46. In many surveys, a question on highest year of primary or secondary school completed is asked, followed by a question on the highest if any of non-school educational qualifications. Collection of the variable 'Main field of highest non-school qualification' is also recommended as it can be used to improve the coding accuracy of the qualification 'level'. A question on completion of primary or secondary school is not required for 'Level of highest non-school qualification', but this combination of questions provides the derivation of 'Level of highest educational attainment'.
47. The standard question module for 'Level of highest non-school qualification' includes the standard question module for 'Year non-school qualification completed'. 'Year non-school qualification completed' is essential for detailed coding of Level of Education responses of 'Diploma'. With the introduction of the AQF in 1995, the qualification of 'Associate Diploma' was renamed 'Diploma', and the qualification of 'Diploma' was renamed 'Advanced Diploma'. Therefore in order to ascertain which Level should be applied to a response of 'Diploma', it is essential to determine the year in which the qualification was attained. The ABS consequently regards all responses of Diploma obtained prior to 1998 to indicate the 'higher' of the two Diplomas, that is at a level equivalent to the current AQF Advanced Diploma, and responses of Diploma from 1998 onwards to mean the AQF Diploma level. For more information see the Editing Procedures section.
48. The introduction of the AQF has also affected the meaning of the term 'Certificate'. Since 1995 when the AQF was adopted, Certificates have been categorised as Certificates I, II, III or IV rather than simply as 'Certificates'. There is a considerable difference between Certificates I and II, (which may be regarded for ranking purposes as lower than, for example, completion of Year 12) and Certificates III (the equivalent of the old Trade Certificate) and IV. However it has become apparent that respondents who have a post-1995 Certificate often do not indicate the level of their Certificate, leading to an excessive number of responses being categorised as 'not further defined' where they are indistinguishable from pre-AQF Certificates. The ABS now uses an edit procedure to assign Narrow and Detailed level ASCED Level of Education codes to these responses. For more information see Appendix A.
49. Correspondence tables have been prepared between the ASCED Level of Education Classification and its precursor, the ABSCQ. These correspondence tables can be found in the ASCED (cat. no. 1272.0). Additional correspondence tables between ASCED and the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) to enable the conversion of Australian data for international comparisons are available on request from the Population Statistics Standards Section, Australian Bureau of Statistics on phone (02) 6252 5736, fax (02) 6252 5281, or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.