Creating Skills for life

Australian Education System

The Australian Education System is made up of three parts, with some variations across the states:

  • Primary education (kindergarten to years 6 or 7)
  • Secondary education (years 7 or 8, to year 12)
  • Tertiary education (TAFE and university)
  • APTC offers courses at the tertiary level.


What is TAFE?

TAFE stands for ‘Technical and Further Education’. It also stands for excellence in vocational training that is relevant in today’s world – an accessible education tailored to the needs of employers for hundreds of thousands of people each year. TAFE colleges in Australia are similar to the Community and Junior College systems of North America and the Polytechnic systems of the United Kingdom and New Zealand, providing you with standardised qualifications within the Australian Qualifications Framework that are recognised internationally. 

TAFE courses are accredited by the Australian Government, and TAFE has major financial support from both national and state governments to deliver these qualifications.

TAFE Queensland is the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) who issues the APTC qualifications and is also the Managing Contractor for the APTC project.


Australian Qualifications Framework

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is the national policy for regulated qualifications in Australian education and training. It incorporates the qualifications from schools, vocational education and training, and higher education into a single, comprehensive framework.

Users of the AQF include the accrediting authorities and the institutions providing education and training. Stakeholders include industry and its representative bodies, unions, professional associations and licensing authorities and governments. Ultimately, students, graduates and employers, both Australian and international, benefit from the quality qualifications that are built on the requirements of the AQF.

The objectives of the AQF are to provide a contemporary and flexible framework that:

  • accommodates the diverse purpose of Australian education and training now and into the future
  • contributes to national economic performance by supporting contemporary, relevant and nationally consistent qualification outcomes that build confidence in qualifications
  • supports pathways which provide access to qualifications and assist people to move easily between different education and training sectors and into employment
  • allows recognition for an individual’s prior learning and experience
  • underpins national regulatory and quality assurance arrangements for education and training
  • supports and enhances the national and international mobility of graduates and workers through increased recognition of the value and comparability of Australian qualifications
  • enables the alignment of the AQF with international qualifications frameworks.

Most courses offered at APTC are at Certificate III level, with a small number offered at Certificate IV and Diploma levels.


To find out more, click on: Australian Qualifications Framework

APTC is an Australian Government initiative in partnership with the Pacific and Timor-Leste.

APTC is implemented by TAFE Queensland (RTO 0275)

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