Loading...
February 11, 2022

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)

If you are thinking to migrate to Australia you should know which Authority will be accessing your academic credentials. This post tells you everything about Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). The AQF qualification types are listed below (detailed description here):

Senior Secondary Certificate of Education
Level 1 – Certificate I
Level 2 – Certificate II
Level 3 – Certificate III
Level 4 – Certificate IV
Level 5 – Diploma
Level 6 – Advanced Diploma, Associate Degree
Level 7 – Bachelor Degree
Level 8 – Bachelor Honours Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma
Level 9 – Masters Degree
Level 10 – Doctoral Degree

What is the AQF?

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is the policy for regulated qualifications in the Australian education and training system. The AQF was first introduced in 1995 to underpin the national system of qualifications in Australia, encompassing higher education, vocational education and training (VET), and schools. The AQF is the agreed policy of Commonwealth, State and Territory ministers.

The AQF provides an integrated policy that comprises:

  • the learning outcomes for each AQF level and qualification type
  • the specifications for the application of the AQF in the accreditation and development of qualifications
  • the policy requirements for issuing AQF qualifications
  • the policy requirements for qualification linkages and student pathways
  • AQF qualifications and qualification pathways
  • the policy requirements for the addition or removal of qualification types in the AQF, and the definitions of the terminology used in the policy.

Objectives of the AQF

One of the key objectives of the Australian Qualifications Framework is to facilitate pathways to, and through, formal qualifications.

Other objectives of the AQF are to provide a contemporary and flexible framework that:

  • accommodates the diversity of purposes of Australian education and training now and into the future
  • contributes to national economic performance by supporting contemporary, relevant and nationally consistent qualification outcomes which build confidence in qualifications
  • supports the development and maintenance of pathways which provide access to qualifications and assist people to move easily and readily between different education and training sectors, and between those sectors and the labour market
  • supports individuals’ lifelong learning goals by providing the basis for individuals to progress through education and training and gain recognition for their prior learning and experiences
  • complements national regulatory and quality assurance arrangements for education and training
  • enables the alignment of the AQF with international qualifications frameworks.

What the AQF is Not

The AQF:

  • is not a provider of education or an educational institution
  • does not provide assessments or recognition of overseas qualifications
  • does not hold individual student records
  • is not an education sector regulator with enforcement powers
  • does not have expert knowledge of specific occupations or industries
  • does not handle licensing, registration or accreditation for trades/professions
  • can not provide advice about employment awards/agreements, pay or conditions
  • is not an authority for immigration or visa matters
  • can not provide career or specific course advice

AQF Qualifications

Qualification type refers to the broad discipline-free nomenclature used in the AQF to describe each category of AQF qualification, for example, Senior Secondary Certificate of Education, Certificate III, Bachelor Degree.

Each AQF qualification type includes the requirements for AQF qualifications such as:

  • the levels criteria
  • the qualification type descriptor
  • information about the responsibilities of qualification developers, accrediting authorities and issuing organisations.

The key reasons why we have AQF qualifications are to ensure national recognition and consistency as well as common understanding across Australia of what defines each qualification.

Full qualification type specifications can be found in the AQF Second Edition January 2013.

Click on the qualification type to see the details of each qualification type.

AQF specification for the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education

The purpose of the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education qualification type is to qualify individuals with knowledge, skills and values for diverse pathways to further learning, work and effective participation in civic life.

Senior Secondary Certificate of Education qualifications are not located at a particular level in the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Senior Secondary Certificate of Education qualifications must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes expressed as knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills specified in the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education descriptor.

Undergraduate Certificate

The Undergraduate Certificate has been developed in response to community and industry need based on the AQF review and as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The Undergraduate Certificate is a higher education qualification of six months duration that may be used to articulate into an existing qualification at AQF levels 5, 6, or 7. It qualifies individuals with knowledge and skills for further study, professional upskilling, employment and participation in lifelong learning.

Undergraduate Certificate qualifications are not located at a particular level in the Australian Qualifications Framework, however they cover AQF levels 5, 6, or 7.

Undergraduate Certificate qualifications must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes expressed as knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills specified in the Undergraduate Certificate descriptor.

AQF Level 1 – Certificate I

The purpose of the Certificate I qualification type is to qualify individuals with basic functional knowledge and skills to undertake work, further learning and community involvement.

Certificate I qualifications are located at level 1 of the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Certificate I qualifications must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes expressed as knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills specified in the level 1 criteria and the Certificate I descriptor.

AQF Level 2 – Certificate II

The purpose of the Certificate II qualification type is to qualify individuals to undertake mainly routine work and as a pathway to further learning.

Certificate II qualifications are located at level 2 of the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Certificate II qualifications must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes expressed as knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills Specified in the level 2 criteria and the Certificate II descriptor.

AQF Level 3 – Certificate III

The purpose of the Certificate III qualification type is to qualify individuals who apply a broad range of knowledge and skills in varied contexts to undertake skilled work and as a pathway for further learning.

Certificate III qualifications are located at level 3 of the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Certificate III qualifications must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes expressed as knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills specified in the level 3 criteria and the Certificate III descriptor.

AQF Level 4 – Certificate IV

The purpose of the Certificate IV qualification type is to qualify individuals who apply a broad range of specialised knowledge and skills in varied contexts to undertake skilled work and as a pathway for further learning.

Certificate IV qualifications are located at level 4 of the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Certificate IV qualifications must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes expressed as knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills specified in the level 4 criteria and the Certificate IV descriptor.

AQF Level 5 – Diploma

The purpose of the Diploma qualification type is to qualify individuals who apply integrated technical and theoretical concepts in a broad range of contexts to undertake advanced skilled or paraprofessional work and as a pathway for further learning.

Diploma qualifications are located at level 5 of the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Diploma qualifications must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes expressed as knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills specified in the level 5 criteria and the Diploma descriptor.

Diploma qualifications are available for accreditation and issuance in both higher education and vocational education and training.

AQF Level 6 – Advanced Diploma

The purpose of the Advanced Diploma qualification type is to qualify individuals who apply specialised knowledge in a range of contexts to undertake advanced skilled or paraprofessional work and as a pathway for further learning.

Advanced Diploma qualifications are located at level 6 of the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Advanced Diploma qualifications must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes expressed as knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills specified in the level 6 criteria and the Advanced Diploma descriptor.

Advanced Diploma qualifications are available for accreditation and issuance in both higher education and vocational education and training. Full qualification type specification

AQF Level 6 criteria for the Associate Degree

The purpose of the Associate Degree qualification type is to qualify individuals who apply underpinning technical and theoretical knowledge in a range of contexts to undertake paraprofessional work and as a pathway for further learning.

Associate Degree qualifications are located at level 6 of the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Associate Degree qualifications must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes expressed as knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills specified in the level 6 criteria and the Associate Degree descriptor.

AQF Level 7 – Bachelor Degree

The purpose of the Bachelor Degree qualification type is to qualify individuals who apply a broad and coherent body of knowledge in a range of contexts to undertake professional work and as a pathway for further learning.

Bachelor Degree qualifications are located at level 7 of the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Bachelor Degree qualifications must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes expressed as knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills specified in the level 7 criteria and the Bachelor Degree descriptor.

AQF Level 8 criteria for the Bachelor Honours Degree

The purpose of the Bachelor Honours Degree qualification type is to qualify individuals who apply a body of knowledge in a specific context to undertake professional work and as a pathway for research and further learning.

Bachelor Honours Degree qualifications are located at level 8 of the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Bachelor Honours Degree qualifications must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes expressed as knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills specified in the level 8 criteria and the Bachelor Degree descriptor. Full qualification type specification

AQF Level 8 criteria for the Graduate Certificate

The purpose of the Graduate Certificate qualification type is to qualify individuals who apply a body of knowledge in a range of contexts to undertake professional or highly skilled work and as a pathway for further learning. Graduate Certificate qualifications are located at level 8 of the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Graduate Certificate qualifications must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes expressed as knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills specified in the level 8 criteria and the Graduate Certificate descriptor.

Graduate Certificate qualifications are available for accreditation and issuance in both higher education and vocational education and training. Full qualification type specification

AQF Level 8 criteria for the Graduate Diploma

The purpose of the Graduate Diploma qualification type is to qualify individuals who apply a body of knowledge in a range of contexts to undertake professional or highly skilled work and as a pathway for further learning.

Graduate Diploma qualifications are located at level 8 of the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Graduate Diploma qualifications must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes expressed as knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills specified in the level 8 criteria and the Graduate Diploma descriptor. Graduate Diploma qualifications are available for accreditation and issuance in both higher education and vocational education and training.

AQF Level 9 – Masters Degree

There are three main forms of Masters Degrees within the Masters Degree qualification type: the Masters Degree (Research), the Masters Degree (Coursework) and the Masters Degree (Extended).

The purpose of the Masters Degree (Research) is to qualify individuals who apply an advanced body of knowledge in a range of contexts for research and scholarship and as a pathway for further learning.

The purpose of the Masters Degree (Coursework) is to qualify individuals who apply an advanced body of knowledge in a range of contexts for professional practice or scholarship and as a pathway for further learning.

The purpose of the Masters Degree (Extended) is to qualify individuals who apply an advanced body of knowledge in a range of contexts for professional practice and as a pathway for further learning.

Masters Degree qualifications are located at level 9 of the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Masters Degree qualifications must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes specified in the level 9 criteria and either the Masters Degree (Research) descriptor, the Masters Degree (Coursework) descriptor or the Masters Degree (Extended) descriptor.

AQF Level 10 – Doctoral Degree

The purpose of the Doctoral Degree is to qualify individuals who apply a substantial body of knowledge to research, investigate and develop new knowledge, in one or more fields of investigation, scholarship or professional practice.

Doctoral Degree qualifications are located at level 10 of the Australian Qualifications Framework.

There are two forms of Doctoral Degree with the same descriptor within the Doctoral Degree qualification type: the Doctoral Degree (Research) and the Doctoral Degree (Professional).

Research is the defining characteristic of all Doctoral Degree qualifications. The research Doctoral Degree (typically referred to as a Doctor of Philosophy) makes a significant and original contribution to knowledge; the professional Doctoral Degree (typically titled Doctor of [field of study]) makes a significant and original contribution to knowledge in the context of professional practice. The emphasis in the learning outcomes and research may differ between the different forms of Doctoral Degree qualifications but all graduates will demonstrate knowledge, skills and the application of the knowledge and skills at AQF level 10.

Doctoral Degree qualifications must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes specified in the level 10 criteria and the Doctoral Degree.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these <abbr title="HyperText Markup Language">html</abbr> tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*