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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
RDFResource Description Framework.
Re-postTo re-send a message to a forum, chat session or list service.
Reciprocal Recognition Authority(RRA) The recognition authority of the State or Territory in which a registered training organisation operates through mutual recognition, while registered in a different State or Territory. See also Primary Recognition Authority.
RecognitionThe formal approval of training organisations, products and services operating within the vocational education and training sector (as defined by State and Territory legislation).
Recognition authoritySee State Recognition Authority.
Recognition of current competencies(RCC) The acknowledgement of competencies currently held by a person, acquired through training, work or life experience. More commonly known as Recognition of prior learning.
Recognition of prior learning(RPL) The acknowledgement of a persons skills and knowledge acquired through previous training, work or life experience, that may be used to grant status or credit in a subject or module.
Reframing The FutureA staff development project aimed at helping trainers, teachers, and people in industry, to understand and use training packages, the Australian Quality Training Framework, New Apprenticeships, user choice and other major vocational education and training initiatives.
Refreshable braille displayRefreshable braille displays provide braille via a set of little rods, representing braille code. As the application focus is moved, or a document is read, the braille display changes. These displays provide computer access for people who are deaf-blind, as well as blind people who prefer this output to speech (or with speech). The length of the displays vary with models offering 20, 40 or 80 cells. Screen reading software is required to work with the hardware.
Refresher courseA course that revises or updates previously acquired knowledge and skills.
Registered Training Organisation(RTO) An organisation registered by a State or Territory recognition authority to deliver training and/or conduct assessments and issue nationally recognised qualifications in accordance with the Australian Quality Training Framework. Registered training organisations include TAFE colleges and institutes, adult and community education providers, private providers, community organisations, schools, higher education institutions, commercial and enterprise training providers, industry bodies and other organisations meeting the registration requirements.
RegistrationThe authorisation of training organisations under theAustralian Quality Training Framework to deliver training and/or conduct assessments and issue nationally recognised qualifications.
ReliabilityIn assessment, the consistency of an assessment outcome; for example, different assessors using the same evidence making the same judgement, or the same assessor making the same judgement about the same evidence on different occasions.
Remote access (computer)The ability to access a computer or a network from a remote site.
Renewal of registrationIn relation to registered training organisations, the subsequent registration of a training organisation following an audit and evaluation, conducted prior to the expiry of the initial registration period, of a registered training organisation against the requirements of the Australian Recognition Framework Standards for Registered Training Organisation. See Australian Quality Training Framework.
Research Centre for Vocational Education and Training(RCVET) A research centre at the University of Technology, Sydney. An ANTA Key Research Centre for 2000-2002 under the Key Vocational Education and Training Research Centres National Project.
Research centres for vocational education and trainingSee ANTA Key Research Centres.
Research partnersFunded by the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA) to carry out a major research project over three years (2000-2002). The Centre for Research and Learning in Regional Australia, University of Tasmania, is working on the role of vocational education and training in regional Australia. The National Research Centre for Post-Compulsory Education and Training, University of Melbourne/RMIT University, is researching the experiences of young people in vocational education and training and higher education and those who leave school early and do not participate in education and training.
ResidencySee Australian residency and Queensland residency.
Restricted callingsRestrictions apply to the rights of employers to employ staff under the age of 21 years to certain jobs, or callings. The jobs, or callings, to which this restriction applies are declared by the Training and Employment Recognition Council.
RestructuringSee Award restructuring and Industry restructuring.
Retention rateThe proportion of a group of students or participants starting who continue to a particular level, e.g. the proportion of school students who complete Year 12.
RetrainingTraining to facilitate entry to a new occupation.
RGCResearch Grants Committee.
RGTERetail Group Training and Employment.
Risk managementThe systematic application of management policies, procedures and practices to the tasks of identifying, analysing, evaluating, treating and monitoring risk.
ROERecognition of Equivalence.
RPLSee Recognition of prior learning.
RRASee Reciprocal Recognition Authority.
RTARetail Traders Association.
RTCARural Training Council of Australia Inc., a national industry training advisory body.
RTCCResearch Training and Careers Committee.
RTOSee Registered Training Organisation.
SAAStandards Association of Australia, now called Standards Australia.
SACALSouth Australian Council of Adult Literacy.
SACESouth Australian Certificate of Education. See also Senior Secondary Certificate of Education.
SanctionAny action imposed for non-compliance with one or more of the Australian Quality Training Framework Standards for registered training organisations, including: a. the imposition of specific conditions on registration; b. amendment of registration (including a reduction in the scope of registration; c. suspension or cancellation of registration; and d. the imposition of fines.
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SATACSee South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre.
ScaffoldingSupport offered by teachers characterised by explicit teaching of skills and knowledge to assist students to achieve learning outcomes.
SCCSee Standards and Curriculum Council.
Scheduled hoursThe hours of teaching activity (including examination time) that the provider schedules for a module or unit of competency enrolment. Compare Curriculum hours, Nominal hours (supervised) and Nominal hours (unsupervised).
School to Work ProgramA government program aimed at developing partnerships between schools and industry, business, and the vocational education and training sector, in order to establish accredited vocational education and training. See also School to work transition.
School to work transitionThe process of transferring from school to the workforce or further study.
School-industry programA program for Year 11 and 12 students that combines school learning with workplace learning. Many programs lead to advanced standing in an apprenticeship or traineeship, or credit towards a vocational education and training course.
Scope of registrationScreen magnification software magnifies images and text on a computer screen.
Screen readersDesigned for people with a vision impairment, screen reading software converts text to audio or refreshable braille. Commonly used screen reading programs include JAWS and Window Eyes.
SEAMEO VOCTECHSoutheast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation Regional Centre for Vocational and Technical Education. Secondary education following primary education, comprising years 7 - 12 (or 8 -12 in some States).
SectorA division of a field of activity, e.g. the vocational education and training sector of further education, public and private vocational education and training sectors.
Selected Study ProgramA program that allows students to choose one or more modules from different fields of study.
Selection criteriaFactors taken into account when deciding which applicants will be offered a place in a course. Selection criteria are applied after applicants have met the entry requirements for a course. See also Selection method.
Selection methodMethodology used to evaluate applicants against the selection criteria for a course. This methodology includes information provided by an applicant on the application form and supporting documentation and, where necessary, a selection test, an audition, or submission of a portfolio of work.
Self-assessmentA process in which learners or organisations assess their own performance against particular standards or criteria; (in competency-based training) a process in which learners assess their own performance against competency standards; (in quality endorsement a process in which an organisation assesses the extent to which it satisfies the criteria for quality endorsement, identifying opportunities for improvement.
Self-directed learningLearning in which the learner is the principal driving force, deciding how, when, and at what pace learning takes place.
Self-paced learningLearning undertaken at a students own pace.
Senior Secondary Certificate of Education(SSCE) A national title for senior secondary school qualifications recognised by the Australian Qualifications Framework and issued by the State and Territory governments. The Senior Secondary Certificate of Education may include vocational education and training units leading to a relevant Certificate I - IV qualification. Each State and Territory has its own Senior Secondary Certificate of Education.
SEPStructural Efficiency Principle.
SESSocio-economic status.
SFEU(Scotland) Scottish Further Education Unit.
Short courseA course of vocational education and training that stands alone and does not usually lead to a full qualification. A Statement of Attainment may be issued on successful completion.
SimulatorA device used especially in training to reproduce the conditions of the working situation, enabling tasks to be learned and practised safely and economically.
SkillAn ability to perform a particular mental or physical activity that may be developed by training or practice. See also Basic skill and Generic skill.
Skill formationThe development of skills or competencies that are relevant to the workforce.
Skill recognitionThe recognition or acknowledgement of the validity of skills and qualifications by educational institutions, professional bodies, employers, registration authorities and other organisations.
Skills analysisAn identification of the skills or competencies needed for each job.
Skills auditAn identification of the skills required and held by the workforce.
Skills centreAn industry or enterprise-based training facility offering a range of accredited training to enterprise employees, industry groups and individuals. Skills centres may be in-plant or standalone, or may be linked with a college or group training company.
Skills passportA record of the competencies possessed by a person and recognised through formal assessment. Proposed, but not formally implemented, in Australia.
Skills recognition agencyAn organisation that provides an assessment service and issues qualifications and statements of attainment, but does not deliver training.
Skills transferThe transfer of skills or competencies from one work context to another.
SkillShareA not-for-profit community-based organisation assisting unemployed people to obtain and retain work. See also Jobs Australia Ltd.
SkillShare ProgramAn education, training or employment- related program organised by a SkillShare centre or agency.
Small businessA business conducted on a small scale. The Australian Bureau of Statistics defines small businesses in the following way: In this publication small business refers to management units with less than 20 employees in all industries except manufacturing where they have less than 100 employees, and agriculture where they have an estimated value of agricultural operations of between $22 500 and $400 000. Source: ABS, Small business in Australia, 1997, p.211.
SMEsSmall and medium enterprises. See also Small business.
SMPOSpecialist Migrant Placement Officer.
South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre(SATAC) Receives and processes applications for the eight Institutes of TAFE and the three universities in South Australia.
Special entry(Also called: alternative entry or alternative category entry) Entry to a course by special arrangement where a student does not meet the standard entry requirements (usually Year 12 or equivalent).
SQA(Scotland) Scottish Qualifications Authority.
SRAState/Territory Recognition Authority; see State Recognition Authority.
SRITABSport & Recreation Industry Training Advisory Body Inc. See Industry Training Advisory Body.
SSCStudent Services Committee.
SSCESee Senior Secondary Certificate of Education.
STAState/Territory Training Authority; see State Training Authority.
StakeholderA person or organisation with an interest or concern in something. In vocational education and training, stakeholders include governments, purchasers of training, providers of training, industry, industry training advisory bodies, clients and the community.
StandardA level or measure of achievement; a statement of performance or outcome criteria. See also competency standard.
Standards and Curriculum Council(SCC) A body formed by an amalgamation of the National Training Board (NTB) and Australian Committee for Training Curriculum (ACTRAC) to enable a close link between standards and curriculum. The SCC was replaced by the Australian National Training Authoritys National Training Framework Committee.
State or Territory Accrediting BodyThe body responsible under the State or Territory vocational education and training legislation and decision making framework for all decisions relating to the administration of the accreditation of courses.
State Recognition Authority(SRA) Also called: State/Territory Recognition Authority. The body in each State or Territory responsible for the registration of training organisations and the accreditation of courses where no relevant training package exists.
State Training Authority(STA) Also called State/Territory Training Authority. The body in each State or Territory responsible for the operation of the vocational education and training system within that jurisdiction. Each State or Territory training authority participates in the formulation of national policy, planning and objectives, and promotes and implements the agreed policies and priorities within the State or Territory.
State Training Profile(Also called State/Territory Training Profile) A report that outlines the planned or actual provision of publicly-funded vocational education and training in a State or Territory. Plans were also sent to the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA) and are used in determining Commonwealth funding to States and Territories for vocational education and training.
Statement of AttainmentCertification issued to a student for partial completion of a qualification, including, where relevant, the units of competency achieved under nationally endorsed standards. Achievements recognised by statements of attainment can accumulate towards a qualification within the Australian Qualifications Framework.
StatusSee Credit.
STPState Training Profile.
Strategic industry auditThe compliance audit of registered training organisations operating in a specific industry or industry sector, targeted on the basis of identified risks relating to that industry or sector.
Stream 1000Programs where the primary intention is recreation, leisure or personal enrichment, and not the development of vocational knowledge or skills.
Stream of studyA classification that describes a course in terms of the level and type of its intended vocational outcome.
STROSupervising Registered Training Organisation. See Registered Training Organisation.
Structured workplace learning(Also called: workplace learning and work placement) The on-the-job component of a VET in Schools program. The skills, or learning outcomes, commonly reflect nationally recognised, industry-defined competency standards. The student is not paid by the employer.
Student attritionSee Attrition.
Student contact hoursThe total nominal hours (supervised) for the modules undertaken.
Student load(Also called: study load) The total student contact hours for the program(s) being undertaken, e.g. a minimum of 11.5 nominal hours per week over the teaching period for all courses.
SVQ(Scotland) Scottish Vocational Qualification.
SyllabusAn outline of a course or subject (module that lists what is to be taught or learned. See Curriculum.
Synchronous communicationCommunication that takes place in real-time, where participants are all logged in to one network at the same time. Participants can be at different locations. Contributions are immediately communicated to other users for an immediate response. A chat facility is a form of synchronous communication. Compare with Asynchronous communication.
T&HTourism & Hospitality.
TACHTasmanian Association of Community Houses.
TAFE (Technical And Further Education)Training for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders Program.
TAReCTasmanian Accreditation and Recognition Committee.
TASTertiary Assistance Scheme.
Task analysisA process of identifying the elements or steps that make up a task or activity, eg. listing the elements and evidence required for a unit of competency. See also Element of competency and Evidence guide.
TASTATasmanian State Training Authority.
TCALResearch Training and Careers Committee.
TCETasmanian Certificate of Education. See also Senior Secondary Certificate of Education.
TCFTextiles, Clothing and Footwear.
TDCATraining Development Council of Australia.
TDTTransport and Distribution Training Australia, a national industry training advisory body.
Teaching loadA teachers normal number of teaching lessons or class contact hours per week.
TEAMETraining and Employment for the Arts and Media Entertainment Company.
Technical adviserA person who provides expert judgements regarding industry requirements and has specialist knowledge and skills in the relevant industry. Technical advisers are familiar with the content of the vocation, have proof of their expertise through relevant current experience in the industry sector, and have knowledge of training and assessment issues related to their industry. See also Conflict of interest and Present association.
Technical and Further EducationSee TAFE.
TEFLTeaching English as a Foreign Language.
TEQTraining & Employment Queensland.
TERSee Tertiary Entrance Rank.
Tertiary Admissions CentreA central admissions office in some States for people applying for entry to undergraduate or other post-secondary courses. The Tertiary Admission centre administers a selection system on behalf of universities and, in some States, TAFE institutes and selected registered private providers. The Northern Territory and Tasmania do not have a central admissions office.
Tertiary educationFormal education beyond secondary education, including higher education, vocational education and training, or other specialist post-secondary education or training; sometimes used to refer only to higher education. Also called: post-secondary education or further education.
Tertiary Entrance Rank(TER) A ranking of students (usually based on results in the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education) used by universities and some providers of vocational education and training courses when selecting students who will be offered places in particular courses.
Tertiary Institutions Service Centre(TISC - Western Australia) An incorporated body established in 1975 by Curtin University of Technology, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and The University of Western Australia. TISC processes applications for admission to undergraduate courses in Western Australia and conducts the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT).
TESDA(Philippines) Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
TESLTeaching English as a Second Language.
TESOLTeaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.
TISCSee Tertiary Institutions Service Centre.
TOEFLTest of English as a Foreign Language.
Total Quality Management(TQM) A management system with a focus on customer satisfaction, involving a systematic approach to ensuring that products and services always meet defined standards and are subject to continuous improvement. See also Quality assurance.
TPVTemporary Protection Visa.
TQMSee Total Quality Management.
TRATrades Recognition Australia.
TRACTraining for Retail and Commerce, a program involving school students in skills-based learning in the workplace, supplemented with off-the-job training.
Trade courseA course offered by a vocational education and training provider that covers the off-the-job requirements of an apprenticeship and supplements on-the-job training, now being replaced by training package qualifications.
TRAINAustralian Training Information Network, a national vocational education and training information service that has been discontinued.
TraineeA person receiving training or undertaking a traineeship. See also New Apprenticeships and Apprentice.
TraineeshipA system of vocational training, combining off-the-job training at an approved training provider with on-the-job training and practical work experience. Traineeships generally take one to two years and are now a part of the New Apprenticeships system.
TrainingThe development of skills, knowledge, attitudes, competencies, etc. through instruction or practice.
Training AgreementSee Contract of Training.
Training AuthoritySee State Training Authority and Australian National Training Authority.
Training awardsSee Australian Training Awards.
Training contractSee Contract of Training.
Training cultureAn environment in which training is seen as important and is closely linked with business strategy, particularly in creating competitive advantage for an enterprise. Opportunities are given to all employees to participate in training to develop their skills and competencies.
Training Guarantee SchemeA former Commonwealth government initiative to encourage businesses to take responsibility for, and provide training to, their employees.
Training marketSee Open training market.
Training organisationAn organisation that provides vocational education, training and/or assessment services. See also Registered Training Organisation.
Training packageAn integrated set of nationally endorsed standards, guidelines and qualifications, for training, assessing and recognising peoples skills. Developed by industry to meet the training needs of an industry or group of industries. Training packages consist of core endorsed components of competency standards, assessment guidelines and qualifications, and optional non-endorsed components of support materials, such as learning strategies, assessment materials and professional development resources.
Training pathwayA course offering students the opportunity for articulation or credit transfer that is part of an education or career pathway.
Training planA program of training and assessment that forms part of atraining contract for New Apprenticeships and is registered with the relevant State or Territory Training Authority.
Training programA set of education and training activities designed to achieve a specific vocational outcome, eg. a course, module (subject), on-the-job training, etc.
Training providerSee Vocational education and training provider.
Training Reform AgendaSee National Training Reform Agenda.
Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement(TTMRA) An arrangement developed under the Australia and New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (ANZCERTA), providing for mutual recognition of registered occupations by the two countries.
Transition programA program, class or course designed to prepare people for the transfer from one level of education to the next, or from education to the workforce. See also School to work transition.
TTATourism Training Australia, a national industry training advisory body.
TTMRASee Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement.
TTPTraineeship Training Program.
TUTATrade Union Training Authority.
TVE(International) Technical and Vocational Education, used as an equivalent term for Vocational Education and Training (VET) in some overseas countries.
TVET(International) Technical and Vocational Education and Training, used as an equivalent term for Vocational Education and Training (VET) especially in the Asia-Pacific region. This is the term now used by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
TYIMSThe Commonwealth Governments Training and Youth Internet Management System database.
Typical attendanceThe study pattern(s) that may be followed to complete the nominal hours or a course. See also Nominal hours (supervised), Nominal hours (unsupervised).
U3ASee University of the Third Age.
UAIUniversities Admission Index.
UIRCCUniversity Industry Research Collaboration Committee.
Unemployed personA person who is not employed, but is available to work and actively seeking full-time or part-time work. The Australian Bureau of Statistics defines unemployed as: Persons aged 15 and over who were not employed during the reference week, and: had actively looked for full-time or part-time work at any time in the four weeks up to the end of the reference week and: were available for work in the reference week, or would have been available except for temporary illness (i.e. lasting for less than four weeks to the end of the reference week); or were waiting to start a new job within four weeks from the end of the reference week and would have started in the reference week if the job had been available then; or were waiting to be called back to a full-time or part-time job from which they had been stood down without pay for less than four weeks up to the end of the reference week (including the whole of the reference week) for reasons other than bad weather or plant breakdown. Source: ABS, Labour Force, Australia, August 1999, p.71.
Unemployment rateThe Australian Bureau of Statistics defines unemployment rate as: For any group, the number of unemployed persons expressed as a percentage of the labour force in the same group. Source: ABS, Labour Force, Australia, August 1999, p.72.
Unendorsed componentsSee Non-endorsed components.
UNESCOUnited Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
UNEVOCUNESCOs International Project on Technical and Vocational Education, designed to contribute to the development and improvement of systems of technical and vocational education (TVE), promote infrastructures in research, development and planning, and facilitate the international exchange of information in these fields.
Unit costThe monetary cost of delivering a defined amount of training, usually one student contact hour.
Unit of competencyA component of a competency standard. A unit of competency is a statement of a key function or role in a particular job or occupation. See also Element of competency, Performance criteria, Range of variables.
Unit of studyA subdivision of a course, subject, or program of study or training.
Universities Admissions Centre(UAC) A central admissions office for people applying for entry to undergraduate courses in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, and some TAFE courses in New South Wales. See also Tertiary Admissions Centre.
UniversityAn institution of higher education, usually offering degree and higher level courses. Some universities also offer vocational education and training courses.
University of the Third Age(U3A) An organisation providing educational, creative and leisure activities for older people, including some vocational education and training programs.
UNSUnified National System.
UpskillingImproving skills, e.g. by further training.
URLUnique Resource Locator. (Also Universal Resource Locator).
User choiceA provision of New Apprenticeships whereby an employer and an apprentice or trainee can choose the training provider for the government-funded off-the-job elements of the training program. The organisation chosen can be a TAFE college or any other registered training organisation (including a school) that has been registered to deliver the required training.
VALBECVictorian Adult Literacy and Basic Education Council.
ValidationThe soundness of the interpretation and use of the results of an assessment.
VATMEVictorian Association of Teaching and Multicultural Education.
VCAL(Victoria) Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning.
VCE(Victoria) Victorian Certificate of Education. See also Senior Secondary Certificate of Education.
VEACVocational Education and Assessment Centre, a research centre based at Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE.
VECOVocational Education Community Online (, a website for people involved in vocational education and training in schools, especially structured workplace learning program co-ordinators.
VEETVocational Education Employment and Training. See Vocational Education and Training.
VEETACVocational Education, Employment and Training Advisory Committee, a committee that superseded the Commonwealth/State Training Advisory Committee (COSTAC), and was itself replaced by the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA).
VEGASSee Vocational and Educational Guidance for Aboriginals Scheme.
VETSee Vocational Education and Training.
VET in SchoolsAllows school students to combine vocational studies with their general education curriculum. Students participating in VET in Schools continue to work towards their secondary school certificate. The vocational educational and training component of their studies gives them credit towards a nationally recognised VET qualification. In this way, participants can keep their options open to pursue further full-time or part-time vocational training or to move into tertiary studies after school.
VETAB(New South Wales) Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board.
VETEC(Queensland) Vocational Education, Training and Employment Commission.
Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre(VTAC) A centralised admissions centre for most undergraduate university and TAFE courses in Victoria.
VISNETVocational Education and Training in Schools Electronic Network.

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