Beyond ATAR – Learner Profiles

The Learner Profile

One of the three recommendations to emerge from the Beyond ATAR proposal is the design and development of Learner Profile.

The profile would be designed to provide a trusted, common way of representing the full range of attainments of young people within school and beyond. It would also be shaped to enable any jurisdiction to map and align it to its own need, as reflected in its curriculum, reporting and certification systems.

This flexible, framework-based approach to a Learner Profile would recognise different forms of student achievement – moving away from the current system which preferences examinations. It would also provide a living document, enabling young people to chart their learning and development, indicating growth over time. 

Learner profiles are already being used internationally to support recognition of student attainments, including supporting tertiary selection. 

In South Australia, the SACE Board is creating a Learner Profile, featured on page 19 of Beyond ATAR, while The University of Melbourne is developing a Learner Profile which will shortly be trialled in schools. 

The concept of a Learner Profile is one of eight major reforms called for by Professor Peter Shergold in  Looking to the Future — Report of the Review of Senior Secondary Pathways into Work, Further Education and Training. The report sets out key findings and recommendations to enhance senior secondary students’ understanding and capacity to transition effectively into work, further education and/or training.


“Every student has different capabilities, different strengths, different aspirations. We need to overlay our traditional reporting structure of subject grades with a profile that students can produce to others to say ‘here, this is who I am as a learner and as a person’, not just ‘here, these are my grades and this is my ATAR score’. 

– Professor Martin Westwell, SACE Board Chief Executive.