In Focus Careers

Helping West Australians to Succeed

Cracking the TAFE Word Code

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Plain English is NOT a language people in training use. I worked in training for years and still have trouble understanding what on earth they are on about half the time. Cloud wordsThese are some of the words you will hear when talking about training. I hope the explanations help you to crack the TAFE word code.

Training Words

Word Meaning
Certificate I This is entry level training that gives foundation skills. Anyone who graduates from high school will have qualifications above Cert I
Certificate II Entry level for many vocational occupations. Graduates of Cert II will have a basic understanding of the job.
Certificate III This is getting into the vocation with much more skill. A licensed electrician has a Cert III and it usually takes 4 years to complete the apprenticeship.
Certificate IV This is getting into management roles. A Cert IV holder will have sound skills in a vocational area and have enough knowledge of the industry to start exercising sound judgement and solve problems.
Diploma Diplomas demonstrate high level of specialised vocational knowledge and skills in an industry. Workers may choose to study a Diploma in order to gain management skills for a vocation. The high level of competence of diploma holders is often recognised by universities which award credit for study in a degree program.
Advanced Diploma Graduates at this level will have broad knowledge and be highly skilled for work in a vocation. These are high level vocational skills. The knowledge can usually be transferred to academic qualifications like a bachelor’s degree.
RPL Recognition of Prior Learning. You can apply to have skills you learned in the workplace recognised in order to get a qualification.
RTO Registered Training Organisation. A college that is registered by government to deliver certified training. It could be a TAFE (government) college or a private company.
SPOL State Priority Occupation List. This list shows government where there will be skills shortages and therefore where it should give the greatest subsidies for courses.
TAFE Technical and Further Education – This often gets used to describe training e.g. “I go to TAFE” meaning I am doing a training course. You may also hear the word “tech” used in the same way.

It is also a word to describe a government training organisation. e.g. South Metro TAFE

VET  Vocational Education and Training. This is often used by people in the training industry. Students would probably say they are doing a “TAFE” course rather than doing a “VET” course.
Apprenticeships and Traineeships Apprenticeships tend to be in traditional trades like plumbing and traineeships are in non-trade areas like business.

They both involve:

–        a combination of work and study.

–        finding an employer who is willing for you to go to college 1 day per week or in blocks of study a couple of times a year

–        getting on the job training

–        getting paid a training wage while you get your qualification

Pre Apprenticeship A pre-apprenticeship is a Certificate II program that includes a period of workplace experience coordinated by a training provider. The aim is to provide you with industry specific training, combined with adequate time in a real workplace to gain skills, knowledge and behaviours to enable transition into a full apprenticeship.

 A pre apprenticeship is often a pathway to an apprenticeship as employers call lecturers and ask them to recommend a good student to employ.

TIPS for getting a pre apprenticeship:

When applying for a Pre Apprenticeship you may need to do an interview. Take along photos of your work in a portfolio to impress the interview panel. Dress in the sort of clothes they would wear to work, office clothes for an office job, and smart casual for a building trade.

Sporting and volunteer experience as well as school results and industry experience will help to impress the panel.

 Places in pre apprenticeships are usually limited so you should prepare well for the interview.

Group Training Organisation Group training organisations are employers of apprentices and trainees.

They were started up when there was a shortage apprenticeships and traineeships. Their role was to coordinate a group of small businesses who may have been able to employ an apprentice plumber for example for one day per week.

By hiring an apprentice and coordinating their work across a number of employers the number of people able to gain a qualification increased.

Today apprentices and trainees may be employed by a group training organisation and find themselves employed full time with one employer who prefers to have all of the government papers and qualifications managed by an expert organisation.

Unit A course is made up of a number of units. A unit is a block of skills grouped together within a course.

 For example, there is a Certificate I Business Communications course made up of 6 Units including the Unit Apply basic communication skills.

Competency A competency is a skill you are required to learn. It is made up of an element of competency and performance criteria.

 e.g. Element Identify workplace communication procedures.

 Performance Criteria Identify appropriate lines of communication with supervisors and colleagues

 

Author: Bev Johnson

I am an educator, business woman and grandmother. I use my years of experience and networks to pull together information from across the state and around the world and give our kids the best chance to succeed. I have always worked to create equal opportunities for people. In Focus Careers works to democratize career choices for ALL West Australians.

One thought on “Cracking the TAFE Word Code

  1. Pingback: Year 12 | In Focus Careers

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