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Competency-based training

Competency-based training (CBT) focuses on your ability to demonstrate that you can undertake a particular task to a certain level of achievement. Once you achieve this level, you receive a result of ‘competent’ regardless of how well you perform the task.

Many AQF certificates III and IV, diplomas, advanced diplomas, and some AQF associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and postgraduate courses, are competency-based.

Competency-based training is provided by registered training organisations throughout Australia and overseas.

Institution policies

Institutions have different policies on how competency-based training is used. Contact the relevant institution for their policies.

Selection ranks based on competency-based training

Completed competency-based training

Your completed competency-based course can be given a QTAC selection rank based on the level and duration of your study.

Incomplete competency-based training

If you do not complete your competency-based diploma or higher-level course, you may still be given a rank. It will often be lower than the rank given to a completed qualification. 

The rank given will also be affected by how much of the study you have completed.

Selection ranks are not given for incomplete certificates III or IV. 

Year 12 results

Undertaking competency-based training does not change your ATAR.

If you complete a competency-based qualification while at school, this can be given its own rank (as above), separate from and in addition to your ATAR.

Special Tertiary Admissions Test

If you achieve a good result in the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT), it can increase the rank for your competency-based study, but only if you have achieved competency in all modules.

A poor result in the STAT is not usually used to lower your rank. However, if you have failing tertiary study of one or more year’s full-time (or equivalent part-time) duration, you should contact the admissions office of the institution you want to study at for more information.

Results of ‘not yet competent’

If you receive one or more results of ‘not yet competent’, we calculate your selection rank according to your grade point average (GPA). 

We give a grade of 4 (pass) for each ‘competent’ and a grade of 1.5 (fail) for each ‘not yet competent’. We then assess your qualification as graded study rather than competency-based. 

If you repeat all the modules for which you received a result of ‘not yet competent’ and get a result of ‘competent’ for each, we assess your qualification as competency-based.

Qualifications with both competency-based and graded assessment

Some of your results may be of the competency-based type and some graded. In this case, we calculate your rank based on which type you have the most of. 

If 75% or more of your results are competency-based, we assess your qualification as competency-based. If less than 25% are competency-based, we assess it as graded. For amounts in between, we score it both ways and give you the higher rank.

TAFE Queensland courses

TAFE Queensland results might include Performance Level Assessment (PLA). This is similar to graded assessment in that it gives more information about your individual achievement. It provides evidence of extra effort and performance in certain areas. To get a PLA result, you must first achieve a ‘competent’ in the unit or module. For more information, contact TAFE Queensland.

If you receive mostly PLA results, we will assess your qualification as graded. If you have an equal number of competency results and PLA results we will score it both ways and give you the higher rank.

Diplomas that contain certificates

Some diplomas contain ‘nested’ certificates. 

This means you can be awarded a certificate qualification before completing the diploma. 

In this case, we would give you a rank based on the certificate. Please note though that the rank for your certificate may not be high enough to get you into the course you really want.

Contact us on 1300 467 822 to find out what rank your certificate may be given.

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