The Standards for Providers of TASC-accredited senior secondary courses set clear and measurable requirements for all Tasmanian schools, colleges and other entities registered to deliver and assess TASC-accredited senior secondary courses. The Standards are to ensure:

  • the correct delivery and assessment of TASC-accredited senior secondary courses
  • fairness, equity and comparability of internal assessments
  • the reliability, validity and integrity of qualifications issued by TASC
  • clarity about roles and responsibilities regarding quality assurance and related matters
  • clarity regarding required formal communications and record-keeping.

See the Standards for the provision of TASC-accredited senior secondary courses

The standards are:

  • Standard 1: Course providers will ensure that all the knowledge, skills and experiences that comprise a course are delivered to students, and that all stated course requirements are met
  • Standard 2: Course providers will ensure that individual students are exposed to the learning required by a course
  • Standard 3: Course providers will ensure that assessment tools meet the requirements of the course and are valid, fair and equitable
  • Standard 4: Course providers will ensure that accurate assessment records are maintained
  • Standard 5: Course providers will have effective and documented procedures to ensure comparability of the interpretation and application of course standards to the evidence of student work
  • Standard 6: Course providers will have policies and procedures to ensure that any disputes regarding internal assessments are resolved prior to final reporting to TASC
  • Standard 7: Course providers will ensure that students are given explicit learning regarding academic integrity
  • Standard 8: Course providers will have policies and procedures to ensure that any disputes regarding a school’s refusal to endorse the academic integrity of externally assessed folios are resolved
  • Standard 9: Course providers will undertake all quality assurance processes required by the Office of TASC
  • Standard 10: Course providers will ensure that their registered scope of courses and associated enrolments are accurate and up-to-date, that they have policies and procedures regarding student movement between courses, and that final reporting to TASC occurs by due dates.

What is Take the Stand?
Take the Stand: Actioning the Standards for Providers of TASC Courses will be a year-long focus on the 10 Standards for Providers, what they mean in practice and how they benefit students, teachers, schools and the Tasmanian education system.

TASC will provide information about the standards progressively, in small segments that specifically relate to school activities (like planning, enrolment, attendance, recordkeeping, internal moderation and internal assessment reporting). We will also provide new resources, examples and other documents that schools can adapt or adopt to help them fulfil the standards.

What are the Standards for Providers?
The Standards for Providers are the ongoing requirements to ensure consistency and comparability of courses and results, fairness and equity for students, and that the qualifications issued are valid and reliable. The standards were introduced at the start of 2020 as a new format to clearly detail what providers need to do when delivering TASC-accredited courses.

A minor update made at the end of 2020 (Version 2) added Appendix 3 explaining TCE credit points for students with concurrent enrolment, repeating a course and completing a course over two years.

Why are we doing Take the Stand?
TASC is both a regulator and an advocate of the Standards for Providers. We want to make it as straightforward as possible for schools to undertake actions that fulfil the standards.

While ongoing commitment and effort is needed to achieve the standards, the outcomes are worth it – for our students and for us all as a high-quality education system. TASC will do whatever we can to make it as easy as possible to meet the standards, while not diminishing or reducing requirements so the senior secondary education standards for Tasmania
remain out-stand-ing.

Getting started:

Coming next: Unpacking the planning template and ideas for getting ready for 2021.

When we make a plan, things are easier and go more smoothly.  And while you might be able to juggle almost all your tasks in your head, there are some things that do need to be written down in schools delivering TASC courses. 

The Standards for Providers requires course delivery plans and other evidence to be kept that shows the standards are being followed. So a great way to start the school year is with a clear plan of all the specific actions that need to happen at your school to meet the standards. 

The 3-page guiding template Planning to meet Provider Standards for TASC-Accredited Senior Secondary Courses helps refresh your knowledge of the Standards, the resources available and to plan the specific actions that the Principal, Assistant Principal/s, TLO and course teachers will do and when. 

The template includes suggested actions which are highly recommended to ensure all the standards are met and that strong evidence that the standards have been followed can be demonstrated during quality assurance processes (if/when evidence is requested). 

Use of the guiding template is optionalThe most important thing is that your school achieves the outcomes in the standards You may use other or additional actions if they will comprehensively fulfil the standards. 

Here are some ideas on how you could use the guiding template: 

  • Go through the template at a school staff meeting with all teaching staff delivering TASC courses, ask teachers to nominate the three actions where there is greatest potential to improve current practices and make a plan to address those first. 
  • Sharing your school’s plans and current practices at any school cluster meeting(such as meetings with nearby schools, schools/colleges you partner with, or other schools in your education sector) – you can work cooperatively with and learn much from the experience of others. 
  • Populate the template at a Principal and TLO planning meeting, with the TLO to coordinate progress updates throughout the year. 

 Right now, many students are changing courses as they settle in to the courses they will complete in their senior secondary years. 

TASC understands that course enrolments are flexible early in the year, but as Term 1 ends it’s essential that student enrolment details in TRACS are up-to-date and accurate (and are kept current for the rest of the year). 

Schools need to have their own policies and procedures on student movement between courses, including how the course content and work requirements of the new course will be completed. 

Students who change courses need to be exposed to all the course content for that course and brought up to date with learnings they missed. Work already completed may be able to be re-assessed by mapping the content across the courses and assessing the completed work against the standards in the new course (particularly if the courses are in the same learning area but are different levels). 

In Term 3 each year, enrolments are fixed. Any subsequent change of enrolment to a new TASC course requires TASC approval and evidence of the management of the course change. This recognises the significant obstacles to a having a successful change into a course so late in the year. 

Of course, students can withdraw from a course, but this request must be made immediately in TRACS. This helps in planning exams and assessments, and generating accurate result statements in Term 4. 

TLOs and teachers should ensure that their students understand the impact course changes could have on what certificates a student may be eligible to receive at the end of their studies. The Course planner on TASC’s website can help students check if they are on track for the TCE standards and credit points needed for their future pathway. 

Under the provider standards, schools need to ensure that individual students are exposed to the learning required by a course that they are enrolled in (Standard 2).

Keeping appropriate attendance records is the main way that providers can show that students have had the opportunity to undertake the required learning.

Most schools have comprehensive and detailed attendance policies, procedures and electronic systems to keep records of student attendance. This makes it quite simple for schools to be able to monitor if a student’s attendance is regular enough to be learning the course content.

But there are some things to keep in mind to ensure that all aspects of this standard are being met:

  • Do the attendance records cover course activities outside of normal school hours / classroom environments? Student log books or timesheets may help you to keep records of these activities.
  • Are students enrolled in a course explicitly told of the course expectations (noting that there is no set ‘percentage’ attendance requirements) TASC courses are designed with a nominal number of hours of learning. If students aren’t participating in those hours of learning they may be at a disadvantage.
  • Are there clear, consistent and documented processes to ensure that students with prolonged absences are supported in their learning? Possible approaches are sending work home, scheduling catch-up sessions, participation via virtual or online learning, video or auto-transcription of key lessons, identifying other online learning resources and activities, and establishing ways that classmates can also support catch-up learning and strengthen their own skills and knowledge.

However your school maintains course attendance records and support students with absences, make sure it is recorded and that someone else can access and understand what has occurred.

Learners can only be enrolled in a course if they meet the course-specific access requirements (noting that not all courses have access requirements).

This responsibility is detailed in Standard 1: Course providers will ensure that all the knowledge, skills and experiences that comprise a course are delivered to students, and that all stated course requirements are met.

So what kinds of access requirements apply to some of the senior secondary courses?

If a course has an access requirement, then it will be listed under the heading “Access” in the Course Document. The list below outlines the main types of access requirements that are in current courses:

  • prerequisites to enrol in particular courses and/or receive a particular award in a course to ensure learners have the foundational knowledge they need to complete a course with a high level of difficulty
  • restrictions so a course is only available to learners who cannot meet the learning outcomes before they start the course. This ensures that students who already have that level of knowledge and skills (or higher) are not enrolled in a course with a lower level of difficulty (for example, restricted access to Essential Skills – Maths, Essential Skills – Reading and Writing and Dance the Basic Moves)
  • registration or references such as a Registration to Work with Vulnerable People being required (e.g. Working with Children and Focus on Children) or a supporting reference being required (e.g. Athlete Development)
  • minimum number of course participants if a minimum number of learners are required for a provider to offer the course (e.g. Drama requires a minimum of three learners due to the significance placed on ensemble work)
  • participation requirements that will enrich and strengthen the learning experience (such as engaging with artworks and artists, competing in a recognised sporting competition, being a member of a music ensemble, attending live performances, or engagement with community organisations and services)
  • skills or equipment (e.g. Computer Science requires learners to be able to operate a computer and access documentation and relevant material on the internet).
  • ways of working, including working in groups, or working as directed to ensure student safety in courses where potentially dangerous materials and equipment is used
  • physical activity if physical activity and movement comprises the majority of the course (with learners with physical disability or conditions are able to access the course and receive an award commensurate with their ability to successfully meet the criteria and standards).

It is mostly a straight-forward process to determine if a student meets the access requirements to enrol in a course. However, for Essential Skills – Maths and Essential Skills – Reading and Writing, course providers need to have an assessment process to identify the level of support learners need and that students do not already have the literacy or numeracy skills taught in the course.

Your assessment process could include steps such as:

  • looking at earlier school reports and the learner history
  • looking at the student’s Year 9 NAPLAN reports
  • seeking information from their Year 10 or Year 11 teachers in the relevant curriculum areas
  • a diagnostic test to assess the student’s literacy or numeracy skills.

As we are reaching the midway point of the year, it’s timely to recap and revisit some of the key aspects of the Standards for Providers of TASC courses that we’ve unpacked so far: 

  • Planning: a 3-page guiding template covering the standards, the resources available and suggested actions that are highly recommended to ensure all the standards are met. 
  • Student movement: keeping student enrolment details in TRACS up-to-date and accurate, managing student movement between courses, including how the course content and work requirements of the new course will be completed. 
  • Attendance: maintaining course attendance records (including for course activities outside of normal school hours / classroom environments), supporting students with absences, and centralised systems and records that ensure someone else at the school can access and understand. 
  • Access requirements: explaining the main types of access requirements that are in current TASC courses and why there are course-specific access requirements to determine if a learner can be enrolled in a particular course. 

These articles are available on the Standards for Providers webpage on the TASC website. 

In the second half of the year, Take the Stand articles will focus on how the Standards for Providers apply to end-of-year actions for quality assurance, academic integrity, assessment and results including: 

  • methodologies for determining final internal ratings (the use of final assessment rubrics) 
  • informing students of their final internal ratings, and processes for resolving any disputes 
  • cases where the provider is unable to confirm the academic integrity of externally assessed folios 
  • reporting final internal ratings to TASC, and verification processes. 

We hope you are finding the articles useful and welcome suggestions on topics you would like to see covered. 

With folios starting to be submitted for external marking (Folio due dates), this article focuses on Standard 8: Course providers will have policies and procedures to ensure that any disputes regarding a school’s refusal to endorse the academic integrity of externally assessed folios are resolved.

Courses which include a folio or project work, generally have the folio/project as a significant proportion of the student’s final rating so it’s critical that teachers can verify that the folio/project is genuinely the student’s own work.

While folios and projects should be incrementally developed and monitored over the year, sometimes students can do a lot at the last minute and this can make it more difficult for teachers to be sure that the work is all the student’s own.

Teachers use their judgement and experience to determine if they can absolutely verify to TASC, on behalf on the school, that it is the student’s own work. Making (and keeping a record) of how you have tested the student’s knowledge of the work and where the ideas have come from would be a suitable step in verification.

School’s policies and processes need to address key aspects of folio/project verification, including

  • How teachers will develop sufficient knowledge of each students’ work as a sound and reasonable basis for endorsing a folio’s authenticity (noting that TASC may require this evidence from a school when investigating possible breaches of the external assessment rule)
  • How the folio development process is monitored over the year
  • How a folio will be endorsed if the usual teacher is not available
  • How a student (and their parent/guardian as appropriate) is notified of a decision to not endorse, that it is their right to request a review of the decision, and what they should do to request a review
  • Having a clearly outlined review process, including who completes the review, timelines, evidence considered etc
  • How TASC is notified of the outcome of review outcome ASAP.

If you have any questions about how you should proceed when you are concerned about the verification of a student’s folio/project work before submission, please lodge a ‘Quality Assurance’ TRACS task and we will get back to you.