This occasional paper provides an overview of the development of Australia's national training system and is a key knowledge document of a wider research project "Consistency with flexibility in the Australian national training system." This research project investigates the various approaches undertaken by each of the jurisdictions to establish a student entitlement funding model and also examines one of the often overlooked fundamentals of the national training system--the dynamic tension that exists between consistency and flexibility. This paper reflects on the history of vocational education and training (VET) in Australia. A key focus is the development of the national training system, which has emerged over the last two decades. The authors also explore the dynamic tension, built into the system, to achieve both national consistency and sufficient flexibility to ensure that training meets specific local, industry and learner needs. Australia's national training system: goals, objectives and key elements 1992 to 2015 is appended.