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Specialisations for Qualifications

What is a Specialisation?

The Packaging rules have been updated to include specialisations, pre-determined Units of Competency in a qualification that allow a student to specialise in a particular area. They are outlined in the packaging rules of the qualification. Specialisation can also be used in Accredited Courses.

Service Skills Organisations (formerly Industry Skills Councils) are increasingly creating generalised qualifications with specialisation. Specialisations allow students to hold a single qualification with one or more specialisation. These qualifications often require that there be a specialisation under the packaging rules.

CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support has the following specialisations
CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing)
CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support (Home and Community)
CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability)

Or combinations of specialisations
CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community)
CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Disability)
CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support (Home and Community, Disability)
CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community, Disability)

Packaging rules for CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support state students must study two units from at least one specialisation.

How do I report specialisations?

Currently, there is no field for specialisations in the AVETMISS Validation Software or the USI registry. Both draw their data from Training.gov.au's (TGA) 'Qualification Code' and 'Qualification title', which are listed on the very top of the qualification page on. i.e. CHC33015 - Certificate III in Individual Support. Specialisations are not listed on in the Qualification code or Qualification title, so you can't report an enrolment to AVETMISS Validation Software or the USI Registry with its specialisation.

Shouldn't the Specialisation be listed on the student's record?

Ideally, yes. When we spoke to NCVER, they said that the Service Skills Organisations had introduced specialisations into the training packages fairly recently, and they were added to the packaging rules on TGA before NCVER or the USI Registry could make the technical changes to have the specialisations reported. NCVER is aware of the issue and working with TGA and the USI Registry to find a solution.

NCVER's Customer Service was very helpful and even emailed us to confirm that they are seeking clarification from TGA and ASQA on this issue. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact NCVER or ASQA for clarification. Both have great customer services staff that will provide you with more details on the topic.

What do we do until there is a solution for TGA?

Naming a course with specialisations

onCourse has separated the Course name and code from the qualification title and code. You can enter the specialisation in the 'Course Name' And 'Course Code' on the General Tab of the Course, and then add the Qualification title and code on the VET tab. This will not affect the AVETMISS export, as onCourse will automatically check and use the Qualification Code and Qualification Title as listed on TGA on the VET Tab of the class. This means you can make the 'Name' field in the General tab reflect the specialisation without interfering with your reporting obligations.

Using the above examples, you may decide to have the course name and code as

On the General Tab

Course Name: CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing)
Course Code: CHC33015AGING

And on the VET Tab

National title: Certificate III in Individual Support
National Code: CHC33015

This will allow you to communicate both the specialisation and the national qualification details to the students. This will be particularly helpful for online enrolment, because students will not need to know the details of the units for their specialisation, they can select the course based on the specialisation.

This will also ensure your data is correct for AVETMISS and state lodgement, as the Qualification title and code will be the same as the record in TGA.

Issuing Certificate with a Specialisation

Schedule 5 of the RTO Standards (2015) states that the certificate must have the Qualification code and title as listed by TGA. There is no information in the RTO Standards (2015) on specialisations, but other aspects are very specific. This can cause issues because the students studying the specialisation what them to appear on their certification.

We recommend that you use the 'Public Notes' section in the onCourse Certificate Record to display the specialisation. That way it will be on your Certificate Register and the printed certificate.

If you have customised your own template, please check that the 'Public notes' section is still in your template - some providers removed it from their own templates because they did not use it at the time. You can check the print location of this field by entering data into a certificate’s Public Notes field, and then print both your custom certificate template and your onCourse standard certificate to see if the field is visible.

You may wish to adjust the location of the Printed Notes field on your certificate template, you can do this yourself or contact ish support to request a customisation by our developers.

Please note if you use a standard script to auto generate and/or issue your VET Certificates and also need to add specialisation details, you will need to speak to us about the best way to adjust the script to handle these special types of certificates.

If your customised version of the certificate has overwritten the standard template, you may need to go to GitHub to download the standard Certificate Templates and upload in your system.

It's a good practice to give a different name and key code to any report you customise yourself. A good way to do this is to add your organisation name or acronym at the being of the report name so you can keep the standard version in case of any issues i.e Certificate is the standard name, so we would create a new, customised version called ish Certificate

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