Approved learning frameworks update reaches Stage 3 of process with pilot roll out
The Sector > Quality > NQF and Policy Changes > Approved learning frameworks update reaches Stage 3 of process with pilot roll out

Approved learning frameworks update reaches Stage 3 of process with pilot roll out

by Freya Lucas

February 28, 2022

Education Ministers have commissioned an update of the two national approved learning frameworks (ALFs), as signalled in ACECQA’s recent News Item on the project’s third stage.


The Consortia engaged to deliver this project is currently piloting the potential updates to the ALFs in 16 services across Australia to inform their recommendations to governments and ACECQA on areas for improvement, and how any changes are best implemented. By mid-2022, findings and feedback from the pilot will inform recommendations for consideration by Education Ministers.


As these frameworks have been in use for close to a decade, the purpose of this update is to ensure the ALFs continue to reflect contemporary developments in practice and knowledge, while supporting all educators to promote the wellbeing, learning and development of each child.


The pilot sites cover a range of service types, jurisdictions, locations, contexts and service providers. As they work through the pilot stage participants are providing feedback on the suitability of the potential changes and insights on any implementation opportunities or challenges. 


Stage three will build on both the Literature Review and Discussion Paper developed in stages one and two and will use stakeholder feedback highlighting the strengths of the current ALFs and inform recommended areas for improvement. Drawing together all sources from stages one and two, 20 potential areas for amendments to the ALFs are being piloted in stage three.


The updates intend to strengthen the connection between the ALFs and National Quality Standard in areas such as transitions, sustainability, theoretical approaches, critical reflection, the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of being, knowing and doing, and inclusion.


Opportunities identified through the project to improve the ALFs include: 


  • Strengthening Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives throughout the frameworks including the vision, principles, practices and outcomes
  • Strengthening the link between the vision and planning cycle
  • Strengthening the principle of ongoing learning and reflective practice


  • Introducing a new principle promoting collaborative leadership
  • Introducing a new sustainability principle
  • Strengthening the principle of high expectations and equity
  • Updating the principle of secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships to include relational pedagogy


  • Strengthening partnerships to include other professionals
  • Clarifying the meaning of holistic approaches
  • Strengthening the connection between play-based learning and intentionality 
  • Replacing cultural competence with cultural responsiveness 
  • Aligning assessment and evaluation for learning development and wellbeing
  • Expanding and strengthening guidance around learning outcomes. 


Findings and the feedback from the pilots will inform recommendations to Education Ministers in mid-2022. It is expected that any updates to the ALFs would be implemented during 2023.  


A number of esteemed professionals and institutions are involved in the update work, including Macquarie University, Queensland University of Technology and Edith Cowan University who have been engaged by ACECQA to lead the project. 


To read more about the project please visit the Approved Learning Frameworks Update website. The Terms of Reference for the project are also available.

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