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Clauses 3.1 – 3.4

Provide secure certification

Clause 3.1

The RTO issues AQF certification documentation only to a learner whom it has assessed as meeting the requirements of the training product as specified in the relevant training package or VET accredited course.

Clause 3.2

All AQF certification documentation issued by an RTO meets the requirements of Schedule 5.

Clause 3.3

AQF certification documentation is issued to a learner within 30 calendar days of the learner being assessed as meeting the requirements of the training product if the training program in which the learner is enrolled is complete, and providing all agreed fees the learner owes to the RTO have been paid.

Clause 3.4

Records of learner AQF certification documentation are maintained by the RTO in accordance with the requirements of Schedule 5 and are accessible to current and past learners.

What this standard means for your RTO

Your RTO must have controls in place to ensure qualifications, statements of attainment and records of results are not issued unless the learner has completed all requirements. There is significant risk to your RTO’s reputation if certification is issued inappropriately. To reduce this risk, you should have systems in place to ensure certification is only issued to learners after they have fully demonstrated competence and where evidence of this is in place. If your RTO delivers at multiple locations and/or through third party arrangements, consider centralised issuance of certification to strengthen these controls.

To ensure credibility of qualifications from the VET sector, RTOs must meet the requirements of the AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy and include any additional information specific to the VET sector, as per Schedules Four and Five of the Standards (refer to Appendix two).

RTOs may include additional relevant information on AQF certification documentation, including the name and/or logo of a third party involved in the training and assessment. However, such information must be accurate and not introduce confusion about which organisation is issuing the certification.

When issuing certification:

  • issue in a timely manner (AQF certification documentation must be issued within 30 calendar days of the learner’s final assessment being completed or their exiting their course, providing all fees have been paid), so your learners can provide proof of their competence to employers (or potential employers) and obtain any industry licences or accreditation
  • issue AQF certification documentation directly to the learner, not to another party, such as an employer
  • issue learners who have completed all units or modules in a qualification with a testamur and a record of results
  • issue a learner who has completed one or more units/modules (but not a full qualification) and has finished their training with your RTO with a statement of attainment (a record of results may also be issued in this case), and
  • ensure learners can access records of certification issued to them.

To avoid possible delays in issuing certification, ensure that your RTO has processes in place to verify a learner’s Unique Student Identifier (USI) well in advance of when certification is expected to be issued.

You are only required to issue AQF certification documentation when a learner has completed their program of training and assessment with your RTO. You are not required to issue ‘interim’ documentation at any time.

Your RTO must retain records of qualifications and statements of attainment issued for 30 years. Where you have gathered and retained full AVETMISS data, this would suffice. You must retain sufficient data to be able to reissue a qualification or statement of attainment for the 30-year period, regardless of the storage method used. If your organisation ceases being an RTO, you will be required to provide this information to ASQA in digital form.

Your RTO must ensure that current and past learners are able to access records of their achievements. All learners who hold a verified USI, and whose results have been reported into the USI system, will be able to access their records through the USI system. If a learner’s achievements have not been recorded through the USI system, you will need to have processes in place to ensure that this learner can access their records in another way.

A guide to compliance

RTOs must retain evidence that sufficient controls are in place to prevent certification being issued prior to all assessment being completed. Some electronic student management systems require evidence checklists to be completed before generating documentation. RTOs may also use manual methods, such as:

  • completing a checklist before a qualification is printed or signed, or
  • requiring all completed assessment to be presented to the person signing or issuing the certification.

Your RTO must retain evidence that qualifications and statements of attainment meet all the requirements of the AQF and Schedules Four and Five of the Standards (refer to Appendix 2). You may be required to provide evidence that any additional content included on certification is accurate and does not create confusion as to the organisation issuing the certification.

Your RTO must demonstrate that it has mechanisms in place to reduce fraudulent reproduction of certification. At a minimum, you must include your RTO’s name, RTO code and logo on all certification.

As certification must be issued within 30 days of a learner completing their training and/or assessment, RTOs should retain evidence that this occurs and that learners receive all documents they are entitled to, including records of results where applicable.

You must also retain:

  • evidence of how current and past learners can access records of certification issued to them, and
  • evidence that these records are or will be retained for a period of 30 years.

If you are applying to become an RTO, you must provide evidence of:

  • how your organisation will prevent certification from being issued without all required assessment having been completed
  • templates for qualifications, records of results and statements of attainment that meet all requirements
  • how you will ensure certification is issued within 30 days
  • how learners will access records of certification issued to them, and
  • how you will retain records of qualifications and statements of attainment issued for 30 years.