Commencement rates for Cert III, Diploma and ECT training courses jump says latest NQF Annual review
The Sector > Jobs News > Commencement rates for Cert III, Diploma and ECT training courses jump says latest NQF Annual review

Commencement rates for Cert III, Diploma and ECT training courses jump says latest NQF Annual review

by Jason Roberts

January 13, 2023

The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) released its annual performance report, in which it confirms a broad increase in the number of candidates commencing ECEC training qualifications for the first time in as much as five years. 


The jump in numbers of Certificate III in ECEC, Diploma in ECEC and Early Childhood Teacher students will be a welcome signal to providers that multiple initiatives to support workforce growth are yielding some results and to candidates that the ECEC sector is a worthwhile career destination. 


In this piece, which has been adapted since it was published in its original form in early January, we explore in more detail the emerging trends highlighted in the report in a way that is tailored to suit the interests of our ECEC Jobs Round Up audience. 


Diploma and Cert III enrolments jump for first time in five years


The NQF Annual Report is published every year and is an important source of information on a range of important data series including broader educational enrollment and commencement trends. 


As highlighted above the latest release highlights encouraging improvements in course commencement numbers.  


As at 2021, the most recent data available in the report, the number of educators enrolling in Certificate III courses has increased by 16 per cent to 64,455 students compared to the previous year. 



This increase comes after multiple years of almost no growth in course enrolments and marks the highest level in at least 5 years. 


Although the longer term trend in Diploma enrolments has been more troubling this latest data series confirms the first increase in numbers since 2015 with 49,910 students enrolling in a Diploma of ECEC course. 



This increase of 11 per cent still leaves the total numbers well below those recorded back in 2016 and suggests more work will be needed to build diploma students up going forward however, it is encouraging after a period of strong reductions in commencements to see a break in the trend. 


In the case of both Certificate III and Diploma in ECEC numbers it is likely that it reflects the efforts key stakeholders in the sector, approved providers, peak bodies and governments,  have invested in their workforce increase strategies. 


From a completion perspective data reported showed Diploma qualification completions up to 62 per cent from 56 per cent last year and Cert III showed an improvement to 52 per cent too but unfortunately the data is from 2019 and therefore not useful in today’s context. 


ECT commencements also see substantial rise 


Commencement numbers for early childhood initial teacher training degrees have also seen substantial increases according to the NQF Annual Review. 


A total of 4,288 students enrolled in an early childhood teacher training degree in 2021, the highest level for five years and a significant increase on the COVID impacted performance of 2020. 



That being said, historically completion rates for teacher training courses have been relatively low and with the most recent data as at 2019 it is too early to say whether the very strong enrolment performance since 2020 will lead to improved completion rates going forward.  


Overall this new information from ACECQA should provide the ECEC sector at large with a sense of hope that efforts to improve employee value propositions through higher wages and improved conditions as well as supported pathways to skilling and upskilling are having an impact on educator and teacher qualification interest. 


To read the 2022 National Quality Framework (NQF) Annual Performance Report please click here.

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