Date: Wednesday 29 March, 1.30pm - 2.30pm ACDT

Cost: Free

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Adding value to competency-based training

Competency-based training (CBT) has been fundamental to how accredited VET is delivered in Australia over the last 30 years or so, and over this time both advocates and critics of this approach have emerged.

Taking the format of a panel discussion, this webinar will cover issues highlighted in a recent NCVER publication on CBT including whether there is a need to have a broader conception of what it means to be competent, one that explicitly acknowledges the importance of ‘non-technical’ skills and capabilities and if so, what would this mean for the capabilities required by trainers to teach and assess non-technical competencies.

Other questions to be explored in the discussion are whether the CBT approach should be applied to all qualifications and whether there is a place for graded or proficiency-based assessment. Where relevant, the relationship between these issues and elements of the Commonwealth government’s proposed new qualification model may be explored.


Michelle Circelli

Michelle is a senior member of the Research and Data Analytics Branch at NCVER where she’s had the opportunity to undertake or manage research projects covering a wide variety of issues of importance to the VET sector including industry engagement and governance, the impact of VET for disadvantaged learners, VET workforce development, and adult language, literacy, numeracy and digital skills.


Dr Geethani Nair

Geethani currently works as ‘Chief of Innovation’ at Digital Skills Organisation (DSO). Before joining the DSO, Dr. Nair had over two decades of a varied and exciting professional career at TAFE NSW in leadership, Education, Technology & Training.

In her previous role as the Head of Technology and Business Services SkillsPoint at TAFE NSW, she managed diverse and complex work programs in TAFE NSW in collaboration with Technology and Business Services industries.

Her formal qualifications range from technology to education. She has completed a Doctor of Education at the University of Technology, Master of Information Technology at Monash University, Graduate Diploma of Vocational Education & Training at the University of Technology, and a Bachelor of Civil Engineering at the University of Moratuwa Sri Lanka.

She is a researcher and has presented papers at many Vocational Education & Training conferences.

Her current work at DSO focuses on building agile and effective ways for the Australian workforce to develop digital skills, as current approaches to digital education and training lack the capacity and agility to produce the volume of digital employees necessary.

Ian Curry

Until his retirement in 2022, Ian was the National Coordinator: Skills, Training & Apprenticeships with the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union. He had national responsibility for managing the AMWU’s engagement with the national training system and the structures that underpin it. Ian has had a long history of engagement with the training system and has served on many state and national regulatory and advisory bodies associated with the system.

Hugh Guthrie

Hugh is a private consultant (Lusid Pty Ltd) and an Adjunct Senior Fellow in the Griffith Institute for Educational Research at Griffith University, He has previously held honorary positions at both Victoria and Melbourne Universities.

Now semi-retired, Hugh has worked in the VET sector since 1981, including 25 years at the National Centre for Vocational Education Research. His VET experience and expertise is wide-ranging and includes: VET provider and workforce capability, VET teacher preparation and professional development, apprenticeships and apprentice training and VET in schools. He has also authored a book and a number of papers on CBT.

Currently, he undertakes a range of consultancy work and writes articles for the VET Development Centre’s newsletter and authors other publications, including on the quality of VET delivery published through NCVER. Major reviews in which he has been involved include VET teacher education and of VET’s training package approach.

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