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Non-School Qualification: Level of Education (QALLP)
This variable describes the level of a person's highest completed non-school qualification. Non-school qualifications are educational attainments other than those of a pre-primary, primary or secondary education level. This variable is applicable to all persons aged 15 years or over who stated a completed qualification.
How this variable is created
Non-School Qualification: Level of Education is mainly coded based on written responses for qualification level and qualification field questions. Highest year of primary or secondary school completed, qualification indicator (question asking whether a person has completed any educational qualification) and whether the qualification was completed before 1998 may also be used. Images of these questions are provided below.
Qualification coding is reliant on a variety of processes. All text response fields that contribute to qualification coding are first auto-repaired before being sent through an auto-coding process. The remaining records that did not successfully achieve a code in auto-coding were examined by clerical staff and independently assessed for an ASCED code. When completing their Census Form, some people provide responses which cannot be coded. In these instances, an 'Inadequately Described' code is allocated during processing. For 2016 these comprised 1.5% of the data (compared to 1.0% in 2011).
In the 2006 Census, the year completed question was reworded to ask if the qualification was obtained before 1998 or from 1998 onward, with 1998 being the year the AQF was introduced. The distinction between certificates awarded pre-1998 and from 1998 is also used to assist in coding some certificates to finer levels of the ASCED classification.
A question relating to level of education was first asked in the 1911 Census and has been asked in every census since then. In many censuses, school and non-school qualification were not necessarily separate questions. No changes were made for 2016.
The majority of item non-response is attributable to the people who did not respond to the Census at all. Refer to item non-response tables for more information. The second and smaller contributor to item non-response is when people return a Census form but may not answer a particular question(s). For more information, refer to Understanding Census data quality.
Data usage notes
When using this variable, the directly applicable population (i.e. those who answered 'Yes' to the Qualifications Indicator question) is not identifiable in the output data set. Therefore this variable cannot be used as a count of people who hold a qualification.
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