Are we all speaking the same language? Understanding 'quality' in the VET sector

June 2015
Estimated publish date
December 2017
Principal researcher(s)
Tabatha Griffin
Senior Research Officer, Research Operations, NCVER

Tabatha Griffin 08 8230 8431


Although there are likely to be some similarities, different stakeholders of the VET system are likely to vary in their viewpoint of what makes for a good quality VET system. For example, providers and practitioners might define ‘quality’ in terms of educational design and provider reputation that attracts students to enrol. Yet learners may be more likely to measure quality by their probability of getting the job they want after completing their studies. Employers might assess the quality of the VET system by its ability to produce work-ready graduates; but for funders, quality may be defined by the return on investment from the system in terms of increases in the productivity of Australia’s workforce. Finally, there are regulators who are focused on training providers’ adherence to their quality standards.

This research seeks to clarify what is meant by ‘quality’ from the perspectives of five different stakeholder groups: providers/ practitioners, learners, employers; funders; and regulators. It will also investigate what metrics are currently available for measuring quality, assess their effectiveness and consider what might be better.



Research questions

This research will seek to answer the following research questions:

  1. What is important to each of these stakeholder groups in regards to the VET system?
  2. From their perspective, what makes a good quality VET system?
  3. What are the enablers of, and barriers to, a system that meets the expectations of each stakeholder group?
  4. How effective and/or useful are any currently available measures of quality? What might be better?


The methodology for this project involves a desktop analysis and review of existing literature and other available sources.