Senior Secondary Certificates

Students in Australia are issued a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education and other records of achievement when they complete their senior secondary education.

The age a student is able to leave school varies around Australia. Information about school structures in each state and territory, including school starting and leaving ages, can be found in the latest National Report on Schooling in Australia which is published on the ACARA website.

The Curriculum, Assessment and Certification Authority in each Australian state or territory (ACACA agency) is responsible for issuing the Senior Secondary Certificate for that state or territory.

Each ACACA agency manages the accreditation and assessment of the subjects that contribute to the state or territory’s Senior Secondary Certificate of Education.

Each ACACA agency provides a range of subjects in its Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Within the range of subjects, the agencies adopt or adapt the 16 senior secondary Australian Curriculum subjects from the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). For more information, see the ACARA website.

VET in the Senior Secondary Certificates of Education (SSCE)

The Curriculum, Assessment and Certification Authority in each state or territory recognises Vocational Education and Training (VET) in the context of its own Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Students can undertake VET as part of a Senior Secondary Certificate and its completion by the student provides credit towards both a recognised VET qualification and a senior secondary school certificate within the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

The national Framework for vocational learning and VET delivered to secondary students is outlined in the Australian Government’s Preparing Secondary Students for Work Framework. See the Preparing Secondary Students for Work website for further details and associated resources.

The recognition arrangements for VET in each Australian SSCE are detailed in the ACACA VET Reports.

For key ACACA papers on VET in Senior Secondary Certificates see VET in SSCEs – VET Discussion and Position Papers.

ACT

Awards for completion of Years 11 and 12 in the Australian Capital Territory

ACT Senior Secondary Certificate

The certificates that are available to be awarded on completion of senior secondary education (typically Year 12) in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) are:

  • The ACT Senior Secondary Certificate
  • The ACT Senior Secondary Record of Achievement
  • The ACT Tertiary Entrance Statement
  • Certificate I, Certificate II or Certificate III or Statement of Attainment (Vocational qualifications).

These certificates are produced by the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies

An ACT Statement of Achievement is an up-to-date record of current studies available on request to students who are leaving college, seeking employment or moving interstate.

For more information see the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies website.

NSW

Awards for completion of Years 10, 11 and 12 in New South Wales

Higher School Certificate (HSC)

NSW students are awarded the Higher School Certificate (HSC) to certify satisfactory completion of Years 11 and 12.

Read more about the HSC, including eligibility requirements for the HSC, or view sample HSC credentials on the BOSTES website.

Record of School Achievement (RoSA)

NSW students who leave school before the award of the HSC are awarded the Record of School Achievement (RoSA) to certify satisfactory completion of Year 10. The RoSA credential also contains details of any results and/or participation in courses in Years 11 and 12.

Students leaving school who do not meet the RoSA requirements are issued a Transcript of Study.

Read more about the RoSA, including eligibility requirements for the RoSA, or view a sample RoSA credential on the BOSTES website.

NT

Awards for completion of Years 10, 11 and 12 in the Northern Territory

Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training (NTCET)

Students are awarded the Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training (NTCET) following the successful completion of the NTCET requirements.

To achieve the Northern Territory Certificate of Education, students must:

  • complete a minimum of 200 credits
  • achieve a C grade or better in the Stage 1 compulsory requirements
  • achieve a C– grade or better in the Stage 2 compulsory requirements
  • meet literacy and numeracy requirements.

Read more about the NTCET.

Record of Achievement (RoA)

The Record of Achievement document shows the results achieved in subjects or courses that contribute to the NTCET.

Students will receive a Record of Achievement if they have received at least one of the following:

  • a grade in at least one stage 1 subject
  • a grade in at least one stage 2 subject
  • NTCET credits for recognised learning in areas such as vocational education and training, community learning, and university studies.

Non-completion or withdrawal from a stage 1 or stage 2 subject(s) will not be listed on the Record of Achievement.

NZ

Awards for completion of Years 10, 11 and 12 in New Zealand

Students in New Zealand are awarded National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA), which are national qualifications for senior secondary school students. Students are able to gain credits from both traditional school curriculum areas and alternative programmes. For more information, including the requirements for the award of an NCEA certificate, see the New Zealand Qualifications Authority website.

The Vocational Pathways provide new ways to achieve NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 and develop pathways that progress to further study, training and employment. More information can be found at http://www.youthguarantee.net.nz/vocational-pathways/

QLD

Awards for completion of Years 10, 11 and 12 in Queensland

Queensland Certificate of Education

The Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) is Queensland’s senior school qualification, which is awarded to eligible students, usually at the end of Year 12. To be eligible for the award of the QCE, students must complete a significant amount of learning, including:

  • 20 credits in the required pattern of learning (at least one credit must be from Core studies completed while enrolled at a school)
  • studies at a set standard
  • literacy and numeracy requirements.

Read more about the Queensland Certificate of Education on the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) website.

Senior Education Profile

Students in Queensland are issued with a Senior Education Profile (SEP) when they complete Year 12. All students receive a Senior Statement, and eligible students are awarded a Queensland Certificate of Education and/or a Tertiary Entrance Statement. Eligible students undertaking an individual learning program, receive the Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement.

Read more about the Senior Education Profile on the QCAA website.

SA

Awards for completion of Years 10, 11 and 12 in South Australia

South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE)

Students are awarded the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) following the successful completion of the SACE requirements.

To achieve the South Australian Certificate of Education, students must:

  • complete a minimum of 200 credits
  • achieve a C grade or better in the Stage 1 compulsory requirements
  • achieve a C– grade or better in the Stage 2 compulsory requirements
  • meet literacy and numeracy requirements.

Read more about the SACE or view a sample certificate on the SACE website.

Record of Achievement (RoA)

The Record of Achievement document shows the results achieved in subjects or courses that contribute to the SACE.

Students will receive a Record of Achievement if they have received at least one of the following:

  • a grade in at least one Stage 1 subject
  • a grade in at least one Stage 2 subject
  • SACE credits for recognised learning in areas such as vocational education and training, community learning, and university studies.

If a student didn’t complete a subject(s), or withdrew from a subject(s), the subject(s) won’t be listed on the Record of Achievement. This applies to both Stage 1 and Stage 2 subjects.

TAS

Awards for completion of Years 10, 11 and 12 in Tasmania

Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE)

The TCE is issued to learners who reach defined standards in:

  • participation and achievement in education and/or training
  • pathway planning
  • ‘everyday adult’ skills in:
    • reading and writing in English
    • mathematics
    • using computers and the internet.

The TCE can be achieved via a variety of pathways including senior secondary studies and/or vocational education and training.

Read more about the Tasmanian Certificate of Education on the TASC website.

VIC

Awards for completion of Years 11 and 12 in Victoria

There are two senior secondary certificates in Victoria:

  • Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE)
  • Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL).

Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE)

To be awarded the VCE a student must satisfactorily complete at least 16 units, including:

  • at least three units from the English group (Foundation English Units 1 and 2 / English Units 1 to 4 / English as a Second Language (EAL) Units 3 and 4 / English Language Units 1 to 4 / Literature Units 1 to 4), one of which must be at the Unit 3 or Unit 4 level
  • three sequences of Unit 3 and 4 studies in addition to the sequence chosen from the English group. These sequences can be from VCE studies and/or VCE Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs.

Read more about the Victorian Certificate of Education on the VCAA website.

For tertiary entrance requirements refer to the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre.

Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) 

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) has three levels – Foundation, Intermediate and Senior.

To be awarded the VCAL students must complete 10 units of study from the four compulsory strands:

  • Literacy and Numeracy Skills
  • Industry Specific Skills
  • Work Related Skills
  • Personal Development Skills.

Read more about the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning on the VCAA website.

For further information relating to the way VET contributes towards the VCE or VCAL please refer to the VCAA website.

WA

Awards for completion of Years 10, 11 and 12 in Western Australia

Western Australia has a single certificate awarded for completion of Year 12.

Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE)

The Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) is the certificate that students in Western Australia receive on successful completion of their senior secondary education.

The WACE requires students to demonstrate breadth and depth of study, and to reach specified achievement standards, including a literacy and numeracy standard. It is recognised nationally in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), by universities and other tertiary institutions, industry and training providers.

General requirements

Students must:

  • demonstrate a minimum standard of literacy and a minimum standard of numeracy
  • complete a minimum of 20 units or equivalents as described below
  • complete at least four Year 12 ATAR courses (excluding unacceptable combinations) or complete* a Certificate II (or higher) VET qualification. Note: the partial completion of a Certificate III or higher VET qualification may meet this requirement according to predetermined criteria.

*Note: In the context of VET in the WACE, the term ‘complete’ requires that a student has been deemed competent in all units that make up a full qualification.

Read more about the WACE on the Authority website.

Western Australian Statement of Student Achievement (WASSA)

A statement of student achievement is issued to all Year 12 students at the completion of their secondary schooling.

A student who does not achieve all of the WACE requirements will still receive a WASSA.

Read more about the WASSA on the Authority website.