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Credit Policy

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This Policy applies to students enrolling in courses new to them from 1 January 2020. Students enrolled in courses prior to 1 January are subject to the provisions in the Advanced Standing Policy.

Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) This Policy details the arrangements under which La Trobe University grants credit towards coursework courses from previous studies or activities.

(2) This Policy is informed by and consistent with the Australian Higher Education Standards Framework and the Australian Qualifications Framework.

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Section 2 - Scope

(3) This Policy applies to all individuals applying for recognition of prior learning towards coursework courses at La Trobe including:

  1. prospective students, and
  2. current La Trobe students: 
    1. transferring from one La Trobe course to another,or
    2. undertaking subjects under a mobility program or cross-institutional enrolment.

(4) This Policy does not apply to candidates for graduate research courses. For relevant provisions see the Graduate Research Candidature Policy.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

Principles for the Granting of Credit

(5) Credit is granted towards an individual course at La Trobe University for activities and studies that would form an acceptable part of that course.

(6) Credit is granted in La Trobe courses in ways that:

  1. support student progress and success
  2. avoid the duplication of material wherever possible
  3. ensure that students can meet the learning outcomes and the award requirements of the course to which they are admitted.

(7) The University ensures that decisions regarding applications for credit are:

  1. timely
  2. evidence-based and transparent
  3. fair and consistent, and
  4. academically defensible.

(8) The assessment of credit at La Trobe takes account of:

  1. learning outcomes
  2. volume of learning
  3. content of study, and
  4. course level.

(9) The University will regularly review precedent decisions for credit and subject level and standing arrangements at course level on the basis of:

  1. course changes internal or external to La Trobe
  2. annual reporting and analysis of cohort outcomes.
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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Methods for Granting of Credit

(10) Credit in a La Trobe University course is granted:

  1. for a block component of a course (for example, a completed VET diploma may entitle the holder to exemption from the first year of a cognate La Trobe three year degree course), or
  2. for individual subjects.

(11) Credit may result from an individual application by a student or through an articulation agreement between institutions (see Educational Partnerships Procedure – Articulation).Information about such agreements will be made available to prospective students.

Part B - Standard Conditions for Granting of Credit

(12) Eligibility for credit is not affected by:

  1. the location or mode in which the destination course is taught, or
  2. the grades received in a subject, providing a pass grade has been achieved. A conceded pass does not constitute a pass for this purpose.

(13) Credit is only available for learning that is deemed current, that is learning that is: 

  1. no older than eight years prior to the application for the course 
  2. within a shorter timeframe, as set by the Course Coordinator and approved by the Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Coursework)(or nominee) of the relevant College in order to meet professional registration/accreditation requirements, or where there have been significant discipline advances.

(14) When determining the currency of the learning for which credit is sought, the relevant year is:

  1. for prior credentialed studies, the year of completion of a subject or group of subjects, or conferral of the award, whichever is most recent
  2. for non-credentialed learning, the most recent year of the experience or learning.

(15) Eligibility for credit does not guarantee a prospective student automatic entry into a La Trobe course.

(16) Credit may only be granted towards whole subjects.

(17) Subjects completed outside La Trobe for which credit has been allocated towards a La Trobe course are not counted towards a student’s Weighted Average Mark (WAM).

(18) Credit is subject to the conditions of professional accreditation bodies, where these exist.

Part C - Limits to Granting of Credit

(19) Any credit granted towards a course at La Trobe will take account of recommended baselines for the percentage of credit that may be granted at each course level, as outlines in the AQF Qualifications Pathways Policy.

(20) Some factors may limit the credit that may be granted towards a course at La Trobe.

Restricted Entry Courses

(21) The University may designate courses where there is only admission into first year. In such courses, for example those where the number of clinical placements is restricted, the University may offer any of the following options in relation to the assessment of credit for prior studies:

  1. no credit may be granted
  2. partial credit may be granted.

(22) In circumstances where students cannot be granted the full value of credit for any content previously mastered they will be given the option of repeating content through La Trobe subjects and/or of choosing alternative subjects through the credit application process.

(23) Information on limited credit in restricted entry courses is made clear to prospective applicants on the La Trobe website and in letters of offer.

Minimum Requirements for the Award of a La Trobe Degree

(24) Students must complete a certain minimum proportion of their course at La Trobe to be awarded a La Trobe qualification, as set out below:

  1. for a diploma and associate degree awards, a student must complete at least 50 per cent of the course at La Trobe
  2. for a bachelor’s degree and bachelor’s double degrees, a student must complete at least 33 per cent of the course at La Trobe and meet the minimum requirements for credit points at third and fourth year level as outlined in the Credit Points and Course Structure Policy
  3. for Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Masters awards a student must complete at least 50 per cent of the course at La Trobe

(25) Students may not be granted credit for:

  1. the capstone, including a capstone of a major
  2. the thesis components of any course

(26) Specific courses may not recognise informal learning as a basis for credit due to the nature of the course and/or professional accreditation requirements.

Exceptions

(27) Students who have completed relevant subjects at La Trobe either as part of a course or as a single subject enrolment, are exempt from the minimum requirements above. This includes:

  1. current La Trobe students who have not taken out the award for their current course, and who apply for an internal transfer into another La Trobe course with subjects in common (unless that course is a Restricted Entry Course) 
  2. students who are readmitted to their prior course of study at La Trobe
  3. La Trobe students who have completed a nested or alternate exit qualification, and subsequently seek entry to the associated higher qualification

(28) Where a La Trobe student has already taken out their award, any credit granted towards a subsequent La Trobe course will be subject to the standard conditions and limits.

Part D - Cross-Institutional Studies and Mobility Programs

(29) Subject to the standard conditions outlined in this Procedure students may receive credit towards their La Trobe course for subjects successfully completed at another institution during their enrolment at La Trobe.

(30) Permission may be granted for students to study a subject under a cross-institutional arrangement at another tertiary institution where:

  1. the equivalent subject is not available at La Trobe; and
  2. students have completed at least 60 credit points of studies with La Trobe University. This may be in their current course or another La Trobe course from which they have transferred

(31) The maximum amount of academic credit that can be granted for general cross-institutional studies is normally 30 credit points per year-level of study.

(32) Students who participate in international study abroad or exchange programs under an agreement are granted credit according to the relevant program arrangements.

Part E - Applications for Credit

(33) Individuals in the following circumstances will have their applications for credit processed as part of their application for admission to a course of the University, and are not required to complete a separate application:

  1. students enrolled in domestic or international pathway courses under a formal arrangement with the University
  2. former La Trobe students seeking re-entry into an incomplete course or entry into an associated higher qualification in a nested arrangement

(34) Currently enrolled La Trobe students in the following circumstances are not required to complete a separate application for credit:

  1. students who apply to transfer into another course at La Trobe. These students will have any entitlement for credit in the new course allocated as part of their application for admission
  2. students who apply to undertake subjects under either a cross-institutional or mobility arrangement. These students will receive pre-approval for credit for appropriate subjects as part of the application process for these programs

(35) Students who seek to vary subjects already approved in a cross-institutional or mobility program should seek approval prior to the variation to ensure that the new subject(s) can be credited towards their course.

(36) All other students are advised to complete a formal application for credit according to the procedures outlined below. Advice in relation to credit is not binding unless advised in writing as an outcome of a formal application process.

(37) Prospective domestic students are provided with a link to an application for credit in their letter of offer and a timeframe by which an application should be lodged.

(38) Applications for credit for prospective international students are lodged with La Trobe International at the time of applying for admission to the University.

Supporting Documentation

(39) Applicants for credit based on prior credentialed studies must submit:

  1. certified copy of the academic transcript; and
  2. where relevant, subject guides or equivalent, showing subject content, learning outcomes and assessment activities for the subjects/units for which credit is being sought

(40) Applicants for credit for non-credentialed or informal learning must provide verifiable evidence of all claims made in support of their application. Applicants may be further required to supply certified copies of statements from employers, present a portfolio or curriculum vitae, attend an interview, and/or demonstrate their competence through any appropriate form of assessment.

(41) All supporting documentation must be in English. Documents in a language other than English must be accompanied by certified translations.

Part F - Assessment of Credit

Prior Credentialed Studies

(42) Course Coordinators or nominees are responsible for assessing applications for credit where there are no recorded precedents.

(43) Student Services and Administration record all credit decisions on the basis of prior credentialed studies in the precedent database. Precedents may include Articulation Tables created under articulation agreements.

(44) Designated officers within the Student Services and Administration will use recorded precedents as a guide for the granting of credit to designated La Trobe courses within the agreed rules for the use of the precedent database.

Non-Credentialed or Informal Learning

(45) Course Coordinators or nominees are responsible for assessing all applications for credit based on work or other non-credentialed experience and recording the outcome.

Part G - Recording and Notification of Outcomes

(46) The outcomes of all assessments are recorded whether or not credit is granted. All credit granted is itemised on a student’s transcript of results and Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement.

(47) All official notifications of the outcome of assessments for credit must be in writing.

(48) Providing that all requirements outlined in the letter of offer have been met domestic applicants for credit will be notified of outcomes as follows:

  1. those whose applications are based on prior credentialed studies will normally be formally notified of the outcome within 10 working days after submitting their complete application
  2. those whose applications are based on informal or non-credentialed learning will normally be formally notified of the outcome within 20 business days of the provision of materials, interview or assessment activity, whichever is the latter

(49) Where international applicants apply for credit in their application for admission they will be advised of outcomes in their letter of offer.

(50) Notification to students will be forwarded to the email address provided in the application and will outline: 

  1. the outcome
  2. the amount of credit granted; and
  3. options for review

(51) Where outcomes of credit applications are not known prior to the commencement of classes applicants should attend classes as normal until they have received formal advice of credit outcomes.

Students in Cross-Institutional or Mobility Programs

(52) Students who have successfully completed pre-approved subjects in a cross-institutional enrolment or mobility program will have credit granted towards their La Trobe degree within 10 working days of submission of a transcript for those subjects.

(53) Any subjects completed that have not been pre-approved will require proper assessment before a decision about credit can be made.

Part H - Rescission of Credit

(54) Students may make a request that credit be removed from their record of study if they wish to complete further subjects within their course. For example, a student may wish to undertake a professionally accredited sequence of subjects requiring further subject completions.

(55) When credit has been rejected by a student, the student may request that it be reinstated by submitting a new application for credit.

Part I - Review and Appeals

(56) An applicant may make a request for a review of any decision in relation to credit if they believe the policy or procedure was not correctly applied.

(57) The relevant Head of School is responsible for making a decision on the review application. The outcome of the review and the reasons for it must be documented in writing for the student and a copy maintained on the student record.

(58) Students who are dissatisfied with the outcome of any review may lodge an appeal through the Office of the University Ombudsman under the provisions of the La Trobe University Ombudsman Statute 2009.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(59) For the purposes of this Policy and Procedure:

  1. Articulation agreement: an arrangement that specifies the amount of credit to be allocated as an outcome of a pathway between two courses at two or more educational institutions.
  2. Course: a course of study leading to the award of a degree, diploma or other award.
  3. Credentialed Studies: studies undertaken within an accredited higher education or vocational education provider for which a credential is received following assessment of achievement. These are typically award courses under the Australian Qualifications Framework, but may also include assessed non-award courses offered by accrediting bodies. 
  4. Credit: the recognition of prior learning outcomes resulting in a reduction of the number of subjects or credit points required in order to successfully complete the course.
  5. Non-Credentialed Learning (Informal): learning achieved through structured activities outside the environment of an accredited higher education or vocational education provider that does not result in a formal record of achievement such as a qualification.
  6. Recognition of Prior Learning: the process through which eligibility for the award of credit is assessed, through assessment of formal, informal and non-formal learning.
  7. Volume of learning: identifies the normal duration of all activities required for the achievement of the learning outcomes specified for a particular AQF qualification type. It is expressed in equivalent full-time years.
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Section 6 - Related Documents

Forms and Guidelines

(60) The following documents are related to this Procedure:

  1. Credit Application Form
  2. Cross-Institutional Application Form – Inbound/Outbound