young ballerinasBackground

Dance is basking in wider public appeal and interest in Australia. The rise of competition television shows like 'Dancing with the Stars', 'So You Think You Can Dance', "Dance Academy" etc., have led to a surge in numbers enrolling in all styles of dance classes.

The huge number of dancing feet crossing studio thresholds is great news given that they are usually accompanied by smiling faces and healthy bodies, all of which are of course in the nation's best interest. But just as tendu follows plié, the next step for a healthy dancing nation is to make sure that the classes, teachers and material being taught are safe, supported and professionally assessed.

After all, the value of a dance class is significantly lessened if the teacher is unqualified, the material mostly improvised and the classroom unsafe. Recognising this need and wanting to create and set new standards leading to more employable dancers, the Commonwealth Government  created (2011) a new set of national standards where, in effect, no government endorsed standards had existed before. These are not perfect but reflect government's interest in the performng arts, hence ADi's curriculum Director continuing committent on performing Arts standards committee run by the ISC [currently PriceWaterHouse Coopers]

To help in understanding the acronyms and language of vocational training go to the VET jargon buster link.

The "AQF" and ADi Involvement

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) provides a comprehensive, nationally consistent yet flexible framework for all qualifications in post-compulsory education and training. The AQF recognises that the schools sector, VET sector and higher education sector each have different industry institutional linkages and it connects these in its coherent single Framework.

AQF qualifications are used throughout Australia and are developed in conjunction with all facets of industry and community from agriculture to welding, not forgetting music, visual arts culminating in  over 1,500 courses. They are integrated where possible to help the student move through and between different education levels and systems by specifying, standardizing and benchmarking outcomes to be achieved.

Current ADi directors were privileged to be invited to join the NPRG which functions as the industry governing body for the project. ADi viewed this new project as a valuable initiative for the dance teaching industry, and consequently made its resources available to assist IBSA with concepts for the framework of new standards. ADi’s existing pioneering work in creating a comprehensive suite of nationally accredited dance curricula, already compliant with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) has provided a starting point.

ADi and AQF Structures

ADi qualifications (initially created by its founding Corporate Affiliate, Australian Dance Vision), were the first comprehensive suite of nationally accredited private dance curricula for young dance students in Australia in 1998. Not stopping to rest on its laurels though, and having integrated their syllabuses (in Classical, Jazz and Tap) with the Australian Qualifications Framework, ADV undertook the rigorous task of attaining full Registered Training Organisation status. ADV then passed this mantle to ADi to provide a new entity for open access vocational training to the industry and other interested dance societies.

This early ground-breaking work by ADV  is a credit to that organisation, and its founding chairman (now ADi curriculum director) Penny Lancaster.

ADi and National Standards
Grievance Policy
We act upon every complaint to ensure that the issue is resolved in the best interests of the student. Our continuous improvement process is designed to identify the root cause of problems that occur within our operations and make appropriate improvements.
ADi  adheres to the “National Complaints Code” to respond to complaints about vocational education and the organisation itself.

  • Where verbal complaints are received, they will be discussed directly with the complainant and preferably resolved by this process. In most cases it is hoped that this is sufficient to resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of all parties.
  • If there is a need to formalise the issue or to define the outcome, then the complaint must be documented as appropriate in electronic form.
  • Complaints must be lodged within 6 months of the occurrence of the issue/problem.
  • Complaints cannot be anonymous because this is considered unfair as ongoing discussion cannot take place to resolve the issue between both parties.
  • Information submitted to a teacher, assessor or any staff member is treated with respect and taken as an opportunity to improve the organisation’s practices and management systems and the national standards as necessary.
  • Privacy requirements and individual rights will be maintained throughout the process.
  • Written details of all complaints, irrespective of the nature of the complaint, must be advised to the General Manager (GM)/Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
  • All relevant information and documents must be attached to the complaint lodgement form. ADi staff will assist where the documentation is internal. Documentation which may include:
  • All complainant records;
  • Attendance registers;
  • Assessment tools and assessment data;
  • Relevant emails/letters and
  • Any other supporting documents.
  • relevant course codes and unit of competency (if applicable)
  • Complaints will be investigated fully and objectively by the ADi Board or delegated Directors in consultation with relevant staff members, teachers and ADi assessors.
  • A recommendation will arise from this process to try and resolve the issue to the complainant’s satisfaction.
  • The complainant has the right to attend the investigation and to request that a support person to be present.
  • Details of the investigation are given to the complainant in writing, stating the outcomes and reasons for the decision.
  • A copy of the all documentation, including the complaint and the outcome, is placed on the complainant’s file.
  • Where the resolution requires a documented change to policies and procedures, the GM/CEO note the change and ensures this is implemented.


  • When a complaint is not resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, they may lodge the complaint with an independent mediator.
  • The cost of independent mediation is borne by the complainant  
  • ADi will organise a meeting with the independent mediator, him/herself, the complainant and any relevant staff members.
  • The independent mediator will consider the issues raised by all parties and attempt to resolve the appeal to the satisfaction of the complainant.
  • Appeals are ideally resolved as amicably as possible using this formal appeal process.
  • The submission and the final outcome of the appeal is additionally recorded and communicated to all parties in writing, including the GM/CEO and the ADi Board.
  • The communication must contain the outcome of the appeal and the reasons for the decisions made.
  • A copy of the communication is placed in the complainant’s file.
  • No appeal mechanism exists beyond this point in the appeals process.