The purpose of the policy is to outline broad guiding principles in relation to the development, accreditation, delivery, assessment, issuance, quality assurance, and governance of Alphacrucis University College (AC) micro-credentials.
This policy covers all AC micro-credentials and applies to staff and third-party partners with related responsibilities, as well as learners enrolled in a micro-credential.
Micro-credential: a certification of assessed learning or competency, with a minimum volume of learning of one hour and less than an AQF award qualification, that is additional, alternate, complementary to or a formal component of a formal qualification (adopted from National Micro-credentials Framework, 2021).
Micro-credential Bundle: a cohesive group of micro-credentials designed to demonstrate achievement of an overarching set of learning outcomes that can contribute to an AQF qualification.
Continuing / Lifelong learning: “Lifelong learning is the term used to describe any learning activities that are undertaken throughout life to acquire knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills within personal, civic, social and/or employment-related contexts” (Australian Qualifications Framework, 2nd ed. (January 2013), p. 97 (https://www.aqf.edu.au/)).
Digital Badge: digital verification showing learning outcomes achieved and other relevant metadata in relation to a micro-credential.
Stackable learning: micro-credentials are stackable (able to be aggregated) towards further study.
Specified Credit: Credit granted for one or more specific subjects/units in a course of study, on the basis of previously meeting the learning outcomes in nominated subjects/units.
Unspecified Credit: Credit granted on the basis of previously meeting particular course learning outcomes as opposed to the learning outcomes in nominated subjects/units.
Unit of Exchange: In the absence of an agreed national framework for the recognition of micro-credentials, an appropriate unit of exchange has been determined by Academic Board. This unit of exchange is credit points as already utilized by AC.
This policy is an important element of a larger Micro-credentials Framework which has been designed to achieve AC’s strategic objectives in relation to sustained advancement through the delivery of relevant, innovative, excellent academic programs that provide a high-quality learning experience.
The purpose of AC Micro-credentials is to meet the continuous needs of individual learners in relation to their upskilling, re-skilling, and career development.
AC Micro-credentials are:
- developed for post-school and adult learners
- designed by discipline experts or experienced practitioners in consultation with industry where relevant, to ensure they are fit-for-purpose in relation to practical workplace benefits
- assigned a credit point value and corresponding volume of learning in hours
- stackable in so far as two or more AC micro-credentials may be aggregated to contribute to an AQF award using the unit of exchange
- approved by Learning and Teaching Committee
- delivered by discipline experts or experienced practitioners, either online, on campus, or in blended mode
- delivered in English or language other than English as appropriate to learners
- delivered by AC or via a third-party arrangement
- assessed against learning outcomes
- verified via metadata on digital certification such as a badge or other means
- subject to internal quality assurance systems
- promoted on the AC website and elsewhere as appropriate
- not AQF qualifications
- additional, alternate, complementary to or a formal component of a formal qualification
Credit offered towards an AQF award on the basis of micro-credentials will usually be Unspecified Credit, unless a Micro-credential Bundle has been approved by Learning and Teaching Committee.
Additionally, AC is guided by the following principles in the design, delivery, and issuing of micro-credentials:
- transparent, accessible, and flexible opportunities will be provided such that learners can customise their continuing learning journey in order to compete effectively in the labour market
- learners can apply for credit and recognition of prior learning towards a micro-credential, under existing policies and procedures
- AC endeavours to create micro-credentials that are readily recognisable by other Australian providers for the purpose of granting credit toward another credential
- AC endeavours to recognise micro-credentials issued by other Australian providers where a common or comparable unit of exchange exists
National Micro-credentials Framework
Guidance for portability of Australian Micro-credentials (Universities Australia, 2021)
Microsoft Word - Guidance for portability of Australian microcredentials - v1.docx (universitiesaustralia.edu.au)
Australian Core Skills Framework
Australian Core Skills Framework - Department of Education, Skills and Employment, Australian Government (dese.gov.au)
Australian Skills Classification
Australian Skills Classification | National Skills Commission
Digital Credentialling: Implications for Recognition of Learning Across Borders (UNESCO)
Digital Credentialing – Implications for the recognition of learning across borders | ILO/Cinterfor (oitcinterfor.org)
Making micro-credentials work for learners, employers and providers (Oliver, 2019)
TEQSA Act (2021)
Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 (legislation.gov.au)
NVCER Act (2011)
National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (legislation.gov.au)
Micro-credential Approval Procedure
Micro-credential approval procedure:
In order to obtain approval for a new micro-credential, a proposal is made to the Learning and Teaching Committee by the Head of School, Program Director, or other person as appropriate. The proposal must follow the guidelines contained in this policy and must specify:
- A name for the micro-credential
- The strategic or business case for the micro-credential
- Learning outcomes
- Volume of learning and credit point value
- Type, mode and detail of assessment
- Whether the micro-credential requires professional recognition or accreditation
- The cost of developing the micro-credential
If the Learning and Teaching Committee is satisfied that the micro-credential is consistent with AC’s policy guidelines, the micro-credential will be academically endorsed.
Once academically endorsed, the proposal will be forwarded to the Vice President Academic for approval to develop. The Vice President Academic will consider the strategic or business case and the viability.
Once approved by the Vice President Academic, the micro-credential may be developed using AC’s designated platform and development guidelines.