Definitions for Registered training organisations delivering STCW AMSA approved courses—MT01

The following definitions explain the terms used specifically in the Maritime Training (MT) series documents for Registered training organisations (RTOs)


Abbr. Australian Industry Standards (formerly Transport and logistics industry skills council (TLISC))


Abbr. Australian Maritime Safety Authority. The Australian flag State administration.

AMSA approved course completion certificate

A certificate issued by an AMSA approved RTO after the candidate has successfully completed an AMSA approved course.

Anniversary date

The day and month of each year that corresponds to the date of the initial Certificate of Approval.


Approved by the Manager, Seafarer Certification Service, AMSA.

Approved course

A single course or series of courses, or a training program, approved by the Manager as being an approved course, for the issue of marine certificate as required by relevant marine orders.


Abbr. Australian Skills Quality Authority.


Abbr. Australian Qualifications Framework, Australian Government.




Certificates issued in accordance with Marine Orders 70 (Seafarer certification) 2014,
71 (Masters and deck officers) 2014, 72 (Engineer officers) 2014 and 73 (Ratings) 2014.

Certificate of approval

An AMSA issued certificate indicating that the RTO has approval to conduct approved training for an AMSA issued qualification.

Challenge test

An assessment for recognition of prior learning, whether by written examination or by other means, that is equivalent to the normal course assessment.


A person appointed by the Manager to conduct evaluations


A person appointed by the Manager under marine orders 70, 71, 72, 74 to conduct oral examinations leading to the issue of certificates of competency.

Final assessment

Means an assessment by AMSA, of which part must be an oral examination conducted by an examiner. This is to assess whether the applicant has operational knowledge and knowledge of Australian maritime legislation appropriate for the grade of certificate. A final assessment applies for the following:

  • An application for the initial issue of a certificate.
  • An application for revalidation of a certificate.


Abbr. Global maritime distress and safety system.



Abbr. Global maritime distress and safety system radio operator’s certificate. A qualification required to operate GMDSS equipment.

High managerial agent

An employee or agent of the organisation with duties of such responsibility that his or her conduct may fairly be assumed to represent the organisation in relation to the business of providing courses.


International Maritime Organization.

IMO Model Course

Courses developed by the IMO to assist RTOs in training seafarers to the required STCW standard.


Industry regulator


A body or organisation responsible for the regulation and/or licensing arrangements within a specific industry or occupation.

Lead evaluator

An evaluator in charge of a particular evaluation.

Licensed or regulated outcome

Compliance with an eligibility requirement for an occupational licence or a legislative requirement to hold a particular training product in order to carry out an activity.


Manager, Seafarer Certification Service, AMSA.

Mode of delivery

The method adopted to deliver training and assessment including e-learning, online, distance, blended learning.


A group of learning outcomes in a VET accredited course where it can be established that it is not possible to develop an appropriate unit of competency.


Abbr. Maritime Training Package. The maritime industry developed competency based training package. The current version is MAR.


Abbr. Marine Order 70 (Seafarer certification).


Abbr. Marine Order 71 (Master and deck officers).


Abbr. Marine Order 72 (Engineer officers).


Abbr. Marine Order 73 (Ratings).


Abbr. Marine Order 74 (Masters and deck officers - yachts)


Abbr. Marine Order 76 (Health – medical fitness).


Abbr. Principal Advisor Engineering Certification


Abbr. Principal Advisor Nautical Certification

Professional development

Activities that develop and/or maintain trainer or assessor’s skill, knowledge, expertise and other characteristics. This includes both formal and informal activities that include vocational competencies, currency of industry skills and knowledge and practice of vocational training, learning and assessment, including competency based training and assessment. Examples of professional development activities include:

  • Participation in courses, workshops, seminars, conferences, or formal learning programs.
  • Participation in mentoring, professional associations or other learning networks.
  • Personal development through individual research or reading of publications or other relevant information.
  • Participation in moderation or validation activities.
  • Participation in industry release schemes.



Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

An assessment process that assesses the competencies of an individual that may have been acquired through formal, non-formal and informal learning to determine the extent to which that individual meets the requirements specified in the training package or VET accredited courses.

  • Formal learning refers to learning that takes place through a structured program of instruction and is linked to the attainment of an AQF qualification or statement of attainment (for example, a certificate, diploma or university degree).
  • Non-formal learning refers to learning that takes place through a structured program of instruction, but does not lead to the attainment of an AQF qualification or statement of attainment (for example, in-house professional development programs conducted by a business).
  • Informal learning refers to learning that results through experience of work-related, social, family, hobby or leisure activities (for example the acquisition of interpersonal skills developed through several years as a sales representative).


Registration as an RTO by the VET Regulator, where that registration is then entered on the National register.


Abbr. Registered training organisation.

RTO code

The registration identifier given to the RTO on the National register.


Scope of registration


The training products for which an RTO is registered to issue AQF certification documentation. It allows the RTO to either:

  • Both provide training delivery and assessment resulting in the issuance of AQF certification documentation by the RTO.
  • Provide assessment resulting in the issuance of AQF certification documentation by the RTO.

Skill set

A single unit of competency or a combination of units of competency from a training package which link to a licensing or regulatory requirement, or a defined industry need.

Standards for VET accredited courses

The standards made under subsection 188(1) of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 or the equivalent requirements adopted by a non-referring State.

STCW or STCW 78,
as amended

Abbr. International Maritime Organization, International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended.

Third party

Any party that provides services on behalf of the RTO but does not include a contract of employment between an RTO and its employee.




The process used by an RTO or a third party delivering services on its behalf, to facilitate learning and the acquisition of competencies in relation to the training product on the RTO’s scope of registration.

Training and assessment strategies and practices

The approach of, and method adopted by, an RTO with respect to training and assessment designed to enable learners to meet the requirements of the training package or accredited course.

Training package

The components of a training package endorsed by the Industry and Skills Council or its delegate in accordance with the Standards for training packages. The endorsed components of a training package are:

  • units of competency
  • assessment requirements (associated with each unit of competency)
  • qualifications
  • credit arrangements.

The endorsed components form part of the requirements that an RTO must meet under these Standards. A training package also consists of a non-endorsed, quality assured companion volume/s which contains industry advice to RTOs on different aspects of implementation.

Unit of competency

The specification of the standards of performance required in the workplace as defined in a training package.


The quality review of the assessment process. Validation involves checking that the assessment tool/s produce/s valid, reliable, sufficient, current and authentic evidence to enable reasonable judgements to be made as to whether the requirements of the training package or VET accredited courses are met. It includes reviewing a statistically valid sample of the assessments and making recommendations for future improvements to the assessment tool, process and/or outcomes and acting upon such recommendations.


Vocational Education and Training.

VET Quality Framework

The Framework comprises:

  • the Standards for Registered training organisations
  • the Australian Qualifications Framework
  • the Fit and Proper Person Requirements
  • the Financial Viability Risk Assessment Requirements
  • the Data Provision Requirements

VET Regulator

This means:

  • The National VET Regulator.
  • A body of a non-referring State that is responsible for the kinds of matters dealt with under the VET legislation for that State.
Last updated: 27 October 2020