Department of State Development

The Foundation Skills Professional Standards Framework (FSPSF) has been developed to support the fourth priority of the National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults relating to workforce capability. Research and scoping activities that informed the FSPSF development took place between 2013 and 2017 under joint national initiatives to support the National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults.

The Framework describes the capabilities of the diverse field of practitioners who teach, train, assess and support foundation skills service provision in a variety of environments. It provides consistent, shared language for talking about the capabilities required in foundation skills service provision.

The ability to communicate with greater consistency and specificity about capabilities in this field has the potential to strengthen understandings of professional knowledge and skills, and professional development needs.

The Framework and resources are now complete and available from the links below.

Thank you to all the stakeholders who helped in the development of the Framework and support resources by attending consultation sessions and webinars, and providing their expertise, feedback and suggestions.


The Framework

  • The Framework (PDF) - a schema to recognise the diverse range of capabilities required to deliver and assess foundation skills in the workplace, in vocational education and training, and in community contexts.

Support resources

The NFSS Project History

The NFSS Project was a joint initiative by Australian governments to support priority action areas from the National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults. View the Strategy (PDF). Work at a national level commenced in 2013-14 with the Foundation Skills Workforce Development (FSWD) Project and concluded in June 2017 with the completion of the validated framework and resources. The projects were conducted by TAFE SA under the auspices of the South Australian Department of State Development on behalf of all Australian governments.

The Strategy commits Australian governments to four priority action areas:

  1. Raising awareness and commitment to action – building an understanding of foundation skills in the workplace and the community and removing the stigma associated with low adult foundation skills.
  2. Adult learners have high quality learning opportunities and outcomes – providing a variety of foundation skills development opportunities that can be tailored to individual needs.
  3. Strengthening foundation skills in the workplace – establishing strong and lasting partnerships between government, industry, employers and unions and providing foundation skills training that is responsive to employer and industry needs.
  4. Building the capacity of the education and training workforces to deliver foundation skills – building the skills of specialist language, literacy and numeracy practitioners, developing the workforce to enable the effective teaching of employability skills and supporting vocational trainers to better integrate foundation skills with vocational training.

The FSWD and NFSS Projects focused primarily on the workforce development challenges that underpin the fourth priority action area.

2014 - 2015 NFSS project outcomes

Research into professional practice in foundation skills

Through a suite of research and consultation activities this project element explored the concept of a professional standards framework for practitioners working in foundation skills. An extensive NCVER survey gathered information on the range of practitioners currently working in this field and on their professional development needs. Intelligence collated through the research and consultation processes informed the development of a draft professional standards.

Who is delivering foundation skills? NCVER Data Analysis Report
Download PDF |  1.2 MB

Stories from the field
Download PDF |  1.2 MB

Foundation Skills Community of Practice

Practitioners from a diversity of education and training backgrounds were brought together through a national community of practice to build and share knowledge about foundation skills. Community of Practice members connected with interested individuals and organisations to raise awareness of foundation skills and how they can best be developed.

Knowledge sharing initiated by the Community of Practice is continuing on the FSTeach Facebook Group. Practitioners interested in foundation skills are encouraged to join the conversation.

View the videos and case studies produced by COP members. These highlight effective approaches to foundation skills delivery.