The Core Skills Profile for Adults (CSPA) is a tool designed to indicate reading, writing and numeracy/maths skills. TAFE SA use this information to assess if you will need any learning support during your studies and to assist your lecturer in personalising your training. This is a fee free assessment and incurs no cost to you.

Some qualifications require CSPA as part of Course Admissions Requirements when applying for a place at TAFE SA. 

Subsidised training requirements stipulate that clients must be assessed up front for literacy and numeracy using the Core Skills Profile for Adults (CSPA).

CSPA may also be used to assess your academic suitability for VET Student Loans.

School-based apprentices/trainees, TGSS and ICAN students are not required to undertake Reading, Writing and Numeracy skills indicators with TAFE SA, as this forms part of the schools’ obligations.

Section 1: Reading

The reading component involves multiple choice and some text entry questions. This section asks you to:

  • recognise the correct spelling, meanings and grammatical use of commonly used words.
  • read a short passage and demonstrate your understanding of it by answering the accompanying questions.
  • read and interpret information from tables, charts and other sources.

Section 2: Writing

The writing component has two question prompts with extended text entry fields for you to type your answers. This section looks at areas such as audience, purpose, vocabulary, grammatical structure, language choices, sentence structure, spelling and punctuation.

Section 3: Numeracy

The numeracy component involves multiple choice and numerical entry questions, covering areas in basic numeracy which arise in normal day-to-day life. The questions involve basic operations on whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percentages and simple graphical interpretations, with higher level indicators for problem solving, numbers and algebra, measurement and geometry, and statistics and probability.

There is an in-built calculator in the numeracy section.

Support available for Applicants/Students with a Disability/ Medical Condition

If you have a verified condition and require additional support to undertake the CSPA, please contact Student Services prior to booking into a session. To be eligible for additional support you must verify your disability/ medical condition by providing Student Services with medical documentation and discussing your needs.

Subsidised Training

Qualifications funded under Subsidised Training require students to meet specific exit levels in CSPA.

The CSPA will help us to determine whether you will be required to undertake additional support units alongside your qualification, or undertake a pathway course before commencing your chosen qualification. If you receive an offer, more information will be provided at your enrolment session.

VET Student Loans

As part of the suite of reforms related to the use of the VET Student Loans scheme by Registered Training Organisations, as announced by the Federal Department of Education on 8 December 2015, new regulations specifies that to access VET Student Loans, applicants must display competence at or above Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) in both reading and numeracy. The Core Skills Profile for Adults (CSPA) can be used to demonstrate competence in reading and numeracy where this is required.

Important Information for completing the CSPA:



  • will receive an email with information on how to book into a CSPA session.
  • must arrive in time to find parking, sign-in and provide ID. Those that arrive after the nominated start time may not be admitted.
  • must show photographic ID or two other pieces of ID at the session. Your SATAC reference number must be recorded at the session.
  • must contact Student Services before booking into a session if you have a verified condition and require additional support

Previous Results

Previous TABS scores can no longer be used in the assessment of current applications.

Previous STAT results can only be used in the assessment of Higher Education applications. Please note that STAT results are valid for two years.

Previous CSPA results may be used in some circumstances, please contact 1800 882 661 to find out if this applies to you.

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