Connection to vocational education and training
An occupational licence is any form of regulation that restricts entry to an occupation or profession to people who meet requirements stipulated by a regulatory authority.
In Australia, industry regulators in each state and territory oversee compliance with industry occupational license requirements. These regulators manage and monitor the application of these requirements, stipulating whether workers need to obtain a licence - or licences - in order to work in their chosen industry. The regulators also stipulate how a licence is to be gained. Often to gain an occupational licence regulators will mandate that a certain level of training and competence is required.
Occupational licensing relation to vocational education and training
Meeting competency related requirements is often a key component a regulatory authority will use to determine a person's suitability for an occupational licence.
Depending on the licensing requirements stated in the legislation or regulations, an industry regulator may require a prospective entrant to have:
an AQF qualification from a training package or accredited course
completed certain units of competency from a training package or accredited course
completed training and assessment requirements set by the regulator which may not be based on nationally endorsed or accredited training.
In this way there are close linkages and synergies between training and assessment to meet occupational licensing requirements and vocational education and training. However, while that is the case, it is important to recognise the distinction in purpose between the two.
Integration of licensing into vocational education and training
Improving the alignment between the licensing and training systems has been identified as a key national priority in occupational licensing reform. Historically, training and assessment for licensing and regulatory purposes have been conducted separately to vocational education and training for a qualification outcome.
The aim of the reform is to make the training and assessment process more efficient for people working in licensed occupations by reducing the duplication which comes from additional training and assessment to meet licensing and regulatory requirements.
As parts of the integration process it has been agreed that, where applicable, any skill related requirements for licensing be integrated into national training packages. As a result new units of competency to meet licensing outcomes are being developed in range of areas, most notable high-risk work and construction induction.
The Licensing Line News website provides more detailed information on occupational licensing and its intersection with vocational education and training. It also provides tailored information for both training and licensing stakeholders to explain how each system works and the integration process.
For more information visit the Licensing Line News website.