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It can be very difficult knowing which courses and qualifications are the most beneficial for you to reach your career goals. It can be even more difficult, and often frustrating, trying to figure out what all the training jargon means, and what value each course actually brings you.

The most common question is: What is an accredited and non-accredited course in relation to a Vocational Education Training (VET) environment?


What is an accredited course?

The essential difference between accredited training and non-accredited training is that the completion of an accredited training course means you are issued with a nationally recognised certification such as:

  • a Certificate I,
  • a Certificate II,
  • a Certificate III,
  • a Certificate IV,
  • a Diploma,
  • an Advanced Diploma, or
  • a single unit of competency e.g. SIRXIND001A – Work effectively in a retail environment, or
  • a skill set e.g. HLTSS00065 – Infection control skill set (a single or combination of a few units of competency that leads to a skills outcome).


VET accredited courses have been assessed by ASQA as compliant with the Standards for VET Accredited Courses 2012 and the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

Accreditation is formal confirmation that the course:

  • is nationally recognised and meets quality assurance requirements,
  • meets an established industry, enterprise, educational, legislative or community need,
  • provides appropriate competency outcomes and a satisfactory basis for assessment, and
  • is aligned appropriately to the AQF where it leads to a VET qualification.


What is a non-accredited course?

A non-accredited training course, however, does not count towards a recognised qualification, but is specially designed to still teach you relevant skills that will enable you to perform your job more effectively.

Some examples of these courses include:

  • Leadership courses.
  • Conflict resolution courses.
  • Customer service excellence courses.
  • An organisation’s internal training courses and brand specific knowledge.
  • Software programs and applications.


These courses deliver professional and personal benefits such as:

  • More in-depth skills built on existing skills acquired through accredited courses.
  • Knowing how to apply your skills in real-life applications.
  • Giving you unique skills and knowledge not taught in typical accredited courses.
  • Giving you/your team a competitive edge in the industry with more tailored learning.
  • Increasing motivation and drive for excellence in the workplace.
  • Increasing capacity to adopt new technologies and methods.
  • Increasing changes of promotion through upskilling.
  • Reducing complacency in the workplace and reigniting personal/team morale.


How do I know whether a course is accredited or non-accredited?

In Australia, one of the easiest ways to spot an accredited course is to look out for 3 things:

  1. the RTO of the training provider (e.g. NRA’s RTO Code is 0712),
  2. the Course Code of the training course, as dictated on (e.g. SIR10116 – Certificate I in Retail Services), and
  3. the ‘National Recognised Training’ logo on the training collateral.



These 3 elements are mandatory on all accredited training resources throughout Australia, which makes it very easy for you to distinguish whether or not you will be getting a nationally recognised certificate on completion.


So which one is right for me?

Both accredited and non-accredited courses are beneficial for increasing your professional resume as an employee, or potential employee. Employers hold external learning in high regard as it shows an individual’s personal initiative to stay highly skilled and relevant, whereas employees really treasure opportunities to upskill within their workplace as it shows the company’s commitment to investing in their staff and building a stronger team. By choosing the right combination of courses most relevant to your career goals, you can ensure you are getting the most value possible, and that you are proactively paving your way to future promotions and growth.

If you are unsure of which courses are right for you, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation on 1800 732 066.