​A course is a program of work accredited by a state / territory training authority, and is recognised nationally. On the successful completion of a course, a recognised credential or statement is issued. This may be referred to as a qualification.

A qualification is a component of a training package, with the qualification based on groupings of units of competency developed by industry.

The national training.gov.au (TGA) website contains detailed information on courses, qualifications, training packages, competency standards and training organisations.

Comprehensive lists and search facilities are available for the following:

  • training organisations
  • courses / qualifications
  • training packages
  • competency standards

Tailoring courses

Registered training organisation (RTOs) can customise courses to meet the specific needs of their clients, including industry sectors, enterprises and individual learners. A course is customised by adding, substituting or modifying units of competency in accordance with the course rules.

RTOs must ensure the integrity of:

  • endorsed national competency standards or other standards forming the basis of accredited courses
  • Australian Qualifications Framework qualifications
  • industry skill and portability requirements.

An RTO should consult with the course copyright owner if in doubt about whether the proposed changes meet the courses rules. The RTO may have to seek separate accreditation of the modified course.

Private sector RTOs may copyright accredited courses by paying a fee of $100 for up to 100 nominal hours plus $1 for each nominal hour above 100. Courses developed by publicly funded RTOs are copyrighted to the Northern Territory Government and are available for system-wide use at a minimal cost.

Course accreditation

Accreditation refers to the formal recognition of the course only, not to the actual delivery of the course. When a course has accreditation it means that the course is nationally recognised and meets national quality assurance requirements.

Before new courses can be delivered, they must be accredited by Department of Business. Training organisations must be registered in order to deliver the accredited course.

Once the course is accredited, an RTO can apply for and receive scope of registration then issue a nationally recognised qualification or statement of attainment based on its successful completion.

The Department of Business will consider accreditation where:

  • a training package or competency standards in the area you propose have not yet been developed
  • you wish to incorporate competency standards from two or more training packages to achieve a qualification not otherwise available
  • current training package qualifications are not relevant to industry or community needs.

You will also have to pay an accreditation fee based on the nominal hours set out in the course and who the course is copyrighted to.

For further information on how to accredit your course, contact the Registration and Course Accreditation Team.