Getting a course accredited

This fact sheet provides a brief overview of how to apply for initial accreditation of a course.

For more information on whether your organisation needs to accredit a course, refer to the ‘When to consider course accreditation’ fact sheet.

Stages for course accreditation

This fact sheet provides a summary of the essential steps for developing an accredited course and addresses the first three of the five stages in the ASQA course accreditation process.

  • Stage 1—Preliminary research and consultation
  • Stage 2—VET course concept
  • Stage 3—Course development
  • Stage 4—Course design and submission
  • Stage 5—Assessment
  • Stage 6—Decision

These stages are outlined in further detail on ASQA’s website.

VET course concept

A VET course concept form must be submitted for all initial accreditation applications.

The VET course concept form asks course developers to show:

  • evidence that sufficiently establishes an industry need and support for the proposed course
  • that appropriate industry stakeholders have been identified for consultation during the development of the proposed course.

ASQA will review the VET course concept submission, and then advise applicants whether they are ready to progress to the next stage in the process, course development.

Essential steps for development an accredited course

1. Check for duplication with Training Package products:

You must conduct research and analysis of training package qualifications and units of competency that may provide the same outcome. A course can only be considered for accreditation if it does not duplicate the outcomes of existing training package products.

ASQA will not accredit a course where the outcome can be achieved from a training package.

2. Review the current accreditation requirements:

The current standards are the Standards for VET Accredited Courses 2012Standards for Training Packages and the Australian Qualification Framework Second Edition January 2013.

3. Conduct industry consultation:

Broad consultation must occur to confirm that there is an established industry, enterprise, education, legislative or community need for the course.

Consultation must occur at both the course/qualification level and the enterprise unit of competency level. You must provide evidence of this consultation with the application.

Consultation must involve the relevant SSO(s) where the outcomes of the proposed course fall within (or can be associated with) its area of coverage.

4. Use ASQA’s Accredited Course Document Template:

You must use this template to submit courses for accreditation.

The template provides guidance and some suggested text for inclusion in the course document.

5. Using Training Package units in the course:

Where a training package unit that contributes towards the course outcome exists, it must be used. Enterprise units can only be considered for inclusion in an accredited course where they do not duplicate the outcomes of an endorsed training package unit of competency. Ensure the current versions of training package units are used and the nominal hours for training package units align to those specified in the Victorian Purchasing Guide. The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) uses these hours for AVETMISS reporting purposes, therefore ASQA uses these hours as a benchmark.

6. Review the policy documents on developing units of competency:

Where units of competency need to be developed for inclusion in the course, they must comply with the requirements of the Standards for Training Packages.

ASQA is complying with development requirements endorsed by the then Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (SCOTESE) for training products developed and delivered in the VET sector. The Standards for Training Packages supersede the Training Package Development Handbook. The Standards for Training Packages do not accommodate the development of modules in VET accredited courses.

7. Lodge a complete application:

There are a number of attachments required. Refer to the checklist included in the ‘Application for course accreditation (initial)' or ‘Application for course accreditation (renewal)' forms. If you are applying to accredit multiple courses at the same time, each course must be submitted using a separate application form.

8. Apply to add the course to your RTO scope of registration (if you wish to deliver the course):

Approval of an accredited course does not provide approval to deliver the accredited course. An RTO wishing to deliver an accredited course must apply to add the course to its scope of registration. The registration process cannot commence until the outcome of the accreditation application has been decided.

Timeframes for course accreditation

VET course concept—ASQA will provide written advice within 20 working days of receiving the completed VET course concept form (and payment of the application fee).

If ASQA acknowledges a VET course concept is sufficiently developed, the course developer will have 12 months to complete Stage 3—Course development and Stage 4—Course design and submission.

Provided that the course document and course accreditation submission are developed in accordance with the relevant requirements, a course could be accredited within four to six months. Timeframes vary depending on a range of factors, including the quality of the submission.

More information

For detailed information, including application forms, refer to ASQA’s website.

The current requirements for course accreditation comprise the:

Contact ASQA

You can contact ASQA by calling the Info line on 1300 701 801 Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 7.00 pm AEST.

You can also ask a question about course accreditation by emailing

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