The Australian Qualifications Framework (commonly known as the AQF) is a unified system of national qualifications in schools, vocational education and training (TAFEs and private providers) and the higher education sector (mainly universities).
The Framework links together all the qualifications below and is a highly visible, quality-assured national system of educational recognition which promotes lifelong learning and a seamless and diverse education and training system.
|Schools Sector||TAFE and other Vocational Education and Training Providers||University and Other Higher Education Providers|
Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (2-3 years)
|Vocational Graduate Diploma (1 year)|
Vocational Graduate Certificate (6 months)
Advanced Diploma (6–12 months)
Diploma (1 year)
Certificate IV (1 year)
Certificate III (6 months)
Certificate II (6 months)
Certificate I (6 months)
|Doctoral Degree (3+ years)|
Masters Degree (1–3 years)
Graduate Diploma* (1 year)
Graduate Certificate (6 months)
Bachelor Degree* (3 years)
Associate Degree* (1.5 years)
Advanced Diploma (1.5 years)
Diploma (1 year)
* CIT also offers higher education Bachelor Degree and Graduate Diploma qualifications and delivers subjects within ANU Associate Degrees in some areas.
The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) allows for the portability of qualifications, which means the universities will consider granting credit for previous studies towards a university qualification. To find out more visit www.aqf.edu.au
The AQF has advantages for international students. It makes course searches much easier as the qualification titles are the same throughout Australia. This means that you can focus on finding the best course and university for your needs, without also having to spend time looking into what each qualification title means. International students who complete a qualification within the AQF will be able to understand the entrance requirements for higher qualifications, for example if they want to progress from undergraduate to postgraduate study.
The AQF also contributes to the worldwide recognition of Australian qualifications, as it is easy for other countries to understand what level of education each Australian qualification represents. There are a limited number of courses that are not part of the AQF but are also available to international students.
Courses like foundation and bridging courses are designed to help students meet course entry requirements or gain entry to further study resulting in an AQF qualification. See Preparation for tertiary studies for more information.
A number of regulations and laws are in place to ensure the quality and consistency of Australia’s international education sector. The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 requires institutions that offer courses to international students to meet nationally consistent standards in education quality, facilities and services. The Act ensures that international students receive the same standard of education as Australian students.
In addition, institutions that wish to offer education to international students must register with the Australian Government under the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). Registration with CRICOS requires institutions to demonstrate that their qualifications meet Australian standards. The Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) is a CRICOS registered organisation (No. 00001K). To search for CRICOS registered education providers visit www.cricos.deewr.gov.au
CIT qualifications are accredited under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). This means that the qualifications are recognised anywhere in Australia. AQF qualifications offered at CIT are: