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3.2 The QCIA process

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The following table outlines an overall timeline for the QCIA process. Specific dates for QCIA procedures are published in the Senior Education Profile (SEP) calendar.

The QCIA process
Time Steps of the QCIA process

Before starting senior schooling

QCIA learning pathway

  • School staff, students and parents/carers — as part of the SET Plan process — discuss students’ current level of learning, strengths, goals and interests, and QCE and QCIA learning pathways.
  • Students complete a SET Plan identifying the QCIA learning pathway, with QCE-contributing studies if appropriate.
  • Schools register eligible students for a QCIA pathway (see Section 3.1: Eligibility for a QCIA and Section 3.2.1: Registering students for a QCIA pathway)

Term 1 in the first year of senior schooling



  • use the GIL to identify curriculum organisers and learning focuses
  • identify learning goals that match the student’s needs and interests
  • record a QCIA curriculum plan via the QCAA Portal for each student (see Section 3.2.2: Curriculum plans).

Senior schooling

Teaching, learning and assessment


  • sequence teaching and learning to align with each student’s curriculum plan
  • develop assessment to provide opportunities to collect evidence of student achievement of learning goals
  • provide regular feedback and report progress to students and parents/carers (see Section 3.3.1: School reporting responsibilities to students and parents/carers)
  • collect evidence of students’ learning
  • access QCAA information and resources for the QCIA.

Term 3 in the final year of senior schooling

Drafting QCIAs


  • develop an internal quality assurance process for matching student work with statements (see Section 3.4.1: Internal quality assurance)
  • draft the Statement of Achievement and Statement of Participation, ensuring there is evidence to support all statements. Schools must follow the QCIA writing conventions (see Section 3.3.4: Recording Statements of Achievement and Statements of Participation)
  • discuss the draft Statements of Achievement and Statements of Participation with students and parents/carers before submitting final school data to the QCAA
  • use the Student Management application and directions in the annual QCIA verification processes memo to record statements.

QCIA verification meetings

Schools prepare for QCIA verification (see Section 3.4.3: QCIA verification). QCIA advisers attend scheduled meetings to quality assure students' draft QCIA statements using evidence provided by schools. Schools receive feedback from the QCAA (see Section 3.4.3: QCIA verification) and have two weeks to make the required changes. The due date is indicated in the feedback and published in the SEP calendar.

Term 4 in the final year of senior schooling

QCIA state review meeting


Pre-production checks of the QCIA

  • QCAA officers undertake final checking of all certificates in the final weeks of each academic year (see Section 3.4.5: Pre-production checks).
  • Schools may receive advice about a student’s Statement of Achievement and Statement of Participation, and must act on advice within the time stated by QCAA officers.


  • Students receive the QCIA as part of their SEP in the mail at the same time as the rest of their cohort.

3.2.1 Registering students for a QCIA pathway

Schools register eligible students in the Student Management application at the start of senior secondary schooling. Schools must also identify students working towards a QCIA by selecting the intended learning outcome (ILO) as ‘QCIA’.

Starting a QCIA in Year 12

In exceptional circumstances, a student’s situation may change during their senior schooling and they may become eligible for a QCIA pathway (see Section 3.1: Eligibility for a QCIA). As the QCIA is an ILO chosen at the start of senior secondary schooling, any student whose ILO is changed to QCIA while in Year 12 must have their eligibility approved by the QCAA’s Manager, QCE and QCIA Unit, in writing by the end of Term 1. To apply for approval, the principal provides an explanation for the change in eligibility by email to

3.2.2 Curriculum plans

The purpose of a curriculum plan is to identify 20–30 intended learning goals a student may achieve towards the end of senior schooling. Learning goals identify the highest level of knowledge or skill for each student. Schools do not choose every learning goal a student may achieve during senior schooling.

Schools develop a curriculum plan based on information from the GIL for each eligible student.

The GIL consists of curriculum organisers, learning focuses and learning goals for developing QCIA curriculum plans for students.

Curriculum structure

Curriculum organisers

Communication and technologies

Community, citizenship and the environment

Leisure and recreation

Personal and living dimensions

Vocational and transition activities







Learning for each of the five QCIA curriculum organisers is defined in the curriculum organiser descriptions.

Learning focuses

The learning focuses are identified and developed from the curriculum organisers and reflect the significant components of each curriculum organiser.

Learning goals

Learning goals are organised to reflect a range of learning, but the goals in a student’s curriculum plan need not cover all five curriculum organisers. Learning goals are designed to build from awareness or recognition through to use and application of knowledge, understanding and skills.

Building the QCIA curriculum plan

Schools create each student’s individual curriculum plan at the start of their senior secondary schooling. User roles are outlined in QCIA curriculum plans in Student Management: A guide for schools (PDF, 1.3 MB). The Access Management Organisation Administrator assigns the roles of QCIA coordinator and QCIA leader to appropriate staff (see Section 3.4.1: Internal quality assurance).

Each student’s QCIA curriculum plan is created and managed via the QCAA Portal. It incorporates:

  • details of the school contact person for the QCIA
  • eligibility criteria for the QCIA
  • identification of the number of QCE-contributing studies likely to be completed by the student
  • learning goals selected from the GIL
  • approval of the curriculum plan by the school’s QCIA leader.

For more information about creating a curriculum plan see QCIA curriculum plans in Student Management: A guide for schools (PDF, 1.3 MB).

Amending an approved curriculum plan

During senior schooling, a student’s enrolment may change, and schools must update the details.

Any changes to learning or studies contributing to a QCE must be made through the Student Management application, accessed via the QCAA Portal.

Extending a year

A student may want to extend their senior secondary schooling beyond the regular pattern of two years, to a third year of senior schooling.

A QCIA is only issued at the completion of the academic year in which the quality assurance processes have been completed (evidence must be presented at all of the quality assurance processes in the year of the certificate issue). A student must remain enrolled at the school until the certificates are issued. A QCIA is not issued if a student withdraws or ceases enrolment within the third or extension year.

Schools are responsible for ensuring students and their parents/carers are aware of this before developing a curriculum plan that involves extending to a third year. Students who have already been issued with a QCIA, and who are completing an extended year, may work towards a QCE.

Ceasing or transferring enrolment with a school

If a student ceases enrolment at a school or is no longer eligible to receive a QCIA, schools must update the Student Management application as soon as possible.

Transfer students and curriculum plans

The new school must review, edit and approve the student’s previous curriculum plan in the Student Management application , ensuring that the appropriate learning experiences can be offered for the student at the new school.

For more information, email the QCAA at

3.2.3 Gathering evidence of learning

Schools collect evidence of students’ learning throughout senior schooling. This evidence is used to report achievement and participation to students and parents/carers and to substantiate Statements of Achievement and Statements of Participation for the QCIA. Schools decide how evidence of students’ learning is collected and stored.

In the student’s exit year, the school generates draft QCIA information based on demonstrated learning and evidence of achievement and participation. This information should be discussed with students and parents/carers before the final submission of school data to the QCAA. See the GIL for suggestions about collecting different types of evidence.

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