Understand course types and qualifications
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Understand course types and qualifications

Help & advice

  • TAFE and training qualifications range from Certificate I to Graduate Diploma.
  • It can take between 6 months and 4 years to complete a qualification, depending on what kind of training you choose.
  • Qualifications provide different levels of training to prepare you for different kinds of work.
  • Nationally recognised qualifications are delivered by registered training organisations (RTOs).


TAFE and training courses are designed to teach you new skills or prepare you for a specific job, and can also lead to further study.

Choosing the right course depends on what you're interested in and what job you want to do.

Explore occupations

Use the Occupation Explorer to find an occupation you're interested in. TAFE and training courses, apprenticeships and traineeships can lead to more than 500 occupations.


Each course provides different levels of training and prepares you for different kinds of work. For example, a Certificate I or Certificate II is a great place to start if you haven't done any study before or want to learn a new skill. A Diploma may lead to a highly skilled job in a particular industry or to a university course.


Nationally recognised qualification

Every course on the Victorian Skills Gateway is delivered by training providers that are registered training organisations (RTOs).

This means the training is accredited and the qualifications are regulated under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). This also means that you get a nationally recognised qualification.

Units of competency

All qualifications are made up of unique units of competency. Each unit identifies a distinct workplace requirement or skill needed to perform a particular task effectively in the workplace.

When you do a course, each unit is assessed, and this goes towards getting the qualification.

When you enrol in a course at TAFE or another training provider, you can choose to complete all the required units to get a particular qualification, or you can just do individual units. For example, you could get a Certificate III, or do one or more of the units to get a particular skill or meet a workplace requirement.

Entry requirements

Some qualifications have entry requirements you need to meet before you can enrol.

The Victorian Skills Gateway lists entry requirements in the course description, where relevant. You also need to check these with the training provider.

Some pre-accredited training and foundation skills courses can help you get the skills you need to get into further training.

You may also be able to get credit for your skills or past study using a credit transfer or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).


Qualification levels and course types

Courses delivered by TAFE and other training providers offer qualifications ranging from the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and Certificate I to Diploma and Graduate Diploma.

Some qualifications, such as a Certificate II or Certificate III, can be done as part of a traineeship or apprenticeship.

TAFE and training courses also include accredited training that addresses specific skill requirements to meet particular industry, enterprise, educational or community needs.

This training is accredited by either the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA), the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) or the Training Accreditation Council Western Australia (TAC), and delivered by RTOs. For more information, see Department accredited VET courses.

Course type/Qualification

Description

Length

Certificate I

Foundation level course.

Prepares school graduates for work in routine activities or community involvement.

6 months to 1 year

Certificate II

Minimum qualification for entry level jobs in some industries.

Can sometimes be completed as part of a traineeship.

6 months to 1 year

Certificate III

Minimum qualification for entry into many industries.

Provides theoretical knowledge and encourages development of higher level skills for problem solving.

Can sometimes be completed as part of a traineeship or an apprenticeship that involves a mix of on-the-job and off-the-job training.

1 to 2 years

Up to 4 years for an apprenticeship

Certificate IV

Preparation for work in areas that may require complex skills.

Develops a broad knowledge base, teaching students to analyse and evaluate information and to apply the knowledge and skills to a wide variety of contexts.

6 months to 2 years

Diploma

Can lead to university courses in a related field.

Provides theoretical knowledge and technical and creative skills.

Students can apply their knowledge in management or supervisory positions, and/or develop a high level of expertise in a particular area.

1 to 2 years

Advanced Diploma

Can lead to university courses in a related field.

Provides theoretical knowledge and technical and creative skills.

Students can apply their knowledge in management or supervisory positions, and/or develop a high level of expertise in a particular area.

1.5 to 2 years

Graduate Certificate

Provides theoretical knowledge and technical and creative skills.

Students can apply their knowledge in management or supervisory positions, and/or develop a high level of expertise in a particular area.

6 months to 1 year

Graduate Diploma

Provides theoretical knowledge and technical and creative skills.

Students can apply their knowledge in management or supervisory positions, and/or develop a high level of expertise in a particular area.

1 to 2 years

Source: Australian Qualifications Framework