Senior College - Year 10/11


The Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training (NTCET)

What is the new NTCET?

The Northern Territory Certificate of Education & Training (NTCET) is a qualification awarded to students who successfully complete their senior secondary education (Years 11 and 12).

The NTCET has been updated and strengthened to ensure it meets the needs of students, families, higher and further education providers, employers and the community. The new NTCET builds upon the achievements of the current Northern Territory Certificate of Education (NTCE) and will help students develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed – whether they are headed for further education and training, university, an apprenticeship or straight into the workforce.

The Certificate is based on two stages of achievement: Stage 1 (normally undertaken in Year 11) and Stage 2 (Year 12). Students will be able to study a wide range of subjects and courses as part of the NTCET.

When will it start?

The new NTCET began in 2009 with the introduction of a compulsory subject called the Personal Learning Plan (PLP), normally undertaken in Year 10. The NTCET then continues through Year 11 and Year 12, with the first group of students graduating with the new qualification in 2011.

What are some of the features of the new NTCET? 

As part of the new NTCET students will:

  • Receive credits for many different forms of education and training (such as academic subjects, learning a trade, TAFE, vocational training and community service) provided they are recognised by the NTCE Board.• Be able to return to their studies at any time in the future to complete the NTCET without losing credit for work already undertaken.
  • Receive A-E grades in every Stage 1 and Stage 2 NTCET subject.
  • Be expected to gain and demonstrate essential skills and knowledge for their future, focusing on communication, citizenship, personal development, work and learning.
  • Have 30 per cent of their work in every Stage 2 subject externally assessed. This will be done in various ways, including exams, practical performances and presentations.
  • Have outside moderators check the school-assessed parts of Stage 2 subjects to ensure consistent grading across South Australia and the Northern Territory.

The requirements to achieve the new NTCET 

To gain the new Certificate students must earn 200 credits. Ten credits are equivalent to one semester or six months’ study in a particular subject or course.

Some elements of the new NTCE are compulsory. These are:

  • A Personal Learning Plan at Stage 1 (usually undertaken in Year 10), worth 10 credits.• At least 20 credits towards literacy from a range of English/English as a Second Language studies at Stage 1.
  • At least 10 credits towards numeracy from a range of mathematics studies at Stage 1.
  • Completion of at least 60 additional credits in Stage 2 subjects and courses.

The importance of the compulsory elements is reflected in the requirement that students must achieve either an A, B, C or equivalent in these subjects to complete the new NTCET successfully.

In addition to the compulsory elements, students will choose from a wide range of subjects and courses to earn the remaining 90 credits to gain the NTCET. These include subjects and courses from either Stage 1 or Stage 2.

The Essington International Senior College, Charles Darwin University students will commence their Stage 1 courses in Year 10 and will enter Year 11 with a substantial number of credits towards their required elements. 

Personal Learning Plan

The Personal Learning Plan is a new compulsory NTCET subject, normally undertaken in Year 10. Students will consider their aspirations and research reliable career information to help them make appropriate subject choices and map out their future. Students will work towards goals they need to achieve as they progress through school towards work, training or further study.

The Personal Learning Plan will help students:

  • Identify and research career paths and options (including further education, training and work).
  • Choose appropriate NTCET subjects and courses based on plans for future work and study.
  • Consider and access subjects and courses available in and beyond school.
  • Review their strengths and areas they need to work on, including literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology (ICT) skills.
  • Gain skills for future employment.
  • Identify goals and plans for improvement.
  • Review and adjust plans to achieve goals.

The Personal Learning Plan (PLP) will contribute 10 credits towards the NTCET.

Other Pathways through the NTCET

The Essington International Senior College, Charles Darwin University will assist students to undertake the most appropriate pathways for the achievement of their NTCET.

Vocational Education and Training

Vocational Education and Training (VET) prepares students directly for entry to the world of work. It relates to specific industry areas. VET assessment is competency based. This means course elements are not graded; they are either achieved or not yet achieved. The competencies are nationally recognised, and can be accredited towards a traineeship or apprenticeship, or can lead to further study in the area.

VET Programs gain credit towards NTCET completion and exemption from units in TAFE/VET courses at CDU and other institutions. VET units will be taught by Charles Darwin University and Senior College students’ progress will be overseen by the Senior College. VET in Schools (VETiS)

The Essington International Senior College, Charles Darwin University will run a limited number of VETiS programs and where possible, will align these studies with the offerings from the University. VETiS units will be taught by Charles Darwin University and Senior College students’ progress will be overseen by the Senior College.

Students can currently complete units from the Certificate I in Business in Year 10 which counts towards gaining the NTCET.

Australian School Based Apprenticeships

These are arrangements where a paid apprentice:

  • attends school for part of the week
  • is employed and works for part of their time, with on-the-job training
  • attends a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) for the off-the-job training.

The RTO for any students from The Essington International Senior College, Charles Darwin University who wish to undertake a School-Based Apprenticeship could be Charles Darwin University, or another pre-arranged organisation offering the required program.


There are a growing number of (South Australian) SSABSA courses that are based on competencies from VET Certificate I & II. These courses are currently offered at Stage 2 and count towards the NTCET and some have the option of counting towards a TER.


Assessment Terms

Formative Assessment

Formative assessment items are those assignments and tests which help develop students’ skills and allow practice. These items are diagnostic. By undertaking these items students gain feedback on their degree of understanding and progress in the subject. Marks from formative assessment items do not generally contribute to final assessment. However, they may be referred to in cases where alternative assessment is required, for the special provision of Summative Assessment.

Summative Assessment tasks are those assignments and tests whose marks count towards final assessment.


The major difference in the new NTCET is the use of performance standards. These standards describe in detail the level of achievement required to achieve each grade, from A to E for Stage 1, and from A+ to E- for Stage 2. Teachers and assessors will use these standards to decide how well a student has demonstrated his or her learning.

Stage 1 Assessment

At Stage 1, schools assess student performance. The (South Australian) SACE Board through the Northern Territory Senior Curriculum Team of the Department of Education and Training (DET) will approve learning and assessment plans for Stage 1 subjects. The NT Senior Curriculum Team will assist to moderate the Personal Learning Plan (PLP) and the English and Mathematics subjects at the C/D borderline. They will also undertake some monitoring of student results to support teacher understanding of the consistent application of performance standards.

Stage 1 Moderation

Moderation of the Stage 1 Personal Learning Plan (PLP), English and Mathematics subjects confirms that the C grade is consistently applied according to the performance standards for students in schools offering the NTCET in the Northern Territory and the SACE (South Australian Certificate of Education) in South Australia. Monitoring of Stage 1 (Year 11) grades

The SACE Board, through the Northern Territory Senior Curriculum Team (DET), monitors the reporting of grades A to E for Stage 1 subjects as part of the quality assurance cycle. Monitoring seeks to determine the consistency with which the performance standards in a subject are used to assess and report student achievement. Each year, 2 or 3 subjects will be selected for monitoring. Biology, Child Studies and Food and Hospitality have been selected for 2010. Monitoring is a post-hoc process to analyse and identify improvement strategies in the assessment processes. Students' results are not changed as part of the assessment process. 

Student Assessment Policy

The Essington International Senior College Assessment Policy follows that of the SACE Board of South Australia and the Northern Territory Board of Studies. The principle underlying assessment is that of social justice and equity.

Assessment Deadlines An assessment plan is made available to students at the beginning of each course, including a schedule of assessment deadlines for all summative tasks. Assessment deadlines are to state the date, and may include the time, that an item is due. Work which is not submitted by the due deadline will not be awarded a score for summative assessment purposes, unless an extension of time has been previously negotiated between the student and the teacher. Late work, which has not been given an extension, may be marked for feedback purposes only, and could form part of a student’s formative assessment record.


Students seeking extensions to assignment deadlines must do so before the due date for the assignment. If an extension has not been sought and granted before the due date, then the work is late (see point 1 above). Variation to Assessment Arrangements

Students who have been legitimately unable to meet a deadline are to be given an opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the course objectives. 

Reasons for Missing Deadlines

Illness and Injury

Students sometimes miss an assessment deadline or test as a result of illness or injury. In such cases the student is required to notify the teacher concerned. This should happen before the assessment item is due, or on the day of the test. In the case of illness which has led to an absence of 3 days or more, including the day of the test, a medical certificate must be produced. A medical certificate is also required for any student claiming absence through illness on the day of a test, for whom there is an established pattern of absences on the day of a summative test (ie where this has occurred previously in the subject).


Students who miss an assessment deadline through mishaps beyond their control should put their reasons for requesting a variation to assessment to the relevant teacher.

Teacher Intervention in Summative Assessment In the case of tests, advice and clarification may be made before the test if this is sought at a reasonable time. In the case of summative assessment tasks performed over a period of time, it is appropriate for the teacher to comment on the work during its period of development. If a draft of the final piece of work is offered to the teacher for comment, then the teacher may indicate where there are weaknesses or errors, but may not intervene in a way which places the student’s ownership of the work in question, to unfairly advantage the student.

Resubmission of Work

Students, in order to obtain an improved mark for a summative assessment task, may not resubmit an item that is to be included in their final assessment, once it has been formally submitted and given a mark by the teacher.


Students are required to submit work that is their own. Apart from appropriately incorporated quotations from other sources, no part of a student’s work may be copied from any other person’s work, or be based on an undue level of assistance from another person. This includes use of materials from CD ROM or the Internet. Any work found to have been plagiarised, or offered for plagiarism, will be penalised. This will mean zero for that piece of work. No alternative assessment item will be given.

Special Provisions for Exams/Credits Students may be eligible for special provisions such as extra time in exams because of:

  • Long Term Impairment - an illness or disability which has existed for a number of years eg. dyslexia, impaired vision/hearing. Students must see the NTCET Coordinator in Term 1 or early Term 2.
  • Short Term Impairment - a serious illness or injury for the few days before or at the time of the exam, or an event such as a death in the family. The student or parent/guardian should immediately contact the NTCET Coordinator or the Head of Senior Secondary.

In both cases evidence such as a medical certificate is required.

All students are issued a Special Provision fact sheet at the Orientation Program at the beginning of the school year. Further information is available from the NTCET Coordinator or the Dean of Studies.

Credit Transfer and Exemptions

Students who have studied interstate or overseas or who have completed VET competencies may be eligible for some credit toward their NTCET qualifications and, where possible, an application for credit for previous study should be submitted at the time of enrolment. NTCET subjects completed at other schools in the NT do not require credit, as results are transferred between schools.

Candidates must complete an application form citing the qualifications(s) on which the request is being made. A transcript or certified copy of any qualification claimed is required. A course description of the program which led to its award should be attached to the application. The processed application is forwarded by the Dean of Studies to the Certification Section at the NT Board of Studies. The NTBOS will recommend whether credit should be given; the applicant will be informed of the NTBOS Committee’s decision by the Dean of Studies.

Students aged over 18 and who have had 12 or more months away from school are eligible for block credit for all of Stage 1, and need only study Stage 2. They should see the Dean of Studies to complete an appropriate form.