A personal competencies statement is the method of providing information about your life experience to SATAC in support of your undergraduate application. 

There are specific eligibility requirements that you must meet in order for your life experience to be considered in support of your application. Many of the courses that consider life experience as a pathway also require you to sit the Special Tertiary Admission Test (STAT) in addition to submitting a personal competencies statement.

If you are eligible to provide details of your life experience in support of your application, and the course you're applying for considers it, then you must submit the information according to the guidelines below.

The criteria below are designed to provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate that you have developed, through your life experiences, the skills and abilities to be successful in a tertiary course. If you do not address the criteria you will receive a poor personal competencies rank.

Note the following: 

  • Regard each criterion as important and address each one individually, listing them under subheadings. 
  • Include any examples where relevant. 
  • You may wish to provide the same example as evidence, where appropriate, under more than one heading - this is acceptable. 
  • Type or, if typing isn’t possible, neatly write your statement. 
  • Keep to the maximum size of three A4 pages (750-1000 words).
Guidelines for writing a personal competencies statement
Personal competencies criteria Indicators

Tertiary preparation provides applicants with the opportunity to demonstrate what steps they have taken to:

  • research the tertiary options available to them
  • ensure that the courses for which they are applying will go towards meeting their personal, professional or academic goals
  • identify the skills and abilities needed to be successful in their chosen courses of study
  • prepare themselves for tertiary study.

Tertiary preparation also relates to an applicant’s awareness of the personal, resource and time commitments required to successfully undertake tertiary study.

  • Evidence of knowledge of the courses and course outcomes. 
  • Evidence of links between course outcomes and personal, vocational, professional and academic goals. 
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the competencies required to function successfully in the tertiary environment. 
  • Evidence of steps taken to gain study skills or improve skill levels. 
  • Evidence of awareness of the workload and time commitments inherent in tertiary study, the impact of tertiary study on personal lifestyle and of the financial resources required to complete the course. 
  • Completion of a formal foundation studies program. 
  • Completion of other preparatory studies, e.g. study skills and other courses offered by TAFE (in SA or interstate), WEA, ACE.

Tertiary maturity provides applicants with the opportunity to demonstrate their readiness to participate in the life of a tertiary institution and their preparedness for a lifetime of learning.

  • Demonstrated ability to adjust or adapt to new situations. 
  • Understanding of the current social and ethical issues facing our society. 
  • Demonstrated ability to consider new ideas and viewpoints.

Independent learning strategies provides applicants with the opportunity to demonstrate their capacity for self-directed study.

  • Demonstrated ability to prioritise tasks, manage time and meet deadlines. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently. 
  • Evidence of self motivation.
  • Evidence of development of personally effective study techniques.

Interpersonal and communication skills provides applicants with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to communicate clearly, particularly using written and oral means, and the ability to interact effectively with others.

  • Demonstrated ability to write clearly, correctly and concisely.
  • Evidence of capacity to express thoughts logically.
  • Evidence of oral communication skills. 
  • Evidence of ability to interact effectively with others, including ability to work effectively as part of a team.

Achievement and experience provides applicants with the opportunity to highlight their experience, expertise and achievements which are indicative of their likely success in tertiary study.

  • Any personal achievement that demonstrates ability, motivation or commitment.
  • Attainment in formal and/or non-formal studies.

Skills and knowledge provides applicants with the opportunity to demonstrate they have the skills and knowledge required to be successful in tertiary study.

  • Demonstrated ability to collect, analyse and interpret information.
  • Demonstrated problem-solving skills.
  • Evidence of computer skills. 

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