What is an accredited course?
Accreditation of a course is confirmation that the course:
- meets national quality assurance requirements,
- meets an established industry, enterprise, educational, legislative or community need, and
- provides appropriate competency outcomes and a basis for assessment.
An accredited course is nationally recognised training. A course can be accredited as:
- a short course with a Statement of Attainment ‘Course in’ outcome, or
- a qualification recognised within the Australian Qualifications Framework, for example, a Certificate II or a Diploma.
A registered training organisation (RTO) can issue a nationally recognised VET qualification or VET Statement of Attainment following full or partial completion of an accredited course.
An accredited course can be made up of a combination of enterprise modules or units of competency (developed by the course owner) and/or training package units of competency.
Does the course need to be accredited?
To decide if a course needs to be accredited, consider:
Is the outcome already covered by a training package product?
Accredited courses are developed to address skill requirements for industry, enterprise, education, legislative or community needs where these are not covered in nationally endorsed training packages. There are more than 60 endorsed training packages. Together, these contain in excess of 1600 qualifications and cover more than 45 industry areas. (The national register, training.gov.au contains a list of all training package products.)
A course cannot be accredited if it aims to address outcomes already covered by a qualification, a skill set, or units of competency from an endorsed training package. In this case, an RTO should apply to add the relevant qualification, skill set or units of competency to its scope of registration to enable it to meet these outcomes.
If a course aims to address outcomes that are not covered by a qualification, a skill set or units of competency from an endorsed training package, it may be appropriate to apply to accredit a new course.
Who is the target audience?
Whether it is appropriate to apply for course accreditation may depend on the target group of learners for the course and the industry in which they operate. Some learners or industries may value nationally recognised training. In other industries, learners and employers may be satisfied with non-accredited training.
Organisations that choose to deliver non-accredited training do not need to accredit a course.
Is there a demonstrated need for the course?
For a course to be accredited, an industry, enterprise, education, legislative or community need must exist. You must undertake broad stakeholder consultation to confirm this need exists.
Is there an existing accredited course meeting the same outcome?
An accredited course that meets the same outcome your organisation has identified may have already been developed and accredited.
This does not prevent your organisation from accrediting a course; however, you may be able to use the existing course rather than developing and accrediting a new course.
Some course owners choose to share or license their course to interested parties. Contact the course owner directly to find out if they are willing to license their course. Course owner details are available on the national register, training.gov.au.
Timeframes for course accreditation applications
Provided that the course document and course accreditation submission are developed and completed in accordance with the Standards for VET Accredited Courses, a course is usually accredited within four to six months. However, timeframes may vary according to a range of factors, including the quality of the submission.
For detailed information, including application forms, refer to ASQA’s website www.asqa.gov.au/course-accreditation/course-accreditation.html.
The current requirements for course accreditation comprise the:
- Standards for VET Accredited Courses 2012 , supported by the Users’ Guide to the Standards for VET Accredited Courses 2012
- The following components of the Training Package Development Handbook
- Unit of competency policy
- Unit of competency guidelines
- The Australian Qualifications Framework Second Edition, January 2013
We can help you
Insources’ consultants can support your organisation in course development and accreditation. Contact us at (02) 8324 7462, (03) 8692 0004, or by email at [email protected].