Senior Secondary Course Accreditation

The Tasmanian Assessment, Standards and Certification Act 2003 Part 3, Division 1, 26.2 grants the Office the power to accredit - or not accredit - a senior secondary course submitted for accreditation consideration.

To inform the Office's decision making-process, it has the proposed course analysed against the Senior Secondary Course Accreditation Criteria.
A briefing is then prepared for the Executive Officer's consideration.

Course Accreditation Procedure

For details about the senior secondary course accreditation process, please see the Course Accrediatation Procedure.

TASC Course Template

To access the TASC Course Template as mentioned in the Course Accreditation Procedure above, please see the TASC Course Template.

Senior Secondary Course Accreditation Criteria

1. Rationale

  • The proposed course has a clearly identifiable rationale which includes consideration of strategic need, demand and coherence together with evidence of appropriate consultation with stakeholders.
  • Brief statements of rationale will be included in the course documentation.
  • Additional information such as evidence of demand, names and contact details of stakeholders consulted, analysis of data, will be presented in the application accompanying the course documentation.

2. Coherence
2.a General Coherence
The proposed course:
  • must have educational aims and learning outcomes appropriate for students in the senior secondary phase of education in Tasmania
  • must be at least at the equivalent of the types of competencies characteristic of AQF Cert I
  • has a balance of learning of both domain-specific and generic skills and knowledge
  • meets TASC's specifications document (if applicable)
  • aligns with the Tasmanian Curriculum Framework for Years 11 and 12.

(For information about AQF Certificates see the Australian Qualifications Framework Handbook available on the AQF website at:

2.b Internal Coherence
  • There is clarity regarding what content is compulsory, and what (if any) is optional. Language used reflects this (e.g. 'must' or 'will' not 'should' or 'could').
  • (If applicable) the degree of optional content (e.g. choice between units/topics) is limited. Options allow for some specialisation, but there is a significant 'core' of common content.
  • There is clarity regarding the sequence for delivery of content (e.g. notations to say if the order in which contents listed in the document reflects compulsory or suggested delivery sequencing).
  • There is a clear match between the stated Learning Outcomes, Content and Criteria/Standards.

Note: while some Learning Outcomes may be aspirational (non-assessed e.g. 'develop a positive attitude towards.') the number of such objectives is limited and they are clearly labelled as being aspirational. Overwhelmingly there is a clear match between the outcomes and the criteria/standards.

2.c Coherence with other courses
  • If applicable, there are clear linkages between a Level 3 course and a 'Foundation' course at Level 2 (or other specified TASC accredited pathway courses).

Note: a 'Foundation' course is not a simplified or 'easier' version of a Level 3 course. It has its own distinctive features (content, standards, criteria etc) but prepares students who wish to study at Level 3 in the same/similar learning area.

3. Overlap with other courses
Does the proposed course duplicate, by titles or coverage:
  • other TASC senior secondary accredited courses? or
  • nationally accredited VET courses?

If relevant, does the course document identify where any outcomes meet the requirements of VET units of competence in Training Packages to the extent that a learner may reasonably expect an RTO to grant direct recognition (RPL, credit transfer) for those units on the basis of successful achievement in the TASC accredited course?

Overlap between VET and a proposed course:
  • a course must identify any potential overlap between the content (skills, knowledge, competencies, learning outcomes) of the course and the skills, knowledge required in competencies of training packages
  • where a proposed course has content that appears to be the same as that in a Training Package but is intended to be different, the course must be explicit about the nature of this difference
  • a proposed course that includes content found in competencies in VET training packages may be accredited where TASC considers the requirements of its delivery as VET to Tasmanian senior secondary students are insufficiently relevant to the achievement of the intended outcomes [For example, reading and writing skills at Australian Core Skills Framework levels 1-3 are not clearly and distinctly different across everyday adult contexts including work to the extent that assessment requires current industry competence]
  • in accrediting a course with content found in competencies in VET training packages TASC will decide the support (course requirements and quality assurance) for relevant RPL, credit transfer or articulation.

4. Assessment
  • There is clarity regarding any prescribed assessment instruments and work requirements.
  • The standards are expressed in clear, unambiguous language. The standards must clearly describe features/characteristics of the evidence of student work required by the standard).
  • (If applicable) the standards are comparable with ACARA/ CCAFFL /VET standards in regard to their level of complexity and wording.
  • The degree of difficulty/complexity of the standards and the range of criteria are comparable with those in accredited courses in the same/similar learning area and level of complexity/size value.

5. Labelling and terminology
  • The names used in courses and for results (awards) are simple, plain, readily understandable.
  • Are the names used for awards/title consistent with current TASC practice?
  • The language used to describe the course, assessment and standards is simple, plain and readily understandable.

See also DoE 'Without Prejudice: Guidelines for Inclusive Language'.

6. Delivery
  • The methods of delivering the proposed course are likely to achieve the purposes, aims and learning outcomes of the course.
  • Details should be provided of any critical delivery methodology/ies necessary to achieve the outcomes of the course. It should not mandate delivery methods unless they are necessary to achieve the outcomes of the course.

7. Access
  • (If applicable) any limitations to access based on age, gender, employment, cultural, social or educational background are or other requirements are explicit, clearly stated and justified.

8. Quality Assurance
The assessment processes to be used to determine whether a student has achieved the learning outcomes of the course are of standard sufficient to deliver:
  • a match between the standards for achievement specified in the course and the standards demonstrated by students
  • a level of comparability of results/awards essentially the same as for all other TASC accredited courses
  • community confidence in the integrity and meaning of results.

Course proponents are encouraged to suggest/recommend a quality assurance model. For Level 3 and 4 courses draft suggestions for the External Assessment Specifications may be developed and submitted with the accreditation submission. The final decision regarding course characteristics, assessment processes and quality assurance rests with TASC.

9. Resource Requirements
  • What, if any, special requirements are there for providers of the course (e.g. special equipment, resources)?
  • Are these clearly described?
  • What requirements are there for TASC (e.g. quality assurance, external assessment)?

10. Evaluation
  • The proposed course must identify course evaluation processes, including a mechanism for review during the first year of delivery.

11. Size /Complexity
  • Are the level of complexity and size value of the course clearly described?
  • Does the 'amount' of content/assessment regime match the size value indicated?
  • Does the nature/aim/purpose of the course, its content, learning outcomes and assessment standards match the characteristics of the learning at this level of complexity?

TASC will formally assign a size value and level of complexity to the course.

12. Qualifications
  • List the qualifications (including award types) to be conferred on successful completion of the course.

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