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 the date of application (including adding new preferences to an application for the first time), and meeting course admission requirements for that course.
Course Admission Requirements
Course admission requirements 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 course admission requirements does not guarantee you an offer. All applicants for competitive courses who meet the course admission requirements 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
Course Admission requirements are specific to each course so 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. Some qualifications require CSPA as part of course admissions requirements when applying for a place at TAFE SA.
The CSPA is free for TAFE SA applicants. The test is 90 minutes in total and comprises three parts: Reading, Writing, and Numeracy (30 minutes is allowed for each section).
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 course admission requirements, 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 course admission requirements 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 course admission requirements 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 course admission requirements.
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 course admission requirements. 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 course admission requirements, 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 (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 your qualifications meet the course admission requirements. SATAC will 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.
If the number of eligible applicants exceeds the quota for a course, applicants will be ranked for selection using pre-determined selection criteria – this is often the date of application. You can find more information about selection criteria in the individual course entries on the TAFE SA website or in the course descriptions in the online application.
For competitive courses where class numbers are restricted, eligible applicants will ranked in order of merit. TAFE SA has a set of ranking rules that determines how the order of merit is established.
Selection rules and decisions are the responsibility of TAFE SA. SATAC implements these selection rules and decisions on TAFE SA’s behalf.