• Providing students with the opportunity to achieve the learning outcomes is the overarching aim of all curricula.
  • ACU’s unique national context provides an overarching framework for the delivery of curricula.
  • The National Curriculum Framework guides curricula delivery in practice.

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Curriculum Flexibility National Curricula Framework

Curriculum Flexibility

Providing students with the opportunity to achieve the learning outcomes is the overarching aim of all curricula.

The National Curricula Framework is delivered through the key curriculum documents. Each tier of the curriculum is implemented through the relevant key curriculum document.

hierarchy of documents, at the top 'generic unit outlines', in the middle 'extended unit outcomes', 3rd tier, 'LEO site, session plans, activities, content

National Curricula Framework

The National Curricula Framework, as outlined in the table below, provides guidance on how to provide students with the opportunity to achieve the learning outcomes with reference to:

  • the purpose of each tier of the curriculum
  • elements of curriculum that are less flexible and require higher level processes and more consultation to evoke change
  • elements of curriculum that are more dynamic and require fewer processes to change





Limited flexibility 
Some flexibility 
Most flexibility 
What is the purpose of this tier?


The governance level is the framework that is approved by accreditors, TEQSA and the university across a program. Programs are developed in consultation with key stakeholders. This level ensures that key considerations are integrated across programs

The implementation level is about operationalising the governance level. There’s a clear articulation of expectations of student and staff.

The delivery level allows for engaging students in activities to achieve learning outcomes. Individual practices and variances can be accommodated here provided the opportunity to achieve the same learning outcomes.

Who is usually involved at this level?


  • Accreditors
  • Industry representatives
  • Discipline academics (internal and external)
  • Student representatives
  • Senior faculty board members
  • Senior faculty administrators
  • Discipline teaching teams
  • Lecturers, tutors, students
What are the key curriculum documents?


  • Approved curriculum including Generic Unit Outline (GUO)
  • Approved every 5 years with interim changes requiring high level approval

  • Extended Unit Outlines (EUO)
  • Approved each teaching period
  • Reflect and ‘extend’ approved GUOs

  • Lesson plans
  • Learning activities
  • Student experiences as they occur
  • Fluid – can evolve as developed and delivered provided  aligned with learning outcomes.
Stable aspects


  • Accreditation requirements
  • Rationales for program and units
  • Learning outcomes (LOs) for programs and units
  • Teaching strategy rationales
  • Assessment rationales
  • Generic assessment types
  • All the unit level Generic Unit Outline   elements (rationale, LOs, teaching strategy and assessments)
  • Includes policy, referral and resourcing   information for students
  • Alignment to Extended unit outline (rationale,   LOs, teaching strategy and assessments)
  • Any student activities to be aligned to the   LOs
Opportunities for flexibility


Changes can be made to generic unit outlines by going through a formal process. There are consultative committees and accreditation considerations.

See Course Accreditation, Amendment and Review Policy

  • Opportunity to be location/jurisdiction/environment/cohort specific.
  • Details of assessments may vary locally
  • Scheduling according to local resources
  • Specific classroom experiences/activities (in-person or virtual environments)
  • Individual strengths, skills, knowledge and preferences of   teacher
  • Personal style of teacher
Reasons for variance


  • Reflecting changes in society and market needs
  • Changing accreditation frameworks
  • The emergence of new knowledge in the discipline
  • Reflecting local practices
  • Reflecting local cohort needs
  • Promoting engagement/retention
  • Encouraging staff creativity
  • Reflecting current research
  • Meeting individual needs
  • Accommodating diversity
  • Evaluating and monitoring students
  • Encouraging staff creativity


  • Operational and/or administrative reasons a school may prioritise consistency
  • Workload considerations
  • The sustainability of unit
  • Skill, experience and background of teaching team

Page last updated on 21/04/2023

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