Introduction to VET

What is VET?

VET stands for Vocational Education and Training. VET is nationally recognized industry training within the Australian Qualifications Framework. VET enables students to acquire skills, knowledge and training for work through a nationally recognised industry-developed training package or accredited course. VET is assessed and certified by Registered Training Organisations (RTO).

Undertaking VET may benefit students' exploration of a variety of career pathways. It is not just reserved for a pathway within the trades, such as plumbing, hairdressing, or construction. Students can complete VET qualifications in a diverse range of industries, including business administration, veterinary nursing, aged care, or sport and recreation.

VET courses run either during school or after school. Very few courses have prerequisites, but all require regular, full attendance and the completion of set work to a satisfactory standard. Some courses also require the completion of Structured Work Placement.

Why study VET?

VET can be an excellent option for many students. It usually includes practical, hands-on learning, and can lead to further training pathways and employment opportunities in many industry areas. Undertaking VET as part of the SACE gives students a head start on a qualification, apprenticeship or traineeship. It is a great way to fast-track progress towards a rewarding career, while also developing independence, time-management and other employability skills and capabilities.

Students undertaking VET courses can -

  • Personalise their learning pathways.
  • Develop industry specific skills, often including on-the-job structured workplace learning.
  • Get a head start on a career and be more 'apprenticeship ready'.
  • Work to attain a nationally accredited certificate against the Australian Qualification Training Framework.
  • Achieve their SACE through diverse learning experiences.
  • Use their VET to contribute to an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) or TAFE SA entry, in the case of full completion of most Certificate III and higher-level courses.

In South Australia in 2018 -

  • 14,824 students completed their SACE.
  • 6,324 of those students (42.4%) completed their SACE with some VET.
  • 2,488 students completed their SACE with a Certificate III or higher, 283 more than in 2017.
  • Almost 62% of all jobs required employees to hold a VET qualification.

The South Australian Training and Skills Commission has identified in the Economic Outlook and Industry Demand for Qualifications October 2018 that 84% of the 50 occupations projected to have the most jobs growth in the next eight years do not require a bachelor degree.

VET as part of SACE

As part of their SACE, students can complete VET that is within the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). The SACE Board's recognition arrangements enable students to build meaningful pathways in the SACE through VET.

The arrangements for VET in the SACE include recognition of -

  • completed qualifications.
  • partly completed qualifications, for which a student has completed one or more units of competency.

The SACE Board recognises VET that -

  • is listed on the website.
  • is delivered and assessed by, or under the auspices of, registered training organisations (RTOs), which are registered to deliver and/or assess the VET qualification.
  • is delivered and assessed in accordance with the VET Quality Framework.
  • can be certified on a transcript, statement of attainment, or qualification issued by an RTO.

The SACE enables students to include a significant amount of VET in their SACE studies. Students can gain recognition for up to 150 SACE credits at Stage 1 and/or Stage 2 for successfully completed VET. Certificate I or II level training generally attract Stage 1 credits. Certificate III level or higher training usually attract Stage 2 credits.

Refer to the SACE pie chart below, which lists the compulsory school Stage 1 and 2 subjects.

SACE Subjects

VET for tertiary entrance

VET can count towards tertiary entrance for university and TAFE SA. The South Australian universities and TAFE SA have determined that Recognised Studies may contribute to an ATAR and a TAFE SA Selection Score.

For completed VET qualifications to count as Recognised Studies, they must -

  • Be successfully completed Certificate III level (or higher) in the Australian Quality Framework.
  • Only count to a maximum of 20 credits in an ATAR and/or a TAFE SA Selection Score. Students also need to satisfy all other prerequisite university entrance criteria.

See the VET Recognition Register for further details.

How much will a VET course cost?

The cost of a course varies and can be found in the course descriptors on this website. The cost includes training and any associated consumables. Contact the VET Leader at your school to discuss any funding arrangements specific to your school, and to ask if the training being considered attracts any government funding such as the Training Guarantee for SACE.

Unique Student Identifier

A Unique Student Identifier (USI) is a nationally recognized training reference code comprised of letters and numbers. Your USI creates a secure online record of your training, and you can access it anytime and anywhere. Creating a USI is free, and once created, your USI is yours for life. You must have a USI to enroll in a VET course, and you can create your USI at

The USI is linked to the National Vocational Education and Training (VET) Data Collection, and this means that an individual’s nationally recognised training and qualifications gained anywhere in Australia, from different training organisations, will be kept all together.

The USI will -

  • link a student's VET achievements, regardless of where in Australia they did the course.
  • let students and RTOs easily access secure digital transcripts.
  • give students more control over their VET information.

Your VET Leader will require you to provide a print out of your USI number and the full name you created it with.

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