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Advanced Standing

Advanced Standing

Granting credit for prior learning ensures that students commence study at a level that appropriately recognises their prior learning experiences, and are not required to repeat equivalent learning successfully undertaken in another context.

Polytechnic Institute Australia (“the Institute”) is committed to develop open and accessible guidelines to grant credit towards a course of study on the basis of prior learning, whether from formal studies or professional work experience.

This policy is designed to both maximise the credit students can gain for learning already undertaken and preserve the integrity of learning outcomes or discipline requirements of the award to which it applies.

This policy incorporates the best practice principles outlined in the AQF Qualifications Pathways Policy.

The Institute’s policy on the granting of credit will:

  • Be evidence based, clear, equitable, accessible and transparent;
  • Be applied consistently and fairly with decisions subject to appeal and review;
  • Recognise prior learning regardless of how, when and where it was acquired, provided  that the prior learning is relevant and current and has a relationship to the learning outcomes of the course;
  • Be academically defensible and take into account the student’s chance of success in a course;
  • Be decided in a timely way;
  • Ensure that pathways into and between awards are available to all students by furthering articulation pathways with other higher education and vocational training providers and facilitating transfers between courses at the Institute; and
  • Be formally documented for the student including any reasons for not granting credit.

General Principles

  1. Entry to the Institute’s courses is based on specific published entry criteria, and decisions regarding student selection will be in accordance with the Student Selection and Admissions Policy and  Procedure.
  2. An offer of credit does not guarantee admission into a specific course.
  3. The assessment of the amount of credit to be granted in particular courses shall be determined by the Course Coordinator within the framework of this policy and must be reviewed by the Teaching and Learning Committee.
  4. Regardless of the credit granted, the requirements of each course must be fulfilled.
  5. Credit can be given in the form of block, specified or unspecified credit.
  6. Candidates for an award from the Institute are required to complete a minimum amount of the course through the Institute. The total credit granted for prior learning external to the Institute  shall not exceed 50% of the total credit points required for the award toward which credit is sought.
  7. Credit granted for a specific course cannot automatically be transferred from one course to another.

Credit for Formal Studies

  • Credit will not normally be granted for formal study completed more than ten years prior to application unless there is evidence of continued relevance of this study for the course towards which credit is sought.
  • Credit may be granted for the successful completion of:
    • Units of study which form part of an accredited course provided by a recognised higher education institution;
    • Non-award courses offered by a recognised higher education institution;
    • Accredited courses at AQF Level 5 and above offered by a registered vocational training provider;
    • Courses provided by a professional association or other similar body;
    • Training delivered by employers or other similar training.
  • Credit may be granted where there is substantial overlap with content and/or learning outcomes of the Institute unit of study for which credit is claimed.
  • When assessing credit for formal studies the following will be taken into account:
    • The general educational practices and standards of the provider(s) or any accreditation obtained by such provider that may be relevant to the course under consideration;Credit for Prior Learning Policy and Procedure Version 1.1 Page 3 of 7
    • The objectives of the particular course and the methods adopted to achieve those objectives;
    • Admission requirements to the course;
    • The duration of the course, having regard to entry requirements and course objectives;
    • The breadth, depth and balance in the course material involved and the intellectual effort required;
    • The methods of assessment;
    • The relative emphasis on the teaching of skills in relation to the study of the discipline;
    • Any arrangements for practical training and experience as part of the course.

Credit for Learning from Work Experience

  1. Credit may be granted for relevant work experience where that learning was undertaken in the last five years and can be documented to the satisfaction of the Academic Director. The applicant must provide appropriate evidence and/or demonstrate the relevant skills, knowledge and understanding.
  2. The maximum credit that can be granted for learning from work experience is 20 credit points for a Diploma and 40 credit points for a Bachelor degree.

Internal Transfer between Courses

  1. Credit may be granted when a student has completed units of study while undertaking a course with the Institute and wishes to transfer to another course within the Institute.
  2. Credit will be granted for those units of study already undertaken which form part of the course into which the student is transferring.
  3. The maximum credit that can be granted in these circumstances is not limited.
An application for credit based on prior learning must be made on the appropriate form at the time of application for admission to a course. The application should be accompanied by sufficient documentary evidence to support the application.

Assessment of the application will be undertaken by the Course Coordinator who will advise the applicant in writing of the result of their application. A record of any credit granted (including any reasons for not giving credit) will be signed by the Course Coordinator and the student and placed on the student’s file.

It is the intention of this policy that students should be advised of the credit that is offered at the time they accept a place in a course.

If the applicant is an international student applying for a study visa the following applies:

  • Where credit is granted before the issue of a visa, the actual course duration in the eCoE issued to the student will be reduced.
  • Where credit is granted after the issue of a visa, the Institute will report the change of course duration via PRISMS.

If an international student is granted credit that shortens their course, it remains a visa condition that they continue to study full-time.

In line with national policy, the Institute will systematically negotiate agreements with other tertiary education providers to maximise the credit available to eligible students for entry into the Institution’s courses. These agreements will provide graduates of specific courses offered by recognised providers of tertiary education credit for particular units of study which form part of an Institute course.
When negotiating these agreements, the Institute will take into account the comparability and equivalence of the articulating institute’s course, notably:

  • The learning outcomes;
  • The volume of learning;
  • The content; and
  • Learning and assessment approaches.

In order to assess the quantum of credit which may be awarded, the Institute will map the specified learning outcomes for the course provided by the external institution against the learning outcomes of units of study within the relevant Institution course. Credit for a unit of study within the Institute course will only be granted where there is a substantial match against the learning outcomes of that unit of study.

The benchmarks for the quantum of guaranteed credit granted to students towards higher level AQF qualifications in the same or related discipline are as follows:

  • 50% credit for an Advanced Diploma or Associate Degree linked to a 3-year Bachelor Degree.
  • 37.5% credit for an Advanced Diploma or Associate Degree linked to a 4-year Bachelor Degree.
  • 33% credit for a Diploma linked to a 3-year Bachelor Degree.
  • 25% credit for a Diploma linked to a 4-year Bachelor Degree.

The existence of a credit agreement does not preclude an individual student applying for additional credit under this policy.
The Academic Board will approve all articulation arrangements after evidence of the mapping of the learning outcomes of the external course against the Institution course underpinning the proposed credit arrangements has been considered.
Once approved by the Academic Board the articulation arrangement will be set out in a formal credit agreement, signed by both parties and recorded in a register of approved articulation agreements.
The Institution will make publicly available details of all current credit agreements in accordance with section 2.3 of the AQF Qualifications Pathways Policy.4

Internal Articulation Arrangements

The Institute may develop internal articulation arrangements to enable graduates of lower AQF level courses offered by the Institute to articulate to higher AQF level courses offered by the Institution, where appropriate. The process for developing these arrangements and determining the quantum of credit will be the same for external articulation arrangements.

A student may appeal against a decision on the granting of credit. The grounds for appeal are that the decision is inconsistent with this policy. Appeals must be made in writing and lodged with the Academic Director within ten (10) working days of the student receiving written notification of the decision. The Academic Director will respond to the appeal within twenty (20) working days and may confirm or vary the decision. All decisions of the Academic Director in relation to appeals will be reviewed by the Teaching and Learning Committee.
If a student remains dissatisfied with the outcome of their appeal against a decision regarding the award of credit they may utilise the Institute’s grievance handling procedures.

Credit for Prior Learning Application Form

This policy will be made available to all prospective and existing students on the Institute’s website to enable them to make well-informed choices between alternative pathways and take into account the credit that may be available to them. Prospective students will be advised in pre-enrolment materials and upon enrolment about this policy.
This policy will be regularly reviewed to maximise applicability to new and updated awards and to student and industry needs in line with section 4.3 of the Institute’s Quality Assurance Framework.

Credit for Prior Learning Policy and Procedure Appeals Flowchart

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