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Credit for Prior Learning policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy is effective for all study periods which commence after 28 January 2018.

(2) This Policy is pursuant to Statute 5.2 - Academic Awards and Regulation 5.2(2) - Higher Education Award Courses - General.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(3) This Policy governs the credit that can be granted towards a University course for prior or concurrent learning.

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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This Policy applies to higher education courses offered by the University.

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Section 4 - Policy

(5) The University maintains practices for granting credit towards courses that are consistent with the Higher Education Standards Framework and the integrity of the course and qualification. Decisions involve judgements about a student’s best starting point based on their past achievement or requirements for units within a course so that students are not disadvantaged in achieving expected course learning outcomes.

(6) Credit may be granted as specified, unspecified, or block credit.

(7) Credit may be granted towards a component of a course where a student can demonstrate that they have achieved learning outcomes equivalent to the learning outcomes of that component. Learning outcomes may include skills or knowledge, or the application of the skills or knowledge.

(8) Credit may be granted for micro-credentials awarded by the University or select accredited institutions where the micro-credentials evidence achievement of clearly articulated learning outcomes and standards and the identity of the person receiving the micro-credential is verified.

(9) Unspecified credit cannot be granted towards compulsory components of a course.

(10) Credit granted towards a course must meet the following requirements:

  1. Students must complete a minimum of one-third of their studies in their current course, or four credit points, whichever is the greater, at Deakin. For graduate certificates, a minimum of two Deakin credit points must be completed. For courses that integrate Deakin Professional Practice credentials, students must complete specified preparatory and capstone units as approved by Academic Board.
  2. Credit is not granted:
    1. conditionally on a student meeting additional requirements
    2. where credit has been granted towards a Deakin course and the award has been received
    3. for formal learning assessed as a 'fail', 'pass conceded' or equivalent grade
    4. for formal learning undertaken while the student is excluded from a course at Deakin, except where such formal learning is undertaken with the prior approval of the relevant Faculty Executive Dean or nominee
    5. for prior learning acquired more than 10 years before the application for credit. However, with the approval of Academic Board, Faculties may impose a shorter time limit for some courses to ensure currency of knowledge and skills appropriate to the discipline.
  3. Where a preclusion is approved, a student will be required to replace the precluded unit(s) with an equivalent number of credit points (units) from specified elective units.

Credit arrangements for combined or dual courses

(11) Approved combined or dual courses may have reciprocal credit arrangements whereby learning achieved in one course is recognised for the purpose of assigning credit in the other. The integrity of Deakin courses must be maintained in such arrangements. Reciprocal credit may be granted for a maximum of one third of each Deakin course, and the remaining two-thirds of each Deakin course must be unique to that course. For dual courses, exceptions to this requirement may be approved by the Academic Board.


(12) The Academic Board is responsible for setting the requirements for credit recognition.

(13) The University Credit for Prior Learning Office is responsible for centrally managing the credit for prior learning process and maintaining and applying precedents to approve credit towards courses in accordance with the Credit for Prior Learning procedure.

(14) Faculties (or the Pro Vice-Chancellor Researcher Development and Integrity in the case of research Institutes) are responsible for:

  1. making reciprocal credit arrangements with other institutions to establish credit to be granted for courses offered by the Faculty
  2. approving credit towards courses in accordance with the principles specified in this policy and the processes specified in the Credit for Prior Learning procedure, and
  3. maintaining records of reciprocal credit arrangements.

(15) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Global Engagement is responsible for managing articulation pathways and reporting annually to the Academic Board on articulation pathways in accordance with the requirements of the Academic Partnerships procedure.

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Section 5 - Procedure

(16) The Credit for Prior Learning procedure documents how to comply with this Policy.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(17) For the purpose of this Policy:

  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 Courses - General.
  2. credit
    1. specified credit: credit granted towards particular or specific components of a course.
    2. unspecified credit: credit granted towards elective components of a course.
    3. block credit: credit granted towards whole stages or components of a course, such as a trimesters or a year of full-time study in that course, rather than for specific units. It is usually only applicable under formal articulation agreements that Deakin University has with other education providers.
  3. credit point: as defined in Regulation 5.2(2) - Higher Education Award Courses - General.
  4. Credit for Prior Learning (CPL): credit granted for relevant prior learning.
  5. credit for concurrent formal learning: credit granted for relevant concurrent learning (approved in advance by a Faculty) which, on successful completion, will be credited towards an award of the University.
  6. Deakin Professional Practice Credential: a Deakin micro-credential that warrants learning acquired through professional practice (in accordance with the Deakin Micro-credentials policy).
  7. dual course: approved combination of courses developed collaboratively with a partner institution that leads to the conferral of two awards in accordance with Regulation 5.2(2) - Higher Education Award Courses - General.
  8. formal learning: learning that takes place through a structured program that leads to the full or partial achievement of an officially accredited qualification
  9. learning includes:
    1. formal learning
    2. learning through work or life experience
    3. learning that takes place through a structured program but does not lead to an officially accredited qualification.
  10. micro-credential: as defined in the Deakin Micro-credentials policy.
  11. precedent: a reference point for future credit decisions agreed by the University in consultation with relevant faculties or institutes based on evidence that students are not disadvantaged in achieving course learning outcomes.
  12. preclusion: substitution of a core unit in a course by another approved unit where a student has already completed the requirements for the exempted unit elsewhere.