QCE, ATAR, SET plans — navigating senior schooling can be confusing, but it doesn't have to be. No matter what your teenager wants to do after school, TAFE Queensland has a pathway to suit their needs.

Let's break down the key things you need to know.

Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE)

The Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) is the state's secondary schooling qualification. It's issued by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA), and is your teenager's ticket to their future. Most employers ask for a Year 12 certificate, and it's usually required for tertiary study.


QCE eligibility

To be eligible to receive a QCE, your teenager has to complete a set amount of learning outcomes across Year 11 and 12. They must also meet prescribed literacy and numeracy requirements

Essentially this means:

  • getting 20 credits from a combination of QCAA subjects, vocational education and training (VET) qualifications, and/or other recognised studies
  • getting a C grade or better, or pass equivalent (or subjects become ineligible for credits)
  • completing an approved English or literacy course and an approved mathematics subject 


Vocational education and training (VET) and the QCE

Vocational education and training (VET) is a great option if your teen needs extra QCE credits or they want to get a head start on their career.

VET qualifications, like our TAFE at School courses, contribute towards your teen's QCE. Each qualification level is worth a different amount of credits, from four to eight credits. If your teen wants to get into a trade, they can even earn QCE credit points from a school-based apprenticeship. 

MORE ABOUT TAFE AT SCHOOL <<https://tafeqld.edu.au/courses/ways-you-can-study/tafe-at-school.html?>>

Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR)

From 2020 the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) will replace the Overall Position (OP) system in Queensland. ATAR is the national standard for tertiary admissions. It indicates your teenager's position relative to other students. Entry to tertiary study, like university, will use ATARs from 2021. 


ATAR eligibility

To be eligible for an ATAR your teenager needs to:

  • Pass an English subject
  • Complete five General subjects OR four General subjects PLUS one Applied subject or certificate III or higher VET course
  • Accumulate these results within a five-year period

VET courses, like a TAFE Queensland qualification, can contribute to your teen's ATAR. But only at a certificate III level or above.

VET and the ATAR

Each eligible VET qualification level will have a single scaled score. This score can contribute to your teen's ATAR.

The single scaled score remains the same if the qualification level is the same. The course duration and study area don't influence the score. A completed diploma score will be higher than a completed certificate IV, which will again be higher than a completed certificate III.

Senior Education and Training (SET) planning

The Senior Education and Training (SET) plan ties everything together. Your child's school or education provider will work with you and your teen to develop their individual SET plan during Year 10. 

A SET plan will help your teenager:

SET plans help put your child on a pathways to achieve their study and career goals. Make sure you first make the time to sit down and ask your teen the right questions about their future.

Whatever your teen's plans are for senior schooling and beyond, TAFE Queensland has a pathway to help them begin their career or embark on further study.



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