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Tuesday, 4 September 1984
Page: 434

(Question No. 956)


Senator Macklin asked the Minister representing the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Public Service Matters, upon notice, on 13 June 1984:

Do the criteria as applied for the recognition of Royal Australian Air Force training also apply for the recognition of Army training in the radio/ telecommunications field; if not, why not.


Senator Button —The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Public Service Matters has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

RAAF and Army training in the radio/ telecommunications field is recognised for three main employment levels in the Australian Pubic Service (APS)-professional (engineer), middle level (technical officer and draftsman) and trade. The general criteria applied for the recognition of RAAF training also apply for the recognition of Army training, the general criteria for each level being:

professional-a tertiary qualification recognised by the Institution of Engineers, Australia

middle-a Technical and Further Education (TAFE) middle-level certificate qualification, or other equivalent educational qualification

trade-a first-class tradesman's qualification, or tradesman's certificate issued under the Tradesmen's Rights Regulation Act.

In practice, the application of these general criteria means that RAAF and Army radio/telecommunications training receive equal recognition of professional and trade-level employment. However in the case of middle-level employment, there has been equal recognition only since 1980. From this time both RAAF and Army personnel in the radio/telecommunications field have received recognised technical and further education middle-level certificate qualifications as part of their basic military training. In the case of pre-1980 RAAF training, personnel whose training meets certain specified criteria are recognised as qualified for middle-level employment in the APS. However, no such provision exists for pre-1980 Army radio/telecommunications training because the Department of Defence, following investigations conducted in conjunction with TAFE authorities during the period 1973-1977, concluded that the RAAF training specified above was broadly equivalent in standard to a TAFE middle-level certificate but that the Army training (which is structured differently front the RAAF's) was below that standard.

It should be noted, however, that any person whose qualifications are not accepted for a technical officer or draftsman job in the APS can, under certain conditions, demonstrate that his/her technical knowledge and competence are at around TAFE middle-level certificate standard by sitting an eligibility test conducted by the relevant department on behalf of the PSB.

On the general question of recognition of Defence Forces qualifications, an interdepartmental working party is currently examining the nature and extent of problems being encountered by persons seeking to obtain formal recognition in civilian employment of training and education received in the Defence Forces; the working party is expected to report shortly: