3.6 Validation exercises

As part of the development of the Australian Skills Classification, staff from the NSC (and the Department prior to the creation of the NSC) undertook various validation exercises to ensure the accuracy Classification prior to a public release.

Independent market testing

As part of the validation activities, Nous Group was engaged to conduct independent market testing of the Australian Skills Classification. The survey investigated if the skills associated with a sample of 22 occupations in the Skills Classification match employers’ understanding of the skills required.

22 occupations were chosen for testing as this project aimed to provide initial insights into the Skills Classification rather than validate it in its entirety. Test occupations were agreed with DESE and were selected on the basis of occupation size. This was to encourage a larger survey response, and to ensure coverage of multiple industries.

Responses were concentrated on two occupations, which has given us good insights about the skills classification for these occupations. The concentrated responses likely reflect the level of engagement from their skills organisations. Small numbers of responses were also received for 11 other occupations.

Broadly, the results showed that there was alignment between employers and our Australian Skills Classification on the core competencies and specialist tasks. There was a misalignment on Technology Tools, which prompted us to revisit our methodology to improve the data.

Core Competencies improvements

The core competencies element of the Skills Classification was reviewed with the aim of improving relevance to the Australian context. 

Escalier McLean Consulting were engaged to support our work improving the linkages between our core competencies and the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) and the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF). Based on the outcomes of this exercise, the core competency anchor values were improved.

Technical validation

Quantium were engaged to validate the overall technical approach and determine if the Australian Skills Classification we developed is reflective of the Australian labour market.

Overall, Quantium found that the Australian Skills Classification has met all the requirements of the technical assessment framework, however, several refinements to the methods and outputs have been identified. As part of the continuous improvement of the Australian Skills Classification, the NSC is considering these refinements.