Assisting schools to monitor the effect of not providing a VET USI for Year 12 students in 2015

Jenny Offer(08) 9273 6313

Kerry Tarrant (08) 9273 6770

This year is the first year in which the USI field is required in the RSVET and RSQUAL files for units of competency and qualifications to contribute towards meeting the WACE requirements.

Consequences of not having a USI
Students who achieve VET units of competency or VET qualifications without a VET USI will:

  • not have the results reported on the Statement of Results
  • not have the achievements allocated unit equivalence and may not meet the requirements to receive a WACE
  • not have the achievements recognised in the completion requirement for VET Industry Specific courses.

Monitoring the effect of not having a USI
To assist schools to identify whether or not a Year 12 student enrolled in VET in 2015 without a USI would achieve the WACE if he/she had a USI, a new report has been developed in SIRS.

This report lists, for Year 12 students enrolled in at least one VET unit of competency, whether or not they would achieve the WACE if a USI was provided to the Authority. It is suggested that once a school has uploaded all of its Year 12 students’ achievements (course units, VET and endorsed programs) into SIRS, schools run the report via the following pathway:

Reports > Other reports > Report type: Certification, Report: CSE201 – Year 12 Students With VET Enrolments.

The report would alert schools to those Year 12 students who could possibly achieve the WACE if they had a USI.

Caution when using the report
Data contained in the report accurately reflect the status of students at the time of the last upload of information to SIRS from schools. Caution needs to be used when interpreting the data for the following reasons:

  • the WACE cannot be calculated for a student until all achievement data have been uploaded into SIRS.
  • the data have not taken into account the non-genuine attempt status of students.  Hence any calculation of C grade averages prior to 17 December will be incorrect if a non-genuine attempt is subsequently determined.
  • the achievement of the WACE could change if a school uploads changes to students’ achievements.

Assistance relating to USI
Schools are reminded, if assistance is required regarding the USI, it is suggested that schools contact the Western Australian Department of Training and Workforce Development at or refer to the USI help centre at, by phone on
13 38 73 or via email at

2015 student achievements – collection of grades and marks for all Year 11 students

Kerry Tarrant (08) 9273 6770

Please note: new requirements for Year 11 student achievements in 2015.

Schools are reminded that a mark and a grade are required for all Year 11 students.

  • A student’s school-based achievement for a Year 11 course may be recorded for each pair of units (i.e. one mark and grade), OR
  • for each unit completed (i.e. two marks and two grades).


  • the VET Unique Student Identifier is a requirement for VET achievement intended for contribution towards the WACE requirements.

Further information regarding the submission of achievement data will be received in schools by the 6th November, 2015.

English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) eligibility deadlines for 2016

Louise Dodman(08) 9273 6785

Schools are advised that in 2016, the due date for Year 12 enrolments has been brought forward to 6th April. This means that after 6th April no further enrolments or changes will be accepted to for Year 12 students. As students who wish to apply for English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) must be granted eligibility to enrol in the course beforehand, this means that students must submit their eligibility applications by the due date of Friday 26th February 2016. Otherwise, due to these time constraints, students who submit their applications after this date may miss the opportunity for a review or the appeal of a decision of ineligibility.

Teachers are advised that the 2016 due date for applications for an appeal against a decision of ineligibility for Year 12 students is now 23rd March 2016.

Introduction to SIRS 2016

Lynn Galbraith(08) 9273 6702

Limited places are available for school staff, using the Student Information Records System (SIRS), to attend a familiarisation seminar at the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (the Authority). The seminar is aimed at new and existing users who have not previously attended a seminar.

Ideally, two staff members should attend; the clerical staff member who may be responsible for maintaining the changes on the school database and the deputy or associate principal who is responsible for timetable changes for students.

The seminar will cover the basic operations and functions of SIRS. This includes data transfer and the generation of reports which enable the information transferred to SIRS to be checked.

The seminar will be two hours long. Participants will log into SIRS using their own school login and password.

There will be four sessions available prior to school commencing in 2016, which may be preferable for staff in remote and country Western Australia.

Seminar dates and times (2016)




Tuesday, 19 January



Friday, 22 January



Thursday, 4 February



Monday, 8 February



Wednesday, 10 February



Tuesday, 16 February



More sessions may be provided if these sessions are fully booked.

Registrations can be made online at

The seminars will be held in the Mason Bird Building Training Room 1 at 303 Sevenoaks Street, Cannington.  Further details will be supplied to participants once registered.

In 2015, two sessions were held in Bunbury for South West participants, and if we have enough interest for 2016, it may be possible to conduct sessions there again.  Please contact if you would be interested in attending SIRS familiarisation in Bunbury.

Request for feedback on the School Curriculum and Standards Authority website

Sarah Clough (08) 9273 6396

In the last 6 months the Authority has launched the new look Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline ( and the WACE 2015-16 site (

In early 2016 we will be launching a new and improved Authority website ( and we would like to take this opportunity to ask for you feedback in the form of a short survey.

Provide your feedback at

Requests for SCSA student numbers for 2016

Lynn Galbraith(08) 9273 6702

SCSA student numbers info line(08) 9273 6344

Effective 12 October 2015, schools can request School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) student numbers automatically through the student information record system (SIRS) for Year 7 students starting in 2016. Details of how to request SCSA student numbers are in Section 1.2 of the Data Procedures Manual 2015 -

For students other than Year 7, schools are encouraged to do an initial search in SIRS for student numbers via Enrolment > Student Enrolment > Find Student Number. If no record is found, schools can and advise the following:

  • your school code
  • student first name
  • student surname
  • date of birth
  • academic year
  • if the student has arrived in WA from overseas or interstate.

This will enable a more comprehensive search to be undertaken before a new number is issued.

Students on a Notice of Arrangements – uploading results

Lynn Galbraith(08) 9273 6702

If you are uploading results for a student who has previously been withdrawn from a course unit on transfer to code 9000 with a Notice of Arrangements, you will receive warning messages similar to the following:

“The Course Results (RSCOS): rscos1234y1up.csv has been successfully processed but has recorded the following warnings:
Warning occurred on record: 8 (Student: 12345678: Doe, Jane). The following issue should be noted:

  • The student with Student No 21345678 has been re-enrolled to the course unit 2AACF of course ACF.

Warning occurred on record: 23 (Student: 12345678: Doe, Jane). The following issue should be noted:

  • The student with Student No 21345678 has been re-enrolled to the course unit 1AAET of course AET.”

Please note this is not an error; it means the student has been re-enrolled into the course unit and a result has been recorded for that unit. It will not create a new enrolment, it will only re-enrol. To receive a green tick to indicate a successful upload, please upload the same file again – the warning messages will not appear as the re-enrolment has already taken place.

Year 12 students on a Notice of Arrangements will also receive a statement of results from the Authority.

Year 12 achievement data due by 2 November

Kerry Tarrant(08) 9273 6770

In accordance with the 2015 WACE activities schedule, it is time for schools to provide achievements for Year 12 students in:

  • course units for Semester 1, 2 or full year
  • VET qualifications
  • VET units of competency
  • endorsed programs.

Also, any Year 11 students sitting WACE examinations this year.

The achievements are to be submitted to the Student Information Record System (SIRS) through the RSCOS, RSVET, RSEND and RSQUAL files by 2 November 2015.


For each completed course unit at Stage 1, 2 or 3, schools must submit a grade of A, B, C, D, E or a ‘U’ notation. In the case of Preliminary stage units, schools report either completed (A) or not completed (U).

A ‘U’ notation can be submitted for Stage 1, 2 or 3 units only when the student:

  • has been given the opportunity to submit work for assessment after the achievements are due at the Authority.

In the second instance, the school must amend the course unit mark and assign a grade by
20 November 2015. After this date no more changes can be made to Year 12 achievement data.

Course unit marks

A course unit mark and a course unit written mark must be submitted for each completed course at Stage 2 or Stage 3. For courses with a practical examination (oral, performance, portfolio or production submission) a course unit practical mark, a course unit written mark and a course unit mark must be submitted. Schools are also encouraged to submit a course unit mark for Stage 1 units. Marks must be entered as a whole number out of 100.

The course unit written mark is calculated by adding the weighted marks for the assessment tasks (or parts of tasks) which the teacher determines are written assessment tasks and converted to a mark out of 100.

The course unit practical mark is calculated by adding the weighted marks for the assessment tasks (or parts of tasks) which the teacher determines are practical assessment tasks (e.g. assessing practical skills/techniques) and converted to a mark out of 100.

The Authority will use each school’s written WACE examination marks to statistically moderate their course unit written marks. The practical WACE examination marks will be used to statistically moderate the course unit practical marks. This process will provide fairness for those students whose performance differs between the written and practical aspects of the course.

VET and Endorsed program achievement

Use the values and achievement descriptors relevant to the VET units of competency and specific endorsed program to submit student achievement through the appropriate file to SIRS.

Note: The VET Unique Student Identifier (USI) is required for units of competency and qualifications to contribute towards meeting the WACE requirements when reporting achievements through the RSVET and RSQUAL.

Information regarding the submission of the achievement data was emailed to schools on
12 October 2015. If schools require clarification regarding the achievement collection processes, please contact Kerry Tarrant.

Year 12 students to remain on school roll unless advised otherwise

Lynn Galbraith(08) 9273 6702

As a result of the amendments to the High School Leaving Age and Related Provisions Bill 2005 and the School Education Act, the compulsory education period is until the end of the year in which the child reaches the age of 17 and six months, therefore students must not be removed from the school roll unless the school has received advice of:

  • a transfer to a new school or home education, or
  • an approved Notice of Arrangements (from either Participation Unit or School Curriculum and Standards Authority) or
  • the student has officially been placed on the Whereabouts Unknown list, or
  • the parent advises that the student is leaving the school to enrol outside the State.
  • The student reaches the age of 18.

Please be mindful that students with a ‘Left’ status on SIRS will not receive a Statement of Results which they may require at a later stage as proof of their education or to apply for further studies. However, students still on the school roll, or on an approved Notice of Arrangements who will have a current record at 9000 (Department of Education), and who have achieved results in Years 11 and/or 12, will receive a Statement of Results detailing any results achieved at school.


2016 Externally Set Task (EST) prescribed content for the Year 12 General and Foundation courses previously unavailable

Kerry Cribb(08) 9273 6787

Chris Stone(08) 9273 6365

The prescribed Externally Set Task (EST) content for the following 10 courses is available on the Authority’s website:

Ancient History
Applied Information Technology (Foundation)
Building and Construction
Computer Science
Earth and Environmental Science
Engineering Studies
Marine and Maritime Studies
Religion and Life.

From 2016, schools will be required to identify an EST Coordinator. These details will be required for the Provider Information Update form which is to be completed by schools in January 2016.

Further information regarding the ESTs can be accessed via the Authority’s website at:

Please see the link below to ‘Frequently asked questions’.

Corrections made to the Mathematics Methods Year 12 syllabus assessment table

Malachy Doherty (08) 9273 6768

A correction has been made to the Assessment table Year 12 on page 15 of the Mathematics Methods Year 12 syllabus.

In the Investigation section the sentence in red font and marked with the strike-through has been deleted. Please replace any copies of your syllabus with the corrected version which has been posted on the School Curriculum and Standards Authority website.

Type of assessment


Students respond using knowledge of mathematical facts, concepts and terminology, applying problem-solving skills and algorithms. Response tasks can include: tests, assignments, quizzes and observation checklists. Tests are administered under controlled and timed conditions.


Students plan, research, conduct and communicate the findings of an investigation. They can investigate problems to identify the underlying mathematics, or select, adapt and apply models and procedures to solve problems. This assessment type provides for the assessment of general inquiry skills, course-related knowledge and skills, and modelling skills. It is recommended that at least one investigation/project should involve application of the statistical investigation process.
Evidence can include: observation and interview, written work or multimedia presentations.


Students apply mathematical understanding and skills to analyse, interpret and respond to questions and situations. Examinations provide for the assessment of conceptual understandings, knowledge of mathematical facts and terminology, problem-solving skills, and the use of algorithms.
Examination questions can range from those of a routine nature, assessing lower level concepts, through to open-ended questions that require responses at the highest level of conceptual thinking. Students can be asked questions of an investigative nature for which they may need to communicate findings, generalise, or make and test conjectures.
Typically conducted at the end of each semester and/or unit and reflecting the examination design brief for this syllabus.


Feedback on proposed grade distributions

John Newman (08) 9273 6757

The Authority has reviewed the proposed grade distributions for course units completed by Year 12 students. The officer responsible for each course has either:

  • accepted the grades, or
  • suggested that the school reviews the number of students in one or more grades (these suggested changes are based on historical data and/or advice provided during any grading review conducted this year).

The report showing this feedback for each course is available to schools in SIRS. The SIRS pathway is:Reports>Other Reports>Report Type>Moderation>Report>GRD021 – Proposed Grade Distributions Feedback.

Schools are required to provide a copy of this report to the relevant teachers.

Teachers and/or HOLAs/teachers-in-charge are required to consider any suggested changes to the grade distribution when determining grade cut-offs and assigning final grades for the course units.

Should the school not agree with the feedback provided by the Authority, the teacher is required to contact the Authority officer responsible for the course by phone or email to discuss the reason for not following the suggested change by Friday 23 October 2015. Contact details for these officers is included in the letter related to this matter, titled ‘Feedback on proposed grade distributions 2015’ emailed to Principals on
Monday 12 October 2015.

Schools are reminded that all marked assessment tasks should be retained or readily accessible as evidence of student achievement, at least until the Authority confirms all grades. For Year 12 students, grades will be confirmed by the end of November.

Syllabus review and revision process

Robyn Smith(08) 9273 6386

The Authority is initiating a syllabus review and revision process for all WACE courses. The review and revision process will be conducted in four groups. One group will commence each year from 2018.

The process for each course will occur over a four year period.

In the first two years an independent panel will review the accredited syllabuses for the course (Year 11 and Year 12, ATAR, General and for some courses, Foundation and/or Preliminary). Following the review the panel will determine whether the syllabus requires revision. This revision will be conducted in consultation with the relevant course advisory committee.

After approval of the re-accredited syllabuses by the Board they will be published on the Authority website for implementation in the third year in Year 11 and the fourth year in Year 12. Where the degree of syllabus change warrants, the Authority will conduct seminars for teachers of the course in the year prior to implementation.

This syllabus review and revision process will commence in 2018 for the following courses:

Learning AreaCourses

The Arts



English as an Additional Language/Dialect

Health and Physical Education


Humanities and Social Sciences

Ancient History
Modern History
Religion and Life


French: Background Language
German: Background Language
Italian: Background Language


All Mathematics courses (Mathematics Specialist, Mathematics Methods, Mathematics Applications, Mathematics Essential, Mathematics Foundation Mathematics Preliminary)


Animal Production Systems
Earth and Environmental Science
Plant Production Systems



WACE eligibility – identifying WACE requirements to be met

Jenny Offer (08) 9273 6313

Kerry Tarrant (08) 9273 6770 Galbraith (08) 9273 6702

To enable schools to determine the progress of their Year 12 students towards achieving a WACE, schools can generate the SIRS report, WACE Eligibility – Students Not Achieving WACE, which lists the requirements achieved and not achieved. It is available via the pathway: Reports > Other Reports > Certification > Report: CSE015.

This report lists all Year 12 students who, according to the data currently uploaded into SIRS, will not achieve a WACE. The report indicates for each student whether or not he/she has met each of the WACE requirements relating to breadth and depth, achievement standard and English language competence.

The report is applicable only after students’ achievements have been uploaded into SIRS. It is important to note that the eligibility status of students may change with the uploading of new achievement data into SIRS.

The SIRS database will be ‘locked’ on Friday, 20 November 2015. Schools will no longer be able to upload changes to Year 12 student achievements.

From Monday, 23 November 2015, schools will be able to run the Confirmation of Students’ Results report in SIRS. This report indicates the number of full-time Year 12 students:

  • eligible to receive a WACE
  • who will receive a WACE if the results submitted by the school are accepted by the Authority.

This report is available via the pathway: Reports > Other Reports > Certification > Report: CSE078. The report also lists the names of the full-time eligible Year 12 students who will not receive a WACE. This part of the report is similar to the table generated by CSE015. Note also, by checking the Yes/No status of listed students with respect to the criteria, schools may see which of these criteria have not been met.


Copies of 2015 examination papers available at the examination centre

Jenny Morup(08) 9273 6309

Schools with candidates presenting for a WACE examination or interstate language examination can collect onecopy of the examination paper one hour after the start of the examination. Multiple copies of the examination paper will not be given to a school.

Teachers must not enter the examination room to request copies of the papers. Where prior arrangements have been made with the chief supervisor, a copy of each examination paper will be left in the school reception area. For examinations with an aural or visual component, copies of the CDs/DVDs cannot be distributed.

For schools whose students are sitting the examination at a centre other than their school, a copy of the examination paper may be collected from the examination centre as outlined above or they can email prior to Friday, 27 November 2015 to arrange for a copy to be sent to them. Phone requests cannot be accepted.
For schools that do not have candidates sitting the WACE examination in that course in 2015, a copy of the examination papers will be available for download from the Authority website early in 2016.

English ATAR Year 12 Exam workshops

Gerard Morris (08) 9273 6742

John Watson(08)9273 6374

In response to feedback from teachers, the School Curriculum and Standards Authority has organised a workshop focussing on Section 1 of the Year 12 English ATAR exam (2016 onwards).

The workshop will focus on:
*             Sample questions for Section 1 from Year 11 school-based exams
*             Reviewing and assessing a range of student responses to these questions
*             Reviewing SCSA sample questions for Section 1 based on Units 3&4 (Year 12)
*             Writing questions based on syllabus content of Units 3&4.

Workshops will be held Monday, October 19 to Wednesday, November 11, 2015 in a range of venues including Mandurah, Bunbury, Albany, Geraldton, Narrogin and the Authority.
(Note – Teacher relief is not provided.)

A webinar will be held for country teachers who cannot attend one of the venues. Registrations for the webinar will close on Wednesday, 28 October at 3pm as participants will receive workshop materials prior to the webinar.

Schools are requested to limit registrations to two per school.

Please register at

WACE exam updates and techniques on SCSAWA Facebook page

Jo Merrey (08) 9273 6348

The Authority is encouraging teachers to promote the SCSAWA Facebook page as a valuable resource for students who will undertake WACE practical and written exams this year.

This page is specifically for WACE exam candidates, providing a range of valuable information about WACE requirements and examinations. It includes:

  • timely pointers to frequently asked questions about exams requirements and WACE requirements
  • important dates
  • tips on time management and study preparation
  • regular reminders to optimise exam performance by staying mentally and physically healthy.

It is important for the focus of this page to be on WACE exam candidates. Those who are not WACE exams candidates are asked to email their question, concern or opinion to
Someone will respond to your email within two business days.

Teachers are also encouraged to enter conversations with the Authority on SCSA’s Twitter page.