School access to VET delivered to secondary schools

Each year in May, schools are emailed and asked to nominate their preferred vocational education and training delivered to secondary students (VETDSS) courses for next year.

All senior secondary schools are encouraged to apply. However, minimum and maximum student numbers apply and there are facility requirements for certain qualifications to be delivered.

Students must meet certain age requirements to enrol in VETDSS courses.

Selecting VETDSS programs

The school's selected VETDSS programs should align to local employment and community needs, student interests, and provide pathways to further education and or training opportunities.

If your school has a low number of secondary students but want VETDSS:

  • Consider a cluster arrangement where 2 or more schools collaborate to create a cohort of students that meet the minimum student requirement by the registered training organisations (RTO).
  • Contact neighbouring schools to discuss logistics such as where and how this training could work.
  • Involve the RTO to ensure they agree with the arrangements.
  • Contact the department if assistance is required to facilitate a cluster arrangement.
  • In a remote setting, consider bringing your students into a regional training hub such as the Juno Centre in Tennant Creek, the Katherine Rural Campus in Katherine, or the Arid Zone Research Institute in Alice Springs. If you would like to find out more about these training hubs, contact the department.

Age requirements for VETDSS

The table below describes the age requirements for VETDSS.

Year levelAQF level IAQF level IIAQF level IIIMinimum age at time of enrolment*
Year 9 Certificate INot eligible*Not eligible*14
Year 10Certificate ICertificate IINot eligible*15
Year 11 and 12Certificate ICertificate IICertificate III 16

*Some qualifications have licensing outcomes and industry requirements; therefore, other age restrictions do apply.


  • It is recommended that students are at a minimum Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) level 1 across all learning areas to achieve in a certificate I level qualification.
  • AQF means Australian Qualifications Framework.
  • Exceptions may apply in some contexts where students are supported, one-on-one, and courses are heavily scaffolded.

Who can deliver VETDSS

As per the Standards for RTOs 2015, a trainer assessor is a person who:

  • has training and assessment credentials such as TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
  • holds vocational competencies at least to the level being delivered and assessed
    • for example, a trainer assessor who holds a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery can deliver this qualification
  • holds current industry skills directly relevant to the training and assessment being provided or has worked in the industry within the last 12 months and has solid experience in this area
    • for example, a trainer assessor delivering Certificate III in Commercial Cookery has worked as a chef, part-time for the past 3 years
  • is aligned to an RTO that has scope of registration for the qualification or skillset being delivered.

Find out more about the Standards for RTOs 2015 on the Australian Government's Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) website.

Learn more about VETDSS

Read more about careers and VETDSS.

For educators, go to the vocational education and training webpage on eLearn.


For more information, contact the Industry Training and Partnerships unit:

Last updated: 06 April 2022

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