Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy

Fact box

  • Policy owner: Chair, Quality Assurance Committee
  • Policy category: Academic: Academic Administration
  • Policy status: Approved
  • Approval body: Academic Board
  • Endorsement body: Quality Assurance Committee
  • Related policies:
  • Last amended: 7th March 2024
  • Relevant HESF: 1.2


This policy outlines how advanced standing, credit transfer from prior formal academic accomplishments, and recognition of prior learning (RPL) from informal learning are recognised at Alphacrucis University College (AC).


This policy applies to all Higher Education (HE) and Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses at AC. It also applies to all enrolled and prospective students, including from third parties, and staff tasked with assessing and processing an application for Credit and RPL.


Alphacrucis University College (AC) is committed to maintaining the integrity of its academic courses in alignment with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). AC ensures quality, consistency, and integrity in assessing and granting advanced standing, credit transfer, and RPL in compliance with the Threshold Standards (2021) and RTO Standards (2015). 

AC usually limits the volume of credit granted to a two-thirds maximum, in higher education. 

A student’s prior learning is assessed on a case-by-case basis, usually by the relevant Program Director. AC is committed to maintaining transparency, consistency, and fairness in the decision-making process.


  1. Credit is the value assigned for the recognition of equivalence in content and learning outcomes students have already achieved through various types of learning. Credit may be granted through the following:
  2. Advanced Standing – recognition of achieving a portion of the required knowledge, skills and understanding of subjects in a course of study, expressed as an equivalent subject/unit or number of credit points toward that course. Advanced standing credits are determined on the basis of equivalence of subject/unit content and learning outcomes matching the description and standards of the subject/unit for which credit is sought. Actual credit awarded may be less than the theoretical maximum established in these policies and procedures.
  3. Specified Credit: may be given for a specified subject/unit or subjects/units where learning has been gained through previous study that has already been assessed by an educational establishment (either vocational or higher education level). The learning is regarded as having satisfied both the objectives and the assessment requirements of the subject (at HE level) or elements, performance criteria, performance evidence and knowledge evidence (at VET level).
  4. Unspecified Credit (HE only): may be given through recognising a number of credit points rather than a specific subject where prior learning is regarded to be consistent with the broad outcomes of the course being undertaken. Such prior learning may be granted to students who have completed relevant studies (either vocational or higher education level.) This may sometimes be referred to as 'block credit'.
  5. Credit without Advanced Standing (HE only): Students have completed similar subject material in another award, and thus are exempted from the subject, but receive no credit point recognition.
  6. Recognition of Prior Learning – relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning), including knowledge, skills, competencies, and attributes which may have been learned through: formal training, work experience, community involvement, or through general life experience. The focus is on assessing applicant students to determine if they have met the learning outcomes or standards or competencies prescribed for a program. RPL is available for students from all awards in compliance with the AQF.

Currency of Prior Learning: Unless the Head of School or Head of Discipline otherwise approves on the basis of evidence of subsequent development and life or work experience in the discipline, only evidence of formal and informal learning completed in the previous 10 years will be considered.

Determining RPL: In determining the applicability of RPL, AC will assess that students have met the learning outcomes or standards or competencies prescribed for a subject/unit/course. This may require that assessment include methods such as:

  1. relevant formal qualification or professional training;
  2. project work;
  3. practice related learning;
  4. independent research;
  5. a piece of scholarship;
  6. a portfolio with examples of previous work;
  7. letters from employers or community leaders explaining applicant experience, responsibilities, skills and capacities;
  8. work-based assessment;
  9. examinations;
  10. interviews.

Responsible for implementation

Learning and Teaching Committee

Key stakeholders

Program Directors (or equivalent)


Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning

Application Procedure for Advanced Standing/Credit Transfer/RPL:

  • A formal application must be submitted using the online "Application for RPL and Credit Transfer Form" via the Student Gateway, plus the provision of supporting documentation.
  • Students must substantiate completion of studies cognate to the subject(s)/unit(s) for which credit/exemption is sought.
  • Where studies were taken at an international institution, AEI checks are to be performed to correlate the award against the AQF.

Decision Making: Decisions on the applications of advanced standing, credit transfer and RPL are to be made by the Program Director (or equivalent) in consultation with Registry, and Head of School if required, and third-party partners as required. All decisions should be informed by careful professional judgment that is transparent and fair.

A student will be notified of the outcome of their application no later than 20 working days after it is submitted. Credit granted will be documented in a student’s record.


Academic appellate process may apply should an unsuccessful application be disputed.