The national framework for vocational learning and VET delivered to secondary students defines VET as:
‘…enables students to acquire workplace skills through nationally recognised training described within an industry-developed training package or an accredited course. A VET qualification is issued by an RTO. The achievement of a VET qualification signifies that a student has demonstrated competency against the skills and knowledge required to perform effectively in the workplace.’
Why is VET a beneficial pathway?
The VET you undertake while at school can provide direct entry to employment or open doors to future study, including further vocational or higher education.
By providing a different way to apply concepts such as literacy and numeracy, VET can help you connect theory and practice, and make education more relevant and meaningful.
VET can be studied alongside WACE courses, opening up a wide range of work and education opportunities.
Is VET the right pathway for me?
VET provides you with the skills and knowledge to perform effectively in the workplace. Basically a VET qualification prepares you for, or qualifies you for, a specific job outcome. VET can assist with meeting your career goals no matter what your preferred destination is. It all counts in some way at different points in your career.
VET undertaken while at school can contribute towards achievement of your Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE). In addition:
- VET is nationally recognised which means your qualification is recognised anywhere in Australia.
- A VET qualification provides you with essential skills which are transferrable across multiple employment and education pathways.
- Having a VET qualification may give you an advantage when applying for jobs.
- A VET qualification at Certificate III or IV level provides a direct job outcome as well as making you competitive for entry into further VET courses after you leave school.
- If you start a trade VET qualification such as a school-based apprenticeship whilst still at school, you will get a head start on being a qualified tradesperson compared to your peers that commence once they have left school.
What is the difference between a VET accredited course and a training package qualification?
An accredited course is one that is developed to meet training needs not addressed by existing training packages. Accredited courses are accredited by VET regulators as nationally recognised and specified on the national register but do not hold the status of being nationally endorsed.
Training package qualifications are both nationally recognised and nationally endorsed. National endorsement means industry stakeholders have agreed to and support the structure and outcomes of the qualification as a part an industry’s training framework.
Why don’t the qualifications from the suite of Certificates of General Education for Adults (CGEA) contribute towards meeting the WACE requirements?
The WACE Manual 2021 states:
‘Courses and modules that are not part of a nationally endorsed training package do not automatically provide students with recognition towards the WACE. The Authority reserves the right to refuse recognition of an accredited course if it:
- duplicates WACE courses or other Authority-developed programs
- compromises the standard of the WACE by providing an unsuitable or inappropriate alternative to existing WACE offerings
- considers that the qualification is not suitable within the context of the WACE requirements.' (p. 62)
Typically the CGEA qualifications have been used by schools to cater for students who were unable for various reasons to meet the content, literacy and numeracy demands of the Authority-developed WACE courses. The new WACE Foundation courses have strong links to the Australian Core Skills Framework and have been developed to support students to gain the core literacy and numeracy skills required to successfully meet the demands of society. The WACE Foundation and General courses are deemed by the Authority to be a more appropriate option for students who in the past may have had to access qualifications from the CGEA based on the view that:
- there is duplication in content in both Foundation and General courses and CGEA qualifications
- the Foundation and General courses have been designed to provide a more appropriate context for strengthening literacy and numeracy skills in senior secondary students
- the Authority has greater control over the quality and standards of WACE courses.
I have a student who is doing a pre-apprenticeship and is required to do work placement. How can they have this work placement recognised in the WACE?
School-based apprentices, trainees and pre-apprentices can have their hours accumulated in the workplace recognised through the Authority-developed Workplace learning endorsed program.
What is VET integrated and when is it used?
In previous years VET integrated (embedding VET units of competency into a WACE course) referred to how VET was delivered, namely by finding similar content in VET units of competency and WACE course content and delivering/assessing both components simultaneously.
VET achievement, regardless of how a school chooses to deliver a qualification, will attract unit equivalence towards the WACE. It could be embedded or as a stand-alone qualification. If your school chooses to offer a VET qualification and a WACE course simultaneously, students will receive course credit for the WACE courses as well as VET unit equivalence for the qualification.
‘VET integrated’ will be the term used only to describe the enrolment of units of competency within the new VET industry specific courses. Units of competency may only be integrated into VET industry specific course units. VET integrated units of competency do not attract unit equivalence.
If a unit of competency is required for more than one qualification do I need to enrol students in the same unit for each qualification that requires it?
Yes. When achievements in VET qualifications are uploaded to SIRS through RSQUAL (VET qualifications result) an automatic audit process is triggered. This process involves checking that the minimum number of units of competency required for a qualification has been achieved. Failure to link all units associated with the achievement of the relevant qualification may lead to an error message being issued. This prevents the upload of achievement for that particular qualification. Due to the considerable amount of flexibility in qualification design, SIRS cannot presume a link between a unit of competency and a qualification.
If a unit of competency has been used for more than one qualification how should I report this achievement?
In the first instance that a unit is achieved it must be reported as a 20: competency achieved/pass. A result of 20 is only recorded once for any unit of competency. All subsequent achievement descriptors awarded for a unit of competency linked to another qualification is recorded as 60 (credit transfer).
VET Industry Specific
In which VET industry specific courses should I enrol Year 12 students in?
Students continuing an enrolment in a VET industry specific course are required to be enrolled in the course specified for continuing enrolments. Students commencing enrolment in a VET industry specific course are required to be enrolled in the course specified for new enrolments. The course syllabuses for new and continuing enrolments can be found here.
What constitutes a ‘suitable’ workplace/industry context to meet the mandatory work placement for VET industry specific courses?
A suitable work placement is a setting which closely reflects the workplace demands of the industry area and provides opportunities for the student to:
- meet industry standards for the work completed
- interact with internal and/or external clients/customers
- work the hours consistent with the industry norms
- develop a range of skills relevant to the purpose of their work
- carry out tasks under the workplace conditions typical of the industry area e.g. environmental conditions such as on a civil construction site where high noise levels, safety issues, risks, pressures, deadlines and time constraints are felt
- demonstrate his/her application of a range of work skills, knowledge and understandings as described in the Core Skills for Work developmental framework.
What constitutes the workplace for VET industry specific courses such as Sport and Recreation, and the Creative Industries?
Sport and Recreation and the Creative industries are performance-related industries involving a range of activities in various contexts leading to service delivery and performance. In these industries, the ‘workplace’ is any location or context, such as the stage or field, which involves activities that lead to a final performance or event. For example, in the Creative industries, exhibitions, performances or media launches are only part of a broader project. The same can be said for jobs within the sport industry which may entail training, coaching and skills development clinics.