The Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE)

Schools cater for students from diverse backgrounds and needs. They can be university-bound, have a specific vocation in mind involving further education and training or be planning to enter the workforce on leaving school.

A range of education and training courses and programs are available to provide all young people with the opportunity to develop knowledge, understanding and skills about themselves, their community and the broader world in which they live.

To cater for differences in interests, rates of learning and motivation, schools can consider a mixture of courses, vocational education and training (VET) and endorsed programs when planning student pathways.


Year 11 and Year 12 students select courses developed as part of the senior secondary reform announced by the Minister for Education in January 2013. These courses are ATAR, General, Foundation, VET industry specific, and Preliminary.

For more information about courses for Year 11 and Year 12 students see Section 1 of the WACE Manual.

Vocational education and training (VET)

Vocational education and training in schools engages students in work-related learning built on strategic partnerships between schools, registered training organisations, business, industry and the wider community. VET can be undertaken as part of the WACE. Its completion provides students with credit towards a nationally recognised vocational qualification within the Australian Qualifications Framework. A broad range of post-school vocational options and pathways are available through the study of VET.

For more information about VET for Year 11 and Year 12 students see Section 4 of the WACE Manual.

Endorsed programs

Endorsed programs provide areas of learning typically not covered by courses and can contribute to students’ WACE requirements. A wide range of endorsed programs can be delivered in a variety of settings by schools, training organisations and workplaces, universities and community organisations.

For more information about endorsed programs for Year 11 and Year 12 students see Section 5 of the WACE Manual.

Community service

The School Curriculum and Standards Authority recognises the value of service learning.

Community service hours accumulated by students over Years 10, 11 and 12 can be reported to the School Curriculum and Standards Authority by the school where students complete their senior secondary education. The hours reported are recorded on the student's Western Australian Statement of Student Achievement (WASSA).