Are ACSF and AQF levels the same?

Adult literacy students

Welcome back.  In the previous post we looked at the difference between the criteria required at varying AQF levels.

We also briefly looked at the criteria required of ACSF levels.

You will appreciate that whilst there is some similarity, an ACSF level may not always match the AQF level.

Why is this?

To answer this question, go back to the basics of ACSF.

Remember that the ACSF framework consists of core skills in the following areas:

  • Learning
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Oral Communication

(Remember these??  You need to!)

Along with five skills levels.


This document:

  • outlines the framework
  • explains the terminology used
  • outlines the ACSF levels
  • provides examples of each level and core skill.

Referring to this document assists you to identify the ACSF levels of the courses you deliver.)

Each course you deliver will require students to demonstrate a level of ability across the ACSF core skills, but at varying levels.

To put this in context:

Consider some AQF Level IV courses.    These courses are all at the same AQF level, but will they always have the same ACSF levels?

  • Certificate IV in Counselling
  • Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing
  • Certificate IV in Engineering

No they wont!


You can appreciate that

  • Cert IV in Counselling may require higher levels of Oral Communication,
  • Cert IV in Professional  Writing and Editing may require higher levels of Reading and Writing, whilst
  • Cert IV in Engineering may require higher levels of numeracy.

Whilst ALL core skills may be required by students in each course, the LEVEL of each core skill will vary  due to the specific nature of the course content  and requirements.

How do I know what level my course requires?

Whilst the practical application of the Foundation Skills framework can seem confusing, just like a maze there is  a clear way to achieve your desired outcome.

In the next blog, we will look at some steps in conquering the maze, including:

  • The steps needed to identify ACSF levels within a course
  • Sample templates that you can use to achieve this outcome
  • Resources to assist you in identify ACSF course requirements

Need to update your trainers and staff on ACSF, its implications and application?

A professional development video in an easy to follow format is available on our Professional Development Hub.

Onwards and upwards!
Click here to access student LLN resources

Sheila Douglas

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