Policy Redesign Project

All policies and procedures are being reviewed as part of this project. This document is pending review, but remains in effect until the review is carried out.

Credit for Prior and concurrent Study or Work Experience

Establishment: Council, 27 May 1994
Last Amended: Council, 9 March and 25 May 2017
Nature of Amendment: Consequential to the repeal of statutes
Date Last Reviewed:  May 2017
Responsible Officer: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

1.  Policy

The University will ensure appropriate recognition of prior and concurrent study and work experience through the granting of credit towards the completion of a course in accordance with the Australian Qualifications Framework Qualifications Pathways Policy.


2.  Coverage 

This policy is applicable to all undergraduate courses and postgraduate coursework courses of the University and it covers:

2.1  the granting of credit in a University course because of learning at other registered higher education providers or with professional bodies or private educational institutions;

2.2  the granting of credit in a University course because of concurrent learning at other education providers or professional bodies (cross institutional study); and

2.3  the recognition of prior study at the University, for credit in another course.

2.4  the granting of credit for work experience or practical experience, including voluntary work, which is relevant to the course concerned.

Credit provisions that apply to prescribed prior or concurrent study or experience, for example in articulated programs, should be incorporated into the design of courses in accordance with the Policy on Course and Topic Development, Approval and Management.  Credit for successful completion of such study should be granted automatically.


3.  Definitions

The following are the definitions of terms used in this policy:
3.1  Course: A program of study leading to a degree, diploma, graduate diploma, graduate certificate or other AQF-recognised award of the University established in accordance with University statues and regulations and specified in the Register of Degrees, Diplomas and other Academic Awards.

3.2  Total Unit Value: The minimum number of units needed to fulfil the requirements of a course.

3.3  Specified Credit: Credit granted in a topic for work completed which is of similar content and standard as required for a passing grade in that topic.

3.4  Block Credit: Credit granted to the value of a specified package of topics, for example a major sequence, for a course for work completed in a related course or discipline of a similar standard and content.

3.5  Unspecified Credit: Credit granted to the value of a specified number of units for study or work experience which satisfies some general course requirement.

3.6  Work Experience: paid or unpaid employment that involves the acquisition and application of skills and knowledge which demonstrably achieve the learning outcomes of a topic or course.


4.  Responsibility 

4.1  Faculties shall be responsible for the application of this policy and may delegate all or part of their powers to any faculty subcommittee or School.

4.2  In the granting of credit, faculties shall have due regard for the academic standards of the University, equity principles, promptness in processing applications and consistency of application of the policy between faculties.

4.3  Each faculty shall, within minimum standards which may be set by Academic Senate from time to time:

4.3.1  determine the method by which individual applications for credit shall be assessed;

4.3.2  determine the amount of credit to be granted for prior study or work experience;

4.3.3  formulate rules which regulate the automatic granting of credit to applicants for specified prior study or work experience, account for the time elapsed between the original study and the application for credit, and enable the efficient resolution of applications administratively;

4.3.4  maintain a record of precedents to facilitate the formulation of the above rules;

4.3.5  record the outcome of each application on the student information system.


5.  Applications for Credit

5.1  Fully documented applications for credit must be made on the standard form and must normally be submitted to the Faculty Office no later than two weeks prior to the commencement of the relevant teaching period to ensure processing before the last day to enrol. Decisions on applications received after that date, or on incomplete applications, may not be made in time to allow students to adjust their enrolment before the last day to enrol, and may therefore, have implications for their tuition fees or student contribution amount, and for international students' visa requirements.

5.2  Where specific faculty rules as outlined in Clause 4.3.3 do not exist, applicants shall attach to their application for credit all syllabuses and course details relevant to their application.

5.3  Applications for credit approved prior to admission of the applicant to a course at the University do not guarantee the applicant admission to that course, nor place any obligation on the University to accept the applicant as a student in any other course.

5.4  If the applicant enrols as a student of the course in which they are seeking credit before a decision is made on the application, the enrolment will be based on an assumption that the credit sought will be granted.


6.  Nature and Amount of Credit Granted 

6.1  Specified or unspecified or block credit may be granted to a student on account of studies undertaken elsewhere or work experience in order to fulfil partially the requirements of any coursework course of the University. In particular:

6.1.1  specified credit for a topic or topics will be awarded where the prior study or work experience indicates the achievement of the learning outcomes of the topics concerned;

6.1.2  unspecified credit will be awarded towards the completion of the course for prior study or work experience of a similar standard to the course of enrolment, but for which there is no direct topic equivalent;

6.1.3  block credit will be awarded for work of a similar standard in a program of studies which has an equivalent to one offered at the University.

6.2  Applicants for credit in an undergraduate course may be granted any combination of credit as described in Clauses 6.1.1 to 6.1.3 subject to the following constraints:

6.2.1  no more than two-thirds of the total unit value of the course will be granted as specified or block credit;

6.2.2  no more than one-third of the total unit value of the course will be granted as unspecified credit; and

6.2.3  they shall be required to complete at least one third of the total unit value of the course at the University not presented for any other course.

6.3  Applicants for credit in a postgraduate course may be granted any combination of credit as described in Clauses 6.1.1 to 6.1.3 up to a total of no more than two-thirds the total unit value of the relevant course.

6.4  The prior study or work experience for which credit is granted should be consistent with the AQF level of the course concerned.  For example, credit should not be granted in postgraduate courses (AQF level 8 or higher) for prior study at undergraduate level (AQF level 7 or lower) except where the course design specifically provides that the level 8 program may include some level 7 topics.


7.  Notification of Applicants 

7.1  The faculty shall notify the applicant of the outcome of their credit application. This notification will include:

7.1.1  the nature and amount of credit granted in the course;

7.1.2  the requirements of the course remaining unfulfilled; and

7.1.3  details of any amendment to the applicant's enrolment required as a result of the outcome of the application.

7.2  All fully documented applications received no later than two weeks prior to the commencement of the relevant teaching period will be resolved and applicants notified prior to the last day to enrol.


8.  Appeals

An enrolled student may lodge an appeal under Section 6 of the University policy on Student Appeals and Complaints on the grounds that the amount or type of credit granted towards a course contravenes this policy or any specific provision made in a Course Rule.


9.  Publication of the Rules used to Grant Credit

9.1  This policy shall be published annually.

9.2  The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) shall publish annually a Register of Credit Transfer Rules containing:

9.2.1  the rules made by each faculty pursuant to Clause 4.3.3 above; and

9.2.2  an assurance that, where no rules have yet been made pursuant to Clause 4.3.3 above, each application will be considered individually on its merits.


Appendix A - Credit Transfer Framework for the Granting of Credit to Students who have completed Vocational Education and Training (VET) Courses

A minimum level of credit will be granted to students enrolled in undergraduate programs, where appropriate, on the basis of completion of VET courses, as follows:

VET Qualification  Flinders University course minimum credit*  Flinders University course recommended maximum credit 
Certificate 4  4.5 units  9 units 
Diploma  9 units  36 units 
Advanced Diploma  13.5 units  54 units 
Associate Degree  13.5 units   Up to 72 units for non-articulating courses
Up to 72 units for articulating courses
Degree  36 units  Up to 72 units for non-articulating courses
Up to 72 units for articulating courses

*There will be instances where minimum credit may not be granted because the undergraduate program needs to meet the requirements of professional or registration bodies.