Qualifications Reforms

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What are Qualifications Reforms?

The Australian, state and territory governments have agreed that an immediate priority under the Heads of Agreement for Skills Reform is to simplify, rationalise and streamline national Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications across industry occupation groupings and the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Why are Qualifications Reforms important?

Better qualifications will help to strengthen the training system and support Australia’s immediate recovery from COVID-19.

Reforms could also support greater employee mobility, to meet the job and market demands of the future, leading to better outcomes for employers and learners.

Why is reform needed?

The complexity of the national training system hinders employers and learners from readily identifying the qualifications and skillsets they need to gain the right skills and build their workforce. Stronger employer collaboration is needed to foster cross-sector career pathways and maximise mobility for workers.

What is being done?

Qualification design trials are being run through three Skills Organisation Pilots covering Human Services, Digital and Mining. These are industry-led organisations funded by the Australian Government, who are leading innovative projects to improve Australia’s VET system.

The Skills Organisations Pilots will trial new evidence-led approaches to qualifications, with a focus on what will better meet the needs of employers and learners now and into the future.

Trials will aim to achieve the following goals:

  • qualifications that recognise common skills, delivering broader vocational outcomes and promoting individual mobility and labour market resilience
  • a reduction in unnecessary training product duplication
  • a reduction in training product complexity
  • an enhanced relationship between training products, training needs and employment pathways
  • greater training product flexibility and enhanced responsiveness to changing industry need
  • improved articulation and pathways between education sectors.

Trials provide an opportunity to design and test evidence-led approaches to training product design in the real world, without disrupting the VET system. The trials will be evaluated to build the evidence base required to inform the future standards and policies for national training products necessary to support a strong and adaptable national training system.


Under the Heads of Agreement for Skills Reform, Australian, state and territory governments recognised Qualifications Reform as an immediate reform and from December 2020 to March 2021 stakeholders were invited to share their experiences and views via surveys and workshops.

For news and opportunities to be involved in consultation activities visit skillsreform.gov.au