Newbery’s Audit Guide – Clause 3.2


What the clause requires:

3.2 All AQF certification documentation issued by an RTO meets the requirements of Schedule 5.


What is this clause about:

This clause is about ensuring that the format of your qualification certificates, statement of attainment certificates and record of results comply with the requirements of schedule 5 of the RTO standards and the requirement specified within the Australian Qualifications Framework. The trouble with these documents is that they are vague and extremely open to interpretation. In our experience the RTO’s well advised to strictly follow the example provided by ASQA in the following document: Fact sheet—Sample AQF documentation. You are also recommended to review the frequently asked questions section relating to Testamurs and Statements of Attainment: AQF Frequently Asked Questions and the AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy.

These documents combined, layout the rules and format for issuing AQF certificates. The Sample AQF documents includes little details such as on the qualification it says, “This is to certify that” as opposed to the statement of attainment which says “this is a statement that”. Now, these are not mandatory words within schedule 5 or the AQF; however, we have experienced auditors making RTO’s non-compliant for these types of things where the RTO’s certificate is not in accordance with the fact sheet supplied by ASQA.

Take-home point: Ensure your certificates align with the ASQA fact sheet.

The AQF also makes it mandatory for the RTO to implement measures that would prevent the fraudulent production of their certificates. There are many ways of doing this and this also is a major area of auditor subjectivity. We try and encourage clients to issue their certificates in hard copy format and where possible physically sign each certificate. Documents which are digitally signed and issued electronically are highly prone to fraudulent reproduction. Examples of measures to prevent fraudulent production include, unique certificate number, unique student number, physical signature, unique water mark, document embossing, digital encryption, et cetera.


You must be able to demonstrate that:

Your qualification format (including the record of results) complies with the requirements of the AQF and schedule 5 of the RTO standards

Your statement of attainment format complies with the requirements of the AQF and schedule 5 of the RTO standards

You apply mechanisms to prevent the fraudulent production of your certificates.

You do not include the learner’s Unique Student Identifier on any AQF certificate


Evidence to prepare:

Sample Statement of Attainment issued within the last 6 months

Sample Qualification with a Record of Results issued within the last 6 months

Access to learner records relating to AQF outcomes issued.

Access to the student management system to verify outcomes appearing on sampled AQF certificates.

Can verify that the Unique Student Identifier is not included on any statement of attainment, qualification or record of results.


You should prepare for these types of questions:

Can you provide me a copy of the statement of attainment issued to the following learner please?

Can you provide me a copy of the qualification certificate issued to the following learner please?

Can you talk me through how the certificate is raised and authorised?

What mechanisms have you implemented to prevent the fraudulent production of your certificates?


Published by: Joe Newbery, released 2nd May 2017

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