The 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.

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

Short courses are available to assist in improving numeracy, reading and writing skills each semester. The timetable for Semester 2, 2019 courses will be on the web in the week ending 14 June, 2019.

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 SRNI or 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.

  • Certificate II and III qualifications require an exit level of 2 in reading and numeracy
  • Certificate IV and above require an exit level of 3 in reading and numeracy and 2 in writing
  • Or a higher minimum level as defined within a Training Package.

Where minimum exit levels are not met students will have access to bridging units within your qualification or a foundation skills pathway course.

After doing the CSPA, part of your offer of study may require you to attend Bridging Unit sessions at the campus you are studying at.  Your vocational program will talk with you about this at your course counselling session.

Bridging units cover skills in reading, writing and numeracy.  You may need to enrol in all of them, or you may just need to study in one. 

These subjects are part of your study program, so you will need to attend the session.  A Foundation Skills Lecturer will provide you with a friendly learning environment to help you increase skills so you can improve your chances of success in your chosen vocational studies.

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 on a TAFE SA campus:

  • If you require CSPA as part of Course Admissions Requirements for a competitive course or choose to undertake CSPA at a campus, bookings can be made by calling TAFE SA on 08 8417 0501.
  • Participants must arrive in time to find parking, sign-in and provide ID. Those that arrive after the nominated start time may not be admitted.
  • Applicants must show photographic ID or two other pieces of ID at the session. Each applicant's SATAC TAFE reference number must be recorded at the session.
  • Please note, practice questions are not available, however practice questions will be available during your session.
  • If you have any special requirements to complete the CSPA please tell the staff member when you phone to book into a session.
  • Please note, if you do not score the required levels to receive an offer to your course, CSPA cannot be undertaken again for a period of 3 months. You will be referred to foundation studies to improve your scores when you next sit CSPA.

Important Information for completing the CSPA online:

  • If you are eligible to complete the CSPA online, you will receive a Username and Login in an email from TAFE SA. 
  • By logging in online, completing your details and undertaking the CSPA you are confirming your identity and that the answers provided in the CSPA are your own.
  • IMPORTANT:  When undertaking the Writing component, we recommend you attempt to write 3 paragraphs with 3 sentences in each.

Follow the steps below

  1. Follow this link-
  2. Enter the username and password you have been emailed
  3. Use your SATAC Reference Number as the Unique ID
  4. Once you log in to the system, you will need to create a new password for security reasons.
  5. If you forget or lose your password, please use the “forgot password” link on the VAWE homepage to reset. If this does not retrieve your password, then please contact and request for it to be reset.
  6. Choose the qualification you have applied for under ‘Program’.
  7. We recommend allowing up to 2hrs to complete.
  8. You may complete the CSPA in three sittings if needed. You will be able to log out, and in, after you have hit the ‘Finish’ button on each of the CSPA activities. However, you will not be able to change your answers once you have hit the Finish button.
  9. Please make sure you click on Finish at the end of each section

Please follow the link below to find out the minimum technical specifications that must be met for the CSPA website to function properly:

If you are unsure whether you meet these requirements, please check with your institution’s IT personnel. CSPA supports tablets, including both iPads and Android models.

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 8417 0501 to find out if this applies to you.