Booking and undertaking your Core Skills Profile for Adults (CSPA)

If you are required to complete the CSPA as part of your TAFE SA application, the following information will help you to prepare. It is important to familiarise yourself with what is expected of you prior to attending and to be aware of the options and support available to you. Additional information specific to what the CSPA is and why you are being requested to complete it are available on the TAFE SA Website.
  • Once you have applied for your TAFE SA course you will be contacted via email on how to book into your CSPA. You can book, reschedule or cancel online, or if you need help call the TAFE SA Customer Support team on 1800 882 661.

    Sessions are held at TAFE SA campuses, or you may be able to attend a supervised session online. The CSPA is free to complete and can take up to 3 hours.

    Both Online and On Campus CSPA sessions:
    • are completed using a computer with the same online tool
    • are supervised by TAFE SA staff members
    • follow the same time and attendance regulations
    If you do not have suitable computer equipment and are unable to attend an on Campus session, please call us on 1800 882 661 to discuss your options.
  • Once you are booked into a session you will receive a booking confirmation email containing the link to log in to your session. We recommended you log in 10 minutes prior to your session time and undertake the CSPA in a room or area where you will not be disturbed by family members, friends, or pets.

    To take part in an Online CSPA, you must have:
    • Photo ID ready to show
    • your own laptop or desktop computer (phones or tablets cannot be used to complete the CSPA)
    • a working webcam, microphone, and speakers (sessions are supervised and require these to remain on for the duration of the session)
    • a strong and reliable internet connection.
    • access to Google Chrome (preferred), Safari or Mozilla Firefox.
    Sessions begin with a short presentation to the group to make everyone comfortable with the online platform. You will then be moved into an individual private room to begin the CSPA.

    If you do not have Photo ID, you will be unable to complete the CSPA and will be rebooked into another session.
  • Once you are booked into a session you will receive a confirmation email advising of the campus, date, time, and room information.

    We recommend you arrive with enough time to find a car park and check-in to the session at least 10 minutes prior to start time. Campus maps are available to assist in familiarising yourself with the room and car parking locations.

    To take part in an On Campus CSPA, you must:
    • show Photo ID to the facilitator upon arrival
    • arrive ready to begin the CSPA at the scheduled time. If the session has started, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to sit the CSPA, and you may be booked into another session.
    The facilitator will show you how to access the CSPA and once all participants have arrived, you will begin. You can use pen and blank paper if required, however no personal calculators or phones can be used. Please also bring a bottle of water, if required.

    If you do not have Photo ID, you will be unable to complete the CSPA and will be rebooked into another session.
  • There is support available to all applicants who are required to undertake the CSPA. To find out more about the supportive environment provided for the CSPA you can watch our video 'Support for the CSPA'.

    If you think you may need individual support, we recommend you book an appointment online to speak with a Student Counsellor at least 7 days prior to your scheduled CSPA session to discuss your individual circumstances. The Student Counsellor can answer your queries and work out a plan if you need extra support.

    If you need individual support or adjustments for the CSPA, you will need to provide documentation from a treating practitioner. This can be a medical practitioner, psychologist, or other accredited health specialist. You can use the TAFE SA Medical Practitioner Report or provide a letter written by your treating practitioner.


  • A free practice assessment is available so you can experience and complete a mini assessment of your reading and numeracy skills. At the end of the 6 reading and 6 numeracy questions, you will be able to see online what was answered correctly or incorrectly and can go back and re-read the question. There is also an option to restart the practice assessment if you wish to try again before you exit.  Please note, once you have exited the practice assessment you are unable to use the link received again and will need to re-register with a different unique email address.

    Practice Assessment

    TAFE SA offers an online short course Preparing to Undertake the CSPA. This short course incurs a fee and has been developed to assist students to prepare for the CSPA. Preparing to Undertake the CSPA provides important information about the key areas that are included in the assessment to help you prepare in your own time. Topics covered include an overview of the CSPA and what it is used for, what to expect on the day and tips for completing the assessment, and tips and tricks for preparing, including access to external resources to assist you.

    Preparing to Undertake the CSPA short course

    • Can I change my CSPA booking?
      You can reschedule or cancel your booking via the online portal, or if you need help call the TAFE SA Customer Support team on 1800 882 661.

      Can I get my results?
      Results are not issued directly to you. If your results indicate that you require learning support, our team will be in contact with you to discuss available options.

      Do I pass or fail the CSPA?
      If you are completing the CSPA for a subsidised course, there are ‘required levels’ that need to be met. If you don’t meet the required levels, you could still receive an offer, but you will also need to undertake bridging units to support you in your studies.
    • Am I guaranteed an offer if I complete the CSPA?
      No, completion of the CSPA does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

      If I am applying for a competitive course and do not meet the required levels can I re-sit the CSPA?
      Yes, you are eligible to re-sit the CSPA after three months. However, this may mean you miss the current offer round and you may need to wait for the next intake.

      What is CAR?
      Course Admission Requirements are admission criteria that you need to meet. You can check admission criteria in the CAR section within each award course. Some courses have no admission criteria.

      What courses use CSPA for offers?

      We recommend checking the Course Admission Requirements section within each award course on the TAFE SA Website for more details.  
    • If I don’t do the CSPA what will happen?
      If you have been requested to undertake the CSPA, you must book and undertake the CSPA to progress your application.

      I am currently in a qualification at TAFE SA but need to do the CSPA again. Why?
      If you are not exempt from sitting the CSPA, your results can only be used for one subsidised course. If you are moving from one qualification to another you may need to sit the CSPA again.

    • Can I bring my children to my CSPA session?
      Attendees are unable to bring children to CSPA sessions.

      Can I go back after I have finished a section?
      If you are still in a section you can review your answers, however, once you have clicked the finished button you cannot go back.

      Can I resit the CSPA multiple times?
      You can re-sit the CSPA after 3 months and then 3 months later if needed.

      Can I use previous CSPA results for my new application?
      If you completed the CSPA for a previous application but did not register for a course, you may be able to request to have your results transferred to your current application. Contact us to check if this applies to you.

      Does the CSPA cost anything to attend?
      No, the CSPA is free.

    • Can someone help me to complete the CSPA?
      The CSPA must be completed by you only. Your identity is confirmed upon your arrival to the session.

      What if I have a medical condition?
      Support is available for applicants with a Disability/Medical Condition. If you are living with a medical condition or disability, you can learn more about the support available to you in the FAQ support questions below and by watching our video 'Support for the CSPA'.

      Student Services are available to discuss your concerns related to health, disability and other issues by booking an appointment via the TAFE SA Student Website –
      Disability Support. If you think you may require individual adjustments to the CSPA, we recommend that you connect with us at least 7 days prior to your booked session.

      I haven’t done any study for a long time and I am worried about the CSPA.
      That’s okay! TAFE SA has many students from all walks of life and it’s normal to feel nervous when starting something new. You may not have studied for 20 years, or not finished school. You may be a parent returning to work or just moved to Australia. The important thing to remember is that we are here to support you, and that completing the CSPA allows us to see how we can offer you additional support.
    • Do I need to do it if I am not using it for Vet Student Loans?
      Yes, if you have applied for a subsidised course.

      Does this guarantee my Vet Student Loan?
      No, VET Student Loan eligibility is based on several different criteria. If applicants display competence at or above Exit Level 3 in reading and numeracy in the CSPA, the results can be used as academic evidence. All other eligibility criteria must be met. For further information on Vet Student Loans click here.

      If I am a Full Fee-Paying student do I need to do the CSPA?
      No, unless you need CSPA to meet the academic requirements to receive VET Student Loans.
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