Governance

Policies and procedures

Policy No.
UP19/4
Function
Student Administration
Authoring Organisational Unit
Academic Secretariat
Date Approved
18/09/2019
Next Review Date
01/01/2022
Approving Body
Academic Board

The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Micro-credentials

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

Micro-credentials are stackable short non-award courses that incorporate elements of student-centred, collaborative and interactive learning. It enables students to gain relevant skills that are needed in todays workforce in a way that can be converted into credit or recognised as advanced standing. Micro-credentials are generally offered in shorter or more flexible timespans and certify achievement in a specific area of study or professional development in a form that is shareable with peers, employers and educational providers.

This policy outlines the principles underpinning the University approach to the development, offering, quality assurance and granting of micro-credentials.

Definitions:

In this policy and associated procedures,

the University means The University of Western Australia

a modules set refers to a sequence of modules within a unit

the level of learning is determined by the amount of prior knowledge required to undertake the module/unit and the maturity of learning required to study the module/unit successfully

the duration of learning in a standard six credit point unit is 150 hours of student workload, including contact hours, personal study, assessment and examination

Policy statement:

1 Micro-credentials are non-award programs that evidence achievement of:

a) learning outcomes;

b) standards;

c) knowledge; and

d) coherent set of skills and/or capabilities.

2 The University administers and offers two types of micro-credentials:

a) Credit Bearing Micro-credentials (CBM): Micro-credentials offered as an optional component complementing the curriculum within a unit may contribute towards the completion of the requirements of the unit and the course in its entirety. The unit offering the micro-credential is required to track student progress towards earning the credential, assess student learning, and collect evidence of skill obtainment.

b) Advanced Standing Micro-credentials (ASM): Short courses offered by the University, other education providers, strategic partners and professional bodies are assessed to establish comparative academic standards for recognition of prior learning and granting of advanced standing for the purpose of admission and/or for credit towards a non-award or award qualification in accordance with the University Policy on: Credit transfer, advanced standing and recognition of prior learning (UP11/34). For the purpose of advanced standing micro-credentials are recognised as prior formal learning.

3 Micro-credentials are stackable, leading to multiple micro-credentials. CBM and ASM must be comparable to a standard unit or a course, where relevant, with regard to:

a) level of learning;

b) duration of learning; and

c) learning outcomes.

4 Where micro-credentials are offered for credit (CBM) in a unit, they are configured as modules. The standard credit point value of a module may be two credit points or three credit points.

4.1 Micro-credentials offered for credit in a six credit points unit may be configured as either two three credit points modules set or three two credit points modules set or where approved units with multiples of six credit points may comprise the appropriate number of modules depending on the chosen credit point value of a module as referred to in

4.2 A modules set referred to in 4.1:

a) must include modules with learning outcomes and assessment mechanisms that are comparable to those of the unit. These must be appropriately mapped and demonstrated;

b) must be designed in a way that requires students to undertake the relevant modules sequentially to demonstrate developmental progression, and to achieve the cumulative maximum credit point value of the unit within a teaching period;

c) may provide for flexibility to allow students to not undertake all modules within the set; and

d) is available to students other than to those already enrolled in the unit.

5 CBM must be approved by the University Academic Council or delegated authority (the University Curriculum Committee) and must meet relevant course development requirements established by the University Curriculum Committee. CBM are approved normally for a period of 2 years after which time re-approval is needed.

6 The Academic Quality and Standards Committee (AQSC) is responsible for managing and overseeing the quality assurance for establishing comparative academic standards for recognition of prior learning and granting of advanced standing for short courses offered by the University or third party providers. ASM are approved normally for a period of 2 years after which time re-approval is needed. The AQSC is required to provide an annual report to Academic Council on its oversight of the short courses and the granting of advanced standing.

7 A micro-credential may be granted following successful achievement of learning gained from a programme delivered by the University or assessment against pre-determined learning outcomes for people in a workplace seeking to have their knowledge and skills validated by the University.

8 The achievement of a micro-credential at the University is formally recognised.

9 An evaluation plan must be in place to ensure that a CBM undergoes an evaluation that uses student feedback at least annually.

10 A proposal to establish a micro-credential with a third party should include any documentation that forms part of the third party quality assurance arrangements. Such proposals are to include whether the University or the third party are responsible for the following:

a) student enrolment, academic integrity, student records and award of the credential.

b) quality of the learning content, activities, resources and assessment tasks.

c) the learning outcome, standards, criteria, evidence and assessment process.

d) review and improvement in terms of student engagement and evaluation.

11 The certification of micro-credentials occurs in accordance with the University Policy on: Certification for non-award courses (UP11/41).

12 Micro-credentials must have an indicative AQF (Australian Qualifications Framework) level for reporting purposes.

Related forms: (Link)

TRIM File No:

F19/2030

Contact position:

Academic Secretary

Related Policies or legislation:

University Policy on Assessment (UP15/5)

University Policy on Credit Transfer, Advanced Standing and Recognition of Prior Learning (UP 11/34)

University Policy on Micro-credentials: Guidance Notes