Training package (Australia)

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A training package, in Australia, is a set of nationally endorsed standards, qualifications and guidelines used to recognise and assess the skills and knowledge people need to perform effectively in the workplace. Training packages are developed by Service Skills Organisations [1] or by enterprises to meet the training needs of an industry or group of industries. Training packages prescribe outcomes required by the workplace, not training or education.

A training package contains three compulsory endorsed components

  1. Competency standards,
  2. Qualifications framework and
  3. Assessment guidelines.

Competency standards[edit]

Competency standards are a set of benchmarks used to assess the skills and knowledge that a person must demonstrate in the workplace to be seen as competent. These benchmarks are packaged into combinations to form units of competency, which consist of

  1. Unit codes
Code Title Descriptor Pre-requisite(s) Application Statement
TAADES401A Maintain workplace safety

Unit code[edit]

A unit code is made up of letters and numbers. Using the unit code TAEDES401A as an example, units must contain—

Training package identifier: "TAE" refers to the training package in which it resides—in this example, the "training and assessment package".

The next three letters identify the industry field: "DES" refers to the industry field of learning design. Sometimes the industry field identifier can be more generic, allowing use of the unit across various sectors and training package e.g. "COM" often refers to communication.

The first number is called the "AQF indicator", which indicates the AQF qualification in which the unit was first packaged, e.g. the "4" represents the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (noting however that Roman numerals must always be used in Certificate qualification titles). AQF indicators are indicative only and not prescriptive. As such it is common to see units with various AQF indicators packaged into a qualification. A unit with an AQF indicator of 3 should not be considered a "level 3 unit", as units do not have levels. A unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to undertake the job function described.

The next two numbers (11) are called the sequence identifier and identify where the unit is in the sequence of units, e.g. 01 is the 1st unit in the learning design sequence of units in the TAE training package.

The last letter in the code is the version identifier: "A" shows it is the first version of the unit describing a competency outcome. Should the training package be updated and the competency outcome of the unit not change, the unit will be recoded as "B" (Note: When NTIS functionality permits, newly allocated codes will not include this—see Transitional note under "Coding maintenance").

Unit title[edit]

The Unit Title is a brief statement of the outcome of the unit of competency for example "Maintain workplace safety".

Unit descriptor[edit]

The Unit descriptor broadly communicates the intent of the unit of competency and the skill area it addresses.

Prerequisite units[edit]

These are units that should be completed before commencing the unit.

Unit application statement[edit]

This component describes the unit's application within the work place. It indicates the environments in which the skills and knowledge may be applied and sets out the parameters of the unit, its potential audience and its relationship to other units in the Training Package.


Sub tasks or skills describing the outcomes which contribute to a unit.

Performance criteria[edit]

Level of performance for each element.

Required skills and knowledge[edit]

Required Skills and Knowledge (from the [1]) Developers need to describe the essential skills and knowledge required for competent performance Knowledge: identifies what a person needs to know to perform the work in an informed and effective manner. Skills: describes the application of the knowledge to situations where understanding is converted into a workplace outcome. While knowledge must be expressed, units of competency, their elements or performance criteria should not be entirely knowledge based unless a clear and assessable workplace outcome is described. Knowledge in units of competency: should be in context; should only be included if it refers to knowledge actually applied at work; could be referred to in the performance criteria and the range statement. _________

Essentially the information in this section of the unit of competency is detailing learning outcomes. A learning outcome is a clear and specific statement of what students are expected to learn in a unit and to be able to demonstrate at its completion. Especially when read in conjunction with the Range Statement, which varies and sets out the conditions under which the competencies and skills are performed. GM

7 Key competencies[edit]

Key competencies (generic skills) are in every unit of competency. Information on the Key Competencies and the relevant performance level is usually contained in a table in the individual competencies. All competency standards are required to be mapped against the Key Competencies.

The 7 key competencies cover:

  1. Collecting, analysing and organising ideas and information
  2. Expressing ideas and information
  3. Planning and organising activities
  4. Working with others and in teams
  5. Using mathematical ideas and techniques
  6. Solving problems
  7. Using technology.

The key competencies are described at three performance levels.

  • Level 1 = the level of competency needed to undertake tasks effectively
  • Level 2 = the ability to manage tasks
  • Level 3 = concepts of evaluating and reshaping tasks.

An assessment of a unit of competency also includes an assessment of the key competencies.

Range statement[edit]

This sets out the variety of contexts or situations in which performance can take place. For example, does the unit cover 'all diesel, hybrid, and petrol engines' or 'petrol only'.

Evidence guide[edit]

Assists with the interpretation of the unit and may include information on:

  • Underpinning knowledge
  • Practical skills
  • Critical aspects of assessment
  • Literacy and numeracy requirements


  • Information on the industry requirements.
  • Date when the training package was developed.
  • Detailed information to assist assessors and those delivering the training.
  • Contain advice on units of competency that should be assessed together or that should be completed prior to assessing the unit.

Qualifications framework[edit]

All the qualifications for an industry and the Units of Competency required for each qualification make up the Qualification Framework.

Assessment guidelines[edit]

Assessment guidelines are a set of requirements used to check that a person's performance meets the Competency Standards. The Assessment Guidelines ensure assessment is Valid, Reliable, Fair and Consistent.

Training package database[edit]

The Department of Education [2] maintains a searchable database of Training Packages and is the "official national register of information on Training Packages, Qualifications, Courses, Units of Competency and Registered Training Organisations".[3]


  1. ^ National Skills Standards Council-endorsed components of a unit of competency
  2. ^ " - A joint initiative of Australian State and Territory Governments". Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  3. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-03-06.