The NSC identified three essential categories of skills:
- core competencies: non-specialist skills commonly used in all occupations (sometimes called ‘soft skills’ or ‘employability skills’) - skills such as communication and teamwork which underpin successful participation in work
- specialist tasks: work activities a person undertakes specific to a job
- technology tools: a technology, such as software or hardware, used within an occupation.
The skill classification covers 600 occupations which are a mix of ANZSCO 4-digit and ANZSCO 6-digit occupations. The decision to roll ANZSCO 6-digit occupations up to ANZSCO 4-digit was made on a case-by-case basis. Considerations included:
- multiple ANZSCO 6-digit in ANZSCO 4-digit code map to the same O*NET occupation
- there being no substantial differences between the 6-digit occupations in their tasks, education and licencing, or industry distribution
- very few job listings for a given ANZSCO 6-digit code over a 5-year period (using Burning Glass Technologies job advertisement data).