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About the IPQ

The Industry Priority Qualifications (IPQ) report outlines the prioritisation of vocational qualifications and skill sets for each industry. It draws on a survey conducted by the Training and Skills Commission in July 2018, as well as feedback from workshops held with each industry. The information in this report helps ensure the vocational training system is responsive to industry needs, and that government investment in skills and training is directed to where industry needs it most.


In 2015 when the first IPQ survey was commissioned, the Training and Skills Commission collaborated with industry to determine the best approach for this work. It was agreed that the most effective and equitable way to identify priority vocational qualifications was to conduct an open survey, that anyone with knowledge of their industry’s vocational education and training (VET) requirements could participate in. The survey was followed by industry moderation workshops, where expert industry representatives could validate and, where appropriate, moderate the survey responses to ensure the prioritisation of vocational qualifications is representative of industry needs.

The second IPQ survey followed the same process; an open survey conducted between June and July 2018, followed by industry moderation workshops. The subsequent information is then collated into 19 industry priority qualification lists, with qualifications ranked from essential to low priority.


The primary objective of the industry priority qualification report is to capture each industry’s prioritisation of vocational qualifications, and for this information to be used to inform the South Australian Government’s skills investment planning. The IPQ survey and the subsequent report is the principal mechanism for industry to have a direct say into which vocational qualifications should be prioritised for government funding.



An online survey was the principal method for collecting feedback on industry’s priority qualifications. The survey asked respondents to identify the vocational qualifications and skill sets that are a priority for the industry they work in. Respondents could choose from all current training package qualifications, accredited courses and skill sets that were available on the national register in April 2018.

Information was also collected on the industry, or industries, a respondent works in, their organisation type, employer size and the way in which priority qualifications are used.

Industries were classified according to the Australian New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification System (ANZSIC).

The survey was an open, online survey sent to the Training and Skills Commission database, and also available on the Commission’s website. Telephone responses were collected by market research company Colmar Brunton. The Commission also sought the assistance of industry associations and peak bodies in promoting the survey to their members and networks.

Target response rates were set for each industry based on each industry’s share of the South Australian total business count. The survey population included all businesses in South Australia that have a requirement for vocationally trained employees, as well as sole traders who require a vocational qualification.

Industry workshops

Once the survey results were collected and refined into each industry’s priority qualifications, the Commission sought feedback from stakeholders with extensive knowledge of their industry’s vocational education requirements.

The aim of the industry workshops was to review the priority ordering of qualifications based on the survey results. The workshops sought to identify where some form of bias may have influenced results, and advice was sought on how the results could be moderated to better reflect industry need.

Stakeholders that participated in the workshops were given the responsibility of advising the Commission on any proposed changes to an industry’s priority ordering of qualifications. Proposals were required to be supported by some form of evidence or justification. Proposals were considered openly by workshop participants with the final determination to be made collectively.