Continuing Education and Training

What is CET?

The continuing education and training (CET) is any education or training after initial education and training or after entry into working life aimed at helping individuals to improve or update their knowledge and/or skills; to acquire new skills for a career move or retraining; and continue their personal or professional development.

The international vocational education and training (VET) system has identified the approach to continuing education and training (CET), based on the priorities of the international changing of work requirements, an ageing workforce and lengthening working lives.

Continuing education and training is now a necessity to sustain workers’ capacities for productive work and on-going employability skills to contribute to social and economic prosperity. Hence there is much interest in models of continuing education and training which can meet the needs of different stakeholders, workers, employers, policymakers and industries with different combinations models, in place so it is not a one size fits all.

The continuing education and training (CET) program may be used for salary increments and promotions to improve productivity and to maintain certifications within your job, career and industry.


Australian researchers conducted a three-year study that aimed to identify and evaluate potential models and strategies with the objective to constitute the international approach to continuing education and training.

The system of continuing education and training (CET) is integral to this objective. The CET plan launched ensures a competitive and career resilient workforce. It will enable working adults, regardless of their starting qualifications, to continue to build and deepen their skills and competencies, throughout their careers.

The Australian Association for Continuing Education and Training (AACET) aims to support the CET plan to prepare the international workforce for the future by integrating a high-quality system of education and training that responds to constantly evolving industry needs, as well as fostering a culture which supports lifelong learning.

The plan has five key areas of focus:

  1. Building deep expertise in the international workforce, increasing employer’s involvement in building and valuing skills.
  2. Enabling individuals to make informed learning and career choices by improving delivery of education, training and career guidance.
  3. Developing an exciting CET ecosystem with a wide range of high-quality learning opportunities.
  4. Sustain workers’ capacities for productive work and on-going employability and to contribute to social and economic prosperity.
  5. Meet the needs of different stakeholders such as workers, employers, policymakers and industries.

Models of Continuing Education and Training

Workers and managers in the industries have identified four models of CET which will be most effective in meeting the needs of individual workers, as well the workplaces to appropriately address service delivery, productivity and regulatory requirements. Each of these models serve different purposes and collectively offers a platform for the provision of CET.

The four models of CET signified a continuum from wholly work-based experiences to wholly educational institution based experiences, with two variations of an integrated model that combines practice-based experiences with educational interventions.

The four models are labelled as:

  1. Wholly work-based experiences
  2. Work-based with direct guidance
  3. Work-based experiences with educational interventions
  4. Wholly educational institution based

Increased Involvement by Employers in Building and Valuing Skills

The Australian Association for Continuing Education and Training (AACET) will continue to work closely with employers and other key stakeholders to build and value the skills acquired by individuals. This collaborative effort will enable individuals to deepen their professional competencies, and advance in their careers based on the skills they have achieved.

Non-AQF Award Qualifications

For individuals, business and industry organisations, the right mix of skills training may not be available through Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) training. Most commonly, staff professional and personal development programs do not always require an AQF qualifications to deliver the skills and knowledge required to address specific organisational needs or productivity gaps. Individuals who wish to upskill themselves may often seek out non-AQF Award qualifications to further develop specific skills.

Link to AQF Award Qualifications and CET

Skilled managers, supervisors and workers who complete CET certifications, may be eligible to seek skills recognition – Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) from an Australian Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to achieve an AQF Award qualification.

Find out more about how Australian Institute of Skills Development delivers Continuing Education and Training (CET) Programs covering 65 industries.