If you are thinking about applying for a TAFE SA course, it is important that you understand how selection works.
Your chances of being selected into a TAFE SA course depend on a number of factors, including whether the course is competitive or not, and what qualifications you have. The information that follows explains how TAFE SA selects applicants for its courses.
Course Admission Requirements (CAR)
CAR are specific to each course, so you may be eligible for some courses and not others, depending on your qualifications.
If a course is competitive, meeting the CAR does not guarantee you an offer. All applicants for competitive courses who meet the CAR are then ranked for selection, and offers are made in merit order. The rules for ranking applicants are set by TAFE SA.
Examples of Course Admission Requirements
As CAR are specific to each course you should check the course entry details carefully when adding preferences to your SATAC application. Alternatively, you can find information about courses on the TAFE SA website.
Core Skills Profile for Adults (CSPA)
The CSPA is a tool designed to indicate reading, writing and numeracy/maths skills. Satisfactory outcomes from the CSPA is a course admission requirement (CAR) for a range of TAFE SA courses.
The CSPA is free for TAFE SA applicants. An hour and a half is allowed: 30 minutes for each section. Further information is available from the TAFE SA website.
Previous TABS scores can no longer be used in the assessment of current applications.
Completion of SACE or equivalent
Students who are awarded the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) have successfully completed the requirements of year 12 (final year secondary schooling) in South Australia. Where 'Satisfactory completion of SACE Stage 2 (or equivalent)' is included in the CAR, this condition is met by applicants who have completed the SACE, or an equivalent qualification such as the International Baccalaureate or an interstate year 12 qualification. Overseas school qualifications are assessed on a country by country basis.
TAFE/VET/Higher Education level study
Where a completed Certificate level course, e.g. any Certificate III, is included in the CAR this condition is met by applicants who have completed a Level 3 qualification or above, as specified by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).
Applicants who have studied at university at AQF Level 6 or higher (e.g. Associate degree or Bachelor degree level or above) for at least one year equivalent full-time study will also meet this requirement.
You can find more information about the AQF on the Australian Qualifications Framework website.
Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) results
Results from the STAT can be used to meet the CAR and contribute to your selection score for entry to higher education courses only.
University bridging/foundation courses
Successful completion of a recognised university bridging or foundation course may be used to meet CAR.
A successfully completed bridging/foundation course of 12 months duration may be considered equivalent to completion of SACE Stage 2 or a Certificate III.
Competitive and non-competitive courses
Courses may be considered competitive if there are limited places available, or non-competitive if TAFE SA expects that all interested and qualified applicants will be accepted.
Many non-competitive courses have no CAR. There is usually no ranking or other selection criteria applied. However, if there is an unexpected increase in demand for a non-competitive course, TAFE SA reserves the right to make offers to applicants in the order in which they applied.
Note for Existing Worker courses
Most Existing Worker courses do not have formal CAR, but you will be required to provide evidence to TAFE SA when you enrol that you are currently employed in a relevant position.
Your chances of being selected for a place in a competitive TAFE SA course depend on how many places the course has available; whether you have met the Course Admission Requirements (CAR) (i.e. whether you are eligible); how many other eligible applicants are applying; and how competitive your qualifications are in relation to those of the other eligible applicants (i.e. your rank).
When applying for a competitive course you need to demonstrate in your application that you have the qualifications that meet the CAR. SATAC then assess your qualifications to determine your eligibility and rank before an offer can be made to you.
How TAFE SA allocates places in a course
Each course will have a total number of places it can allocate. This is called the quota.
For non-competitive courses the quota exceeds the number of eligible applicants, so every eligible applicant will receive an offer to the course.
For competitive courses the number of eligible applicants exceeds the quota, so eligible applicants must be ranked.
In competitive courses, eligible applicants are ranked in order of merit. TAFE SA has a set of ranking rules that determines how the order of merit is established. For the majority of competitive courses, applicants will be ranked on their results in the Core Skills Profile for Adults (CSPA). For courses with CSPA and an internal assessment component, selection is based on the internal assessment score.
Selection rules and decisions are the responsibility of TAFE SA. SATAC implements these selection rules and decisions on TAFE SA’s behalf.