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Australian Qualifications Framework

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What is the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)

The AQF is the national policy for regulated qualifications in Australian education and training. Delivered through the Australian Government Department of Education and Training in consultation with the states and territories, it incorporates the qualifications from each education and training sector (schools, vocational and higher education) into a single comprehensive national qualifications framework.

One of the key objectives of the AQF is to facilitate pathways to, and through, formal qualifications. It also complements national regulatory and quality assurance arrangements for education and training.

The AQF is split into 10 levels, ranging from certificate I, all the way through to Doctoral degree, with higher education awards including levels 5-10. For more information on the individual AQF levels, visit the AQF’s qualifications webpage.

TEQSA’s responsibilities under the AQF

TEQSA’s role is to register all higher education providers and to ensure their courses meet, and continue to meet, the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 (HES Framework). The HES Framework includes the requirement that the learning outcomes of all higher education qualifications (Levels 5-10 of the AQF) must be consistent with the level of the course. To assess whether the expected learning outcomes for a course meet the AQF level, we will compare the expected course learning outcomes with the specified learning outcomes for the relevant AQF level and assess whether the design of all components of the course support achievement of the course’s learning outcomes as a whole.

For more information view TEQSA and the the Australian Qualifications Framework: Questions and answers.

Higher education AQF levels

Higher education AQF levels span levels 5-10 and include:

Undergraduate levels:

  • Level 5 – Diploma
  • Level 6 – Advanced diploma, associate degree
  • Level 7 – Bachelor degree
  • Level 8 – Bachelor honours degree, Graduate certificate, Graduate diploma

Postgraduate levels:

  • Level 9 – Master degree
  • Level 10 – Doctoral degree.

For a breakdown of each AQF level, visit the AQF levels webpage.

Each AQF level comprises of a set of learning outcomes, the requirements for the application of the AQF level in the accreditation and development of the qualification and a set of policy requirements. For more information on these policies, visit the AQF policies webpage.

More information

For more information view TEQSA and the the Australian Qualifications Framework: Questions and answers.