View Current

Recognition of Prior Learning procedure

This is the current version of this document. To view historic versions, click the link in the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure is effective from 15 March 2019.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Procedure governs credit that can be granted on the basis of recognition of prior learning (RPL) towards a University course.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Procedure applies to the University’s undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs. It does not apply to higher degrees by research.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Policy

(4) This Procedure is pursuant to the Recognition of Prior Learning policy.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Procedure

Applications for credit on the basis of recognition of prior learning

(5) Students may apply to the University RPL Office for credit for concurrent formal learning through a joint or combined course, formal or informal and non-formal learning.

(6) The University RPL Office is located within the Division of Student Administration who administer credit on the basis of RPL and maintain RPL records. The University RPL Office works closely with staff in Deakin International and the faculties.

(7) Applications for credit on the basis of RPL are made as part of the admission process or, where a student has already enrolled in a unit, within the first two weeks of the start of the unit. An extension may be granted by the University RPL Office in exceptional circumstances.

(8) Applications for credit on the basis of RPL must be in writing using an approved form accompanied by current and verifiable evidence of equivalent learning which relates to the learning outcomes of the course component/s for which credit on the basis of RPL is sought. The onus is on the student applying for credit on the basis of RPL to present adequate evidence to support their application. Requirements regarding such evidence are clearly communicated to students.

(9) Evidence of learning must demonstrate achievement against the learning outcomes of the component/s of the course for which credit on the basis of RPL is sought and may include:

  1. verifiable copies of academic transcripts and extracts from institutional handbooks or other official documentation giving sufficient details to allow an assessment of the application
  2. evidence of learning associated with work or life experiences which may include:
    1. work history
    2. testimony from third parties, including references from employers outlining responsibilities and achievements, letters from clients and/or evaluations from supervisors
    3. tangible outputs such as publications and products of work aligned to a position description.

RPL database and precedents

(10) The University RPL Office will maintain current and accurate records of all credit on the basis of RPL decisions in the University RPL database. This will include the reasons for individual decisions and credit arrangements with other institutions.

(11) Over time, the University will use  decisions recorded in the RPL database to develop precedents for future decisions in consultation with relevant faculties. The University RPL Office will review precedents annually and revise them as appropriate in consultation with relevant faculties, based on evidence of student success in each course cohort.

Credit on the basis of RPL decisions

(12) Where a precedent exists, trained University RPL Office staff will make a decision in relation to a credit on the basis of RPL application in accordance with that precedent within two working days of the student’s application.

(13) Where a precedent does not exist or the application is for concurrent formal learning, the University RPL Office will provide a recommendation to the relevant faculty office for review on academic grounds. Academic confirmation or re-assessment will be returned to the University RPL Office within three working days.

(14) Faculties will manage recommendations from the University RPL Office (refer to clause 13) as follows:

  1. The recommendation will be reviewed by an authorised faculty assessor with expertise in the discipline and expertise in making credit on the basis of RPL assessments; this will usually be the Unit Chair or, where the Unit Chair is not available, the relevant Course Director, Associate Head of School /Department (Teaching and Learning) or Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning.
  2. The faculty assessor will decide whether to accept or reject the recommendation of the RPL Office, providing reasons where the recommendation is not accepted.
  3. Where the application is for credit for concurrent formal learning, the decision of the faculty assessor will be endorsed by the Faculty Executive Dean or nominee.
  4. The faculty office will report the decision to the RPL Office, including reasons where the recommendation has not been accepted.

(15) Where the Faculty does not respond within the deadline, the decision recommended by the RPL Office will be applied.

(16) Where a decision of the Faculty does not appear to meet the requirements set out in clause 17, the RPL Office may refer the application to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education or nominee.

(17) Decisions regarding credit on the basis of RPL will:

  1. accord with the principles specified in the Recognition of Prior Learning policy
  2. be based on criteria no more stringent than the criteria for achieving a ‘Pass’ grade in the relevant component of the course
  3. take into account any professional accreditation requirements
  4. be made consistently and fairly and in a timely way
  5. be made with reference to the specifications for qualifications in the Australian Qualifications Framework
  6. be documented in writing, including reasons for giving or not giving credit
  7. maintain the integrity of the course, qualification outcomes and discipline requirements
  8. not disadvantage students in achieving expected course learning outcomes.

(18) Faculties will ensure that information regarding credit on the basis of RPL as a result of professional accreditation requirements are clearly communicated to current and prospective students via public web pages or the RPL database.

(19) Where credit on the basis of RPL is granted for overseas qualifications, these must be benchmarked against a comparable Australian qualification at the relevant level, with reference to information and guidelines provided by the Australian Government’s Department of Education, or the National Academic Recognition Information Centre’s database.

Notification to students

(20) The RPL Office will notify current and prospective domestic students of the outcome of their credit on the basis of RPL application. Prospective international students will be notified by Deakin International. Notification will be in writing, (including reasons for giving or not giving credit) and will be given as soon as possible and no later than two working days after the decision is made.

Review of decisions

(21) If a student believes that the assessment of their credit on the basis of RPL application has not been consistent with this Procedure, they may lodge a request with the RPL Office for a review of the assessment within five working days of notification of the outcome of their application. The review will be conducted within three working days by:

  1. the relevant Associate Head of School/Department or Director (Teaching and Learning) or Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning, or
  2. where they are unavailable or involved in the original decision, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education or nominee.

Faculty arrangements with other institutions

(22) A Faculty, with the approval of the relevant Faculty Board, may make arrangements with other institutions to establish standard credit arrangements for courses offered by that Faculty. These arrangements are recorded in the RPL database.

(23) Faculties will ensure that institutional credit arrangements are current and will review and update them as part of the major course review process.

University articulation pathways with other institutions

(24) The University, on the advice of the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Global Engagement may enter into articulation pathway agreements with other institutions. These may guarantee the entry of students into a Deakin course upon completion of a partner institution's course.

(25) Articulation pathway agreements must be documented as agreements in a form approved by the University Solicitor's Office and include a requirement that each party notify the other of changes to courses or units that would affect agreed credit on the basis of RPL arrangements.

(26) Faculty Executive Deans will coordinate articulation pathways in accordance with the terms of the agreements and manage cohorts of students who enter Deakin through these pathways.

(27) Faculties will notify the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Global Engagement, Deakin International or partner institutions of any changes to courses or units that will affect agreed credit on the basis of RPL arrangements.

(28) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Global Engagement will report annually to the Academic Board on University articulation agreements in accordance with the requirements of the Academic Partnerships procedure.

Top of Page

Section 6 - Definitions

(29) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. combined course: approved combination of courses of the University that leads to the conferral of two awards in accordance with Regulation 5.2(2) - Higher Education Award Courses - General.
  2. credit: as defined in the Recognition of Prior Learning policy.
  3. credit point: as defined in Regulation 5.2 (2) Higher Education Award Courses - General.
  4. concurrent formal learning: formal learning undertaken at another institution while enrolled in a Deakin course.
  5. formal learning: as defined in the Recognition of Prior Learning policy.
  6. joint course: a course offered by Deakin with one or more higher education providers in Australia or overseas, leading to the conferral of a single award in accordance with Regulation 5.2(2) - Higher Education Award Courses - General
  7. learning: as defined in the Recognition of Prior Learning policy.
  8. precedent: as defined in the Recognition of Prior Learning policy.
  9. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL): a process used to assess an individual’s relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning) to determine the credit that may be granted.