The Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE) is a qualification that is available to Tasmanians who reach the prescribed standards. The TCE is primarily designed for those completing the senior secondary phase of education and training – the first phase of life-long learning after school. To gain the TCE a person must meet the requirements for standards in:

  • ‘everyday adult’ reading, writing and communication (in English)
  • ‘everyday adult’ mathematics
  • ‘everyday adult’ use of computers and the internet
  • a prescribed level of participation and achievement in education and training
  • requirements for planning future education and training.

People can meet these requirements in different ways, in different settings and over different periods of time.

The qualification ‘Tasmanian Certificate of Education’ was developed in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders including: employers; industry bodies; education and training providers; parent and community bodies; schools and colleges; educational experts; and learners.

The Office of Tasmanian Assessment, Standards and Certification (TASC) recognises that:

  • some young Tasmanians are participating and achieving much less than they potentially can in senior secondary education and training
  • the gaining of high-level 21st Century skills, knowledge and capabilities at the senior secondary level (and beyond) are important for the social, economic and cultural development of Tasmania, and for young Tasmanians
  • approaches and practices within senior secondary education and training will continue to be significant factors in achieving major improvements in rates of participation and achievement.

The importance of the Tasmanian Certificate of Education lies in its potential to actively contribute to these factors: TASC’s purpose is “Empowering Tasmanians to achieve” (Strategic Plan 2018-2022).

With community backing, especially from business, industry and the University of Tasmania the Tasmanian Certification of Education sends powerful signals to young persons and to education and training providers that enhanced achievement is important for the social, economic and cultural future of young people, and of Tasmania.

Aims and objectives

The aims of this qualification are to recognise:

  • that a person has achieved a set of standards marking the end of the first phase of post-Year 10 education and training
  • that these requirements can be achieved in different ways, in different settings and over different periods of time whether in full- or part-time programs at school/college or via registered training organisations or through combining work and training
  • achievement and participation in education and training.

The objectives of the Tasmanian Certification Education are:

  • to set and maintain a worthwhile and achievable set of standards for learners to achieve when completing the initial phase of their post-Year 10 education and training
  • to maintain and enhance widespread community confidence in, and understanding of, the credibility and integrity of the formal certification that learners have achieved
  • to reflect and support increases in the participation and achievement of Tasmanians in worthwhile learning.

Relationship with other certificates

The Officer of Tasmanian Assessment, Standards and Certification (TASC) issues the Qualifications Certificate (QC). It shows all the qualifications (TASC accredited courses, VET competencies and qualifications, and TASC recognised courses) a person has achieved up to the date of issue, including achievement of the TCE.

As from January 1 2009, learners requesting formal certification of all their achievements are issued with the Qualifications Certificate.

The Tasmanian Certificate of Educational Achievement (TCEA) is a quality assured, centrally issued certificate that describes achievement through narrative. Designed for those learners whose learning and achievement is not adequately recognised by standardised forms of certification, it will provide a fairer and more just account of senior secondary learning.

The TCEA is complementary to the Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE) and is issued at the same time as the TCE and the Qualifications Certificate (QC) are usually issued.

Depending on individual circumstances and achievement a learner might achieve one, two or all three Certificates (the TCE, QC, TCEA).

Requirements to receive the qualification

A person will be awarded the Tasmanian Certificate of Education if they meet the following standards as prescribed by TASC:

  • ‘everyday adult’ reading, writing and communication (in English)
  • ‘everyday adult’ mathematics
  • ‘everyday adult’ use of computers and the internet
  • completion of a full program of learning at a set standard
  • development and lodgement of a plan for future education and training.

Qualification to be awarded on successful completion of this course

A person will be awarded the Tasmanian Certificate of Education qualification by TASC on successfully achieving the prescribed standards.

Quality assurance

Quality assurance arrangements exist for validating evidence of achievement that can be used to demonstrate meeting the requirement of the TCE:

  • TASC accredited courses
  • VET nationally recognised Units of Competencies and qualifications issued by Registered Training Organisations
  • TASC recognised qualifications issued by other institutions/organisations
  • Safety-net testing of ‘everyday adult’ skill sets.

TASC’s verification processes include:

  • gathering/validating evidence of learner achievement
  • seeking community feedback about the demonstrated skills of holders of the TCE.

Assessment

  1. Senior secondary processes

The assessment of enrolled senior secondary learners will be based on data collected by TASC in the course of its normal senior secondary assessment processes. TASC will complete the assessment and issue the qualification to learners meeting the requirements in December of each year as part of its standard certification procedures at no cost to the learner.

  1. Individual assessment

Individual persons (including senior secondary learners) may apply to TASC for recognition that they have met the requirements. TASC will carry out an assessment using a combination of recognition processes and standardised assessment tools such as:

  • VET qualifications recognition based on TASC evaluation of qualifications
  • TASC recognised qualifications
  • qualifications gained from Australian universities
  • international qualifications (on a case-by-case basis)

Charges on a partial cost-recovery basis may apply.

Time frame

While the Tasmanian Certification of Education is primarily designed for those completing the senior secondary phase of education and training there are no time restrictions regarding when a person can be issued with the TCE. Once a person has reached the standards they will be issued with the qualification.

If a person gained the TCE or equivalent prior to 2009 they will be issued with a Qualification Certification (only).

Achievements, standards met and credit gained towards the TCE’s standards are not subject to expiry.

‘Everyday Adult’ Reading and Writing in English

The standard is ‘everyday adult reading and writing in English’ – for example, reading procedures and instructions, interpreting information from diagrams, graphs and charts, writing a brief formal letter, using questions to gather information and provide a verbal report. ‘English’ means Standard Australian English (SAE). SAE is the variety of spoken and written English language in Australia used in more formal settings such as for official or public purposes, and recorded in dictionaries, style guides and grammars. While it is always dynamic and evolving, it is recognised as the ‘common language’ of Australians.

Many people will show that they meet this standard by gaining a ‘Satisfactory Achievement/Pass’ award (or better) in a number of identified TASC accredited senior secondary courses.

Other learners will gain TASC recognised qualifications to show that they meet this standard.

A small minority of learners may not have a course pathway or successfully completed a course indicating that they have met the standard. In such cases ‘safety-net’ testing of the skill set is available. A ‘pass’ in the relevant TASC ‘safety-net’ test will show that such a learner has met the standard.

The standard is illustrated and exemplified by the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) performance level 3 (reading, writing and oral communications) descriptors (See Appendix 1).

‘Everyday Adult’ Mathematics

The standard is ‘everyday adult mathematics’ – for example, using common maths knowledge and skills to measure, solve basic problems, develop budgets, collect survey information and interpret it, and carry out calculations involving fractions and metric quantities.

Many people will show that they meet this standard by gaining a ‘Satisfactory Achievement/Pass’ award in a number of identified TASC accredited senior secondary courses.

Other learners will gain TASC recognised qualifications to show that they meet this standard.

A small minority of learners may not have a course pathway or successfully completed a course indicating that they have met the standard. In such cases ‘safety-net’ testing of the skill set is available. A ‘pass’ in the relevant TASC ‘safety-net’ test will show that such a learner has met the standard.

The standard is illustrated and exemplified by the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) performance level 3 (numeracy) descriptors. (See Appendix 2).

‘Everyday Adult’ Use of Computers and the Internet

The standard is ‘everyday adult use of computers and the internet’ – for example, using a computer to perform routine tasks safely and productively, using common applications such as a word processor or spreadsheet, sending and receiving information by e-mail, and searching the internet.

Many people will show that they meet this standard by gaining a ‘Satisfactory Achievement/Pass’ award (or better) in a number of identified TASC accredited senior secondary courses.

Other learners will gain TASC recognised qualifications to show that they meet this standard.

A small minority of learners may not have a course pathway or successfully completed a course indicating that they have met the standard. In such cases ‘safety-net’ testing of the skill set is available. A ‘pass’ in the relevant ‘safety-net’ test will show that such a learner has met the standard. See Appendix 3 for details regarding the six facets of the standard.

Participation and Achievement Standard

The standard is ‘completion of a full program of learning at a set standard’. It recognises a very broad range of learning, and is flexible about where, when and how that learning happens.

To do this, each type of learning at TASC complexity level 1 or higher is given a size value. If a learner gains a qualification/is issued with a Unit of Competency the learning’s size value counts as credit points – at the specified complexity level – towards meeting the TCE’s participation and achievement standard. Ten (10) hours of successful learning is equivalent to 1 credit point.

To meet the participation and achievement standard a person needs to have 120 credit points, with at least 80 credit points in studies rated by TASC at complexity level 2 or higher.

Many learners will show that they meet than this standard with a reasonably challenging two-year program of post-Year 10 learning of at least 1,200 hours of study in senior secondary courses. Others will show that they meet this standard with a full program of VET. Some will use combinations of senior secondary studies, VET and other qualifications recognised by TASC. Some people will complete an apprenticeship to show that they meet this standard.

Detailed information is provided by TASC on credit points for various TASC accredited and TASC recognised qualifications, and VET Units of Competency.

As noted at least 80 of the 120 of the credit points must be gained from learning that has a complexity of Level 2 or above. A TASC complexity of Level 2 means that typically knowledge and skills are:

  • concrete and factual, with some theoretical and/or technical elements
  • applied in familiar and predictable contexts
  • involve routine issues, in conditions where there is substantial support and supervision
  • limited judgement and discretion is needed. See Appendix 4.

The 120 credit points must come from courses/qualifications/Units of Competency (or their equivalent) that have been assigned at least a level 2 Robustness rating. Level 2 Robustness means that the evidence on which assessment judgements are made, though it may be largely inferential and only indirectly related to the achievement, is available and sufficient for making the assessment decision. TASC makes judgements regarding Robustness at the time of course accreditation/recognition. See Appendix 5.

Planning for future education and training Standard

The standard is ‘to develop and lodge a plan for future education and training’. Most learners will meet this standard by developing a Transition Statement, and lodging this with the Office of TASC.

TASC will make arrangements so that people completing their senior secondary education and training outside the school system, adults applying for the TCE, and international learners and those joining the Tasmanian education system from other jurisdictions can also meet this standard. See Appendix 6.

Version History

Version 1 – adopted under Section 33.C of the Office of Tasmania Assessment, Standards and Certification Act 2003 on 12 August 2019.

Appendix 1: Everyday Adult Reading, Writing and Communication (in English)

Examples of tasks at this standard include:

  • writes short formal letters outlining instructions for a particular purpose (e.g. closure of bank account)
  • reads procedural texts, where the information is supported by diagrams, to remedy a known problem (e.g. locates problem with a machine and carries out repairs using a repair manual for guidance)
  • interprets information gained from tables, charts and other graphic information (e.g. plans travel arrangements for a meeting using a flight schedule)
  • follows existing guidelines for the collection, analysis and organisation of information, (e.g. takes detailed notes of an enquiry requesting information about services)
  • completes a range of formatted texts (e.g. selects and integrates information relevant to completed job on job report form, records information on an automobile maintenance record form)
  • writes simple instructions for a particular routine task.

Appendix 2: Everyday Adult Mathematics

Examples of tasks at this standard include:

  • uses a distance scale to find the shortest route between two locations on a map and considers road and terrain conditions in deciding preferred route
  • selects totals and orders items in bulk from a catalogue within budgetary constraints (e.g. stationery catalogue)
  • collects information by survey and represents information in appropriate tabular and graphic form (e.g. surveys fellow learner on travel to college, and comments on adequacy of public transport available)
  • expresses and calculates with metric quantities (e.g. interprets and costs quantities of cheese given in different forms such as 350g, 0.35kg)
  • measures common three dimensional shapes (e.g. a room, and represents the information on an appropriate diagram drawn to scale)
  • calculates with common fractions and metric measurements (e.g. adjusts the quantities in a recipe by halving or doubling to obtain the required amount)
  • uses a variety of methods to analyse sales advertising by comparing savings on a number of different items (e.g. at 12% off, 15% off, 1/3 off, price reduced by $10)
  • compares casual and permanent rates of pay over a given time span for work of the same nature
  • compares and contrasts costs of alternative types of travel (e.g. travel options for three people using plane, bus, train, taxi and hire car for a journey between two large cities. Presents options in an oral report which supports choice of most economical mode of transport).

Appendix 3: Everyday Adult Use of Computers and the Internet

The core components of the standard requires appropriate for marking the end of a person’s first stage of life-long learning after school:

  • using a computer and common software (e.g. word processing, spreadsheet) effectively, safely and productively
  • using the internet and email effectively, safely and productively.

A more detailed and technical account illustrating the meaning of the standard follows. This has been organised around the six components of the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs – Performance Measurement and Reporting Taskforce (MCEETYA PMRT) definition of ‘Information and Communication Technology (ICT) literacy’. The details that follow are there to illuminate the standard, to flesh out the understanding of ‘everyday adult use of computers and the internet in today’s world’, not to provide a checklist of features that must be individually assessed.

1. Accessing Information

Identifying the information needed and knowing how to find and retrieve information

Operate computer equipment, for example:

  • seek the necessary information to log on.

Open files, for example:

  • select software appropriate to the task
  • find a file when pointed to its location
  • carry out basic file search functions
  • identify and open file.

Close file, for example:

  • save and close file
  • store data in accordance with designated procedures
  • exit program in accordance with designated procedures.

Use common software (such as office applications), for example:

  • retrieve the required data from the file
  • edit the file
  • save, name/rename and close the file.

2. MANAGING INFORMATION

Organising and storing information for retrieval and reuse

Retrieve data, for example:

  • locate data to be retrieved.

Carry out file maintenance, for example:

  • copy, delete and rename files as required
  • create folders and directories as needed.

Demonstrate understanding of storage and backup requirements in the particular place in which a computer is being used, for example:

  • adapt to the storage and backup protocols of the particular place (e.g. workplace, library, college) in which the person is using a computer.

Comply with virus protection practices as required, for example:

  • show care in opening email attachments, paying attention to warnings provided by virus software.

3. EVALUATING

Reflecting on the processes used to design and construct ICT solutions and about making judgements regarding the integrity, relevance and usefulness of information

Use manuals and online help to solve problems, for example:

  • use help options within programs
  • use online help for software programs to solve problems
  • use manuals and training notes to solve problems
  • access user documentation where provided.

Use internet to source information, for example:

  • demonstrate internet search engine skills
  • confidently navigate and use web-based applications.

4. DEVELOPING NEW UNDERSTANDINGS

Creating information and knowledge by synthesising, adapting, applying, designing, inventing or authoring

Demonstrate flexibility needed to work efficiently in an ict environment, for example:

  • show ability to use a range of software to complete tasks
  • demonstrate adaptability to new ICT developments.

5. COMMUNICATING WITH OTHERS

Exchanging information by sharing knowledge and creating information products to suit the audience, the context and the medium

Produce simple documents on computer, for example

Using common software (such as office applications) and:

  • produce document with the required information
  • produce document in the required style and format
  • save document regularly to avoid loss of data.

Use email software, for example

Using common software (such as office applications) and:

  • create emails
  • send emails
  • open emails
  • delete or move emails from the inbox as needed to maintain efficient and effective usage.

Print document, for example:

  • select appropriate printer from software’s print menu
  • use print preview to check format and layout
  • make adjustments as necessary
  • ensure that correct stationery is loaded into the printer
  • print document.

6. USING ICT APPROPRIATELY

Making critical, reflective and strategic ICT decisions and using ICT responsibly by considering social, legal and ethical issues

Awareness of health/safety guidelines, for example:

  • observe guidelines relating to healthy and safe use of screen-based equipment and ergonomic workstations.

Apply ethical standards, for example:

  • demonstrate in practice an understanding of the difference between personal and business/organisational use of technology and software.

Email and internet etiquette, for example:

  • comply with business/organisational principles and practices regarding internet and email usage.

Appropriate use of equipment provided in the workplace or public place, for example:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the protocols of using equipment provided in a particular environment
  • be aware of personal use policies.

Additional indicators of the standard are contained with the ‘Technical’ aspects of the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) performance level 3 (reading, writing, oral communications and numeracy) descriptors available at: https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/acsf_document.pdf

At senior secondary level, courses are given a rating in terms of one of four levels of complexity as defined below.

 Broad DescriptionIllustrative Application
LEVEL 4Successful completion of a course at this level would mean that the learner would be able to carry out tasks and activities that involve theoretical and practical knowledge, and skills for specialised and/or skilled work and/or further learning. This requires broad factual, technical and some theoretical knowledge of a specific area or a broad field of work and learning. A broad range of cognitive, technical and communication skills to select and apply a range of methods, tools, materials and information is also needed. This will assist with completing routine and non-routine activities, and provide and transmit solutions to a variety of predictable and sometimes unpredictable problems. Application of knowledge and skills to demonstrate autonomy, judgement and limited responsibility in known or changing contexts and within established parameters is also required. This level is comparable with VET Certificate IV qualifications.
LEVEL 3Successful completion of a course at this level would mean that the learner would be able to carry out tasks and activities that involve a combination of theoretical and/or technical and factual knowledge and skills. Judgement is required in varying guidelines or procedures to deal effectively with any unusual or unexpected aspects that may arise. Some skills in organising self and/or others are also needed. This level is comparable with that considered suitable for courses contributing to the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).
LEVEL 2Successful completion of a course at this level would mean that a learner would be able to carry out tasks and activities that involve a range of knowledge and skills. These will include some basic theoretical and/or technical knowledge and skills. Limited judgement is required, such as making an appropriate selection from a range of given rules, guidelines or procedures. The TCE requires learners to have at least 80 credit points at this level of complexity or higher.
LEVEL 1Successful completion of a course at this level would mean that a learner would be able to carry out tasks and activities that draw on a limited range of basic knowledge and skills. They generally have a substantial repetitive aspect to them. Minimum judgement is needed as there are usually very clear rules, guidelines or procedures to be followed.Courses at this level meet the minimum complexity set by TASC for a senior secondary course.

Criteria for robustness ratings

Robustness Level Nature of Evidence of AchievementReliability/Precision of the EvidenceValidity/Truth of the Evidence
5The evidence is plentiful and varied, tangible, directly related to the achievement, readily open to scrutiny.It can be shown that the result would not change much with a different assessor or with assessment on another occasion or context and there are monitored procedures/processes that ensure the comparability of results from different providers.The match of the evidence and the level of performance implied by the result is clear and evident to all reasonable inquirers.
4The evidence is ample and directly related to the achievement and much of it is open to scrutiny
3The evidence is ample and mostly directly related to the achievement but although tangible evidence is not available for scrutiny there are clear reasons to trust the sources from which it came.It is not likely that the result would change significantly with a different assessor or with assessment on another occasion or context and there are processes for comparability of results from different providers.There is a relationship between the evidence and some aspects of the level of performance implied by the result.
2The evidence is sufficient and available, but at best mostly indirectly related to the achievement and largely inferential.
1The evidence is slight, indirectly related to the achievement, tenuously inferential, not open to view.It is likely that the result could change significantly with a different assessor or with the assessment on another occasion and there is no process for comparability of results from different providers.The evidence is at best tenuously related to the level of performance implied by the result.

Appendix 6: Planning future education and training Standard

The person:

  • has developed a Transition Statement
  • has lodged a Transition Statement with TASC

Or, for adults, those outside the school system, and international learners and those joining the Tasmanian education system from other jurisdictions:

  • has identifying their education/training plans and lodged these with TASC.