Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE)
The Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) is awarded to senior secondary school students who satisfy its requirements. It is a senior secondary certificate recognised nationally in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). Generally, students will complete two years of senior secondary study to achieve the WACE, although the School Curriculum and Standards Authority allows students to meet the WACE requirements over a lifetime.
- Units 1 and 2 are typically studied in Year 11 and reported to SCSA as a pair, but where a single unit is studied it is reported separately
- Units 3 and 4 are typically studied in Year 12 and must be studied and reported to SCSA as a pair
- Units 1 and 2 cannot be studied after a student has completed Units 3 and 4
For additional information you may wish to review the Year 10 Information Handbook 2021 which can be accessed HERE.
A student must:
- demonstrate a minimum standard of literacy (reading and writing) and a minimum standard of numeracy
- complete a minimum of 20 units, or equivalents as described by the WACE Manual
- at least four Year 12 ATAR courses* OR
- at least five Year 12 General courses** (or a combination of General and up to three Year 12 ATAR courses) or equivalent*** OR
- a Certificate II**** (or higher*****) VET qualification in combination with ATAR, General or Foundation courses.
*In the context of ATAR courses in the WACE, the term ‘complete’ requires that a student sits the ATAR course examination or has an approved Sickness/Misadventure Application for not sitting the examination in that course. Students who do not sit the ATAR course examination will not have a course mark or grade recorded on their WASSA, nor will they receive an ATAR course report.
Note: for ATAR courses with practical components, students must complete both the written and practical examinations.
**Foundation courses do not contribute to meeting the WACE achievement requirement with this option. Where students are not undertaking a program of study of either at least four Year 12 ATAR courses or at least five Year 12 General courses and/or ATAR courses (i.e. their program of study includes one or more Foundation course/s in Year 12), then these students must also complete a Certificate II or higher to achieve the WACE.
***Up to two units from endorsed programs can be used to meet this requirement.
****In the context of VET in the WACE, the term ‘complete’ requires that a student has been deemed competent in all units of competency that make up a full qualification.
*****The partial completion of a Certificate III or higher VET qualification may meet this requirement according to predetermined criteria
For the WACE literacy and numeracy standard student may:
- pre-qualify through achieving Band 8 or higher in the reading, writing and numeracy tests of the Year 9 National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) OR
- demonstrate the minimum standard of literacy and numeracy by successfully completing the relevant components of the Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA) in Year 10, 11 or 12
Students who do not demonstrate the literacy and numeracy standard by the time they exit senior secondary schooling can apply to the Authority to re-sit the OLNA at any age.
Students who have not pre-qualified through NAPLAN, and who choose not to sit the OLNA, do not qualify for the WACE.
A student must complete a minimum of 20 units, which may include unit equivalents attained through VET and/or endorsed programs. This requirement must include at least:
- a minimum of ten Year 12 units, or the equivalent
- four units from an English course, post-Year 10, including at least one pair of Year 12 units from an English learning area course
- one pair of Year 12 units from each of List A (arts/languages/social sciences) and List B (mathematics/science/technology) subjects
You must achieve at least 14 C grades or higher (or equivalents) in Year 11 and Year 12 units, including at least six C grades (or equivalents) in Year 12 units.
Unit equivalence can be obtained through VET qualifications undertaken as VET credit transfer and/or endorsed programs. The maximum unit equivalence available is eight units – four Year 11 units and four Year 12 units. Students may obtain unit equivalence as follows:
- up to eight unit equivalents through completion of VET qualifications, or
- up to four unit equivalents through completion of endorsed programs, or
- up to eight unit equivalents through a combination of VET qualifications and endorsed programs, but with endorsed programs contributing no more than four unit equivalents (two Year 11 units and two Year 12 units).
For VET qualifications:
- a Certificate I is equivalent to two Year 11 units
- a Certificate II is equivalent to two Year 11 and two Year 12 units
- a Certificate III or higher is equivalent to two Year 11 and four Year 12 units
- a partially completed Certificate III or higher is equivalent to two Year 11 and two Year 12 units (credit only allocated if the criteria for partial completion are met).
For endorsed programs, unit equivalence is identified on the Authority’s approved list of endorsed programs.
The WASSA is issued to each Year 12 student at the completion of their senior secondary schooling; senior secondary school typically takes two years. The WASSA lists all courses and programs that a student has completed and the grades and marks achieved.
The WASSA formally records, as relevant:
- achievement of WACE requirements
- achievement of the literacy (reading and writing) standard
- achievement of the numeracy standard
- achievement of any SCSA exhibitions and awards
- school grades, school marks and combined scores in ATAR courses
- school grades and school marks in General and Foundation courses
- completed Preliminary units
- completed VET industry specific courses
- successfully completed VET qualifications and VET units of competency
- completed endorsed programs
- number of community service hours undertaken (if reported)
Information regarding WACE can be found below:
Additional information regarding WACE and WASSA can also be found HERE