including the removal of obsolete classifications, a reduction in the number of classifications and the redefinition of a range of jobs under single classifications - in order to improve workplace productivity and the efficiency and flexibility of workers.
BACE(New South Wales) Board of Adult and Community Education.
Basic skillA fundamental skill that is the basis of later learning or is essential for employment.
BCABusiness Council of Australia. Benchmarks the process of comparing an organisations performance, practices and procedures with those of leaders in the same or a different field of activity, in order to identify areas for improvement.
BENBusiness Education Network.
Best practiceManagement practices and work processes that lead to outstanding or top-class performance and provide examples for others.
BIBBBundesinstitut für Berufsbildung, the German Federal Institute for Vocational Training.
Block releaseThe release of an employee from the workplace for periods of time, usually of a week or more, in order to undertake related training in an educational institution. The term applies particularly to apprentices and trainees. Compare Day release.
BOS(New South Wales) Board of Studies.
BOTPLSBridging for Overseas Trained Professionals Loan Scheme.
Bridging course(Overseas-trained professionals) Course designed to prepare participants to sit the professional examinations required for recognition of their overseas qualifications in Australia.
BSABuilding Services Authority.
BSTBusiness Services Training Australia, a national industry training advisory body.
BusinessThe collective term used to describe small and large businesses (in both private and public sectors), associations and unions, and the individuals operating within them.
BVET(New South Wales) Board of Vocational Education and Training.
CadetshipAn employment arrangement in which an employer undertakes to subsidise an employees formal training leading to certain qualifications, and in which the employee is usually required to remain with the employer for a specified period after completion of training. Source: based on Job Guide Online (
CAECouncil of Adult Education.
CAECCommunity Adult Education Centre.
CAIComputer-Aided (or computer-assisted) Instruction; see Computer-Based Training.
CALComputer-Assisted Learning.
CALLComputer-Assisted Language Learning.
Campus(Also called: vocational counselling) The process of assisting and guiding people in their career choices.
CAPCourse Advisory Panel.
Career opportunitiesThe types of jobs that may be pursued when a course is finished (career opportunities are often listed in course descriptions).
Carmichael Report(in full, The Australian Vocational Certificate Training System.) The report (published in 1992) of the Employment and Skills Formation Council, chaired by Laurie Carmichael. The report presented a strategy for meeting Australias training needs to 2001 and included recommendations for a competency-based Vocational Certificate Training System, flexible delivery arrangements, training participation and attainment targets, and provision of a training allowance.
Casual employeeAn employee who generally has no entitlement to paid holiday or sick leave and who lacks the security of ongoing employment, with each job constituting a separate contract of employment. Under some awards, casual employees are entitled to either holiday leave or sick leave.
CasualisationThe trend towards a higher proportion of casual employment in the workforce, often in place of former permanent employment arrangements.
CBAComputer-Aided (or computer-assisted) Instruction; see Computer-Based Training.
CBTSee Competency-based training and Computer-based training.
CCLClient Classification Level.
CEDEFOPEuropean Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.
CEETSee Centre for the Economics of Education and Training.
CELTA(Commonwealth) Entry Level Training Support Services.
Centre for Research and Learning in Regional Australia(CRLRA) A research centre based at the University of Tasmania , an Australia National Training Authority research partner for 2000-2002 under the Key Vocational Education and Training Research Centres National Project.
Centre for the Economics of Education and Training(CEET) A collaborative research centre of Monash University and the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), an Australia National Training Authority research partner for 2000-2002 under the Key Vocational Education and Training Research Centres National Project.
CentrelinkA statutory authority providing information and assistance relating to a range of Commonwealth Government programs, including all services formerly provided by the Department of Social Security, as well as childcare and student assistance payments and services, registration of all new applicants for income support and employment assistance, self-help job search facilities, referrals for employment assistance, and specialist labour market assistance services for disadvantaged groups.
CEOChief Executive Officer.
Certificates I-IVA set of qualifications awarded in the vocational education and training sector and recognised under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). The four levels of certificate recognise increasing levels of skill.
Certificates in General Education for Adults(CGEA) An adult basic education curriculum, covering reading and writing, oral communication, numeracy and mathematics, and general education skills.
Certificates in Spoken and Written English(CSWE) A competency-based curriculum framework developed for use in the Adult Migrant English Program.
CertificationThe formal acknowledgement of successful achievement of a defined set of outcomes.
CESCommonwealth Employment Service. Replaced by Job Network.
CESACCommonwealth Employment Service Advisory Committee. See CES.
CESOLCertificate in English for Speakers of Other Languages.
CGEASee Certificates in General Education for Adults.
Chat(Electronic classroom/Internet) A discussion session that runs for a defined period and that can be supervised and filtered.
CHRDTCentre for Human Resource Development and Training, based at the University of Melbourne. Formerly known as the Department of Vocational Education and Training (DVET).
CIRCITCentre for International Research on Communication and Information Technologies, based at RMIT University.
CITCanberra Institute of Technology.
CITABConstruction Industry Training Advisory Body.
Class contact hoursThe number of hours in any given period for which a teacher is to be in contact with classes of students.
ClientA person or organisation using a service. In vocational education and training, the client may be a student, apprentice, trainee, employer, enterprise, industry training advisory body, industry organisation, or employment organisation.
Client focusA strategy in which the needs of clients are the primary focus.
Client Service Charter(Also called: Customer Service Charter) A document setting out an organisations undertakings to improve its services to its clients and stakeholders, developed in consultation with clients and stakeholders. The body then reports annually on its performance against its service charter undertakings.
CLMRCentre for Labour Market Research, a consortium of Curtin University of Technology, Edith Cowan University , Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia.
CLWRCentre for Learning and Work Research, based at Griffith University.
CMAAClub Management Association Australia.
CMDAClub Management Development Australia.
CMLSee computer-managed learning.
Co-operative learningA learning method in which students work together in small groups.
Co-operative Research Centres Program(CRC Program) A program established to strengthen collaborative research links between industry, research organisations, educational institutions and relevant government agencies.
COAGCouncil of Australian Governments.
CodingA system to identify each training package, its component qualifications and competency units, as well as stand alone competency standards.
Collaborative activities(Electronic classroom/Internet) Activities involving a group of users interacting, sharing knowledge and ideas and working together.
College(CRICOS) An online database ( of courses and educational institutions or providers who are registered to offer courses for overseas students in Australia.
Commonwealth/State Training Advisory Committee(COSTAC) A former inter-governmental advisory body on vocational education and training which was superseded by the Vocational Education, Employment and Training Advisory Committee (VEETAC), which was itself replaced by the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA).
Community centre(Also called: community learning centre, neighbourhood centre) A place providing social, educational and recreational facilities for the community.
Community collegeAn educational institution for adults, offering a range of general, vocational, recreational and leisure courses, as well as subjects for the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education.
Community educationEducation programs which are community-based and community-directed and intended primarily for the members of the local community. See also Adult and Community Education.
Community Services and Health Training AustraliaA national industry training advisory body.
Competencies(See Unit of competency) Term that refers to multiple units of competency.
Competency(Also: competence) The ability to perform tasks and duties to the standard expected in employment.
Competency standardAn industry-determined specification of performance that sets out the skills, knowledge and attitudes required to operate effectively in employment. Competency standards are made up of units of competency, which are themselves made up of elements of competency, together with performance criteria, a range of variables, and an evidence guide. Competency standards are an endorsed component of a training package.
Competency-based assessment(CBA) The gathering and judging of evidence in order to decide whether a person has achieved a standard of competence.
Competency-based training(CBT) Training based on the requirements needed to operate effectively in industry and achieve competency standards. Competency-based training focuses on the skills and knowledge individuals have rather than on how they attained the skills and knowledge.
Competitive tenderingA system in which providers of a service bid competitively for contracts.
Compliance audit(Also: compliance assessment) An external assessment of conformity with regulatory requirements, contractual obligations or recognised quality standards. See also Audit.
Computer-Based Training(Also called: Computer-Aided Instruction) An educational method in which a computer is the primary medium for instruction and learning.
Computer-managed learning(CML) The use of computer systems and packages for managing learning, automating much of the assessment and administration associated with teaching or training programs. Computer-managed learning differs from computer-based training in that the computer is not generally used as the primary medium of delivery.
Conflict of interestAny interest, financial or otherwise, any business or professional activity, or any obligation that is incompatible with the proper discharge of duties, or has the potential to gain a financial or competitive advantage or outcome through the involvement in activities related to those duties.
ConstructivismTheory that knowledge is actively developed through the cognitive processes of the individual. By engaging prior knowledge with present learning, the teacher assists the students to build on their understanding of the world and its workings. This theory is often applied in maths and science classrooms.
ContextualisationThe addition of industry or enterprise specific information to a unit of competency to improve the standards relevance to industry.
Continuing educationEducational programs for adults, usually at the post-secondary level and offered as part-time or short courses in personal, academic or occupational subject areas.
Continuous improvementA planned process that allows an organisation to systematically review and improve the quality of its products, services and associated processes.
Contract of Training(Also called: Training Agreement) A legal agreement between an employer and an apprentice or trainee, that defines the rights and responsibilities of each party. These include the employer guaranteeing to train the apprentice or trainee in the agreed occupation or training area, and to allow time off work to attend any required off-the-job training; and the apprentice or trainee agreeing to learn all aspects of the occupation or training area, and to work for the employer for a specified period. Contracts of Training supersede indentures.
Copyright  The exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish or otherwise control the use of a work, granted to the creator, author, composer, artist, publisher, etc. for a specified period.
Core competenciesIdentifies units of competency within a competency standard that an industry has agreed is essential to be achieved if a person is to be accepted as competent at a particular level. All units may be core, but in many cases competency at a level will involve core units plus optional or specialisation units of competency. Core competencies are normally those central to work in a particular industry.
Core curriculumThat part of the curriculum that is considered essential for all students, and is usually compulsory.
Core moduleAn essential component of a course which must be completed by all students. See also Module and compare with Elective module.
Corporate educationEducational programs or services offered by business and industry, either in-house or co-operatively with an educational institution.
Correctional educationEducation or training programs provided for persons in correctional institutions, especially as part of rehabilitation programs.
COSTACSee Commonwealth/State Training Advisory Committee.
COTACouncil on the Ageing.
COTTSCommittee on TAFE and Training Statistics. No longer exists.
CourseA structured and integrated program of education or training, usually consisting of a number of modules (subjects) or shorter programs, and leading to the award of a qualification.
Course contentThe subject matter, activities, units of competency, etc. of a course of study.
Course enrolmentSee Enrolment and Course.
CoursewareComputer software and associated materials designed for educational or training purposes.
CPSC(International) Colombo Plan Staff College for Technician Education. An international, regional and inter-governmental organisation based in the Philippines.
CRAFTCommonwealth Rebate for Apprentices in Full-time Training, a subsidy to encourage employers to take on apprentices.
CRCCo-operative Research Centre; see Co-operative Research Centres Program.
CREATEAustralia Cultural Research Education and Training Enterprise Australia, a national industry training advisory body.
CredentialFormal certification issued for successful achievement of a defined set of outcomes, eg. successful completion of a course in recognition of having achieved particular knowledge, skills or competencies; successful completion of an apprenticeship or traineeship. See also Qualification.
Credit(Also called: status or advanced standing) The acknowledgement that a person has satisfied the requirements of a module (subject) or unit of competency, either through previous study (credit transfer) or through work or life experience (recognition of prior learning). The granting of credit exempts the student from that part of the course.
Credit transferThe granting of status or credit by an institution or training organisation to students for modules (subjects) or units of competency completed at the same, or through another institution or training organisation. See Credit.
CREEWCentre for Research in Education, Equity and Work, based at the University of South Australia.
CRICOSSee Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students.
Critical literacy(Also: critical literacies) Ways of looking at reading, writing, listening and speaking where the attitudes, values and beliefs that lie beneath the surface are explored to think, solve problems, and communicate. Critical literacy emphasises the external context of the learner and the learners relationship to that context.
CRLRASee Centre for Research and Learning in Regional Australia. Cross-border training delivered in a State or Territory by a provider registered in a different State or Territory. See also Mutual recognition.
CS & HTACross-industry competency standards. Units of competency that are common to a number of industries. The units of competency may be grouped to relate to certain functions of work common across those industries. They are developed by recognised competency standards bodies.
CSBCompetency Standard Body.
CSHTACommunity Services and Health Training Australia.
CSIROCommonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
CSWESee Certificates in Spoken and Written English.
CTAConstruction Training Australia, a national industry training advisory body.
CTPContracted Training Program.
Current competencyA competency currently possessed by a person. People can lose competence over time, and having been competent in the past may need further training and practice to demonstrate current competency. See also Recognition of current competencies.
CurriculumThe specifications for a course or subject (module) that describe all the learning experiences a student undergoes, generally including objectives, content, intended learning outcomes, teaching methodology, recommended or prescribed assessment tasks, assessment exemplars, etc. See also Syllabus.
Curriculum CorporationA company owned by all State, Territory and Commonwealth Ministers of Education, which facilitates curriculum development among schools. Curriculum Corporation also manages SCIS (the Schools Catalogue Information Service) a major national database.
Curriculum hoursThe teaching time deemed necessary to cover the content of a course, subject or module when undertaken in standard classroom delivery mode.
CURVECentre Undertaking Research in Vocational Education, at the Canberra Institute of Technology.
Customer Service CharterSee Client Service Charter.
CustomisationTailoring to individual requirements; (in vocational education and training) the process of tailoring a program to meet the specific needs of clients. Customised qualifications are devised by registered training organisations, created through combining competency standards drawn from two or more different endorsed training packages to create a new qualification outcome. Such qualifications must meet the requirements of the Australian Qualifications Framework, the Customisation Policy of the National Training Quality Council and the customisation advice of the relevant training packages. See also Customised course.
Customised courseA course that has been adapted to meet the needs of specific students, industries, community groups or enterprises by adding or replacing a limited number of modules, and/or tailoring the context of the activities within individual modules. See also Customisation and compare with Selected study program.
CVACanadian Vocational Association.
Day releaseThe release of an employee from the workplace, usually for one day per week, in order to undertake related training in an educational institution. The term applies particularly to apprentices and trainees. Compare Block release.
DCDublin Core.
Declared vocationA trade occupation specified in legislation, regulations, or an industrial award, for which the entrance requirement is successful completion of an apprenticeship. With the implementation of New Apprenticeships, declared vocations have been abolished in most States and Territories.
DECS(Australian Capital Territory) Department of Education and Community Services.
DEET Department of Employment, Education and Training, superseded by the Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DEETYA) which was, in turn, superseded by the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DETYA) and the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business (DEWRSB). DETYA was later superseded by the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST).
DEETYADepartment of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs, superseded by the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DETYA) and the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business (DEWRSB). DETYA was later superseded by the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST).
DegreeA qualification conferred in the higher education sector on successful completion of a course of study or as an honour. See also Australian Qualifications Framework.
Delivery and assessment strategiesA classification in the Australian Vocational Education and Training Management Information Statistical Standard that describes the method(s) used to impart the knowledge or skills required to complete a module or unit of competency.
DELTAThe Queensland Governments Direct Entry Level Training Administration database.
Demand occupation(Also called: occupation in demand) An occupation in which there is an actual or expected shortage of qualified workers.
Department of Education, Science and Training(DEST) The Commonwealth Department responsible for public and private schools and school systems, higher education institutions and research, vocational education and training, student and youth affairs, school to work transition programs, indigenous employment and education, and internationalisation of Australias education and training systems. Formerly the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DETYA), and before that: the Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DEETYA), and earlier: the Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEET).
DeregulationThe removal of regulations that control or restrict the operations of an industry or enterprise.
DESTSee Department of Education, Science and Training.
DET(Queensland and New South Wales) Department of Employment and Training.
DETAFE(South Australia) Department of Employment, Training and Further Education.
DETE  (South Australia) Department of Education, Training and Employment.
DETYADepartment of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs, superseded by the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST).
Deveson ReportIn full, Training Costs of Award Restructuring: Report of the Training Costs Review Committee. The report (published in 1990) of an independent review committee, chaired by Ivan Deveson. The report established the concept of the open training market that encourages diversity and competition amongst vocational education and training providers.
DEWRDepartment of Employment and Workplace Relations. Formerly Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business (DEWRSB).
DfEE(United Kingdom) Department for Education and Employment.
DHTVET(Cambodia) Department of Higher Technical and Vocational Education and Training.
DIACDepartment of Immigration and Citizenship.
DiplomaA qualification in the vocational education and training and higher education sectors. See also Australian Qualifications Framework.
DIRDepartment of Industrial Relations.
DisabilityA physical or mental incapacity, either congenital or resulting from an injury or illness etc.
Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA)The Australian Disability Discrimination Act 1992 aims to:
DisciplineA branch or area of learning.
Discipline groupA classification in the Australian Vocational Education and Training Management Information Statistical Standard that describes the primary content of a module, independently of the course or context in which it may be taught.
DISTDepartment of Industry, Science and Technology.
Distance education(Also called: external studies) A mode of education in which students enrolled in a course do not attend the institution, but study off-campus and may submit assignments by mail or email.
DOVE(Thailand) Department of Vocational Education.
DropoutColloquial term for a person who discontinues a program of education or training.
DRPDisability Reform Package.
DSODisability Support Officer.
DSSDepartment of Social Security (now Centrelink).
DSTODefence Science and Technology Organisation.
DTAVE(Myanmar) Department of Technical, Agricultural and Vocational Education.
DTVE(Indonesia) Directorate of Technical and Vocational Education.
Dual accreditation  (Also called: dual recognition) Recognition of a course both academically (by a school or college) and vocationally (by an employer or industry).
Dual enrolmentEnrolment of a student in two institutions at the same time.
Dusseldorp Skills ForumAn independent non-profit association aiming to stimulate innovation in education; to promote skills development in the wider community, especially in young people; and to emphasise the importance of the workforce in Australias continuing development.
DVET(Tasmania) Department of Vocational Education and Training.
e-learning account(Electronic classroom/Internet) A personal, password-protected, electronic account that provides access to email and a variety of Web services including filtered web browsing, chat, forums, list services and web publishing.
EAAEmployment Assistance Australia.
ECEuropean Commission.
ECCAEvening and Community College Association.
ECEFSee Enterprise and Careers Education Foundation.
EdNA(Also called EdNA Online or Education Network Australia) An Australian network of education services (at covering the schools, vocational education and training (VET), adult and community education (ACE), and higher education sectors. See also Limited.
EdNA VET Advisory GroupSee Flexible Learning Advisory Group.
EducationSee EdNA.
Education providerAn organisation that administers or delivers education programs particularly, but may also deliver training programs. See also Vocational education and training provider. LimitedA company owned by the Ministers of Education and Training in all States, Territories and the Commonwealth, that aims to foster collaboration and co-operation in relation to the use of the internet in education, managing Education Network Australia (EdNA) on behalf of the Australian education community. Limited was formerly known as the Open Learning Technology Corporation (OLTC) Ltd.
Educational assessmentSee Assessment.
Educational institutionAny establishment providing education, including schools, colleges, universities and institutes.
EEOEqual Employment Opportunity.
Elective moduleParts of a course which allow students to specialise by choosing those components which are most relevant to their present job or to their career plan. See also Module and compare with Core module.
Element of competency(Also: elements of competence) Any of the basic building blocks of a unit of competency that describe the key activities or elements of the work covered by the unit of study.
ELICOSEnglish Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students.
ELLS(South Australia) See English Language and Literacy Services.
ELTSee Entry-level training.
ELTECOElectrical & Electronic Industry Training Committee.
ELTSSEntry Level Training Support Services.
EmailElectronic mail. A service that allows students and staff to communicate with each other online.

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Glossary 3.0

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