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Recognition in the SACE
Information sheet 21

Details about the application forms for recognition arrangements in the SACE.

The SACE Board recognises and grants SACE credits for appropriate qualifications, subjects, courses, or learning experiences gained by local, interstate, or overseas students. These include recognition of:

  • community learning programs
  • educational exchange programs
  • exit assessment — SACE Stage 2
  • intensive English learning programs
  • the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme
  • interstate and overseas senior secondary school qualifications
  • languages courses (School of Languages, Department for Education and Child Development)
  • qualifications and learning experiences undertaken by adults
  • university studies
  • vocational education and training (VET) qualifications.

Recognition towards the SACE is reported on the Record of Achievement as a number of SACE credits ‘granted’, and is not accompanied by a result (e.g. a grade or score).

Community learning programs

The SACE Board has the following recognition arrangements for students who successfully undertake community learning (from either community-developed programs or self-directed community learning):

Recognition is granted for up to 90 credits at Stage 1 and/or Stage 2.

Recognition is not granted against the Personal Learning Plan (at Stage 1), literacy and numeracy requirements, Research Project (at Stage 2), or the requirement for 60 credits at C– or better at Stage 2.

Application for recognition of community-developed programs

Students who are seeking recognition of learning gained in community-developed programs should submit Form 10 to the SACE coordinator. The SACE coordinator must sight appropriate documentary evidence to support a student’s application and sign the form.

For more information on the recognition of community-developed programs, see Community learning.  

Application for recognition of self-directed community learning 

Students who are seeking recognition of learning gained through self-directed community learning should submit Form 11 to the SACE coordinator. Applications for recognition for Stage 2 subjects, or combinations of Stage 1 and Stage 2 subjects, must be authorised by the principal or the principal’s delegate and sent to the SACE Board.

For more information on the recognition and moderation of self-directed community learning, see Self-directed programs.

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Educational exchange programs

SACE students who undertake an educational exchange for all or part of a year are included in this category. Students who undertake a full-year exchange program are eligible to apply for up to 110 credits at Stage 1 (70 credits, plus 20 credits for meeting the literacy requirement, 10 credits for meeting the numeracy requirement, and 10 credits for the Personal Learning Plan).

Students who undertake an exchange program for part of the year are able to gain up to 100 credits towards Stage 1. This does not include the Personal Learning Plan.

Students will need to demonstrate that they meet the literacy and numeracy requirements as described in the SACE Accreditation, Recognition, and Certification policy, which is part of the SACE Policy Framework.

Students will need to provide copies of letters advising of the exchange, and subsequent certificates or final school reports or letters from the host school as evidence.

Exchange students should apply for recognition at Stage 1 using Form 12.

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Exit assessment — SACE Stage 2

The exit assessment provision is designed to provide a record of recognised achievement (reported on the Record of Achievement as 10 credits and ‘granted’) for students who leave school in the second half of the year or who have made a subject adjustment after enrolments have closed as a result of counselling.

The exit assessment form (Form 13) is to be used for students who have withdrawn from any full-year (20-credit) Stage 2 subject after their enrolment has been recorded on the SACE Board database. After Wednesday 1 August, schools must identify such students using the ‘W’ facility on the subject enrolment and assessment group confirmation list or the results sheet in Schools Online, and send Form 13 to the SACE Board when they submit the confirmation list or the results sheet. On Form 13, each subject teacher is asked to declare that the students have satisfactorily completed (i.e. achieved a C grade or better for Community Studies and/or a C– or better for all other Stage 2 subjects) approximately half the program and assessment outlined in the learning and assessment plan.

Teachers should note that there is no straightforward division of Stage 2 subject outlines into halves, and therefore a recognised exit assessment will be recorded as ‘granted’ and not as a grade.

Evidence of student learning that validates the exit assessment must be retained in the school for 12 months for SACE Board auditing purposes.

Subsequent re-enrolment in and completion of the same subject in another year will cancel the recognition granted for that subject.

Students with a recognised exit assessment in a Stage 2 English subject may count 10 credits towards the literacy requirement of the SACE.

Students with a recognised exit assessment in a Stage 2 mathematics subject may count 10 credits to meet the numeracy requirement of the SACE.

Students with a recognised exit assessment in a Stage 2 Board-accredited subject may count 10 credits towards the requirement for 60 credits at C– or better at Stage 2.

Students should apply for recognition of a Stage 2 exit assessment using Form 13.

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Intensive English learning programs

The SACE Board grants credits for students who have successfully completed an intensive English learning program. Intensive English learning programs are required to be submitted to the SACE Board for approval before applications for recognition may be made.

Students can gain up to 40 credits at Stage 1 for the successful completion of an intensive English learning program. Please note that the successful completion of an intensive English learning program is not sufficient to meet the literacy requirement of the SACE.

Students who have successfully completed an intensive English learning program should apply for recognition at Stage 1 using Form 12.

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International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

The SACE Board has the following recognition arrangements for students who successfully undertake International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) courses:

Recognition is granted for up to 130 credits towards the SACE. Recognition is not granted against Research Project (Stage 2) or the compulsory element of 60 credits at Stage 2.

A student who completes a full-year IBDP course is eligible to apply for up to 110 credits at Stage 1 (70 credits, plus 20 credits for meeting the literacy requirement, 10 credits for meeting the numeracy requirement, and 10 credits for the Personal Learning Plan). Recognition for the Personal Learning Plan is granted if a full-year Stage 1 equivalent program has been completed or a student begins Stage 1 studies in second semester. A student who transfers to the SACE at the end of one semester of the equivalent of Stage 1 study is eligible for 50 credits.

For any individual Standard Level (SL) or Higher Level (HL) course (e.g. Chemistry Standard Level or Chemistry Higher Level), students can gain a maximum of 40 credits: 20 credits at Stage 1 and 20 credits at Stage 2.

Recognition at Stage 1 is granted for students who gain a grade of 3 (out of 7) or better in the SL or HL course. Recognition at Stage 2 is granted for students who gain a grade of 4 (out of 7) or better in the SL course or a grade of 3 (out of 7) or better in the HL course.

Recognition towards the SACE is available for partial completion of an IBDP course (SL or HL). Students who exit from an IBDP course at the end of the first 60 hours of teaching/instruction time (or first semester) or 120 hours of teaching/instruction time (or second semester) will be granted 10 or 20 credits at Stage 1, respectively. SACE credits will be granted at Stage 1 if students demonstrate that they received a grade of 3 (out of 7) or better for the SL or HL course, on the basis of assessment evidence, as verified and quality‑assured by the principal of the school offering the IBDP course.

The SACE Board reserves the right to audit the evidence of achievements, for the purposes of granting recognition towards the SACE, at these exit points (first 60 hours and 120 hours).

There is no partial recognition beyond the first 120 hours of teaching time. Students are required to complete the SL or HL course to gain SACE credits beyond the first 120 hours of teaching time. To gain SACE credits at Stage 2, the students will need to provide evidence from the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) of the level of their achievements in the SL or HL course.

Students who successfully undertake IBDP English A: Language and Literature (HL or SL) or English B (HL or SL) can count this achievement towards the SACE literacy requirement. Refer to 3, 4, and 5 above for a description of how SACE credits will be applied.

Students who successfully undertake IBDP Mathematical Studies (SL), Mathematics (HL or SL), or Further Mathematics (HL), can count this achievement towards the SACE numeracy requirement. Refer to 3, 4, and 5 above for a description of how SACE credits will be applied.

At Stage 2, if a student undertakes both a SACE Board-accredited subject and an IBDP course in the same area of study [e.g. SACE Board-accredited Biology and IBDP Biology (HL or SL)], only the SACE Board-accredited subject will gain credits towards the SACE.

Students who gain a C grade or better for the IBDP Theory of Knowledge course will gain 10 credits at Stage 2.

A student may apply for recognition of learning for one or more of the IBDP central requirements — Extended Essay and Creativity, Activity, Service — through the SACE Board’s community learning provisions (self-directed learning). That is, students seeking recognition for one or more of these learning experiences are required to provide evidence of their learning and attend an interview with SACE Board assessors to present and discuss their achievements. SACE credits can be gained for this community learning at Stage 1.

Recognition is granted for courses completed at Stage 1 on receipt of school reports describing the student’s achievement levels (i.e. a grade 1 to 7). This documentation must be verified and quality‑assured by the principal of the school offering the IBDP course.

Recognition is granted for courses completed at Stage 2 on receipt of documentation issued by the IBO describing the student’s achievement levels (i.e. a grade 1 to 7) in particular subjects. This documentation must be sent to the SACE Board by the school. The SACE Board then recalculates the student’s university aggregate and reissues the student’s SACE Record of Achievement.

IBDP students should apply for recognition at Stage 1 and Stage 2 using Form 12.

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Interstate and overseas senior secondary school qualifications

The Board considers applications for recognition from students with interstate or overseas senior secondary qualifications (including the International Baccalaureate Diploma).

In making an application, certificates or final school reports (translated into English if necessary) are required. Students may seek translation services from the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection or the Government of South Australia Interpreting and Translating Centre. Documents should clearly indicate the country where the study has occurred. Application forms with documents are to be submitted to the SACE Board for approval. If submitting evidence, please enclose copies of documents, not originals.

Students can gain a maximum of 110 credits at Stage 1 for an interstate or overseas qualification, and an additional 20 credits can be recognised at Stage 2 for an interstate or overseas qualification.

Students who have successfully completed a full Australian or overseas senior secondary program that is considered the equivalent of Stage 1 will be granted up to 110 credits at Stage 1 (70 credits, plus 20 credits for meeting the literacy requirement, 10 credits for meeting the numeracy requirement, and 10 credits for the Personal Learning Plan). Such students are required to demonstrate that they have met the literacy and numeracy requirements from the range of options described in the SACE Accreditation, Recognition, and Certification policy, which is part of the SACE Policy Framework.

Students who successfully complete an Australian or overseas senior secondary program and who enrol during Year 11 (Stage 1) may apply for some credits at Stage 1. The equivalent of one semester of Stage 1 study will be granted a maximum of 50 credits. Students who enrol at the start of, or during, Semester 1 are required to complete the Personal Learning Plan and demonstrate that they have met the literacy and numeracy requirements.

Students with interstate or overseas qualifications (including the International Baccalaureate Diploma), who begin their Stage 1 studies in Semester 2, or who undertake Stage 2 only, will be granted recognition against the Personal Learning Plan.

Students who have partially completed Year 12 senior secondary school certificates from other states (e.g. the Victorian Certificate of Education, the Tasmanian Certificate of Education, or the New South Wales Higher School Certificate) may apply for credits at Stage 2; however, scores cannot be credited. If a Year 12 subject has been successfully completed, recognition will be granted towards SACE completion, and an equivalent score will be calculated for tertiary admission purposes. Up to 20 credits can be recognised at Stage 2.

Recognition will not be granted for Stage 2 Research Project or for the compulsory 60 credits at Stage 2.

Students with interstate or overseas qualifications should apply for recognition at Stage 1 and Stage 2 using Form 12.

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Language courses

The SACE Board has recognition arrangements for students who successfully undertake the following language courses delivered by the School of Languages, South Australian Department for Education and Child Development (DECD):

A maximum of 20 credits at Stage 1 is granted for any of the following:

  • Croatian (beginners)
  • Hungarian (beginners)
  • Khmer (beginners)
  • Persian (beginners)
  • Polish (beginners)
  • Portuguese (beginners)
  • Serbian (beginners)
  • Swahili (beginners)
  • Vietnamese (beginners).

Recognition is granted for students who gain a C grade or better (as determined by the School of Languages, DECD) for a course of 60 hours of teaching time (10 credits at Stage 1) or for a course of 120 hours of teaching time (20 credits at Stage 1).

Recognition is granted upon receipt of appropriate documentation of the student’s achievements from the school in which the student is enrolled or the School of Languages.

Students who successfully undertake language courses delivered by the School of Languages should apply for recognition at Stage 1 using Form 12.

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Qualifications and learning experiences undertaken by adults

An adult student is a student who is at least 18 years old by 1 January of his or her final year of Stage 2 study and who has left school for at least one continuous year.

Adult students who complete their SACE will be awarded a maximum of 110 credits at Stage 1, which includes the compulsory Personal Learning Plan.

To gain the maximum number of credits, adult students are required to demonstrate that they have met the literacy and numeracy requirements from the range of options described in the SACE Accreditation, Recognition, and Certification policy, which is part of the SACE Policy Framework. Alternatively, adult students can demonstrate that they have completed the literacy and/or numeracy requirements using folio(s) of evidence derived from a range of sources verified by the principal. This verification occurs against the SACE literacy or numeracy benchmarks. The Board has endorsed the Australian Core Skills Framework Level 3 descriptions in reading, writing, and numeracy as reference points for the SACE literacy and numeracy benchmarks. The folios must be retained in the school for 12 months for SACE Board auditing purposes.

Adult students are granted 70 credits, plus 20 credits for demonstrating that they have met the literacy requirement, 10 credits for demonstrating that they have met the numeracy requirement, and 10 credits for the Personal Learning Plan.

To complete the SACE, adult students are also required to gain:

  • 10 credits by achieving a C* grade or better in Stage 2 Research Project
  • 60 credits by achieving a C* grade or better in Stage 2 Board-accredited subjects, or the equivalent of at least satisfactory achievement in Board-recognised vocational education and training courses
  • 20 credits by achieving an E grade or better in other Board-accredited subjects, or the equivalent of at least satisfactory achievement in other Board-recognised courses, at Stage 1 or Stage 2.

*At Stage 2, a C grade is defined as C, C+, or C–.

Adult students should apply for recognition of qualifications and learning experiences at Stage 1 using Form 12.

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University studies

The SACE Board has the following recognition arrangements towards the SACE, for university studies. For a semester or full-year undergraduate degree course undertaken at an Australian university.

Please note: It is in the best interests of students to obtain information prior to enrolment about recognition of the course that they intend to study, as recognition will not be granted for every university subject.

 

  1. Recognition is granted for up to 20 credits of the SACE at Stage 2. Students are able to study a semester (10 credits), two semesters (20 credits), or a full-year subject (20 credits).
  2. Recognition is not granted against the literacy and numeracy requirements.
  3. Recognition is not granted against Research Project (Stage 2).
  4. The 10 or 20 credits granted are not able to count towards the requirement for 60 credits at a C grade or better at Stage 2.
  5. Recognition is granted if the student has demonstrated that he or she has gained a ‘satisfactory achievement’ in that subject, in accordance with the university assessment and reporting processes.
  6. Satisfactory achievement in any university subject will be reported as ‘University Studies’. This entry will receive the designation ‘granted’ and the relevant number of credits.
  7. Foundation courses do not count towards recognition of university studies.

The two-step process involves:

  • Step 1: Applying for recognition of university studies at Stage 2, by schools in conjunction with students, using Form 12 on or before the commencement of their studies.
  • Step 2: Submitting the academic transcript of the university studies results with Form 12 on successful completion of the university course or studies.
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VET qualifications

The SACE Board has recognition arrangements for students undertaking vocational education and training (VET) qualifications or units of competency from VET qualifications.

The SACE Board will calculate any SACE credits for the student in accordance with the Recognition Arrangements for Vocational Education and Training (VET) in the SACE policy.

Students can gain 10 credits at Stage 1 or Stage 2 (depending on the level assigned to the qualification or part qualification on the VET Recognition Register) for 70 nominal hours of VET successfully completed for a particular qualification.

This recognition applies only to VET qualifications, or units of competency within qualifications, not VET embedded in SACE subjects. Appropriate documentary evidence must be sighted by the SACE Board.

Students who are seeking recognition in the SACE for VET qualifications, or for units of competency within VET qualifications, studied independently of their contact school, should apply using Form 4 (see also Information sheet 30).

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Forms

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