AQF Framework


The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is a single, coherent framework for qualifications from Senior Secondary Certificates through to Doctoral Degrees.

The framework links together all these qualifications and is a quality-assured national system of educational recognition that promotes lifelong learning and a seamless and diverse education and training system.

It covers qualifications issued by secondary schools, vocational education and training (VET) providers and higher education institutions. All qualifications are nationally recognised.

Within the framework, there are six VET qualifications available: Certificates I, II, III and IV; Diploma and Advanced Diploma.

Training Packages specify the combination of competency standards required to achieve a particular qualification. Learners who complete some, but not all, standards for a qualification are awarded a statement of attainment. When they are assessed as competent in the remaining standards, they get the qualification.

Visit the Australian Qualifications Framework site for more information.

Not to be confused with the AQTF?

The Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) comprises two sets of nationally agreed standards to ensure the quality of vocational education and training services throughout Australia:

  1. Standards for Registered Training Organisations, and
  2. Standards for State and Territory Registering/Course Accrediting Bodies.

The Standards for Registered Training Organisations requires registered training organisations (RTOs) to:

  • have documented systems for quality training and assessment
  • conduct an internal audit at least annually
  • have documented agreements with other organisations when they provide training or assessment in partnership
  • have written procedures for recruitment, induction and professional development of staff
  • use trainers and assessors with specified competencies
  • follow explicit requirements for quality assurance in assessment
  • have a recognition of prior learning process in place and offer to recognise the prior learning of all learners on enrolment, and
  • follow specific requirements for developing, validating and implementing learning and assessment strategies.

State and territory registering/ course accrediting bodies also use the Standards for Registered Training Organisations when:

  • registering organisations to deliver training, assess competency and issue Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualifications
  • auditing RTOs to ensure they meet (and continue to meet) the requirements of the standards
  • applying mutual recognition, and
  • accrediting courses.

The Standards for State and Territory Registering/Course Accrediting Bodies provide nationally consistent auditor standards, audit practices and processes and cover:

  • confidentiality
  • the qualifications, selection and monitoring of auditors and technical experts
  • appeals, complaints, disputes and sanctions
  • applications for renewal of registration
  • posting information on the National Training Information Service (NTIS)
  • recognition of Australian Qualifications Framework qualifications and statements of attainment, and
  • course accreditation processes.