Australian Skills Classification

Australian Skills Classification

Intended to be a 'common language' for skills, the Australian Skills Classification explores the connections between skills and jobs. The classification identifies three categories of skills for 1110 occupations:

  • 10 core competencies common to all jobs in varying degrees
  • specialist tasks specific to each job
  • technology tools specific to each job.

The classification also groups similar skills together into skills clusters. These clusters are further grouped into 29 skills cluster families. 

Key concepts

Core competencies

Core competencies are common to all jobs. Currently there are different terms for core competencies, including employability skills, foundational skills and transferable skills.

Our classification identifies 10 core competencies common to every occupation in Australia. These core competencies align to the definitions of foundation skills typically used in the Australian VET system, specifically the Employability Skills Framework, developed by the Australian Skills Quality Authority, with minor differences recommended by education system experts.

Core competency values

The classification provides a consistent language and a way to compare the level of competency rather than proxies such as education levels or job titles. The classification uses a 10-point scale to describe the complexity of each core competency for each occupation. Each value has a corresponding description to explain what it means. These definitions are general and not specific to occupations.

Specialist tasks

Specialist tasks describe day-to-day work within an occupation. While specialist tasks can be transferable across occupations and sectors, unlike core competencies they are not universal. Specialist tasks are useful for differentiating occupations.

The classification can show where another occupation utilises the same specialist task, however, this should not be taken as a measure of overall similarity or direct transferability between those roles.

Technology tools

The classification describes software, hardware and equipment types or categories used within occupations rather than specific packages or products.

Common technology tools, such as search engines and email, are featured across most occupations. The remaining technology tools are highly specialised and occupation-specific, such as computer-aided design and carbon monoxide analysing equipment.

Skills clusters

Skills clusters show clusters of similar specialist tasks. These tasks are broadly transferable – if you can do one task in the cluster, you can likely do the others.

While these tasks are broadly transferable, this should not be taken as a measure of overall similarity or direct transferability between the occupations that utilise these skills.


We are committed to continuous improvement based on stakeholder feedback. If you would like to contact the NSC directly about the Australian Skills Classification, or have additional questions about the methodology, licensing or usage, you can email

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