Speaking the language – a glossary of terms

So you’ve registered in the online application system and you’ve read the category pack. You’re about to get started on responding to your selection criteria but there’s a few terms you’re tripping over in the process.

Here’s a glossary of terms to provide all the clarity you need to get that application really going.

Vocational education and training (VET) system

Vocational Educational and Training (VET) forms an integral piece of the Australian education system and is designed to deliver workplace specific skills and knowledge based competencies. VET is a sophisticated system functioning within a strict National Skills Framework of qualifications defined by industry Training Packages and explicit quality delivery standards, the Australian Quality Training Framework. Our national VET system is informed by industry and is client focused to deliver flexible, relevant and responsive education and training.

The qualifications issued within the VET sector include: Certificates I – IV; Diploma and Advanced Diploma. This includes apprenticeships/traineeships.

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Training

Your ‘training’ is the course you are studying/training in within the VET system (Certificate I to Advanced Diploma qualifications). It refers to a formal qualification or Statement of Attainment, under the Australian Qualifications Framework, by a registered training organisation.

Training pathway

You may hear the term ‘training pathway’ quite frequently around the WA Training Awards. Basically, it refers to the training you do to get you into a certain occupation/field of work. This may simply be one qualification or it may be many.

For instance, you may realise in high school that you want to be a chef, like Taylor Wood did. You may start a school based apprenticeship at school. You then might move on to a full time apprenticeship completing a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery to become a qualified chef.

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Taylor Wood, WA School Based Apprentice of the Year 2014

Or you might be more like Emma Hay who used her veterinary nurse training (Certificate II Animal Studies and Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing) as a pathway to gain entry into the Veterinary Sciences course at University to become a qualified veterinarian.

On the job and off the job training

All apprenticeships and traineeships include a practical component and a theory component.

On the job training is the practical component – this is what you learn at work, where you are completing your apprenticeship.

Off the job training is the theory component of your apprenticeship/traineeship – this is what you learn at your training institution.

Oral communication

Oral communication refers to your ability to talk with others to give and exchange information and ideas. It is an imperative part of team work. Your oral communication may include: asking questions, explaining things, giving directions, presenting to groups, team meetings to coordinate work tasks and liaising with your manager/boss and peers.

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Kathryn Schache, WA Trainer of the Year 2014

Written communication

Written communication refers to your ability to interact and share information clearly and effectively in a written form. Your written communication is also an imperative part of the business world. Email communication is a big one across a range of industries and in some, has become the highest form of interaction. However, written communication does not just refer to writing emails, reports and essays, it’s also about ensuring what you’re writing is relevant to the audience you’re writing it for, ensuring your written work has no spelling mistakes, that it is structured well and follows a logical flow of information. It may include your ability to write clear instructions, to take meaningful and accurate notes from a meeting, record keeping or developing processes/practices within your workplace that allow team members to work more effectively by recording information in a written form.

Team participation

Team work is imperative in a collaborative workplace. It’s important when working as part of a team to understand the ‘bigger picture’ the outcome that you are all working towards and what your role is in making that happen. Your team participation refers to how you ensure you are a vital part of your team in the workplace or in your training. Some elements of your team participation might include: following instructions; meeting deadlines; attending meetings; asking questions; taking the opportunity to be a leader; being willing and accountable; problem solving; adhering to rules, regulations and standards in your team/workplace.

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Ambassador

If you win a WA Training Award you’ll be an ambassador for the WA Training Awards and the vocational education and training system. This means that you’ll be a representative to encourage people to get into training, to follow a similar pathway to yourself and to encourage people to apply for the WA Training Awards. Your duties as an ambassador will vary depending on the opportunities available, however, the Department of Training and Workforce Development will encourage you to advocate training and the Awards to your networks and to work with relevant industry groups to promote training in a broader sense.

Selection criteria

The selection criteria are a list of personal/professional qualities (that is – skills, knowledge, work experience, qualifications and abilities) required for a job or appointment – in this case, for a WA Training Award. When asked to respond to selection criteria, you are being asked to describe how you meet the requirements of the Award, providing examples from your training/work. This will be used by the judging panel to shortlist applicants for the interview process.

Need assistance? If you have any queries throughout the application process contact the WA Training Awards team via email at trainingawards@dtwd.wa.gov.au or call us on 6551 5609.

Six strategies for completing your application

Need a bit of a push to jump start your WA Training Awards 2015 application? Here are six strategies to help you put together an Award winning application.

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1. Ensure you are eligible
Putting together an application for the WA Training Awards is a significant body of work, so before you start writing page upon page to address the selection criteria – ensure you’ve read and meet the eligibility for your chosen category. Depending on your category, eligibility may include specific certificate qualifications and specific dates during which you need to complete your qualification to be eligible this year. All individuals must also be a permanent resident of Australia and reside in Western Australia. Check the eligibility criteria for your relevant category at the Awards for individuals or organisations pages on the WA Training Awards website.

2. Give yourself plenty of time
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to put together your responses for the selection criteria. Do a bit of a brainstorm and write down some ideas you may have for each of the relevant criteria early on. Also make a note of the things that you may need to research further or ask someone about. Your application is due by 5.00pm Friday 8 May so you still have plenty of time to make yours an award winning application. You might like to write your responses in a word document first so you can easily edit them and ask others around you for feedback before you submit them in the online application system. Always allow some time at the end to proof read your application to make sure it’s the very best it can be.

With all the focus on your selection criteria, don’t forget to fill in the relevant information in the Details, Attachments and either Individual applicants or Organisation applicants sections of the online application system as well. This is important information the WA Training Awards needs from you as an applicant.

3. Read the criteria thoroughly
In all selection criteria there are certain key words that you can use in your responses. For instance, if Criterion 2 is Communication, team and leadership skills and 2a) is effective oral and written communication, you should make sure you address oral communication skills and then your written communication skills and how you use them in your training/workplace to work as an effective member of your team and in leadership.

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4. Gather your attachments early
Responding to the selection criteria is your key focus, because without that, the judges can’t assess whether you’re the best candidate for the Award. However, don’t make the mistake of leaving your attachments until the application closing day. Most applicants are required to submit a reference or endorsement letter. You will need to give your referee plenty of time to do this. You also need to gather any awards, prizes and training/education certificates, scan them, save them and attach them in the online application system. You don’t want to risk your scanner not working at the last minute or forgetting where you’ve put your Certificate IV qualification at 4.45pm on Friday 8 May. Gather your attachments early and give your referees plenty of time to write your references/endorsements so you won’t be racing against the clock later.

5. Download some tools to help you
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The WA Training Awards website should be saved in your web favourites. It has all the information you need to put together that Award winning application including tools to help you with your written application.

  • Award winning applications – Read examples of award winning applications to give you an idea of what you should include in your application.
  • Evidence guides – use the evidence guides to give you ideas as to what examples you could use to address each of the selection criteria.
  • Reference/endorsement templates – we’ve made it really easy for you to get a reference/endorsement, simply download the template and send it on to you referee.
  • Checklist – Use the checklist to ensure you haven’t forgotten anything in your application.

6. Attend our webinar
The Department of Training and Workforce Development will be hosting a webinar on Tuesday 24 March 2015 at 10.00am.

This is an opportunity for you to ask questions, hear from our judges and gather valuable information on the judging process to help you complete your application and give you a competitive edge. We’ll also give you an insight to the WA Training Awards presentation dinner and what to expect at the Australian Training Awards if you’re a WA Training Award winner in September.

Register your attendance by emailing trainingawards@dtwd.wa.gov.au and we’ll send you the instructions to log in closer to the session.

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Still have questions? Don’t be afraid to ask – we want your application to be a success! Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and culturally and linguistically diverse students also have access to assistance in preparing an application. Email the WA Training Awards team at trainingawards@dtwd.wa.gov.au or call us on 6551 5609.

Where are they now – Jonte Pike

Jonte Pike - WA Vocational Student of the Year 2011

Jonte Pike – WA Vocational Student of the Year 2011

In 2011, Jonté Pike won WA Vocational Student of the Year and was also named runner-up Vocational Student of the Year at the Australian Training Awards later that year.

In the three and a half years since her win, Jonté Pike has established a fashion label which is receiving national and international attention.

Jonte Designs collection

Jonte Designs collection

“Winning the WA title and then runner-up nationally was a humbling and exciting experience,” Jonté said. “The win validated and encouraged me to set up Jonté Designs, and the whole experience has opened many doors.

During this time, she managed to stock her label in stores in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney and has also showcased her designs overseas, including at the South Korea Textile Trade Show.

“The mentoring and assistance provided to the winners of the WA Training Awards, in preparation for the national competition gave me networking and life skills which continue to help me with my business to this day.”

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Jonte at work on a photo shoot for her collection.

Jonté has had the opportunity to further enhance her skills through two textile scholarships in Japan in 2011 and 2014.

“Jonté Designs has been included in several WA fashion shows, such as the Perth Fashion Festival, and this year I am thrilled to be nominated for the WA Fashion Awards in the ‘Designer for Tomorrow’ category,” she said.

“In addition, I was involved in the Miss WA Galaxy Australia finals in February – I was asked to be a judge and I also dressed two of the girls for the competition, which has provided great publicity.”

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This year Jonté will also be setting up her own showroom and studio in Balcatta which will include an evening wear hire element to the business.

“It will be great to have a location where people can liaise with me directly and I can showcase my collections to my audience and clients.”

When it comes to applying for the Awards, Jonté said there was nothing to lose and so much to gain from the experience.

“Don’t be nervous during the interviews,” she said. “Just think of it as having a conversation about what you love doing and the training you had.”

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“Having the opportunity to meet with very talented people in their chosen fields was one of my highlights. It was so inspiring being in a room filled with people who are from different study backgrounds, all being so very passionate about what they do.”

Where do you want to be in three years? Put yourself in the spotlight and let the WA Training Awards help you get there! Apply today at dtwd.wa.gov.au/trainingawards

How to address selection criteria

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To complete your WA Training Awards application, you need to address certain selection criteria to demonstrate to our judging panels that you’re the best in the State at what you do.

For many people, the prospect of completing selection criteria may be a bit daunting, especially if you have never done it before. But if you follow these steps, it’ll be an absolute breeze!

“The application process is really quite simple and you have got nothing to lose. Never doubt yourself and be confident in yourself and your story.”

Emma Hay, WA Trainee of the Year 2014 and Australian Trainee of the Year 2014 Runner up

There are two main techniques when addressing selection criteria, the SAO technique or the STAR technique.

SAO technique

Situation: What was the situation? Set the context.

Action: What did you do and how did you do it?

Outcome: What was the result of your actions?

STAR technique

Situation: What was the situation? Set the context.

Task: What was your role?

Action: What did you do and how did you do it?

Result: What was the result of your actions? What did you achieve?

Whatever technique you use, make sure you have considered all elements of the selection criterion and use real work examples to demonstrate how you meet them.

Download the Job Search Guide available from Career Centre to view examples of how to address selection criteria.

“The application process isn’t difficult and offers the unique opportunity to reflect on your achievements in the last year.”

Central Institute of Technology, WA and Australia International Training Provider of the Year 2014

 

What not to do What to do
Make vague statements about your skills and abilities Give specific concrete examples of when you have used that skill/ability in your work/study.
Ignore points of the selection criteria that you can’t address Address all of the elements in the selection criteria to demonstrate that you’re the best candidate for this award.
Address only the main headings of the selection criteria. Applicants must address all of the sub-points to effectively answer a criterion. For instance, if under criterion 1 there are a), b), c), d) points within it, ensure you address all a), b), c) and d) in your response.
Skim the selection criteria Read each criteria thoroughly and make a note of the key words, use those key words in your response. For instance, if you’re addressing a criterion that requires you to demonstrate your knowledge, you should respond by writing how and where you gained that knowledge.
Write a couple of sentences addressing Criterion 1, 2 and 3 Individuals should aim to write ¾ of a page to a full page for each criterion.Organisations should aim to write at least one-two full pages for each criterion.
Write your responses to the selection criteria the night before it’s due and submit it on the dot at 5pm Friday 8 May 2015. Give yourself plenty of time to write your responses to the selection criteria.Create an account in the online application system and start your application, you can log in at any time to add ideas and continue working on your responses to the selection criteria.Give yourself time to review your responses and edit them to make sure there aren’t any spelling and grammar mistakes.

Copy your responses into a word document to check spelling and grammar and review the length of your application as a whole (students should be max 5 pages, trainers 10 pages, organisations 20 pages).

Get started on your application today at dtwd.wa.gov.au/trainingawards