TASC accredited courses are defined by the following three values:

  • level of complexity – how hard or demanding they are
  • size value – how big or long they are
  • robustness – the degree of reliability and validity of results issued in a course.

Levels of complexity

TASC assigns senior secondary courses with a complexity level ranging from Level 1 to Level 4 with 4 being the highest level of complexity. TASC accredited Level 3 and Level 4 courses contribute to the calculation of an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR). See more information on university admission.

The characteristics of learning at each of the levels are outlined below.

In general, courses at this level provide theoretical and practical knowledge and skills for specialised and/or skilled work and/or further learning, requiring:

  • broad factual, technical and some theoretical knowledge
  • a broad range of cognitive, technical and communication skills to select and apply a range of methods, tools, materials and information
  • application of knowledge and skills to demonstrate autonomy, judgment and limited responsibility in known or changing contexts and within established parameters.

 

The learner is expected to acquire a combination of theoretical and/or technical and factual knowledge and skills and use judgment when varying procedures to deal with unusual or unexpected aspects that may arise. Some skills in organising self and others are expected. Level 3 is a standard suitable to prepare students for further study at the tertiary level. Vocational education and training (VET) competencies at this level are often those characteristic of an AQF Certificate III.  

The learner is expected to carry out tasks and activities that involve a range of knowledge and skills, including some basic theoretical and/or technical knowledge and skills. Limited judgment is required, such as making an appropriate selection from a range of given rules, guidelines or procedures. VET competencies at this level are often those characteristic of an AQF Certificate II.  

The learner is expected to carry out tasks and activities that draw on a limited range of knowledge and skills. The tasks and activities generally have a substantial repetitive aspect to them. Minimum judgment is needed as there are usually very clear rules, guidelines or procedures to be followed. VET competencies at this level are often those characteristic of an AQF Certificate I.

Size value and design time

TASC assigns a size value to TASC accredited courses, TASC recognised courses, and VET certificates and units of competency. The size value is based on:

  •   the amount of learning covered
  •   the range and nature of the content and assessable outcomes of the course
  •   comparisons with similar courses.

Size values represent a measure of how big the course is and tend to be given as 5, 10 or 15. While the size value takes into account information about the amount of class contact time (or its equivalent) that the majority of students might require to complete the course (1 size value equating to 10 hours design time), it is not a prescription of actual delivery time. The size value of a course is intended as guidance in allocating student contact hours. Individual students, of course, may in practice take or need more or fewer hours to cover completely and thoroughly the content of the course and to reach the required standards.

The relationship between size and credit points for the TCE

The Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE) requires a significant amount of learning at a set standard. TASC recognises a very broad range of learning, and give each type of learning a credit point value. A credit point value shows the amount of learning at a set standard that can count towards meeting the requirement of the TCE. To meet the participation and achievement standard for the TCE, a student will need to have 120 credit points in education and training (at Level 1, 2, 3 or 4), with at least 80 credit points in studies rated at complexity level 2 or higher. See more information on the TCE.

Robustness

TASC assigns senior secondary courses with a robustness level ranging from Level 1 to Level 5 with 5 being the highest level of robustness. A five level system is used to reflect the degree of reliability and validity of results issued in a course. Robustness level 1 is the lowest, level 5 the highest. Courses must have a robustness level of 2 or higher in order to contribute to a student’s participation and achievement standard for the TCE. Three criteria are used:

  1. the nature of the evidence of achievement:
  •    how much evidence is there?
  •    how direct is the evidence? Is it closely linked to the achievement?
  •    how accessible is the evidence?
  1. the reliability and precision of the evidence:
  •    would the result change much with a different assessor?
  •    would the result change much on a different occasion?
  •    how different are the achievements of two students with the same results?
  1. the validity and truth of the evidence:
  •    is there a match of the evidence and what the achievement result seems to promise?
  •    is there a match of the evidence and the achievement result?