Australia Question: AQF And Certificate Design Norms


Aussie question for y’all, I’m getting a Certificate IV from Australia (specifically a college in QLD), and I just had a rather heated email discussion over the use of a photo of me on the certificate. And not a security photo, either, something that looks like it was home printed. The rest of the certificate is fine. Decent card stock, well enough printed text and background crest, and officer signatures. I asked for the photo to be removed because in the US and in Japan (particularly in Japan) this would attract more scrutiny, not less. I was met with out right refusal and a bullet list related to “becoming the norm in Australia” and “not inconsistent with Australian regulations” that just dismissed my concerns as invalid.

No diploma, degree, or certificate I have from either of my countries (US, Japan) has anything like this from JHS up to graduate school. Also, I know this college doesn’t realise I’ve lived in Australia, was thinking of moving there permanently to teach in NSW, follow Australian news and politics, and have Aussie friends. I have never heard of this before, and even if it is “not inconsistent” or “becoming the norm” this sounds like spin. It’s not the norm yet, and not being inconsistent doesn’t mean usual.

They agreed grudgingly to remove the photo, but put a note in the missing space. I will accept that, but think this is silly. If I’m wrong, tell me so. But if I’m right, I’d appreciate the back up.


Got my degree 11 years ago… so not terribly recent… but no photo (!).

Seems absurd to me.

Googling through Aussie images… not seeing 1 qualification certificate with a photo embedded.


Yeah, that’s what I thought. The college itself is legit, I did my due diligence in seeking out confirmation of its accreditation with the Australian government. So I know that the college and its certificate is real, and I’m sympathetic if they feel insulted by my assertion that the photo might actually cause more concern about authenticity than it addresses. But I’ve also paid $2000 for the course and put in a month’s worth of class time and coursework, and I expected a certificate that matched international design norms.


That’s strange! I’ve got a few certs and a degree and none embed my likeness in them. Student ID card, sure, but not the certificates. I’d crack a stink too for the same reasons.


I’ve never heard of or seen such a thing. Two degrees, a number of certificates, including a Cert IV, about seven years ago - none with any sort of photo on the certificate.
There are colleges and colleges, and while they may all be accredited with the government, every now and then one goes belly-up and is found to have been not providing what it was supposed to.


Never heard of this before. Sounds like they just don’t want to be bothered amending their template to remove the photo. I have numerous certificates and none have my photo on them.


Okay, so they are just being ridiculous giving me guff over this and putting their silly comment in the space. I am sure they think I’m someone who knows nothing about Australia and they usually can trade on that to assure people this is a norm. Too bad they ran into an American who knows Australia quite well, having actually lived in NSW. massive eyeroll