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Advanced Standing Policy
Student Handbook > Policy Register  >  Policies & Procedures  >  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 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.

Approved qualified academic is senior member of the academic team, with appropriate experience and qualifications in reviewing and approving advanced standing applications. A list of Approved Qualified Academics available to approve advanced standing applications will be appointed by the DVC (Learning and Teaching) in consultation with the COO.

Block credit is credit granted for components or groups of subjects within a course upon completion of another formal qualification, or subject to satisfying AQF level criteria as detailed in block credit arrangement.

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 Integrity of course learning outcomes and graduate capabilities

4.1.1 In granting advanced standing, the Institution does not compromise the integrity of qualification outcomes.

4.1.2. Advanced standing is only granted if:

  1. it maintains the Institution’s standards and has regard for this policy and the specific course and/or entry requirements;
  2. students granted advanced standing are not disadvantaged in achieving the expected learning outcomes for the course or qualification; and
  3. the integrity of the course and qualification are maintained.  

4.2. Granting of advanced standing principles

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

4.2.2. 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.

4.2.4. 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.

4.3. Currency

4.3.1. 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.

4.4. Relevancy

4.4.1. 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.

4.5. Advanced standing for informal and non-formal learning

4.5.1. In addition to paragraphs 4.3 and 4.4, 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.

4.6. Types of advanced standing application

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

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

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

4.6.2. 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.

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

4.6.4. The assessment of advanced standing for the amount of credit to be granted in particular courses shall be determined by the relevant approved qualified academic.

Credit transfer

4.6.5 Credit transfer will only be granted for formal learning.

4.6.6. 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.

4.6.7. The assessment of the amount of advanced standing to be granted in particular courses shall be determined by the relevant approved qualified academic.

Block credit arrangements 

4.6.8  Block credit is only granted where there is an approved block credit arrangement or articulation agreement which details:  

  1. the previously completed formal qualification (for which advanced standing into a course at the institution is being granted);  
  1. the subjects for which advanced standing is granted; and  
  1. the subjects that the student must complete to be awarded the qualification. 

4.6.9  The amount of block credit is determined as part of the block credit arrangement and is applied at admission. The limits are detailed in the Advanced Standing Procedures. 

4.6.10  The advanced standing granted through a block credit arrangement is noted on the student’s transcript as “E” against the subjects for which it is granted. This does not mean that the student has met those subject learning outcomes and will not therefore allow the student to use the block credit to meet the pre-requisite requirements of another course of study.

4.6.11  All block credit arrangements are noted on an internal institutional register and published on the Institution’s website. 

4.7. Maximum credit limits

4.7.1. 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.

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

4.7.3. 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 or where there is an approved block credit arrangement.

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.

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 or where there is an approved block credit arrangement. 

 

4.7.4. 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.

4.7.5. 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.

4.7.6. In exceptional circumstances, maximum credit limits in Table 1 and the stipulations under 4.7.4 and 4.7.5 may be varied on a case by case basis as determined by the DVC (Learning and Teaching).

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

4.8.1. 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.

4.8.2. If 4.8.1 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.

4.8.3. Where prior approval has been obtained from the relevant 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.

4.9. Internal transfer between courses

4.9.1. 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 4.7.

4.10. Articulation and institutional alliances

4.10.1. As per the Articulations, Agreements and Institutional Alliances Policy (and associated procedures), the Institution has established agreements with external institutions that stipulate the advanced standing a student receives when transferring to the Institution, for completion of a designated program of study at the external institution.

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

4.10.3. Articulation agreements are subject to the maximum credit limits in paragraph 4.7.

4.11. Complaints and appeals

4.11.1. 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.

4.12. Other

4.12.1. 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

DVC (Learning and Teaching) is the responsible officer of this policy and is responsible for appointing a panel of approved qualified academics who assess advanced standing applications where there are no block credit arrangements or articulation agreements in place, in consultation with the Chief Operating Officer (COO). In exceptional circumstances, maximum credit limits in Table 1 and the stipulations under paragraphs 4.7.4 and 4.7.5 may be varied by the DVC (Learning and Teaching) on a case by case basis.

An approved qualified academic and the COO (or CEO) are responsible for assessing advanced standing applications and granting credit where there is no block credit arrangement or articulation agreement.

Admissions team is responsible for assessing applications and granting credit where there are approved block credit arrangements and articulation agreements, and for advising applicants and students in accordance with this policy.

Marketing and Recruitment team is responsible for advising applicants and students in accordance with this policy.

Chief Operating Officer oversees the strategic international and domestic development operations.

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

Learning and Teaching Committee reviews and approves block credit arrangements in consultation with the COO and/or CEO and in line with the business strategic plan and direction.

6. Related documents

Advanced Standing Procedures

Articulations Policy and Procedures

Complaints and Appeals Policy

Complaints and Appeals Procedures

 

Approved by Academic Board on 31 July 2020

Further reading
Name View
List of Approved Qualified Academics_20200731.pdf