Dictionary of Standards for Education and Training Statistics
National Centre for Education and Training Statistics
Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra
Telephone (02) 6252 7798
The publication Information Paper: Measuring Learning in Australia: Dictionary of Standards for Education and Training Statistics (ABS cat. no. 4232.0.55.001) is a reference document which defines the standards and outlines methods for the use of 19 selected data elements that are commonly used in education and training statistical collections. It 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 these 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, the former Australian National Training Authority, 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.
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
Country of birth of person
Year of arrival in Australia
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