The Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE)

Schools cater for students from diverse backgrounds and needs. They can be university-bound, have a specific vocation in mind involving further education and training or be planning to enter the workforce on leaving school.

A range of education and training courses and programs are available to provide all young people with the opportunity to develop knowledge, understanding and skills about themselves, their community and the broader world in which they live.

To cater for differences in interests, rates of learning and motivation, schools can consider a mixture of courses, vocational education and training (VET) and endorsed programs when planning student pathways.

All courses, VET and endorsed programs can contribute to the WACE. All students receive a statement of results at the end of Year 12.


The courses:

  • ensure that WA students are able to study similar courses to those offered in other parts of Australia
  • provide multiple pathways to university, training organisations and employment, and
  • at Stages 2 and 3 all count towards university entrance.

All courses typically consist of units at three or four stages, each with its own syllabus. Students start with units appropriate to their stage of development.

  • university-bound students would study a program of Stage 2 and Stage 3 course units over their senior secondary years. In their final year, most of the course units would be at Stage 3.
  • students who may be headed to TAFE and further education and training or the workforce would typically take a mixture of Stage 1 and Stage 2 course units in Year 11 and 12. Some may study all Stage 1 course units. This might include completing full qualifications through VET industry specific courses.
  • students with special needs study Preliminary Stage course units and possibly some Stage 1 course units.

For more information see Section 2 of the WACE Manual.

Vocational education and training (VET)

Vocational education and training in schools engages students in work-related learning built on strategic partnerships between schools, registered training organisations, business, industry and the wider community. VET can be undertaken as part of the WACE. Its completion provides students with credit towards a nationally recognised vocational qualification within the Australian Qualifications Framework. A broad range of post-school vocational options and pathways are available through the study of VET.

For more information see Section 5 of the WACE Manual.

Endorsed programs

Endorsed programs provide areas of learning typically not covered by courses and can contribute to students’ WACE requirements. A wide range of endorsed programs can be delivered in a variety of settings by schools, training organisations and workplaces, universities and community organisations.

For more information see Section 6 of the WACE Manual.

Community service

The School Curriculum and Standards Authority recognises the value of service learning.

Community service hours accumulates by students over years 10, 11 and 12 can be reported to the School Curriculum and Standards Authority by the school where students complete their senior secondary education. The hours reported are recorded on the student's statement of results.


Last Updated: 23/09/2013 10:58