APPENDIX 1 EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT
CLASSIFICATION OF EDUCATION
In 2001, the ABS Classification of Qualifications (ABSCQ) (cat. no. 1262.0) was replaced by the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) (cat. no.1272.0). The ASCED is a national standard classification which can be applied to all sectors of the Australian education system including schools, vocational education and training and higher education. ASCED replaces a number of classifications previously used in administrative and statistical systems, including the ABSCQ. The ASCED comprises two classifications: Level of Education and Field of Education.
Level of Highest Educational Attainment can be derived from information on Highest Year of School Completed and Level of Highest Non-school Qualification. The derivation process determines which of the 'non-school' or 'school' attainments will be regarded as the highest. Usually the higher ranking attainment will be self-evident, but in some cases some Secondary Education is regarded, for the purposes of obtaining a single measure, as higher than some Certificate level attainments.
The following decision table is used to determine which of the responses to questions on Highest Year of School Completed (coded to ASCED Broad Level 6) and Level of Highest Non-school Qualification (coded to ASCED Broad Level 5) will be regarded as the highest. It is emphasised that this table was designed for the purpose of obtaining a single value for the output variable Level of Highest Educational Attainment and is not intended to convey any other ordinality.
The decision table is also used to rank the information provided in a survey about the qualifications and attainments of a single individual. It does not represent any basis for comparison between differing qualifications. For example, a person whose Highest Year of School Completed was Year 12, and whose Level of Highest Non-school Qualification was a Certificate III, would have those responses crosschecked on the decision table and would as a result have their Level of Highest Educational Attainment output as Certificate III. However, if the same person answered 'Certificate' to the highest non-school qualification question, without offering any further detail, it would be crosschecked against Year 12 on the decision table as 'Certificate not further defined'. The output would then be 'Year 12'. The decision table, therefore, does not necessarily imply that one qualification is 'higher' than the other.