Credit policy

A new Admissions and credit policy and supporting processes have been developed and approved and will come into effect on 1 January 2018. At that time this policy will cease to apply.

Intent

This policy provides for the granting of credit towards RMIT awards on the basis of formal, informal and non-formal learning, through the processes of credit transfer, recognition of prior learning, and recognition of current competency.

Objectives

1. The objectives of this policy are to:

1.1. provide students with credit for learning already achieved;

1.2. support the development and implementation of qualification pathways for students; and

1.3. recognise that learning can be formal, non-formal or informal.

2. In order to achieve these objectives, the following Australian Qualifications Framework Pathways Policy principles apply:

2.1. pathways for credit will be available into and between qualifications;

2.2. credit pathways may be horizontal across qualifications with outcomes at the same AQF level as well as vertical between qualifications with outcomes at different AQF levels;

2.3. such pathways will be clearly publicised;

2.4. credit is available for courses and competencies in programs;

2.5. decisions regarding applications for credit will be fair, transparent and evidence-based;

2.6. credit can facilitate student progress, completion and mobility; however, the integrity of RMIT awards is paramount and credit will not be granted if it would impair the integrity of the award or reduce a student’s likelihood of success in the program.

3. The awarding of credit at RMIT will comply with the Australian Qualifications Framework and the Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations.

Scope

  • This policy applies to current and future students of all RMIT programs.
  • This policy applies to credit arrangements made on the basis of:
    • formal credit agreements within RMIT;
    • formal credit agreements between RMIT and other tertiary institutions;
    • formal agreements between RMIT and industry partners; and
    • credit granted by RMIT in response to applications from individual students

Exclusions

Research components of research programs

Policy provisions

1. Key terms: credit, credit transfer, recognition of prior learning and recognition of current competency

1.1. Credit is a term used for the credit points/competencies granted to a student towards their award on the basis of learning undertaken prior to commencing the relevant course(s).

1.2. Credit is an outcome that results from recognition of a student’s formal, informal or non-formal learning, through the processes of credit transfer, recognition of prior learning (RPL), and recognition of current competency (RCC).

1.3. The manner in which a student seeks credit depends upon the nature of the learning on the basis of which the student is seeking credit, as follows:

1.3.1. Where the learning was undertaken through formal learning, credit may be awarded through credit transfer.

1.3.2. Where the learning was undertaken through informal or non-formal learning, the student applies for credit with an application for recognition of prior learning (RPL).

1.3.3. Where the learning was undertaken through formal learning and the student is required by a licensing or registration body to demonstrate currency of learning, the student applies for recognition of current competency (RCC).

1.4. Credit may be granted on the basis of:

1.4.1. formal credit agreements within RMIT;

1.4.2. formal credit agreements between RMIT and another institution authorized to issue AQF qualifications;

1.4.3. formal credit agreements between RMIT and an institution outside Australia, made in accordance with the terms of this policy;

1.4.4. formal credit agreements between RMIT and industry partners; or

1.4.5. an application for credit transfer or RPL by an individual student.

2. Credit outcomes

2.1. In order to protect the integrity of awards and assessment, credit is only available for a course as a whole, not parts thereof.

2.2. Credit transfer and RPL are available towards a competency in a VET program, but not for parts of the competency. Where units of competency/courses are clustered for the purposes of assessment and/or training delivery, credit transfer and RPL are available towards each individual competency included in the cluster.

2.3. Credit may be given in the form of block, specified or unspecified credit.

2.4. A student seeking credit towards elective courses on the basis of RPL must specify the courses for which credit is sought so that the application may be assessed.

3. Information

3.1. Current and future students will be provided with information to make informed decisions about their choice of program, taking into account the credit that may be available to them.

3.2. Eligibility for credit towards courses and competencies of a program is no guarantee of a place in the program towards which the credit would be available.

4. Eligibility for credit

4.1. A student is eligible for credit for learning that:

4.1.1. is relevant;

4.1.2. is equivalent to current knowledge and/or practices (but the learning must have been completed within 10 years of the application for credit); and

4.1.3. satisfies the current learning or competency outcomes of the course.

4.2. Credit is only available for learning that is deemed current by the credit assessor, and will not be granted for study completed more than 10 years before the application for credit is submitted. A shorter time-limit for availability of credit may be set by the School and approved by the Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) in disciplines where knowledge changes more rapidly.

4.3. Credit is only available towards courses that meet the requirements of the approved program structure. The only exception to this rule is block credit granted pursuant to a credit agreement.

4.4. Credit is available towards an RMIT award regardless of the location at which the program is taught.

4.5. Credit is available for formal, informal or non-formal learning undertaken in any language. In the case of formal learning, the award must be deemed by AEI-NOOSR to be equivalent in level to an AQF qualification for which credit would be available, as advised by International.

4.6. Learning will be measured against the learning or competency outcomes of the courses for which the student has applied for credit.

4.7. Decisions regarding applications for credit will be:

4.7.1. timely;

4.7.2. evidence-based and transparent;

4.7.3. fair and consistent;

4.7.4. academically defensible;

and will take into account the student’s ability to successfully meet the learning outcomes of the qualification.

4.8. Credit will only be granted if it will not impinge upon:

4.8.1. the integrity of the award and requirements of the relevant discipline; or

4.8.2. any conditions associated with the professional accreditation of the award.

4.9. To be eligible for credit transfer, a student must have successfully completed the relevant course, as specified in s 4.10. Provided that the student has passed, however, credit transfer is not dependent on grades achieved in the formal study which forms the basis of the student’s application.

4.10. Students can seek credit transfer only on the basis of courses they have completed successfully. Credit will not be given on the basis of:

4.10.1. a failed course;

4.10.2. a pass by compensation or equivalent (but credit transfer is available for a supplementary pass); or

4.10.3. credit awarded towards a previous course on the basis of credit transfer.

4.11. In the following circumstances, however, students will be eligible for credit transfer on the basis of a course for which credit has already been granted:

4.11.1. program transitions;

4.11.2. formal credit agreements;

4.11.3. where a student discontinues a program without completing or graduating, and instead enrols in another RMIT program that contains the same courses with the same course codes as those for which the student has already received credit;

4.11.4. where a student is awarded credit on the basis of RPL in a VET program, the student is entitled to credit transfer for the same competencies in other VET programs on the basis of this credit; and

4.11.5. where block credit is awarded on the basis of a completed qualification as a whole.

4.12 . Once a student is enrolled in an RMIT program, they must obtain prior approval in writing from the relevant Dean/Head of school to enrol in courses offered by another institution in order to receive credit towards their RMIT program. In the absence of such approval, credit may be withheld.

4.13. Research students may apply for credit transfer; however, no RPL or RCC is available towards research programs.

5. Articulation agreements and credit agreements

5.1. The University may enter into articulation agreements and credit agreements with other tertiary institutions, and with industry partners. Articulation agreements may include agreements to provide students with entry into and/or credit towards a program. To this extent, articulation agreements are considered credit agreements and the provisions of this policy governing credit agreements apply.

5.2. A credit agreement may be made within RMIT. Such agreements are only valid if approved by the relevant College Board(s), or in the case of agreements involving research programs, by the Research Committee.

5.3. The University will maintain a public register of credit agreements that it has entered into.

5.4. A credit agreement must include terms establishing the following aspects of the agreement:

5.4.1. the programs and courses between which credit is available;

5.4.2. definitions of student eligibility for credit pursuant to the agreement; and

5.4.3. the amount of credit and the nature of credit available pursuant to the agreement.

5.5. A credit agreement may be made between RMIT and another Australian tertiary institution that issues AQF qualifications. Such agreements are only valid if approved by the relevant College Board, or in the case of agreements involving research programs, by the Research Committee.

5.6. A credit agreement may be made between RMIT and an overseas tertiary institution that:

5.6.1. is deemed by AEI-NOOSR to offer the qualification for which RMIT will offer credit at a level equivalent to the corresponding AQF level qualification; and/or

5.6.2. accords with the International Agreements Policy

Such agreements are made in accordance with the University’s schedules of delegations.

5.7. When negotiating credit agreements with other organisations, the University will consider whether the following aspects of programs involved in the credit agreement are comparable and equivalent:

5.7.1. the learning outcomes of the qualification;

5.7.2. the volume of learning;

5.7.3. the AQF level;

5.7.4. the program of study and the content of the program; and

5.7.5. learning and assessment approaches.

The process for assessing comparability and equivalence of another institution’s programs, and approving the assessment, in order to enter on a credit agreement, is set out in the Credit transfer procedure.

5.8. All credit agreements with other institutions must state the process whereby the other institution will notify RMIT University of any changes to the curriculum of the programs and courses for which credit is to be available.

5.9. Guidance regarding the amount of credit that may be available for students through credit agreements is provided in the Credit transfer procedure.

5.10. Eligibility for credit towards a program on the basis of an articulation agreement does not guarantee entry into the program.

5.11. Students entering an RMIT University program on the basis of an articulation agreement may be required to complete prerequisite courses where their enrolment in the previous program has not included content equivalent to these prerequisite courses.

6. Minimum amount of study required to be eligible for an RMIT award

6.1. In order to preserve the integrity of the awards of the University, students of higher education programs must achieve a minimum number of credit points in their program through study in the program, not through the granting of credit on the basis of other formal, informal or non-formal learning.

6.2. In order to be eligible to receive the relevant award, students who receive credit towards an award of RMIT must successfully complete the following portions of the program through study in the RMIT program:

6.2.1. Nationally recognised programs: no minimum study requirements.

6.2.2. RMIT-accredited programs: a minimum study requirement of 96 credit points or 50% of the program, whichever is less.

6.3. These requirements do not apply where:

6.3.1. a current RMIT student transfers by way of internal application to another RMIT program without completing or graduating from the original program;

6.3.2. a cohort of students are transferred into a new program through a program transition;

6.3.3. a student is re-admitted to a program or a closely related program following a lapsed enrolment.

6.4. If a student seeks credit towards an RMIT award on the basis of single RMIT courses studied on a non-award basis (e.g. through Open Universities Australia or RMIT Training), and the amount of credit sought would exceed the normal limit, the relevant Dean/Head of School has discretion to recommend that the relevant Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) seek an exemption from the normal limit from Policy and Programs Committee.

6.5. The University may deny credit towards the final courses in a program where these courses are considered to be the culmination of the program, and essential to the student’s achievement of the award capabilities, learning or competency outcomes.

7. Fees

A fee applies to assessment of applications for credit on the basis of RPL in VET programs.

8. Impact of credit upon grade point average

Results awarded on the basis of credit transfer and RPL are grade point average (GPA) neutral.

9. Appeal and review

A student may appeal a credit decision according to the process set out in the credit transfer procedure or the recognition of prior learning and recognition of current competency procedure. To be considered, the appeal submission must meet the grounds stated in the relevant procedure.

10. Exceptions

The Policy and Programs Committee may approve exceptions to the provisions of this policy in exceptional circumstances. Any decisions of the Policy and Programs Committee approving exceptions must be reported to Academic Board for noting.

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