Latest release

Non-school qualification: level of education (QALLP)

Census of Population and Housing: Census dictionary
Reference period
2021

Definition

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 information about education will help to:

  • build a picture of educational levels in each area of Australia
  • show how different groups of people take part in education
  • help to plan education services in different areas.

Scope

Persons aged 15 years and over who stated a completed qualification

Categories

Non-school qualification: level of education (QALLP) is coded using the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001, Level of Education Classification.

Categories for Non-school qualification: level of education (QALLP)

1Postgraduate Degree Level
 10Postgraduate Degree Level, nfd
  100Postgraduate Degree Level, nfd
 11Doctoral Degree Level
  110Doctoral Degree Level, nfd
  111Higher Doctorate
  114Professional Specialist Qualification at Doctoral Degree Level
 12Master Degree Level
  120Master Degree Level, nfd
2Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate Level
 20Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate Level, nfd
  200Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate Level, nfd
 21Graduate Diploma Level
  211Graduate Diploma
 22Graduate Certificate Level
  221Graduate Certificate
3Bachelor Degree Level
 31Bachelor Degree Level
  310Bachelor Degree Level, nfd
4Advanced Diploma and Diploma Level
 40Advanced Diploma and Diploma Level, nfd
  400Advanced Diploma and Diploma Level, nfd
 41Advanced Diploma and Associate Degree Level
  411Advanced Diploma
  413Associate Degree
 42Diploma Level
  420Diploma Level, nfd
  421Diploma
5Certificate Level 
 50Certificate Level, nfd
  500Certificate Level, nfd
 51Certificate III & IV Level
  510Certificate III & IV Level, nfd
  511Certificate IV
  514Certificate III
 52Certificate I & II Level
  520Certificate I & II Level, nfd
  521Certificate II
  524Certificate I
Supplementary codes 
0Level of education inadequately described
 01Level of education inadequately described
  011Level of education inadequately described
&Level of education not stated
 &&Level of education not stated
  &&&Level of education not stated
@Not applicable 
 @@Not applicable
  @@@Not applicable
VOverseas visitor 
 VVOverseas visitor
  VVVOverseas visitor

Number of categories:

  • One digit: 9
  • Two digit: 17
  • Three digit: 25

Not applicable (@@@) comprises:

  • Persons who have a qualification that is out of scope of this classification
  • Persons with no qualification
  • Persons still studying for a first qualification
  • Persons aged under 15 years

Question(s) from the Census form

What is the highest year of primary or secondary school the person has completed?

    What is the highest year of primary or secondary school the person has completed?
    What is the highest year of primary or secondary school Person 1 has completed?

    For people currently at school, select the highest year of schooling they have completed, not the year they are currently undertaking.

    More information

    Person's highest year of school completed

    Year 12 or equivalent

    Year 11 or equivalent

    Year 10 or equivalent

    Year 9 or equivalent

    Year 8 or below

    Did not go to school

      More information

      Additional information relation to the question on: What is the highest year of primary or secondary school the person has completed?

      More information

      What is the highest year of primary or secondary school Person 1 has completed?

      For people currently at school, select the highest year of schooling they have completed, not the year they are currently undertaking.

      More information

      Select 'Year 12 or equivalent' if the person has completed:
      • Year 13
      • 6th form
      • Matriculation
      • Highest year of school available.
      If the highest year of schooling the person has completed was in primary school, select 'Year 8 or below'.

      For persons who left school and then returned after a break, select the highest year of schooling they have completed irrespective of when it was completed.

      Include school level education undertaken at other institutions (e.g. at a TAFE).

      Has the person completed any educational qualification?

        Has the person completed any educational qualification?
        Has Person 1 completed any educational qualification?

        More information

        Person's completed qualification

        No

        No, still studying for first qualification

        Yes, trade certificate/apprenticeship

        Yes, other qualification (certificate, diploma or degree)

          More information

          Additional information relating to the question on: Has the person completed any educational qualification?

          More information

          Has Person 1 completed any educational qualification?

          More information

          If the person completed any vocational qualifications as part of their secondary schooling, select 'Yes, other qualification'.

          If the person has completed any other qualifications, select the appropriate 'Yes' response. Non-school or higher education qualifications include Certificates I-IV; Trade Certificates; Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas; Bachelor Degrees; Graduate Certificates and Graduate Diplomas; and higher degrees such as a Masters or Doctorate.

          What is the level of the highest qualification the person has completed?

            What is the level of the highest qualification the person has completed?
            What is the level of the highest qualification Person 1 has completed?

            For example: Trade Certificate, Bachelor Degree, Associate Diploma, Certificate II, Advanced Diploma.

            More information

            Level of qualification

              More information

              Additional instructions relating to the question on: What is the level of the highest qualification the person has completed?

              More information

              What is the level of the highest qualification Person 1 has completed?

              For example: Trade Certificate, Bachelor Degree, Associate Diploma, Certificate II, Advanced Diploma.

              More information

              If the person has two or more qualifications, only state the highest qualification obtained. For example, if the person has a Graduate Diploma of Education and a Bachelor Degree in Economics, the Graduate Diploma should be reported as the higher qualification.

              Qualification levels listed from highest to lowest:
              • Doctorate
              • Master Degree
              • Graduate Diploma
              • Graduate Certificate
              • Bachelor Degree with Honours
              • Bachelor Degree
              • Associate Degree
              • Advanced Diploma
              • Diploma
              • Associate Diploma
              • Advanced Certificate
              • Certificate IV (or Post-trade)
              • Certificate III (or Trade)
              • Certificate II
              • Certificate I

              What is the main field of study for the person’s highest qualification completed?

                What is the main field of study for the person’s highest qualification completed?
                What is the main field of study for Person 1's highest qualification completed?

                For example: Plumbing, Primary school teaching, Accounting, Hairdressing, Psychology, Hospitality.

                More information

                Field of study

                  More information

                  Additional instructions relating to the question on: What is the main field of study for the person’s highest qualification completed?

                  More information

                  What is the main field of study for Person 1's highest qualification completed?

                  For example: Plumbing, Primary school teaching, Accounting, Hairdressing, Psychology, Hospitality.

                  More information

                  The main field of study is in relation to the highest qualification entered in the previous question.

                  If the person has two or more qualifications and they are at the same level, provide the field of the one obtained most recently.

                  If the person has two qualifications of the same level, completed at the same time (for example, double degrees), select the qualification considered the most important to them.

                  Did the person complete this qualification before 1998?

                    Did the person complete this qualification before 1998?
                    Did Person 1 complete this qualification before 1998?

                    When person completed qualification

                    Yes, before 1998

                    No, 1998 or later

                    How this variable is created

                    This variable is mainly coded based on written responses for qualification level and qualification field questions. The following questions may also be used:

                    • Highest year of primary or secondary school completed
                    • Qualification indicator (question asking whether a person has completed any educational qualification)
                    • Whether the qualification was completed before 1998 

                    History and changes

                    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.

                    In 2001, the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) replaced the ABS Classification of Qualifications (ABSCQ).

                    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 Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) was introduced. The distinction between certificates awarded pre-1998 and from 1998 onward is also used to assist in coding some certificates to finer levels of the ASCED classification.

                    In 2021, a new qualification called Undergraduate certificates will be coded to ‘420 Diploma Level, nfd’.

                    Data use considerations

                    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. This is because those who answered 'Yes, other qualification' to the Qualifications indicator question, and then subsequently did not provide a response to the question on level of highest qualification, are coded to 'not stated' in this variable. Therefore, this variable cannot be used as a count of people who hold a qualification.

                    Related variables and glossary terms

                    • Non-school qualification: field of study (QALFP)
                    • Level of highest educational attainment (HEAP)
                    • Highest year of school completed (HSCP)
                    • Or equivalent level of education
                    • Attainment of year 12 or certificate II or higher (YR12C2P)
                    • Attainment of year 12 or certificate III or higher (YR12C3P)
                    • Attainment of certificate III or higher or working towards a non-school qualification (C3SP)
                    • With or working towards a non-school qualification (WTNSQP)

                    Other ABS sources