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National VET Data Sets

What are these large VET data sets?

The primary source for VET statistics and data is through the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER). The NCVER is the national professional body responsible for collecting, managing, analysing and communicating research and statistics on the Australian vocational education and training (VET) sector.

NCVER collects a number of statistical collections and surveys, the main ones being:

  • AVETMISS: data collected to meet the Australian Vocational Education and Training Management Information Statistical Standard (AVETMISS) and use the AVETMISS Validation Software This link takes you away from the ADCET page to ensure consistent quality of data. This information forms key graphic tools and data visualisations available through VOCSTATS This link takes you away from the ADCET page.
  • VET statistics: standard statistical collections, surveys and analysis or publications which includes summary briefings and infographics. This includes the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth This link takes you away from the ADCET pagewhich is a research program tracking youth transitions.

NCVER also produces research, articles and updates to support the sector through VOCED plus This link takes you away from the ADCET page which is an international database of tertiary education research.


The Australian Vocational Education and Training Management Information Statistical Standard (AVETMISS) requires all RTOs to validate information via the AVETMISS Validation Software. Key parameters validated at each collection period include:

  • Training Organisation name
  • Training Organisation delivery location
  • Program file information containing records for each qualification, course or skill set associated with enrolment activity and completed programs 
  • Subject File containing records for each unit of competency, accredited unit or module associated with enrolment activity 
    Client File containing a record for each client (individual) who has participated in VET activity or has been awarded a qualification and a separate Client Contact details
  • Disability File containing a record for each disability, impairment, or long-term condition associated with a client to assist with analysis for access and equity purposes. A client may have more than one type of disability, impairment, or long-term condition
  • Prior Educational Achievement File information about the types of prior educational achievements for a client to assist with the analysis of pathways and skill levels of clients entering training
  • Training Activity File provides information about training activity undertaken by clients during the collection period. This information is used to measure training activity and output for the VET sector
  • Program Completed File file provides profile information about clients completing the requirements of qualifications, courses or skill sets, either during the collection period or in a prior collection period (where the program completion has not previously been reported). This information is used to measure successful outcomes from the VET sector.

Data collections can be found on the NCVER website This link takes you away from the ADCET page.

VET statistics

These statistics are laid our in a dashboard and include publications, databuilders, infographics and visualisation tools. This dashboard allows for various levels of ability in interacting with statistical information as well as getting quick summaries or overviews. 

Key data includes:

  • total VET student enrolments
  • funding information
  • student outcomes including levels of satisfaction and completion rates
  • apprentice and training enrolments and student outcomes
  • VET in schools.

How is this data collected?

The NCVER gathers data from multiple databases include AVETMISS; National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, Students and Courses (National VET Provider Collection), National Student Outcomes Survey and the National VET in Schools Collection. Both current and time series/historical data are available for the above databases.

These databases are updated alongside the publication release of the collection on which they are based. A list of release dates for these publications is available on their data information pages.

You can get additional information through VOCSTATS  This link takes you away from the ADCET page a tool that allows users to construct their own tables, via an interactive web interface, using databases containing data from various NCVER collections. These tables can then be printed or exported in a variety of formats for further use. Access to this data requires registration.

Some of the challenges with this type of data include:

  • we know they are not complete or accurate at the time of submission
  • students choose not to disclose information e.g., disability, cultural background
  • not often updated or there is a lag.

The value dilemma for this data is weighing up the pros and cons for the data in order to glean important insights about the increasing numbers and performance of students, and in particular awareness around the types of people with disability. Some of these insights may be better gathered through institutional data.

How do I find and navigate this data?

ADCET has recently revised the latest VET statistics to support disability practitioners or you can go straight to the NCVER This link takes you away from the ADCET page.

Common data sets that people look at include:

  • total VET student enrolment
  • VET funding
  • VET qualification completion rates by level
  • student outcomes including levels of satisfaction and completion rates
  • apprentice and trainee enrolments and student outcomes
  • VET in schools.

When looking at the data ensure you are:

  • looking at the contents and explanatory notes around how the data is collected
  • understanding the difference between access, participation, retention and success data
  • comparing ‘like for like’ – some data is disaggregated by commencing vs all students, domestic vs overseas, levels of study, table A and B providers, modes of study etc
  • checking your own data against the Department of Education data
  • look at trends – both in the sector and your own institution
  • compare with other ‘like’ institutions
    utilising the visual analytics as well as downloading Excel and Pivot tables
  • don’t be afraid to ask questions.

How can planning units assist?

If you don’t already have a good relationship with your planning and data area/s then it is worthwhile. They can help you to:

  • better understand sector and institutional data and how to understand inputs and outputs
  • assist you to understand what senior leaders are concerned with
  • assist you to streamline data requests through reporting processes or dashboards
  • create reports and data analysis which is meaningful
  • improve your comfort levels with the data
  • assist you to streamline or drive service improvements.

Some initial questions to ask your planning/data team might be:

  • what do you have dashboards set up to do?
  • How can my area improve student disclosure of disability on enrolment?
  • How can I utilise the student disclosure information to better inform our service provision?
  • What are the trends in the data e.g., types of disability, intersectional considerations, which disciplines students with disability are studying, what is their mode of attendance etc
  • how can we benchmark? How does your institution compare with others in your state or nationally, proportion of enrolments, retention and success rates etc?

What is the value of this data, and how it can be used

These large data sets are utilised by a variety of stakeholders including:

  • Federal and State Government Departments for the purposes of funding and service provision. For example, enrolment numbers may impact funding
  • individual institutions for benchmarking and policy-making
  • peak bodies who support different types of disability
  • informing Disability Managers and Practitioners for service improvement
  • providing information for ongoing research
  • the broader community.