1136.0 - A Directory of Education and Training Statistics, 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/03/2009   
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National Centre for Education and Training Statistics
Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra
Telephone (02) 6252 7798


This ABS information paper is a reference document which defines 19 selected data elements that are commonly used to collect information about respondents' geographic, demographic, educational, cultural and language characteristics within education and training statistical collections. The paper also provides guidance about using these standard measures in a consistent, harmonious and useful manner. The Dictionary, generally referred to as 'DSETS', provides definitions, classifications and standards for each of the 19 elements.

It is intended that DSETS be used by government, academic and private sector organisations in all relevant data collection activities, as this will improve the compatibility and comparability of education and training data derived from different sources. DSETS was a joint initiative of: the Department of Education, Science and Training (now DEEWR), the former Australian National Training Authority (which in 2005 had its responsibilities transferred to what is now DEEWR), all State and Territory education and training departments, and the ABS. It was developed by the National Centre for Education and Training Statistics (within the ABS).

The data elements included in DSETS were chosen by the ABS and other agencies involved in the project because they provide a range of information that is pertinent to the measurement of education and training in Australia. The data elements are being increasingly used in the statistical and administrative collections of the ABS and other organisations, standardising the way agencies collect and disseminate statistics relating to education and training. These data elements are:

Demographic characteristics
Date of birth

Cultural and language characteristics
Main language spoken at home
Main language other than English spoken at home
First language spoken
Languages spoken at home
Proficiency in spoken English
Indigenous status
Country of birth of person
Year of arrival in Australia

Education characteristics
Highest Year of school completed
Level of highest non-school completion
Year non-school qualification completed
Main field of highest non-school qualification
Level of highest educational attainment
Main field of highest educational attainment

Geographic characteristics
Location address
Postal address


Information Paper: Measuring Learning in Australia: Dictionary of Standards for Education and Training Statistics (ABS cat. no. 4232.0.55.001) was released 20 October 2004 and is available electronically from the ABS web site.