AQF policies

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The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is the national policy for regulated qualifications in Australian education and training. It incorporates the qualifications from each education and training sector into a single comprehensive national qualifications framework.

The AQF is an integrated policy that comprises:

  • The learning outcomes for each AQF level and qualification type
  • The specifications for the application of the AQF in the accreditation and development of qualifications
  • A set of policy requirements:
    • AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy
    • AQF Qualifications Pathways Policy
    • AQF Qualifications Register Policy
    • AQF Qualifications Addition or Removal Policy
  • The AQF Glossary of Terminology
  • Principles and Processes for the Alignment of the AQF with International Qualifications Frameworks

The above policy documents can be download at the bottom of this page.

The AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy, the AQF Qualifications Pathways Policy and the AQF Qualifications Register Policy are integrated into the AQF specifications for each AQF qualification type.

To support consistency of understanding and interpretation, definitions of the terminology are provided in the AQF Glossary of Terminology.The title ‘Master of …’ is the title used for the Masters Degree. The AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy permits the use of an alternative title for Masters Degree (Extended) qualifications for six professions as an exception to the rule. There are specific requirements for permission to use alternative title for AQF Masters Degree (Extended) that need to be met.

View or download these requirements below.

AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy

View or Download the AQF Issuance Policy at the bottom of this page.

The purpose of the AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy is to ensure that:

  • graduates receive the certification documentation to which they are entitled
  • AQF qualifications are correctly identified in certification documentation
  • AQF qualifications are protected against fraudulent issuance
  • a clear distinction can be made between AQF qualifications and non-AQF qualifications
  • certification documentation is used consistently across the education and training sectors, and
  • graduates and others are confident that the qualifications they have been awarded are part of Australia’s national qualifications framework – the AQF.

The policy covers all education and training providers that issue AQF qualifications. It covers all AQF qualifications and accredited units (through the issuance of a statement of attainment), regardless of where and how they are delivered (for example onshore, off shore, on the job, in the classroom, through formal study or assessment).

The policy includes the:

  • requirements that must be met by providers of AQF qualifications who are also registered to issue the qualifications, including the replacement of testamurs
  • full list of recognised AQF titles of qualification types and any exceptions that have been agreed
  • use of titles by graduates
  • requirements that must be met by providers who are issuing statements of attainment, including the replacement of statements of attainment.

AQF Qualifications Pathways Policy

The AQF Qualifications Pathways Policy builds into the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) the capacity to genuinely support students’ lifelong learning.

The policy aims to:

  • enhance student progression into and between AQF qualifications
  • recognise the multiple pathways that students take to gain AQF qualifications and that learning can be formal, non-formal or informal, and
  • support the development of pathways in qualifications design.

This policy covers all education and training sectors that issue AQF qualifications and the responsibilities for making qualification pathways accessible to students.

The policy includes the:

  • responsibilities of providers of AQF qualifications to ensure that there are transparent pathways for students,
  • responsibilities of accrediting authorities and qualification developers to promote and facilitate pathways for students.

AQF Qualification Type Addition or Removal Policy

View or download the AQF Qualification Addition or Removal Policy at the bottom of this page.

The purpose of the AQF Qualification Type Addition and Removal Policy is to ensure that:

  • the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) has the flexibility to respond to Australia’s changing education and training needs, and
  • changes to AQF structure do not compromise the stability or integrity of the AQF.

This policy sets out the requirements for the addition and the removal of qualification types from the AQF. It also includes the requirements for the addition of qualification titles, including the exceptions for level 9 Masters Degree (Extended) qualification types. There are additional requirements that need to be met  for the inclusion of further exceptions to Masters Degree (Extended) titles.

The policy covers all education and training sectors that issue AQF qualifications.