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Advanced Standing Policy
Student Handbook > Student-Academic Policies & Procedures  >  Advanced Standing
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1. Purpose

The Institution encourages lifelong learning and provides the opportunity to have students’ previous learning recognised for advanced standing in their course of study. The Institution is committed to ensuring fair, transparent and flexible advanced standing arrangements in order to award credit for prior learning while maintaining its commitment to ensure the integrity of learning outcomes. This policy is aligned with applicable Australian Government legislation including Standard 2 of the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training of Overseas Students 2018 and Domain 1 of the Higher Education Standards Framework 2015.

2. Scope

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate enrolled and prospective students at the Institution who are seeking advanced standing based on previous formal, informal and non-formal learning and to staff who will apply the provisions of the policy, and related procedures, consistently.

3. Definitions

Advanced standing is a form of credit for any previous learning.

Articulation is a formal agreement which enables students to progress from a course at another institution to a course at the Institution with a specified amount of credit.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is the policy for regulated qualifications in the Australian education and training system.

Block credit is credit granted for components or groups of subjects within a course as part of an articulation agreement or on an individual basis subject to satisfying AQF level criteria.

Cognate course is a course of study that is closely related in content, discipline and/or field of study.

Credit is the value assigned for the recognition of equivalence in content and learning outcomes between different types of learning and/or qualifications. Credit reduces the amount of learning required to achieve a qualification and may be through credit transfer, articulation, recognition of prior learning or advanced standing.

Credit transfer is a process that provides students with agreed and consistent credit outcomes for components of a qualification based on identified equivalence in content and learning outcomes between matched qualifications.

Formal learning is learning undertaken through a structured program of learning and assessment that leads to the full or partial attainment of a recognised Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualification.

Informal learning is learning gained through work-related, social, family, hobby or leisure activities and experiences. Unlike 'formal' and 'non-formal' learning, 'informal learning' is not organised or externally structured in terms of objectives, time or learning support.

Non-formal learning is learning that is undertaken through a structured program of learning but does not lead to a formally recognised qualification.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is an assessment process that involves assessment of an individual’s relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning) to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit.

Specified credit is credit granted towards particular or specific components of a qualification or course of study.

Unspecified credit is granted towards elective components of a course, where an exact or near exact subject equivalence cannot be determined.

4. Policy statement

4.1. Granting of advanced standing principles

4.1.1. An offer of credit does not guarantee admission into a course.

4.1.2. Advanced standing may be awarded in the form of:

a. Block credit;
b. Specified credit;
c. Unspecified credit; or
d. A combination of the above.

4.1.3. Block credit cannot be granted where prior learning is non-cognate to the course for which advanced standing is sought. Specified or unspecified credit may be considered in these cases.

4.1.4. Decisions to award advanced standing at the institution are:

a. Evidence based, clear, equitable, and transparent;
b. Applied consistently and fairly with decisions subject to appeal and review;
c. Academically defensible;
d. Not disadvantaging a student in achieving the expected learning outcomes for the course of study;
e. Maintaining the integrity of the course of study; and
f. Made in a timely manner and the outcome is documented on the student’s file, as documented in the related procedures.

4.2. Currency

4.2.1. Advanced standing will be granted for prior learning completed within 10 years of the date of application. Decisions are made on a case by case basis.

4.3. Relevancy

4.3.1. Advanced standing may be granted where there is substantial overlap with content and/or learning outcomes of the subject for which advanced standing is claimed. The institution will consider the following, when assessing advanced standing for formal, informal and non-formal learning:

a. General educational practices and standards of the provider(s) or any relevant accreditation obtained by the provider;
b. Objectives of the particular course and the methods adopted to achieve those objectives;
c. Admission requirements of the course;
d. Volume of learning;
e. Breadth, depth and balance of the course material involved, and the intellectual effort required;
f. Whether the course is a cognate course of study including content, learning and methods of assessment;
g. Whether the subject learning outcomes from the student’s prior learning contain at least an 80% comparability to the institution’s equivalent subject learning outcomes; and
h. Any arrangements for practical training and experience, including work integrated learning within the course.

4.4. Advanced standing for informal and non-formal learning

4.4.1. In addition to paragraphs 4.2 and 4.3, Advanced standing may be granted for informal learning, including (but not limited to) work experience, or non-formal learning, provided the student can demonstrate the following:

a. Authenticity: the applicant can provide evidence to demonstrate the subject learning outcomes have been achieved.
b. Quality: the amount of prior learning is deemed comparable to the subject learning outcomes.
c. Transferability: the learning outcome attained through prior learning can be applied outside the context in which it was learned.
d. AQF: the prior learning must satisfy AQF level criteria or recognised overseas equivalencies.

4.5. Types of advanced standing application

Recognition of prior learning

4.5.1. The institution recognises the following forms of prior learning:

a. Formal learning;
b. Non-formal learning; and
c. Informal learning.

4.5.2. The Institution will assess prior learning, for the purposes of granting advanced standing, in the form of credit, provided the prior learning is relevant and current to the learning outcomes of the course.

4.5.3. The Institution may consider non-formal learning for advanced standing for work integrated learning.

4.5.4. The assessment of advanced standing for the amount of credit to be granted in particular courses shall be determined by the relevant Associate Dean Undergraduate or Associate Dean Postgraduate.

Credit transfer for formal learning

4.5.5. To apply for credit transfer students must successfully complete:

a. Subjects forming part of an accredited course provided by a recognised higher education institution;
b. Non-award courses offered by a recognised higher education institution;
c. Accredited courses (AQF Level 5 and above or equivalent recognised overseas qualifications) offered by a registered vocational training provider or equivalent;
d. Courses provided by a professional association or other similar body; or
e. Training delivered by employers or other similar training, accredited by a professional accreditation body or equivalent.

4.5.6. The assessment of the amount of advanced standing to be granted in particular courses shall be determined by the relevant Associate Dean Undergraduate or Associate Dean Postgraduate.

4.6. Maximum credit limits

4.6.1. To ensure the integrity of a course of study is maintained and a student is not disadvantaged in achieving expected course learning outcomes, the institution has determined the maximum credit limits in Table 1.

4.6.2. Credit granted for any course must comply with the maximum credit limits.

4.6.3. In exceptional circumstances, the Academic Board may, at its discretion, approve a variation to the credit limits.

Table 1

Course

Maximum credit limits

Diploma

50% of the total credit points required for the qualification

Associate Degree

50% of the total credit points required for the qualification

Bachelor’s Degree

Typically 50% of the total credit points required for the qualification.

However 66.6% (2/3) of the total credit points required for the qualification is permissible, in cases where appropriate evidence is provided, supporting the increased amount of credit.

Graduate Certificate

50% of the total credit points required for the qualification

Master’s Degree

50% of the total credit points required for the qualification.

 

4.6.4. For undergraduate courses, normally all 300 level units of study are required to be completed at the Institution and advanced standing is not normally granted for 300 level units of study.

4.6.5. For postgraduate courses, normally all 800 level units of study are required to be completed at the Institution and advanced standing is not normally granted for 800 level units of study.

4.6.6. In exceptional circumstances, maximum credit limits in Table 1 and the stipulations under 4.6.4 and 4.6.5 may be varied on a case by case basis as determined by the DVC (Learning and Teaching).

4.7. Study abroad, student exchange and cross-institutional study

4.7.1. Where prior approval has been granted to participate in a study abroad or student exchange program, the study completed during the program will be considered equivalent to study completed at the Institution.

4.7.2. If 4.7.1 applies, students participating in a study abroad or student exchange program can apply for advanced standing, in the form of credit, after completion of the overseas program.

4.7.3. Where prior approval has been obtained from the relevant Associate Dean to participate in cross-institutional study, advanced standing, in the form of credit, may be granted upon successful completion of the approved unit/s of study.

4.8. Internal transfer between courses

4.8.1. For students transferring between courses at the institution, as per the related procedures, the following applies:

a. Advanced standing, in the form of specified and unspecified credit, may be granted for a subject completed in the course they are transferring from;
b. Advanced standing will be granted for identical subjects already completed, that also form part of the course the student is transferring to; and
c. Internal course transfers are subject to the maximum credit limits in paragraph 4.6.

4.9. Articulation and institutional alliances

4.9.1. As per the Articulations Policy and Procedures, the Institution has established agreements with external institutions that stipulate the advanced standing a student will receive when transferring to the Institution, for completion of a designated program of study at the external institution.

4.9.2. The existence of an articulation agreement does not preclude an individual student applying for additional advanced standing under this policy.

4.9.3. Articulation agreements are subject to the maximum credit limits in paragraph 4.6.

4.10. Complaints and appeals

4.10.1. Students may lodge a complaint regarding a decision to grant advanced standing on the basis that the decision was inconsistent with the rules outlined in this policy. Complaints must be made in accordance with the Complaints and Appeals Policy and the Complaints and Appeals Procedures.

4.11. Other

4.11.1. Advanced standing may be subject to the conditions imposed by a professional accreditation body. Students seeking professional accreditation are advised to contact the professional accreditation body before applying for advanced standing.

5. Roles and responsibilities

Responsible Officer: DVC (Learning and Teaching)
Associate Deans Undergraduate/Postgraduate: responsibility for assessing advanced standing applications and granting credit.
Marketing and Recruitment and the Admissions Office: responsible for advising applicants and students in accordance with this policy.
Academic Board: in exceptional circumstances, the Academic Board may, at its discretion, approve a variation to the credit limits.
DVC (Learning and Teaching): in exceptional circumstances, maximum credit limits in Table 1 and the stipulations under paragraphs 4.6.4 and 4.6.5 may be varied by the DVC (Learning and Teaching) on a case by case basis.

6. Related documents

Advanced Standing Procedures

Articulations Policy and Procedures

Complaints and Appeals Policy

Complaints and Appeals Procedures

 

Approved by Academic Board on 17 May 2019