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.



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.

Kathryn Schache1

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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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.


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