Governance

Policies and procedures

Policy No.
UP11/34
Function
Student Administration
Authoring Organisational Unit
Academic Board
Date Approved
06/04/2011 Revised 06/04/2014
Next Review Date
01/04/2017
Approving Body
Academic Council

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The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Credit Transfer, advanced standing and recognition of prior learning

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

This policy deals with the recognition of prior learning and the granting of advanced standing through the transfer of credit.

Definitions:

In this policy and any associated procedures

the University means The University of Western Australia.

Academic Board means the Academic Board of the University and may mean its executive committee, the Academic Council

advanced standing means authority to commence a course with credit granted for components of the course in recognition of previously completed formal studies or prior learning

credit transfer means the process of granting credit for a unit or units up to a specified limit towards an award course of The University of Western Australia on the basis of previous formal studies or prior learning

relevant faculty or board means the faculty or board responsible for administering the student's course and includes a position or body of people to whom authority has been delegated for the function concerned

previous formal studies means studies undertaken at the University or another higher education institution recognised by the University

prior learning in the context of recognised prior learning (RPL) means -

(a) learning acquired in a credentialed context (that is one that is qualified through assessment) other than in a University or other higher education institution ; or

(b) learning acquired in an uncredentialed context such as through work experience or life experience

University working day means a weekday that is not designated as a University holiday

Policy statement:

1 General Principles

1.1 Within the context of maintaining academic standards at the highest international levels, and subject to the provisions of this policy, the University

  • enables students to complete award courses with maximum efficiency; and
  • facilitates students' movement between institutions and between courses,

by giving appropriate recognition to previous formal studies and prior learning for the purpose of admission to a course, including satisfying prerequisites, or the granting of credit or advanced standing in a course 1.

1 The University is a party to the Group of Eight Credit Transfer Agreement.

1.2 The University states, if possible,

  • whether previous formal studies or prior learning are taken into account for the purpose of determining eligibility for admission to a course, or for ranking of applicants or the satisfaction of prerequisites ; and
  • the amount of credit that can be expected in a course for previous formal studies or prior learning.

1.3 Information about RPL must be made available to prospective applicants and must include a clear statement of the learning or competency outcomes that will be applied in assessing applications for recognition of prior learning.

1.4 The relevant faculty or board may recognise previous formal studies or prior learning for the purpose of determining eligibility for admission to a course or satisfying prerequisites or the granting of credit or advanced standing in a course within the limits permitted (See 4).

1.5 Credit may be granted towards a course within the limits permitted (See 4) where the relevant faculty or board is satisfied

  • that the work previously completed by the applicant was of the appropriate level and completed at the appropriate standard;
  • in the case of specified credit, that the applicant's previous formal studies or prior learning satisfy the objectives or learning outcomes of one or more units of the applicant's current or proposed course of study; and,
  • where relevant, that the knowledge gained by the applicant is current.

1.6 Where credit is granted towards a course, the student must meet all requirements of the course in accordance with the rules for the course.

1.7 Credit granted towards a course may be in the form of

  • specified credit, where the applicant's previous formal studies or prior learning are assessed as satisfying the objectives or learning outcomes of a specific unit; or
  • unspecified credit, where the applicant's previous formal studies or prior learning are assessed as being at an appropriate level and of an appropriate standard to satisfy the requirements of an elective unit; or
  • block credit, or articulation credit, where all applicants having completed specified previous formal studies are judged to have completed the equivalent of part of a given course.

1.7.1 Articulation credit for formal studies completed in another institution is granted only where a formal institutional agreement is in place.

1.8 Wherever possible credit is given as specified credit.

1.9 Unspecified credit and credit granted on the basis of learning completed other than at the University do not contribute to any grade point average (GPA) or weighted average mark (WAM) calculation.

1.10 Credit granted is provisional until all prescribed administrative requirements are met by the applicant including submission of original or certified true copies of documentation providing evidence of satisfactory completion of the previous formal studies or prior learning on the basis of which credit is sought.

2 Applications for credit transfer

2.1 Applicants seeking credit transfer are required to submit an application.

2.2 An application for credit transfer can be made either with an application for admission to the University or at any later time during a student's studies provided that the application is made no later than the enrolment closing date for new enrolments for the teaching period in which the approval of credit transfer or advanced standing may affect the applicant's enrolment.

2.3 An application for credit transfer cannot be made before an application for admission.

Procedures

Applications

1.1 An application for credit transfer must be made using the University's application form. Applications must be submitted to Student Administration or direct to the relevant faculty office and be accompanied by supporting documentation where relevant.

1.2 Supporting documentation is not required if the previous formal studies for which an applicant is seeking credit were completed at the University.

1.3 Applicants transferring to the University from another institution who request advanced standing or credit transfer must provide:

- up-to-date, official academic records or transcripts; and

- a certified, detailed description of the unit(s), equivalent to a unit outline at the University for each unit (extended syllabus with a list of topics covered, aims and objectives, contact hours, texts and references, and methods of assessment/grading criteria).

1.4 Any academic records or transcripts must -

- be originals or certified true copies

- be in English or accompanied by a certified translated copy in English

- be provided by the applicant in person or by post.

1.5 Incomplete applications may be rejected.

1.6 Applications for advanced standing or credit transfer must be submitted as soon as necessary documentation is complete, but no later than the enrolment closing date for new enrolments for the teaching period in which the approval of credit transfer or advanced standing may affect the applicant's enrolment.

3 Assessing applications for credit transfer

General principles for assessing applications

3.1 Except in the case of articulation credit, each application for credit transfer is considered on its merits.

3.2 In making determinations on credit transfer applications, the relevant faculty or board consults as appropriate with members of academic staff.

3.3 A credit transfer application is assessed in conjunction with an identified course of study.

3.4 Applications for credit transfer are assessed having regard to

  • the content and level of the work for which credit transfer is sought;
  • the standard at which work was completed;
  • the learning outcomes achieved;
  • where appropriate, the currency of knowledge gained;
  • the rules of the course towards which the credit is sought; and
  • the limits on credit transfer permitted.

3.5 If the basis for credit is previous formal studies, credit is not granted unless the unit or units were completed with a grade equivalent to a grade of pass or higher at the University.

3.6 Assessment of applications must be systematic, evidence-based, transparent, and reliable.

3.7 Every effort must be made to ensure that assessment of applications is consistent and equitable for all applicants.

Assessing applications made on the basis of prior learning

3.8 Criteria for assessing outcomes of prior learning must be the same as those for assessing learning outcomes of previous formal studies.

3.9 Acceptable quality assurance principles must be applied to ensure that prior learning is of an appropriate standard.

3.10 Granting credit for uncredentialed prior learning (work experience or life experience) is considered only if proof of experience equivalent to a unit offered by the University can be provided to the satisfaction of the relevant faculty or board and will not be considered in the case of postgraduate courses.

3.11 Uncredentialed learning (work experience or life experience) may be cited in support of applications for credit based on professional and other kinds of qualifications.

Procedures

Assessing applications

1.7 Applications are assessed in conjunction with an identified course of study.

1.8 Applications must be considered on a case by case basis taking into account the applicant's individual circumstances, award course and documentation provided.

1.9 Enquiries concerning, and applications for, advanced standing through credit transfer or recognition of prior learning must be directed to the appropriate faculty or board.

1.10 All applications are assessed in the first instance against the University's credit precedent list.

1.11 Decisions recorded in the credit precedent list about specified credit granted with respect to a particular unit or unspecified credit granted on the basis of previous formal studies or prior learning must be applied consistently.

1.12 If credit transfer or advanced standing was approved in an applicant's previous formal studies it cannot form the basis of a request for credit transfer to the applicant's current course.

1.13 Where the basis for credit is previous formal studies from a recognised institution, credit is granted only on the basis of evidence (original or certified true copy) of successful completion with a grade equivalent to a grade of pass or higher at the University. An appropriate assessment must be made to meet the intent of this requirement.

1.14 Approved domestic institutions are those listed with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Register of Recognised Education Institutions and Authorised Accreditation Authorities Australia.

1.15 International institutions and qualifications are assessed using recognised resources for the assessment of international qualifications.

1.16 Consideration is given to whether an applicant's knowledge in the field is suitably current or has become dated, for example by changes in practice or technology.

1.17 Subject to 1.18, credit transfer and advanced standing may be approved on the basis of un-credentialed prior learning (work experience or life experience) only if appropriate evidence can be provided of experience equivalent to a unit offered by the University.

1.18 Credit transfer or advanced standing must not be granted in postgraduate courses on the basis of work experience or life experience.

1.19 Work experience or life experience may be taken into account in assessing whether or not an applicant meets the admission criteria for a course.

1.20 Work experience or life experience may be cited in support of applications for credit based on professional and other kinds of qualifications.

1.21 Assessment of prior learning may rely on -

- a portfolio containing a range of supporting material and evidence;

- work based assessments;

- examinations;

- projects;

- interviews;

- demonstrations; or

- some combination of the above.

4 Limits on credit

4.1 Subject to Clauses 4.2.1, 4.2.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.10, 4.11, the maximum value of credit that can normally be granted towards a course 1 on the basis of study undertaken in an incomplete or a completed course is half the point value of the course towards which the credit is granted.

4.2 Where a master's course has a minimum and a maximum volume of learning, a student may be granted credit for all units that comprise the difference between the minimum and maximum volume of learning (the conversion units).

4.2.1 Graduates with a completed course undertaken at Level 8 of the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) may receive credit of up to 24 points towards a 72-points master's course (AQF Level 9 qualification), and must complete at least 48 points of the master's course (AQF Level 9 qualification) to take out the award.

4.2.2 Honours students progressing from an incomplete AQF Level 8 qualification to an AQF Level 9 qualification may receive credit of up to 48 points towards a 72-points master's course, provided that the student progresses into the master's degree course prior to graduation from honours, and that at least 50 per cent of the 72-point master's degree course is undertaken at level 5.

4.3 Credit cannot be granted towards a course with a value of 24 points on the basis of study undertaken in a course that was completed.

4.4 Credit can be granted for all units completed in an articulating course subject to the applicant meeting any prescribed standards of achievement in the articulating course.

4.5 A student who is permitted to transfer from one course of the University to another may transfer credit for all units completed in the previous course subject to the rules and any policies applying to the course into which the student is transferring provided the student enrols in and completes at least one unit in the new course.

4.6 Unless the Academic Board approves otherwise, normally by way of a formal institutional agreement accepted on the basis of national or international best practice, a student must complete at the University units to the value of at least 24 points or at least half the total points value of the course 1, whichever is the greater, to be eligible for an award of the University.

4.7 A student is not normally permitted to take out an award of the University unless at least half the total points value of the course 1 is derived from units that have not been credited towards another completed course of the same level or are not being credited concurrently towards another course.

4.8 Credit cannot be granted towards a postgraduate course 1 for undergraduate units other than Level 4 units.

4.9 Credit cannot be granted towards a postgraduate course 1 on the basis of work experience or life experience; however such experiential learning may be cited in support of applications for credit based on professional and other kinds of qualifications.

4.10 A formal institutional agreement may provide for credit to be granted towards an undergraduate degree course up to a limit that ensures the student completes at least eight units (48 points) of the highest levels required for the course including all units of the highest level of any major required.

4.11 A faculty or board may grant credit for units completed through Continuing Education provided that it does not exceed one quarter of the value of the course concerned.

1 In the case of a master's course which has a minimum and maximum volume of learning, 'course' is to be read as the minimum volume of learning of the course.

5 Recording decisions

Credit precedent list

5.1 A credit precedent records a credit transfer decision with the aim of applying that decision to subsequent comparable cases.

5.2 All decisions on credit transfer to be used as precedents, including those of non-approval, must be recorded in a credit precedent list.

5.3 The purpose of a credit precedent list is

  • to aid consistency and efficiency of decision-making; and
  • to assist prospective students to assess the amount of credit, if any, that they are likely to receive on admission to an award course of the University.

Credit Precedent List

1.22 The following decisions, including those of non-approval, must be recorded in the credit precedent list if they are to be used as precedents:

- decisions relating to credit transfer applications based on assessments of previous formal studies

- decisions relating to credit transfer applications based on assessments of prior learning

- all advanced standing decisions based on negotiated formal arrangements with other institutions

- all proposals for formal advanced standing arrangements with other institutions that have not been approved

1.23 A credit precedent must include, in the case of individual units:

- the name of the institution whose units have been assessed for credit transfer

- the year in which the unit was completed

- the year in which credit transfer was granted or refused

- the name of the staff member who performed the assessment

1.24 A credit precedent must include, in the case of a formal advanced standing arrangement:

- the name of the institution whose units have been assessed for credit transfer

- the year in which the advanced standing arrangement was approved or rejected

- the name of the body that performed the assessment

1.25 To ensure that the credit precedent list remains soundly based academically, entries must include a time limit on validity of decisions.

1.26 The credit precedent list must be consulted in relation to any advanced standing or credit transfer applications.

1.27 Decisions included in the credit precedent list on specified credit for individual units must be applied consistently across the University.

Note: Because of the unstructured and highly variable nature of un-credentialed learning, this type of application cannot be the subject of any precedents: nevertheless decision makers must take care to maintain consistency over student/course cohorts.

Student records

5.4 All approvals of advanced standing and credit transfer must be reported to the Registrar.

Procedures

Notifying decisions

1.28 A faculty or board responsible for considering applications for advanced standing or credit transfer must:

- advise Student Administration of approved advanced standing and credit transfer decisions for recording on the applicant's official academic transcript;

- ensure that adequate records are kept of applications and decisions by forwarding the original applications and supporting documentation and copies of decisions to Information Governance Services;

- advise the Admission / Student Services (Central Service Delivery Centre) of advanced standing and credit transfer granted to international students.

Procedures

Academic records

1.29 The status recorded for specified or unspecified credit on the basis of learning completed other than at the University is "advanced standing" and this does not contribute to any grade point average (GPA) or weighted average mark (WAM) calculation.

1.30 Block credit for formal studies completed in another institution is granted as a specific number of credit points or units.

1.31 If an applicant is transferring between one course of the University and another and a unit that they have previously completed is the same version of a unit that is available in the new course, and is credited towards the new course, the mark and grade achieved contribute to any grade point average (GPA) or weighted average mark (WAM) calculation in the new course.

1.32 If an applicant transferring between one course of the University and another seeks to have a unit that they have previously completed credited towards the new course and it is a different version from that available in the new course, the unit is recorded as "advanced standing" and does not contribute to any grade point average (GPA) or weighted average mark (WAM) calculation.

6 Notifying applicants of decisions

6.1 Applicants must be notified of the outcome of their application as soon as practicable after the application is lodged and no later than the enrolment closing date for new enrolments for the teaching period in which the approval of credit transfer or advanced standing may affect the applicant's enrolment.

Procedures

Notifying applicants of decisions

1.33 The University must notify applicants formally of the outcome of their application as soon as practicable, and no later than the enrolment closing date for new enrolments for the teaching period in which the approval of credit transfer or advanced standing may affect the applicant's enrolment.

1.34 Notification is provided electronically. In the case of enrolled students a notation is placed on the student's academic record, which is accessible via StudentConnect. In the case of applicants for a course, notification is via a formal letter from a faculty or board, Admission / Student Services (Central Service Delivery Centre) as the case may be.

1.35 Applicants must be advised that credit transfer decisions are made in conjunction with a nominated course of study and that if the applicant transfers to another course or changes a part of their course, such as a major, the credit transfer decision may no longer be applicable

1.36 If the applicant is an international student the relevant faculty or board informs Admission / Student Services (Central Service Delivery Centre) of the final decision on credit transfer,

and of the effect on the duration of the applicant's course, no later than the beginning of the second week of the applicant's first semester of enrolment to enable the transmission of this data to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) by the end of the second week of the semester.

1.37 By the end of the second week of semester the University sends a letter to international students informing them of their final credit status. The letter must be signed by the student and returned to the relevant faculty or board in order to comply with the regulations of the ESOS Act. This letter must be retained on the central student file.

1.38 Any credit transfer approved after this time for an international student, which results in a shortening of the student's course, must be reported to Admission / Student Services (Central Service Delivery Centre) for appropriate action.

7 Appeals process

7.1 Students who are dissatisfied with the outcome of an application for credit may seek a review of the matter in accordance with the University Policy on Review and Appeal of Academic Decisions.

Procedures

Student Complaints

1.39 The Student Complaints Resolution Policy is available at

http://www.governance.uwa.edu.au/procedures/policies/policies-and-procedures?method=document&id=UP07%2F98

8 Agreements with other institutions

8.1 Any agreement that sets out the extent of credit to be granted to all applicants having completed specified previous formal studies must be submitted to the Academic Board for approval.

8.2 Any agreement that is proposed for or includes international students and is based on study at an institution other than the University, must be submitted first to the Office of International Academic Pathways and Partnerships.

9 Review of articulation agreements with other institutions

9.1 All articulation agreements with other institutions must be reviewed regularly and at least once every three years.

9.2 A report on the review must be submitted to the Academic Board, together with a request to renew the agreement, where appropriate.

10 Requirement to report on application of policy

10.1 The relevant faculty or board must report each year to the Academic Board on the application of this policy.

Procedures

Auditing credit transfer processes, precedents and decisions

1.40 The relevant faculty or board must regularly audit credit transfer processes, precedents and decisions, relating both to previous formal studies and prior learning.

Procedures

Responsibilities of the relevant faculty or board

1.41 The relevant faculty or board must

- establish procedures to ensure timely consideration of applications;

- provide a clear statement of the learning or competency outcomes that will be applied to assessing RPL applications and of quality assurance procedures;

- record the progress of students who have been granted credit transfer to

help ensure equity and consistency in decision-making;

- publish widely (preferably in handbook format and on the web) and clearly articulate:

information on the type and extent of advanced standing and credit transfer that may be granted for each of its course/units in accordance with University rules and policies

restrictions and limitations on credit transfer (eg time limits; consideration of credit for uncredentialed prior learning)

information on the criteria used and matters taken into account when applications are being assessed

details of documentation required in support of applications for advanced standing and credit transfer

advice that eligibility for advanced standing or credit transfer does not guarantee a place in a course

review regularly the validity and equity of guidance provided and criteria for the assessment of applications for credit transfer including that for RPL in light of approved University policy.

Related forms: (Link)

Application for credit transfer

TRIM File No:

F34875

Contact position:

Academic Secretary

Related Policies or legislation:

Student Rules

Faculty Rules

Undergraduate Degree Course Rules

Credit Transfer Agreement

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