In 1992, then Prime Minister, the Hon Paul Keating, released his policy statement, One nation, that included a proposal for the development of a new system of vocational education and training (VET). That same year, the Commonwealth and states and territories made the landmark decision to create a nationally coordinated training system and the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA) and its Ministerial Council were established to lead and coordinate the development of a national VET system. This timeline captures the different Ministerial Councils responsible for education and training from 1992 to the present and their committees and advisory bodies and shows their evolution during this period. Brief summaries of these entities, including their full names, are provided below the timeline. Tip: Use the 'Browse by' index below for easy navigation.

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Timeline of COAG Ministerial Councils for education and training: 1992-2018

ACTRAC, the Australian Committee for Training Curriculum, was a former committee which coordinated the development of national curricula for vocational education and training. In 1995, ACTRAC amalgamated with NTB to form the SCC.

ACVETS, the Australian Committee on Vocational Education and Training Statistics was the new name given to COTTS in 1993. ACVETS provided advice to the former ANTA Board on the collection and reporting of VET statistics and managed major national projects such as the National Management Information and Statistics System (NATMISS). ACVETS was succeeded by NACVETS in the second half of 1996.

AEEYSOC, the Australian Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs Senior Officials Committee, was a senior committee established under MCEECDYA in 2009 to provide support and was directly responsible to MCEECDYA and then SCSEEC for the execution of Ministerial Council decisions. In July 2014, AEEYSOC became AESOC.

AESOC, the Australian Education Systems Officials Committee, was established under the auspices of MCEETYA in July 2001 as an amalgamation of the former Conference of Education System Chief Executive Officers (CESCEO) and the MCEETYA Standing Committee of Officials (Schools). Between 2009-2014, it was replaced by AEEYSOC, but in July 2014, when the Education Council replaced SCSEEC, AESOC reverted to its former name. It currently reports directly to the Education Council and is responsible for providing advice to Ministers in areas of national significance.

AICTEC, the Australian Information and Communications Technology in Education Committee, known as ERC before 2001, was a national, cross-sectoral committee responsible for providing advice to all Australian Ministers of Education and Training on the economic and effective utilisation of information and communications technologies in Australian Education and Training. AICTEC ceased to operate in December 2013.

AISC, the Australian Industry and Skills Committee, was established in May 2015 to give industry a formal, expanded role in policy direction and decision-making for the vocational education and training (VET) sector. AISC's role includes: advising on VET quality instruments (Provider Standards and Training Package Standards); endorsing qualifications; providing industry input to guide VET research; and providing industry input to ministerial council. It also: assesses business cases from Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) for training product review; allocates work to SSOs and quality assures results; considers need for additional materials to support training products (e.g. companion volumes); and assigns new IRCs or re-assigns existing IRCs.

AITAC, the Australian Indigenous Training Advisory Council, was an advisory committee of the ANTA Board. It was established in September 2000, replacing ATSIPTAC. With the transfer of ANTA functions to the then Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) on 1 July 2005, AITAC ceased to meet.

ALLC, the Australian Language and Literacy Council, was established as an NBEET specialist Council in 1992. The Council provided advice to the Board and the Minister for Employment, Education and Training on matters relating to language and literacy skills, including the development and implementation of the Australian Language and Literacy Policy.

ANTA MINCO, the Australian National Training Authority Ministerial Council was established in December 1992 under legislation via the Australian National Training Authority ACT 1992. The Council consisted of one Minister from each state and territory and the Commonwealth responsible for VET. Its functions included determining national goals, objectives and priorities for VET in Australia.

ANTARAC, the Australian National Training Authority Research Advisory Council, was established in late 1993 following endorsement by ANTA MINCO in July 1993. Its role was to advise the ANTA Board on research and development into VET and related matters, including making recommendations on the allocation of funds for research and for the development of research capacity and the first research grants were provided in 1994. ANTARAC was dissolved and replaced by NREC in October 1996.

APPC, the Access and Participation Principal Committee, was one of four principal committees established in April 2010 by MCTEE to replace NISC. It reported to MCTEE and then SCOTESE through NSOC. Its role was to provide advice on matters relating to impediments to access to tertiary education and employment particularly amongst disadvantaged groups and to consider strategies to increase participation in tertiary education and employment. The Principal Committees were dissolved in April 2014 by the newly established CISC as part of efforts to streamline the governance arrangements of the national training system.

AQFAB, the Australian Qualifications Framework Advisory Board, was established by MCEETYA in 1995 and was responsible for promoting, guiding and monitoring the implementation of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and advising MCEETYA on any required changes to the guidelines. In May 2008, MCEETYA replaced AQFAB with AQFC

AQFC, the Australian Qualifications Framework Council, was established in May 2008 by MCEETYA to replace AQFAB. It was responsible for developing and maintaining the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and associated policies, and for providing authoritative and strategic advice on the AQF. It reported to MCTEE and its successor SCOTESE, and where appropriate, to MCEECDYA and its successor, SCSEEC. The AQFC was disbanded in September 2014.

ATSIPTAC, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' Training Advisory Council, was established in 1996 to advise the ANTA Board on ways to: improve the vocational education and training system for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, better coordinate employment, education and training programs, and achieve the 21 goals of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy. ATSIPTAC was replaced by AITAC in September 2000.

AWPA, the Australian Workforce Productivity Agency, was an independent Government agency established in July 2012 under the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency Act 2008 to replace Skills Australia. It was responsible for: administering the National Workforce Development Fund; conducting skills and workforce research; driving engagement between industry, training providers and government on workforce development, apprenticeships and VET reform; developing and monitoring sectoral skills and workforce development plans in conjunction with Industry Skills Councils and industry; providing independent advice on sectoral and regional skills needs to support workforce planning and productivity; and promoting workforce productivity by leading initiatives for the improvement of productivity, management, innovation and skills utilisation within Australian workplaces. AWPA's functions were transferred to the then Australian Government Department of Industry on 1 July 2014.

CISC, the COAG Industry and Skills Council, was established in December 2013 to replace SCOTESE. Its membership comprises state and territory ministers with responsibility for industry and/or skills portfolios.

COTTS, the Committee on TAFE and Training Statistics succeeded the Joint Committee on TAFE Statistics (JCTAFES) in 1990 and was responsible for establishing a national management system for TAFE statistics. In 1993, COTTS became ACVETS.

DPMPC, the Data and Performance Measurement Principal Committee, one of four principal committees established in April 2010 by MCTEE to NISC. It reported to MCTEE and SCOTESE through NSOC. It was Its role was to provide advice on matters relating to performance against national tertiary education targets, improving data collection and broadening measurement. The Principal Committees were dissolved in April 2014 by the newly established CISC as part of efforts to simplify the governance arrangements for the national training system.

Education Council replaced SCSEEC on 1 July 2014. This followed an agreement by COAG on 13 December 2013 to streamline the Ministerial Council system and reduced the number of Councils from 12 to eight. The Education Council provides a forum for coordinating strategic policy on school education, early childhood and higher education at the national level and through which information can be shared, and resources used collaboratively, to address issues of national significance.

ERC, the EdNA Reference Committee, was established by Ministers at the 18 July 1996 meeting of the MCEETYA to provide advice to ministers on major policy issues associated with the use of computer networks in the delivery of education in Australia. ERC became AICTEC in 2000.

ESFC, the Employment and Skills Formation Council, a specialist Council of NBEET, was responsible for vocational education and training and employment issues in the Training Reform Agenda of the 1980s.

EVAG, the Education Network Australia Vocational Education and Training Advisory Group (EdNA VET Advisory Group), was established as a subcommittee of ERC/AICTEC in 1996. Its role was to advise AICTEC on the use of online technologies in the VET sector and the strategic development of the EdNA Directory service. Its name was changed to Flexible Learning Advisory Group (FLAG) in 2001.

FLAG, the Flexible Learning Advisory Group was an NSOC advisory group established in 1996 as the key policy advisory group on national issues related to the directions and priorities for the application of information and communication technology (ICT) in the vocational education and training system and adult and community education (ACE) sector. Previously called EVAG, its name was changed to Flexible Learning Advisory Group in 2001 to better reflect the overall directions of the advisory group. FLAG was dissolved in April 2014 by the newly established CISC as part of efforts to streamline the governance arrangements of the national training system.

IRC, the Industry Reference Committee, is the conduit through which industry intelligence is gathered to guide the development and review of training packages. IRCs are supported by SSOs.

ISCs, Industry Skills Councils, were established in 2003 to replace ITABs. Their function was to provide advice to Australian, state and territory governments on training needs of industry. ISCs were replaced by SSOs under the new arrangements for developing training products that came into effect on 1 January 2016.

ITABs, industry training advisory bodies existed at both national and state/territory levels as autonomous bodies providing advice to governments on the training needs of the industry they represented. In 2003, following the restructuring of the national industry training arrangements by ANTA, the national ITABs were replaced by 11 Industry Skills Councils. ITABs still operate at state and territory levels.

MCEECDYA, the Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs, was established on 1 July 2009 to replace MCEETYA. Membership to MCEECDYA comprised State, Territory, Australian Government and New Zealand Ministers with responsibility for the portfolios of school education, early childhood development and youth affairs, with Papua New Guinea, Norfolk Island and East Timor having observer status. MCEECDYA's areas of responsibility were: primary and secondary education; youth affairs and youth policy relating to schooling; cross-sectoral matters including transitions and careers; early childhood development including early childhood education and care; and international education (school education). MCEECDYA was replaced by SCSEEC in January 2012.

MCEETYA, the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, was formed in June 1993 when the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) amalgamated the Australian Education Council (AEC), MOVEET and the Youth Ministers Council (YMC). It comprised state, territory, Commonwealth and New Zealand Ministers with responsibility for the portfolios of education, employment, training and youth affairs, with Papua New Guinea and Norfolk Island having observer status. Its areas of responsibility included all sectors of education, training, employment and youth affairs. MCEETYA was replaced by MCEECDYA on 1 July 2009.

MCTEE, the Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment, was a former council of ministers established on 1 July 2009 by COAG to replace MCVTE. It had specific responsibility for: higher education; vocational education and training; international education (non-school); adult and community education; the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF); employment; and youth policy relating to participation in tertiary education, work and workforce productivity. MCTEE was succeeded by SCOTESE in September 2011.

MCVTE, the Ministerial Council for Vocational and Technical Education, was established in November 2005 to replace ANTA MINCO, abolished on 30 June 2005. Its role was to ensure continued harmonisation of a national system of standards, assessment and accreditation. It comprised Australian government and state and territory Ministers with responsibility for vocational education and training and provided direction on national policy and planning, including funding, and national objectives and priorities. MCVTE was replaced by the MCTEE in July 2009 following the decision by the COAG to realign the roles and responsibilities of MCEETYA and MCVTE.

MOVEET, Ministers of Vocational Education, Employment and Training, was a former council of Commonwealth, state and territory ministers formed in 1990. It was superseded by the MCEETYA in June 1993.

NACVETS, the National Advisory Committee on Vocational Education and Training Statistics, was an advisory committee to the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA) Board from 1996-1998 on the collection and reporting of vocational education and training statistics. It replaced ACVETS in the second half of 1996.

NATESE, the National Advisory for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, was a secretariat established in July 2011 to provide policy advice and support services to the key advisory councils of SCOTESE, NSOC, NSSC, FLAG and NVEAC. In April 2014, the functions of NATESE was brought into the Department of Industry as part of efforts to streamline the governance arrangements of the national training system.

NBEET, the National Board of Employment, Education and Training, was a statutory body established by the Employment, Education and Training Act 1988, which came into effect on 1 July 1988. It was created to provide independent advice to the Minister for Employment, Education and Training on matters relating to employment, youth affairs, education, training and research. NBEET had a two-tiered structure of Board and specialist Councils supported by additional committees. In 1988, there were four Councils: Schools Council (SC); Higher Education Council (HEC); Employment and Skills Formation Council (ESFC); and the Australian Research Council (ARC). A fifth Council, the Australian Language and Literacy Council (ALLC) was established in 1992. Following the March 1996 election, the Government announced that NBEET and its subordinate Councils, with the exception of ARC and HEC, were to be abolished in mid-1996. However, the Employment, Education and Training Amendment Bill 1996 was not passed. Legislation to amend the Employment, Education and Training Act 1988 was reintroduced in March 1999. This legislation came into effect in March 2000 and NBEET was abolished.

NISC, National Industry Skills Committee, was a sub-committee established in 2006 to provide MCVTE with higher level evidence-based advice relating to workforce planning and future training priorities in the VET system. On 28 April 2010, after reviewing the governance arrangements for the national VET system, MCTEE agreed to replace NISC as the single source of expert industry advice with four principal committees: APPC; DPMPC; WDSDPC; and RQAIEPC which later became TEQPPC .

NQC, the National Quality Council, a former MCTEE Committee, commenced in March 2006 as part of new national training arrangements. Most members of the NQC were previously part of the NTQC. It was responsible for overseeing quality assurance and for ensuring national consistency in the application of the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) standards for the audit and registration of training providers and registration and course accrediting bodies. It had specific decision-making powers in relation to the endorsement of training packages and other aspects of the quality assurance under the National Skills Framework. The NQC was dissolved in June 2011 by MCTEE and many of its functions were transferred to the NSSC.

NREC, the National Research and Evaluation Committee, was a former sub-committee of the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) Board. It was established in 1996 to take over the management of the National VET Research and Evaluation Program (NVETRE) from ANTARAC. NREC was disbanded in 2003, and the research priorities for 2004 were set by the ANTA Board, after which NCVER coordinated and managed the NVETRE Program. NVETRE became the National Vocational Education and Training Research (NVETR) Program in 2015.

NSDC, the National Staff Development Committee, was established in 1990/91 as TNSDC by the Commonwealth. In 1994, the Committee was renamed National Staff Development Committee and reported to ANTA. In June 1995, NSDC became part of ANTA's administrative structure.

NSOC, the National Senior Officials Committee was established as the administrative arm of MCVTE and was responsible for supporting MCVTE, and MCTEE and SCOTESE in implementing Ministerial Council decisions, driving national collaboration on training matters and monitoring the effectiveness of the national training system. NSOC is made up of the chief executive officers of the Australian and State and Territory government departments responsible for training. Following the dissolution of SCOTESE in December 2013, NSOC is no longer part of the formal governance arrangements.

NSSC, the National Skills Standards Council, commenced operations in July 2011 as a committee of SCOTESE. It was responsible for overseeing quality assurance and ensuring national consistency in the application national standards for the audit and registration of training providers, a role previously undertaken by NQC which was dissolved in late June 2011. It had specific decision-making powers in relation to the endorsement of training packages and other aspects of quality assurance under the National Skills Framework. NSSC played a key role in bringing together the major players in the VET sector - industry, employee representatives, governments, equity groups and practitioners - to oversee and support the current and future quality of vocational and technical education across Australia. NSSC was dissolved in April 2014 by the newly established CISC as part of efforts to streamline the governance arrangements of the national training system and its functions delegated to industry representatives and selected senior officials through CISC.

NTB, was a former company owned by the Commonwealth, States and Territories which was responsible for ratifying vocational competency standards. The NTB amalgamated with ACTRAC to form SCC.

NTFC, the National Training Framework Committee, replaced SCC in September 1996. This followed an agreement by Commonwealth, State and Territory Training Ministers to the establishment of an industry led committee to oversee the policy framework for the development and endorsement of training packages. The primary role of the Committee was to provide advice to the ANTA Board on policies to ensure quality and national consistency of training outcomes and the relevance of training to industry and regional needs. NTFC became the NTQC in September 2000.

NTQC, the National Training Quality Council, previously NTFC, comprised employer, employee and government representatives. It advised the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA) Board on policies to ensure quality and national consistency of training outcomes and the relevance of training to industry and regional needs. NTQC was superseded by the NQC in December 2005.

NTSC, the National Training Statistics Committee succeeded NACVETS in 1999. It reported to NSOC on the collection and reporting of VET statistics. During 2011, the strategic roles and functions of the committee were absorbed by the DPMPC.

NVEAC, the National VET Equity Advisory Council, was established in November 2009 to provide independent advice to MCTEE and later SCOTESE, on how disadvantaged learners could achieve better outcomes from VET. NVEAC was dissolved in April 2014 by the newly established CISC as part of efforts to streamline the governance arrangements for the national training system. The secretariat functions of NVEAC were brought into the Department of Industry.

RQAIEPC, the Regulation, Quality Assurance and International Engagement Principal Committee, was one of four principal committees established MCTEE in April 2010 to replace NISC. Its role was to provide advice on matters relating to the maintenance of the quality and international reputation of tertiary education in Australia and the regulatory framework across the tertiary education sector, including agreement to national VET standards. RQAIEPC became TEQPPC in 2011. The Principal Committees were dissolved in April 2014 by the newly established CISC as part of efforts to streamline the governance arrangements of the national training system.

SCC, the Standards and Curriculum Council was formed in July 1995 when the ANTA MINCO decided to amalgamate the functions of the NTB and ACTRAC. The SCC was replaced by the NTFC in September 1996.

SCOTESE, the Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, was established in September 2011 to replace the MCTEE. It was responsible for high-level policy for the national tertiary education, skills and employment system, including strategic policy, priority setting, planning and performance, and key cross-sectoral issues. SCOTESE was replaced by the newly established CISC in December 2013.

SCSEEC, the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood, replaced MCEECDYA in January 2012. It was one of 12 Standing Councils established under new COAG arrangements. Its areas of responsibility included: primary and secondary education; youth affairs and youth policy; cross-sectoral matters, including transitions and careers; and early childhood development. As of 1 July 2014, SCSEEC became known as the Education Council.

Skills Australia was an independent statutory body which was established in 2008 as part of the Australian Government's 'Skilling Australia for the future' policy. Its role was to provide advice on current, emerging and future workforce development needs and workforce skill needs. In July 2012, Skills Australia was replaced by AWPA.

SSO, Skills Service Organisation, an independent, professional service organisation funded by the Commonwealth government to work with IRCs to develop and maintain training packages. The SSOs are: Artibus Innovation; Australian Industry Standards; Innovation and Business Skills Australia; PwC's Skills for Australia; Skills Impact; and SkillsIQ.

SSON, the Senior Skills Officials Network, is made up of senior Commonwealth, state and territory officials who provide support to, and progress actions agreed by, CISC.

TEQPPC, the Tertiary Education Quality and Pathways Principal Committee, was one of four principal committees established in April 2010 by MCTEE to replace NISC. TEQPPC was originally called RQAIEPC. Its role was to advise MCTEE and then SCOTESE on matters relating to tertiary education pathways and integration as well as the regulatory framework, including training standards and the maintenance of the quality and international reputation of tertiary education in Australia. Following a governance review in 2012, TEQPPC was reconfigured to a committee of senior government officials that convened on an as needs basis and was focused on quality issues. The Principal Committees were dissolved in April 2014 by the newly established CISC as part of efforts to streamline the governance arrangements of the national training system. The Committee was dissolved in April 2014 by CISC as part of efforts to streamline the governance arrangements of the national training system.

TNSDC, the TAFE National Staff Development Committee, was established in 1990/91 by the Commonwealth. In 1994, the Committee was renamed NSDC and reported to the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA).

VEETAC, the Vocational Education, Employment and Training Advisory Committee which superseded the Commonwealth/State Training Advisory Committee (COSTAC), a former inter-governmental advisory body on vocational education and training. VEETAC was replaced by ANTA.

WDSDPC, the Workforce Development, Supply and Demand Principal Committee, was one of four principal committees established in April 2010 by MCTEE to replace NISC. It reported to MCTEE and then SCOTESE through NSOC. Its role was to provide high-level advice on issues of national significance relating to workforce development, supply and demand.

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How to cite this page

NCVER 2018, From MINCO to CISC: timeline of COAG Ministerial Councils for education and training and their committees and advisory bodies: 1992-2018, VET Knowledge Bank, NCVER, Adelaide, <http://www.voced.edu.au/vet-knowledge-bank-governance-minco-cisc>.

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