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Wholesale, Retail and Personal Services IRC

Nationally recognised qualifications, skill sets and units of competency for the Wholesale, Retail and Personal Services industries sit across four training packages.

The current versions of these training packages and their endorsement dates are listed below:

  • SHB Hairdressing and Beauty Services – Endorsed 21 March 2016
  • SIF Funeral Services – Endorsed 17 June 2013
  • SFL Floristry – Endorsed 22 September 2015
  • SIR Retail Services– Endorsed 21 March 2016

Industry Overview

The wholesale, retail and personal services landscape is broad, comprising seven main sectors:

  • Retail
  • Wholesale
  • Community pharmacy
  • Beauty
  • Hairdressing
  • Floristry
  • Funeral services

The majority of businesses in these sectors are commercial enterprises, ranging from sole traders to large enterprises.

Retail and wholesale

The Retail Trade industry, as defined by Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), consists of enterprises engaged in the buying and on-selling of goods to the public.

Wholesalers also engage in buying and selling goods, but they generally operate from warehouses and transact only with other businesses.

Community pharmacy

Community pharmacies play a critical role in the healthcare system, providing disease monitoring and preventative health advice, which eases the burden on other parts of the health care system.

They are particularly important in regional communities, where there is often a shortage of healthcare providers.

Hairdressing and Beauty Services

The hairdressing and beauty services industries are dynamic and are mainly involved in the provision of personal services to both men and women. Hairdressing businesses offer a diverse range of hair-related services such as hair cutting, colouring and styling. Some businesses offer a specific and specialised service such as barbering. Beauty businesses typically provide services such as massage, facials, nail care and hair removal. Many also offer advanced treatments that utilise specialised products and equipment to deliver results-oriented services.


The flower retailing industry, as defined by ANZSIC consists of enterprises mainly engaged in retailing cut flowers or display foliage. Florists often specialise in the display and arrangement of flowers for events such as weddings, funerals and corporate or public events. Services offered include tailored design options that require specialist technical and creative skills.

Funeral Services

The Australia Standards Classification of Occupations (ASCO) classifies as “funeral workers” those who:

  • Prepare bodies for viewing and burial
  • Arrange and conduct funerals
  • Perform other specialist funereal services

Employers in the funeral services industry operate burial sites, run funeral homes, prepare bodies for burial, interment or cremation and organise funerals.


Retail and Wholesale job roles include:

  • Sales assistant
  • Sales representative
  • Retail supervisor or manager
  • Visual merchandiser
  • Merchandise buyer
  • Wholesaler

Community Pharmacy job roles include:

  • Pharmacy sales assistant
  • Pharmacy technician
  • Dispensary technician

Beauty Services job roles include:

  • Beauty therapist
  • Make-up artist
  • Nail technician
  • Salon manager
  • Laser hair removal therapist

Hairdressing services job roles include:

  • Hairdresser
  • Barber
  • Salon assistant
  • Salon manager

Floristry Industry job roles include:

  • Floristry assistant
  • Florist
  • Floral designer

Funeral Services job roles include:

  • Funeral director
  • Mortuary assistant
  • Embalmer
  • Gravedigger


Please click on the list below to view and download content of the VET qualifications that cater to each sector.
Retail and wholesale
Community pharmacy
Hairdressing and Beauty services
Funeral services

Current Projects

SIR Retail Services Training Package V3.0 – Submission for Endorsement

New and revised Retail Training Package Products, proposed for inclusion in the SIR Retail Services Training Package, have now been submitted to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) for endorsement consideration. This training package development work has occurred under the direction of the Wholesale, Retail and Personal Services Industry Reference Committee (WRAPS IRC) and guidance from the Retail Technical Advisory Committee (Retail TAC).

To view the Case for Endorsement, inclusive of proposed new and revised Training Package Products, please click here (4MB).

To view the updated Retail Companion Volume Implementation Guide (CVIG) please click here (10MB).

For more information regarding this submission please contact SkillsIQ.

Wholesale, Retail and Personal Services IRC Industry Skills Forecast

On 30th September 2016, IRCs submitted their initial four-year workplans to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) for consideration. These workplans were developed incorporating information sourced in a variety of ways, including meetings and consultations with stakeholders, desktop research, an industry workforce survey open to all stakeholders, across all industries for a five-week period and consultation with IRC members and their stakeholder networks.

In April 2017, these workplans were refreshed, retitled as Industry Skills Forecasts and again submitted to the AISC. An IRC’s Industry Skills Forecast provides an overview of the sector and the current challenges and opportunities it faces, along with an analysis of current and projected employment and workforce skills needs. It proposes a schedule for the ongoing review of relevant training package products to inform the AISC’s development of the four-year rolling National Schedule.

It is noted that this Industry Skills Forecast has been developed and signed off by this IRC, but the final decision with regard to the scheduling of training product development rests with the AISC, once it has reviewed the submitted Industry Skills Forecasts of all 60 plus IRCs across the various sectors of Australian Industry. The confirmed National Schedule is published on the AISC website once approved.

CLICK HERE to download the Wholesale, Retail and Personal Services IRC Industry Skills Forecast.