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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
MOUMemorandum of Understanding.
MOVEETMinisters of Vocational Education, Employment and Training, a former council of Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers, superseded by the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA).
MP3 electronic filesAn MP3 file is an audio file which has been compressed to remove sound that the human ear cannot perceive and make the file smaller and easier to send over the internet.
MRSee Mutual Recognition.
MSQACMigrant Skills and Qualifications Advisory Committee.
MSQSMigrant Skills and Qualifications Services.
MSQUMigrant Skills and Qualifications Unit.
MTIAMetal Trades Industry Association of Australia, now part of the Australian Industry Group.
Multi-skillingTraining workers in a number of skills, enabling them to perform a variety of tasks or functions across traditional boundaries. Multi-skilling may be horizontal (broad skilling), vertical (upskilling) or diagonal (contributory skilling).
Mutual recognition feature of the Australian Quality Training Framework that allows a registered training organisation (RTO) registered in one State or Territory to operate in another without a further registration process; qualifications and statements of attainment issued by any registered training organisation to be accepted and recognised by all other registered training organisations; and training packages endorsed by the National Training Framework Committee to be delivered by all registered training organisations registered to do so.
NANew Apprenticeships.
NAAPNew Apprenticeships Access Program. See Access Program.
NAATINational Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters.
NACSee New Apprenticeships Centre.
NAC InfoServiceA Web site ( providing information on training packages for New Apprenticeships Centres.
NACSRNational Advisory Committee on Overseas Skills Recognition.
NACVETSSee National Advisory Committee on Vocational Education and Training Statistics.
NASNational Art School.
NASSSee New Apprenticeships Support Services.
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy(AEP) Australias national policy on indigenous education. This policy has the primary objective of bringing equity into education for indigenous Australians.
National accreditation principlesA set of eight principles with which all accredited courses comply. The principles include the requirement for accredited courses to fit into the Australian Qualifications Framework; to meet industry, enterprise or community needs; to have flexible structures and a variety of delivery options; to have the potential to be customised for specific groups; to be designed to enable articulation and credit transfer wherever possible; to have fair, valid and reliable assessment; and to have unrestricted access to all types of students from a variety of backgrounds where possible. There is also a requirement that courses are reviewed regularly to ensure they are kept up to date. See also Accreditation.
National Advisory Committee on Vocational Education and Training Statistics(NACVETS) An advisory committee to the ANTA Board on the collection and reporting of vocational education and training statistics. It replaced the Australian Committee on Vocational Education and Training Statistics (ACVETS), and is now called the National Training Statistics Committee (NTSC).
National Assessors and Workplace Trainers Body(NAWTB) A project group of Business Services Training Australia providing information, services and support for competency-based workplace training and assessment.
National Board of Employment, Education and Training(NBEET) A former body whose role was to provide co-ordinated, independent advice to the Minister for Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs.
National Centre for Vocational Education Research(NCVER) A national research, evaluation and information organisation for the vocational education and training (VET) sector in Australia, jointly owned by the Commonwealth, State and Territory ministers responsible for vocational education and training. As well as conducting VET research and evaluation on national projects, and commissioning and managing the National Vocational Education and Training Research and Evaluation Program (NVETRE), NCVER provides research, development and implementation assistance on a commercial consulting basis. NCVER also collects and disseminates national vocational education and training statistics and manages a program of surveys of vocational education and training graduate students and employers. NCVER disseminates information on vocational education and training through the Vocational Education and Training Research Database, library and clearinghouse, conferences, workshops, sales of printed publications and maintenance of a Web site (
National Compentency StandardsStandards encompassing the skills and knowledge persons must be able to demonstrate at work. National competency standards are defined by industry and packaged into combinations to form various qualifications aligned to the Australian Qualifications Framework. See also: Unit of competency and Standard.
National Consistency Advisory Committee(NCAC) A committee established by the ANTA Ministerial Council. Reporting to the ANTA Board, the NCAC was working towards achieving a fully integrated national vocational education system. The NCAC was the principal consultation mechanism for work on issues identified in the June 2000 report to the ANTA Ministerial Council on national consistency.
National Employment and Training Taskforce(Also called: NETTFORCE) A former body whose role was to encourage industry involvement in training.
National Framework for the Recognition of Training(NFROT) A framework that established national principles for accreditation of courses, registration of training providers, credit transfer, recognition of prior learning, and assessment. Replaced by the Australian Recognition Framework (ARF), and the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF).
National Managed Research and Evaluation ProgramSee National Vocational Education and Training Research and Evaluation Program.
National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition(NOOSR) A branch of the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) that provides information, advice and assistance in relation to the recognition of overseas qualifications and skills, and assists other countries in recognising Australian qualifications.
National ProfilesBroad bands (levels) which characterise general stages of development and specifications that students are expected to learn at each stage.
National qualificationA national recognised qualification that a person can receive when assessed as competent in a combination of competency standards.
National Reporting System(NRS) A national framework for reporting outcomes of adult English language, literacy and numeracy programs.
National Research and Evaluation Committee(NREC) A committee overseeing the National Managed Research and Evaluation Program (also known as: National Vocational Education and Training Research and Evaluation Program or NVETRE) funded through Australian National Training Authoritys Research and Evaluation National Project. The National Managed Research and Evaluation Program was formerly overseen by the ANTA Research Advisory Council (ANTARAC).
National Research Centre on Vocational Education and Training for Young PeopleA collaborative research centre of the University of Melbourne and RMIT University. An Australian National Training Authority research partner for 2000 - 2002 under the Key Vocational Education and Training Research Centres National Project.
National Training Board(NTB) A former company owned by the Commonwealth, States and Territories and responsible for ratifying vocational competency standards. The NTB amalgamated with the Australian Committee for Training Curriculum (ACTRAC) to form the Standards and Curriculum Council (SCC), which was subsequently replaced by ANTAs National Training Framework Committee, and then the National Training Quality Council.
National Training FrameworkThe system of vocational education and training that applies nationally. It is made up of the Australian Quality Training Framework and nationally endorsed training packages.
National Training Information Service(NTIS) An online database (at developed by the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA), providing information on vocational education and training in Australia, including details of training packages, competency standards, assessment guidelines, courses, qualifications, and registered training organisations.
National Training Quality Council(NTQC) Previously National Training Framework Committee. Endorses training packages and advises the ANTA Board on policies to ensure quality and national consistency of training outcomes and the relevance of training to industry and regional needs.
National Training Reform Agenda(NTRA) A term given to a series of reforms in vocational education and training designed to improve the competitiveness of Australian industry. Introduced by Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments from about 1990, and later overseen by the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA).
National Training Statistics Committee(NTSC) A committee that provides advice to the ANTA Board on the collection and reporting of vocational education and training statistics. This committee replaced the National Advisory Committee on Vocational Education and Training Statistics (NACVETS).
National Vocational Education and Training Clearinghouse Information NetworkA national network of 12 clearinghouses, including one in New Zealand, holding detailed information about vocational education and training research, policy and practice in Australia and internationally, with emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region. The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) acts as the National Clearinghouse and co-ordinates the network. Materials available from the clearinghouses are entered and indexed in the Vocational Education and Training Research Database (VOCED) produced by the National Clearinghouse and available online at
National Vocational Education and Training Research and Evaluation Program(NVETRE) Also called: National Managed Research and Evaluation Program. A program of research funded by the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA), overseen by the National Research and Evaluation Committee (NREC), and managed by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) since 1997. NCVER commissions and manages the program of research and disseminates the results to stakeholders.
National WRAPSNational Wholesale, Retail and Personal Services Industry Training Council.
Nationally Recognised Training logoThe approved logo used to signify that training and assessment products and services meet the requirements agreed to under the National Training Framework.
NATMISSNational Management Information and Statistical System, superseded by other arrangements.
NAWTBSee National Assessors and Workplace Trainers Body.
NBEETSee National Board of Employment, Education and Training.
NCAELLSNational Collaborative Adult English Language and Literacy Strategy.
NCAPNew Careers for Aboriginal People.
NCRVE(United States) National Center for Research in Vocational Education.
NCVERSee National Centre for Vocational Education Research.
Neighbourhood centre(Also called: neighbourhood house or community centre) A place at which social, educational, recreational, and other activities are provided for the community.
NEISNew Enterprise Incentive Scheme. Commonwealth Government scheme to help unemployed people to build successful small businesses.
NESBNon-English Speaking Background.
NETTFORCESee National Employment and Training Taskforce.
New ApprenticeshipsAn umbrella term for the new national apprenticeship and traineeship arrangements that came into effect on 1 January 1998. The main characteristics of New Apprenticeships include a contract of training between employer and apprentice or trainee, public funding and support for employers, choice of training provider, a wider range of occupations and industries than previously, competency-based training using national training packages, apprenticeships in schools, and a continued role for group training companies.
New Apprenticeships Access ProgramSee Access Program.
New Apprenticeships Centre(NAC) An organisation providing advice and assistance to apprentices, trainees and employers with training arrangements, training agreements and financial incentives under the New Apprenticeships system.
New Apprenticeships Support Services(NASS) Support services provided to an apprentice, employer, or other interested person under the terms of a contract between the New Apprenticeships Centre and the Commonwealth.
Newstart AllowanceA government allowance paid to unemployed people who are actively seeking paid work and are participating in activities designed to assist their employment prospects, e.g. undertaking approved training or approved voluntary work.
NFESee Non-Formal Education.
NFITABNational Finance Industry Training Advisory Body.
NFROTSee National Framework for the Recognition of Training.
NHMRCNational Health and Medical Research Council.
NIEFNational Industry Education Forum.
NILSNational Institute of Labour Studies, a research centre based at the Flinders University of South Australia.
Nominal hoursThe total number of hours involved in course delivery. See also Nominal hours (supervised), Nominal hours (unsupervised) and Typical attendance.
Nominal hours (supervised)The hours of supervised learning or training deemed necessary to cover the educational material in a training program when undertaken in standard classroom delivery mode.
Nominal hours (unsupervised)The hours of unsupervised learning or training deemed necessary to cover the educational material associated with the delivery of a training program. These hours include the time spent in work experience, industry placement or field placement.
Non-complianceIn relation to registered training organisations, means failure to comply with one or more of the Australian Recognition Framework Standards for registered training organisations.
Non-endorsed componentThe parts of a training package not required to be endorsed by the National Training Framework Committee, including support materials for learning, training, assessment, and professional development. Also known as optional component, unendorsed component
Non-formal education(NFE) Organised education and training outside the formal education system. Compare Informal education.
Non-standard employmentEmployment other than permanent full-time employment, including part-time, temporary, casual, on-call, self-employed, freelance, consulting and contracting arrangements.
NOOSRSee National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition.
NRACNational Research Advisory Council.
NRECSee National Research and Evaluation Committee.
NRSSee National Reporting System.
NSDCNational Staff Development Committee.
NSWFITCNew South Wales Food Industry Training Council.
NTBSee National Training Board.
NTCENorthern Territory Certificate of Education. See also Senior Secondary Certificate of Education.
NTETANorthern Territory Employment and Training Authority.
NTFSee National Training Framework.
NTFCNational Training Framework Committee.
NTISSee National Training Information Service.
NTMRCNational Training Markets Research Centre, a former collaborative research centre of the National Centre for Vocational Education Research and the National Institute of Labour Studies Inc.
NTRASee National Training Reform Agenda.
NTSNational Training Strategy.
NTSCSee National Training Statistics Committee.
NUEITABNational Utilities and Electrotechnology Industry Training Advisory Body Ltd.
NumeracyThe ability to cope mathematically with the demands of everyday life.
NVETRESee National Vocational Education and Training Research and Evaluation Program.
NVETSNational Vocational Education and Training System.
NVQ(United Kingdom) National Vocational Qualification.
NZQANew Zealand Qualifications Authority.
Occupation in demand(Also called: demand occupation) An occupation in which there is an actual or expected shortage of qualified workers.
ODEOPEOffice of the Director of Equal Opportunity in Public Employment.
ODLAASee Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia.
OECDOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
OETOccupational English Test.
Off-the-job trainingTraining that takes place away from a persons job, usually off the premises, e.g. at TAFE, but may be on the premises, e.g. in a special training area. Compare On-the-job training and see also Work experience.
OHSOccupational Health and Safety.
OLASee Open Learning Australia.
OLIMCHOpen Learning Information and Materials Clearing House, based at the Adelaide Institute of TAFE.
OLMOccupational Labour Market.
OLMAOffice of Labour Market Adjustment.
OLTCOpen Learning Technology Corporation Ltd, now known as Ltd.
On-site trainingTraining conducted at the work site (e.g. in a training room) but not on the job.
On-the-job trainingTraining undertaken in the workplace as part of the productive work of the learner. Compare Off-the-job training and see also Work experience.
One NationA statement issued by Prime Minister Paul Keating in 1992. This statement described the governments strategy to create jobs and strengthen the economy, and included the Commonwealths offer to assume responsibility for vocational education and training. This offer was rejected, but led to the formation of the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA).
Online education(Also: online learning and online training) Learning or training conducted via a computer network, e.g. using the internet and the World Wide Web, a local area network (LAN), or an intranet. See also Flexible delivery.
OPCETE(Victoria) Office of Post Compulsory Education Training and Employment.
Open and Distance Learning Association of AustraliaA professional association of people interested or involved in distance education and open learning.
Open entryAn approach to learning that gives students flexibility and choice over what, when, at what pace, where, and how they learn, commonly using distance education and the facilities of educational technology. See also Flexible delivery.
Open Learning Australia(OLA) An educational organisation that enables people to undertake tertiary or vocational study wherever they live and beginning at any time of year, using materials supplied to their home, often supported by online study resources and television and radio programs.
Open Learning Technology Corporation Ltd(OLTC) The former name of Ltd.
Open training marketA system of open competition among public and private providers in the provision of vocational education and training, giving users greater choice of program and provider. Adopted by the ANTA Ministerial Council (MINCO) as a national policy to encourage diversity and competition among providers. See also Deveson Report.
Optional componentsSee Non-endorsed components.
OSQIRSee Overseas Qualifications Information Resource.
OSWOffice of the Status of Women.
OTAE(Australian Capital territory) Office of Training and Adult Education.
OTENOpen Training and Education Network.
OTEN-DE(New South Wales) Open Training and Distance Education Network, an institute of TAFE NSW offering a range of training and education courses through distance education and flexible delivery.
OTFE(Victoria) Office of Training and Further Education, superseded by the Office of Post Compulsory Education Training and Employment (PETE).
OTSOpen Training Services.
OTTE(Victoria) Office of Training & Tertiary Education.
OutcomeIn education or training, a result or consequence of participation in, or completion of, an education or training program, e.g. employment, promotion, higher salary, further study.
Outcomes-based educationAn educational system focussed and organised around clearly defined outcomes that students are expected to demonstrate on completion.
OutsourcingThe practice of having goods or services provided by a person or persons outside the business or organisation.
Overseas Qualifications Information ResourceThe Overseas Qualifications Information Resource helps people with overseas professional and technical qualifications to gain recognition in Australia.
OVET(Tasmania and South Australia) Office of Vocational Education and Training.
OVTA(Japan) Overseas Vocational Training Association.
PackagingThe process of grouping competencies in a training package into combinations that represent whole jobs or key functions that are meaningful in the workplace.
Part-time studentA student who undertakes less than the full-time study program.
Part-time workerA person working less than the normal full-time working hours. The Australian Bureau of Statistics defines part-time workers as: Employed persons who usually worked less than 35 hours per week and who did so during the reference week. Source: ABS, Labour Force, Australia, August 1999, p.71.
ParticipationTaking part in an activity, e.g. participation in vocational education or training; labour force participation.
Participation rateThe proportion of a defined group of people undertaking a specific activity.
PartnershipIn vocational education and training, an association between a non-registered organisation and a registered training organisation to achieve recognised training.
PasswordA password is a sequence of characters used to determine that a computer user requesting access to a computer system has the appropriate authority.
PathwayA path or sequence of learning or experience that can be followed to attain competency.
PAVECentre for Professional and Vocational Education, a research centre based at the University of Canberra.
PAYGPay As You Go taxation.
PDFPortable Document Format. A format for publishing documents in such a way that they can be viewed and printed on multiple platforms using the freely available Adobe Acrobat reader.
PEPESPublic Employment Placement Enterprises.
Performance criteriaThe part of a competency standard specifying the required level of performance in terms of a set of outcomes that need to be achieved in order to be deemed competent.
Performance indicator(Also: performance measure) A criterion or measure for monitoring or evaluating the efficiency or effectiveness of a system or service, that may be used to demonstrate accountability and to identify areas for improvement.
PESPublic Employment Service.
PETE(Victoria) Office of Post Compulsory Education Training and Employment.
Polytechnic  (International) An institution in some countries offering vocational or higher education courses in technical areas.
Portable skillA skill or competency that can be transferred from one work context to another.
Portal(Electronic classroom/Internet) The home page of a Web-based educational/educational support system. Portals includes menus, links and buttons to help users navigate to other parts of the system.
Post-compulsory education  Education beyond the compulsory age prescribed by statute in each State or Territory, including the senior years of secondary schooling, and all higher, further, or other post-secondary education.
Post-secondary educationAll education beyond secondary school level, including that delivered by universities, colleges, community providers, etc.
Post-trade courseA course that provides further or more advanced training for qualified tradespersons.
PRASee Primary Recognition Authority.
Pre-apprenticeship course(Also: pre-traineeship course) A course that provides initial training in a particular industry or occupation. Successful completion of the course can assist participants in obtaining an apprenticeship or traineeship, and may enable the term of the apprenticeâ&glossary/128;&glossary/153;s training agreement to be reduced.
Preferred supplier arrangementAn arrangement whereby a State training system or other purchaser agrees to buy training from, or give preference to, a specific provider or provider sector.
PrerequisiteIn vocational education and training, a requirement for admission to a particular course or module, e.g. satisfactory completion of a specific subject or course, at least five years in the workforce, etc.
Present association(Auditing/Technical advice) Any association the auditor/technical adviser has, or has had with the training organisation within the 12 months prior to participating in an audit. This could be through association such as previous employment, close collaborative working relationships, provision of funding or grants.
Prevocational courseA course designed to prepare people for vocational education and training or work, including bridging courses, basic literacy and numeracy training, or training in job skills.
Prevocational educationEducation preparing students for the world of work, including counselling on career choices, training in general work skills and habits, and work experience.
Primary Recognition Authority(PRA) The State or Territory recognition authority responsible for registering a training organisation that operates in more than one State or Territory. See also Mutual recognition.
Prior learningSkills and knowledge acquired from previous study, work, or life experience. See also Recognition of prior learning (RPL).
Private providerA non-government training organisation, including commercial providers (providing courses to industry and individuals for profit), community providers (non-profit organisations, funded by government or community sponsors), enterprise providers (companies or other organisations providing training mainly for their own employees), and industry providers (organisations providing training to enterprises across an industry). See also Vocational Education and Training Provider.
Professional continuing educationAlso called: professional development. Education of adults in professional fields, updating and improving occupational skills, often involving short-term, intensive, specialised courses.
ProgramSee Vocational education and training provider.
PSDPPost School Destination Program.
PSETAPublic Service Education and Training Australia.
PSITAB(New South Wales) Public Sector Industry Training Advisory Body. See also Industry Training Advisory Body.
PSTAProperty Services Training Australia, a national industry training advisory body.
Publishing(Electronic classroom/Internet) The process of adding content to an Internet or intranet website.
QAELLNQueensland Adult English Language, Literacy and Numeracy Council.
QBSAQueensland Building Services Authority.
QCA(United Kingdom) Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.
QESee Quality endorsement.
QETOSee Quality-endorsed training organisation.
QMSQuality Management System. See Quality management.
QOLNQueensland Open Learning Network. See also Open learning and Open Learning Australia.
QTACSee Queensland Tertiary Admission Centre.
QTISQueensland Training Information Service.
QTRBQueensland Thoroughbred Racing Board (formerly known as the Queensland Principal Club).
QualificationCertification awarded to a person on successful completion of a course, in recognition of having achieved particular knowledge, skills or competencies. See also Australian Qualifications Framework.
QualityUnder Australian Quality Training Framework arrangements, the level of satisfaction with, and effectiveness of, vocational education and training organisations, their products and services, established through conformity with the requirements set by clients and stakeholders.
Quality assuranceThe systems and procedures designed and implemented by an organisation to ensure that its products and services are of a consistent standard and are being continuously improved.
Quality endorsementThe formal recognition awarded by a State or Territory recognition or training authority to a registered training organisation on the basis of its implementation of a quality system.
Quality managementEncompasses all activities that determine quality policy objectives and responsibilities, implemented by means such as quality planning, quality control, quality assurance and quality improvement within a quality system.
Quality systemA management system designed to ensure that an organisations products and services always meet, or exceed, defined quality standards and are subject to continuous improvement.
Quality-endorsed training organisation(QETO) A registered training organisation that has been granted recognition by a State or Territory recognition or training authority on the basis of its implementation of a quality system. Once quality-endorsed, a registered training organisation can receive delegated powers of self-management for the scope of its registered operations, and self-management of accreditation of its own courses, within the parameters set by the Australian Recognition Framework. (Note: In accordance with the June 2001 ANTA Ministerial Council decisions on the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF), QETO status had no national standing after 2003. A new policy on delegations under the AQTF came into effect 1 March 2003.)
Queensland residencyResidence and/or employment in Queensland. See also Australian residency.
Queensland Tertiary Admission Centre(QTAC) Provides and operates a centralised tertiary application system. QTAC receives and processes applications for admission to all undergraduate courses offered by the publicly funded universities in Queensland, Bond University, the Australian Maritime College in Tasmania, and to some courses at universities in Northern New South Wales. QTAC also processes applications to full-time associate diploma, advanced diploma and diploma courses in Queensland institutes of TAFE and some private providers of post secondary courses.
QUSITABQueensland Utilities and Services Industry Advisory Board.
QUTQueensland University of Technology.
Range of variables(Also called: range statement) The part of a competency standard that specifies the range of contexts and conditions to which the performance criteria apply.
RATE(Register of Australian Tertiary Education) The qualifications system used in the higher education sector before the introduction of the Australian Qualifications Framework.
RCCSee Recognition of current competencies.
RCECSRegional and Community Employment Councils.
RCIADICRoyal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
RCVETSee Research Centre for Vocational Education and Training.

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Glossary 3.0

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