Australian Qualifications Framework collection

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is the national policy for regulated qualifications in the Australian education and training system as agreed by the Commonwealth, state and territory ministers. It underpins the national system of qualifications in Australia encompassing higher education, vocational education and training (VET) and schools. The AQF, which replaced the Register of Australian Tertiary Education (RATE), was introduced on 1 January 1995 and was phased in over five years, with full implementation by 2000.

In the 2017-18 budget, the Australian Government announced a review of the AQF to ensure it continues to meet the needs of students, employers, education providers and the wider community. The final report from the review was released in October 2019.

This collection aims to bring together current and historical publications relating to the AQF. This includes all versions of the framework, consultation and research papers, and pertinent articles and reports.

Please contact the team at VOCEDplus if you have any historical documents that you would like added to this collection, or to provide feedback.

The Framework

The Australian Qualifications Framework, second edition, 2013 is the current edition of the AQF, effective from 1 January 2013. It includes amended Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma qualification types, updated information on the regulatory arrangements for the AQF, and minor editorial changes.

Previous versions of the AQF

The Australian Qualifications Framework, first edition, 2011 is a revised version of the original AQF implemented in 1995. The revisions were implemented following a project to strengthen the AQF and were designed to ensure the AQF remained contemporary and flexible and that it underpinned future quality assurance arrangements for education and training. The AQF Council provided advice on strengthening the AQF to the then Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment (MCTEE) in November 2010 for approval. This fully revised edition of the AQF commenced on 1 July 2011.

The Australian Qualifications Framework implementation handbook, fourth edition, 2007 incorporates

  • revised AQF guidelines for the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (2004)
  • revised AQF guidelines for the Graduate Certificate and the Graduate Diploma (2005)
  • AQF guidelines for three new qualifications: the Associate Degree (2004), the Vocational Graduate Certificate and the Vocational Graduate Diploma (2005)
  • expanded national guidelines on cross-sector linkages to include the schools sector (2004)
  • national principles and operational guidelines for recognition of prior learning (RPL) (2004)
  • a new definition of a Statement of Attainment and protocols for certification (2007)
  • updated references to the AQTF 2007.

The Australian Qualifications Framework implementation handbook, third edition, 2002 contains updated information for 2002, including revised guidelines for the Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral degrees and new national policy guidelines on cross sector linkages.

The Australian Qualifications Framework implementation handbook, second edition, 1998  is an updated implementation guide to the AQF and includes an Australian National Training Authority (ANTA) supplement on training packages, a list of VET reference documents, and national accreditation principles for the VET sector.

The Australian Qualifications Framework implementation handbook, first edition, 1995 provides a detailed guide to the implementation of the AQF.

The Register of Australian Tertiary Education (RATE) major tertiary course award levels in Australia is a booklet describing the levels of awards and their associated titles under the former Register of Australian Tertiary Education (RATE), a single national register of authorities set up in January 1990 and empowered by state/territory or Commonwealth governments to accredit tertiary education award courses.