16 Jan What is the AQF?
In Australia we have a hierarchy of qualifications called the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF).
The AQF has 10 levels and we thought it might be of interest to understand the role the AQF plays in Vocational, Education and Training (VET). The AQF, amongst a myriad of things, provides a summary of the target learner, student or pupil (it covers all streams of formal education). For example a level 1 person is summarised as “graduates at this level will have knowledge and skills for initial work, community involvement and/or further learning.” Whereas a Level 10 person (PhD) is summarised as “graduates at this level will have a systematic and critical understanding of a complex field of learning and specialised research skills for the advancement of learning and/or professional practice.”
There are 10 levels in the AQF (plus the senior secondary certificate of education) and each of those levels allows us to ascribe certain Learner Characteristics to it. For example if we consider a AQF level 1 learner we know they would be the most junior person in an organisation and they would quite likely be new to the position whereas a Level 10 person would be a highly intelligent individual with a narrow and defined area of expertise. Now I am sure you would agree we could apply a generalisation against the characteristics of each of these 2 levels. For example consider the following questions:
- How would the language skills compare to each other?
- What would the level of education be of each level?
- How would each level learn?
One could not attempt to design a course without considering the Learner Characteristics of the target learner; there are many questions we need to consider when designing a course and this is covered in great detail in our TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment course.
For further information about the AQF we recommend you go to http://www.aqf.edu.au/ and spend an hour or so studying it.