VETDSS credits and NTCET requirements

Students who successfully complete their senior secondary education are awarded the Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training (NTCET).

The NTCET is a nationally recognised qualification that paves the way for young people to move from school to work or further training and study.

All vocational education and training delivered to secondary students (VETDSS) qualifications or units of competency that make up a qualification in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) can contribute to the completion requirements of the NTCET.

For more information about this, read the VETDSS – program handbook PDF (1.7 MB).

Nominal hours

Nominal hours are the hours of training notionally required to achieve the outcomes of units of competency.

In the Northern Territory (NT), nominal hours are used as a mechanism for funding allocation.

Nominal hours requirement for 10 NTCET credits

70 nominal hours from the one qualification are required to achieve each 10 credits.

VETDSS credits and NTCET requirements

VETDSS can make up 160 of the required 200 credits of the NTCET.

Students need to complete stage 1 compulsory subjects, which is:

  • 20 credits of literacy
  • 10 credits of numeracy and
  • 10 credits of Personal Learning Plan.

Only Certificate III and above level courses can count as stage 2 credits.

Diagram explaining the stages, points and compulsory or free choice elements of the NTCET

VETDSS credits and ATAR

A completion of a Certificate III or above level course can contribute as 20 credits of the ATAR requirements.

Not all Certificate III courses are considered equal to stage 2 subjects.

Consult the VET recognition register on the SACE website.

You must submit a copy of the qualification with the VET qualification verification form for the qualification to be included in the ATAR.

NTCET study and apprenticeships

Schools need to be aware of the length of time required to complete the apprenticeship, which may be up to 4 years, to determine if the student will complete the qualification or at least as many nominal hours they require, before the completion of year 12.

Students can also request that their VET completions be added to their school's online profile after they have left school.

The rules remain the same regarding completion of compulsory subjects and meeting NTCET pattern requirements.

VETDSS qualifications limits

NTCET pattern requirements require a limit of two Certificate I level courses, including partial completions.

There is no limit to the number of Certificate II and above courses a student undertakes.

Part and full VET qualifications

All units in a VETDSS qualification must be a part of, or belong to, a nationally accredited training qualification, and listed on the Australian Government's Training website.

Single units of competency such as Apply First Aid do not count unless they form part of a qualification.

VET courses alignment with Stage 1 or Stage 2

For information on course alignment, go to the VET Recognition Register.

Accumulation of VETDSS-related NTCET credits

This usually commences in Year 10. However, in some circumstances, year 9 students may have access to VETDSS.

Where year 9 VETDSS study meets the NTCET requirements, it can count towards NTCET credits.

Nominal hours in each unit of competency

For nominal hour allocations for units of competency and maximum hour allocations for qualifications within training, view the Victorian training package purchasing guides on the Victorian Government's Education and Training website.

To contact the registered training organisation, refer to the VETDSS RTO contacts 2022 PDF (449.7 KB).

Learn more about VETDSS

For information about VETDSS and the NTCET, go to the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) website.

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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