Business

Qualification levels explained

Choosing a course to study is not just about choosing the right study area, but also about choosing the right qualification level.

2 May 2017

“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. AQF levels and their criteria are an indication of the relative complexity and/or depth of achievement and the autonomy required to demonstrate that achievement.”

Basically the AQF can tell you, for each of the 10 different qualification levels, what a course at any given level will give you in terms of knowledge, skills, and what you can do with those skills and knowledge. The most common qualifications delivered at TAFE Queensland range from a Level 1 to a Level 7. These are further explained below.

AQF Level 1 – Certificate I

AQF Summary: Graduates at this level will have knowledge and skills for initial work, community involvement and/or further learning.

Translation: Certificate I courses cover base-level skills for entry into the workforce.

AQF Level 2 – Certificate II

AQF Summary: Graduates at this level will have basic factual, technical and procedural knowledge of a defined area of work and learning.

Translation: These courses prepare students for entry-level positions or apprenticeships in a variety of industries. As well as providing basic knowledge, a Certificate II demonstrates to a potential employer that you’re actively interested in their industry.

AQF Level 3 – Certificate III

AQF Summary: Graduates at this level will have theoretical and practical knowledge and skills for work and/or further learning.

Translation: With a relevant Certificate III course you’ll develop skills, theoretical knowledge and problem solving abilities. This level of qualification is ideal for those wanting to gain a trade, change careers or move out of entry-level roles.

AQF Level 4 – Certificate IV

AQF Summary: Graduates at this level will have theoretical and practical knowledge and skills for specialised and/or skilled work and/or further learning.

Translation: Designed for supervisory and management positions, Certificate IV courses typically interest those who want to advance their careers in the industry they already work in, or further develop skills and knowledge acquired through previous study.

AQF Level 5 – Diploma

AQF Summary: Graduates at this level will have specialised knowledge and skills for skilled/paraprofessional work and/or further learning.

Translation: Diploma courses develop broad and in-depth skills in professional, technical or creative fields. Skills taught include planning, development and management.

AQF Level 6 – Advanced Diploma

AQF Summary: Graduates at this level will have broad knowledge and skills for paraprofessional/highly skilled work and/or further learning.

Translation: Advanced Diploma students will develop high-level practical and professional skills. With full-time courses typically taking two or three years, an Advanced Diploma is ideal for ambitious professionals wanting to fast-track their career.

AQF Level 7 – Bachelor Degree

AQF Summary: Graduates at this level will have broad and coherent knowledge and skills for professional work and/or further learning.

Translation: Bachelor degrees students will gain the skills and knowledge needed for many professional, high-level and/or management jobs. They will be able to work autonomously, provide specialist advice and functions, and have well developed judgement and problem solving abilities.

At TAFE Queensland, we do uni differently. We have partnered with some of Australia’s most established and respected universities to deliver world-class degrees in a practical, job-focused training environment. Visit degrees.tafeqld.edu.au for more info.


For more information about AQF levels, visit their website at www.aqf.edu.au or download their handy AQF PDF.

For more information about courses available at TAFE Queensland South West, please call 1300 914 754 or visit www.tafesouthwest.edu.au today.

Make an enquiry

Fill in your details and we’ll be in contact soon.

Please enter your first name

Please enter your last name

Please enter valid email address

Please enter your phone number

Please confirm you have read TAFE Queensland’s Privacy Policy.

© TAFE South West 2017.
RTO No. 0526 | CRICOS No. 02011C