The QCE is Queensland's senior school qualification, which is awarded to eligible students usually at the end of Year 12. Every young Queenslander must be registered with the QCAA during the year before the young person's compulsory participation phase begins. Generally, schools will register young people in Year 10.
Learning options and requirements
The QCE offers flexibility in what is learnt, as well as where and when learning occurs. Students have a wide range of learning options; these can include senior school subjects, vocational education and training, workplace and community learning, as well as university subjects undertaken while at school.
Planning for a QCE – SET Plan
A Senior Education and Training Plan (SET) Plan helps students structure their learning around their abilities, interests and ambitions. As part of the planning process, students think about their future, consider their abilities and investigate their options for careers and further education.
The student, their parents or carers, and the school meet to develop the SET Plan, which details what, where and how a student will study during their senior phase of learning (usually Years 11 and 12). The plan is finalised by the end of Year 10. The SET Plan is reviewed periodically to monitor the student's progress. It can be updated at any time.
Monitoring progress – learning accounts
When a student is registered, the QCAA opens a learning account for them. The learning account records details of learning and results of any completed studies. Students are able to access their learning account through the Student Connect website.
Awarding a QCE
Most students are awarded a QCE at the end of Year 12. Students who do not meet the QCE requirements at the end of Year 12 can continue to work towards their certificate — their learning account remains open, regardless of their age (however, credits expire after 9 years). The QCAA will award a QCE in the following July or December, once a person becomes eligible.
All students who finish Year 12 receive a transcript of their learning account in the form of a Senior Statement, which is issued in December.
After finishing Year 12 students who become eligible for the award of a QCE will receive a Statement of Results. A Statement of Results is a cumulative transcript of their learning account. These will be issued every July and December.
Tertiary entrance and the QCE
The requirements for a QCE are different to those for tertiary entrance. See the Tertiary Entrance section of this website for more information on pathways to tertiary study.
Last reviewed: 1 July 2014