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NSW Curriculum
NSW Education Standards Authority
ACE Rules

NESA has published clarified ACE Rules on the NSW Curriculum website. Stay up to date with the clarified ACE Rules by visiting this website. 

The clarified rules come into effect from 14 October 2024. Schools must not implement the clarified rules before this date. Schools must use the current ACE Rules on Loading... until 14 October 2024.

To learn more about how NESA has clarified the ACE Rules, refer to the information sheets.

VET assessment requirements

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NESA is authorised under section 20A of the Education Act 1990 (NSW) to prepare and distribute to schools information relating to the conduct of exams and other forms of assessment for the RoSA and HSC.

About VET assessment requirements

  1. Schools retain overall responsibility for monitoring course delivery and for duty of care while students are participating in courses conducted by an RTO.


HSC (assessment)HSC (curriculum)K–10MalpracticePreliminarySchools OnlineVET

Stage 5 assessment plan

  1. Schools and delivering RTOs must develop a Stage 5 assessment plan, such as a training and assessment strategy, for each VET course.

Stage 6 formal assessment program

  1. Schools and delivering RTOs must develop a formal assessment program for each Stage 6 VET course. 
  2. Schools must, at the commencement of a VET course:
    1. provide students with the formal assessment program. The formal assessment program must detail course-specific requirements, including:
      1. the number and type of assessment tasks, including units of competency assessed in each, and
      2. the timing of assessment tasks
    2. provide students with written advice about the school’s policies and procedures for assessment, which must include:
      1. the school’s malpractice policy, and
      2. details of administrative arrangements, including:
        1. student absences on the day of an assessment task
        2. late submission of assessment tasks
        3. the school’s illness/misadventure procedures for illness/misadventure suffered immediately before or during the assessment task
      3. procedures to be implemented if assessment tasks produce invalid or unreliable results1, and
      4. procedures for reviewing student appeals arising from assessment tasks. The school’s review procedures must be based on feedback on a student’s achievement during the course.

Competency-based approach

  1. NESA and the VET Quality Framework require a competency-based approach to assessment for VET courses. 
  2. Assessment in VET courses must: 
    1. be standards-referenced, where performance is judged against a prescribed standard contained in each unit of competency
    2. meet the requirements of the Training Package or nationally accredited course on which the VET course is based
    3. be conducted by a qualified assessor under the RTO, and
    4. determine students as ‘competent’ or ‘not yet competent’.2  
  3. Schools/delivering RTOs must:
    1. meet the requirements of the VET Quality Framework, the relevant Training Package or nationally accredited course, and the HSC course
    2. determine units of competency for a course, and advise students
    3. maintain a record of the competency outcomes3 by each student 
    4. advise the student’s school of: 
      1. each unit of competency a student intends to study (competencies entered), and 
      2. outcomes for all competencies entered for each student (competency outcomes); and
    5.  ensure VET data is entered in Loading... by the due dates published in the Loading....
  4. Schools must:
    1. liaise with RTOs on assessment requirements, and
    2. ensure that for each student, the units of competency intended for study (competencies entered) and the competency outcomes, are entered in Schools Online by the due dates published in the Loading....
  5. Students must:
    1. meet all performance criteria to demonstrate achievement of an element of competency, and
    2. achieve all elements of competency to demonstrate achievement of a unit of competency.


  1. Schools do not need to submit student grades or assessment marks in VET courses to NESA.

Online resources

For further information

For enquiries about formal assessment programs, please contact Quality in Credentialling by email at

For enquiries about VET competency-based assessment, VET courses, and students with disability, please email


  1. The results of assessment tasks that have been completed by students should not be discarded.

  2. Assessment requirements are outlined in individual units of competency.

  3. The outcomes are Achieved; Not achieved; Continuing; Withdrawn; RPL; Credit transfer; Did not start.


HSC (assessment)HSC credentialHSC (curriculum)Schools OnlineVET

Entering an estimated HSC exam mark for Frameworks

  1. NESA’s Stage 6 VET Industry Curriculum Frameworks (Frameworks) have an optional HSC written exam, which is independent of competency-based assessment.
  2. Student participation and performance in the HSC exam has no impact on their eligibility for AQF VET qualifications.
  3. NESA requires schools/RTOs to submit an estimated exam mark for all students entered into an HSC VET exam. The estimated mark should reflect the student’s achievement on a task(s) similar to the HSC exam.
  4. This mark is not reported to students and is only used in the case of a successful illness/ misadventure application.
  5. Schools/delivering RTOs must:
    1. determine an appropriate estimated exam mark for each eligible student entered into the corresponding HSC VET exam, and
    2. ensure the estimated exam mark is entered in Loading... by the due date published in the Loading....

Online resources

For further information

For Schools Online VET data enquiries, please contact Student Records on (02) 9367 8001 or by email at