View Document

Qualifications Issuance Policy

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

Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) This Policy sets out principles and procedures for the contents and issuance of academic certification to La Trobe University students including testamurs, transcripts and graduation statements.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Scope

(2) This Policy applies to academic certification issued to:

  1. all students who have completed all or part of the requirements for a qualification listed in the La Trobe University Statutes, including single subjects, and nested, double and joint qualifications; and
  2. Vocational Education and Training (VET) students who have met all or part of the requirements for a qualification that is listed on the Registered Training Organisations (RTO) Scope of Registration.

(3) VET qualifications are outlined in Training Packages endorsed by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) or in accredited course documents.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) The University will issue relevant academic certification to students according to the level of attainment of all or part of the requirements for a qualification recognised within the Australian Qualifications Framework.

(5) The University issues certification via a digital platform and in hard copies in accordance with these procedures.

(6) All academic certification is prepared in formats aligned with Section 1.5 of the 2015 Higher Education Threshold Standards and as outlined in the Qualifications Issuance – Contents of Academic Certification Schedule and the Qualifications Issuance - Award Nomenclature Schedule.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Types of Academic Certification

Transcripts

(7) An academic transcript (or statement of attainment) is an official record of studies at La Trobe University and contains all course attempts, subjects undertaken and any advanced standing/credit that has been granted. The academic transcript reflects enrolment at La Trobe at the time it is printed or accessed via the online platform and is available at any time during the completion of a course or subject. Final Transcripts are issued on completion of an individual course.

Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS)

(8) The AHEGS is a static document that describes a Higher Education qualification in an easily understandable way and includes descriptions of the nature, level, context and status of the studies and is only issued upon the completion of that course.

Testamurs

(9) A Testamur is an official document issued on graduation that includes the full title of the qualification awarded along with any subsidiary components, majors not represented in the award title and any specialisations.

Part B - Conditions of Issuance of Certification of Academic Documentation

(10) Testamurs, AHEGS and academic transcripts are prepared under the authority of the Executive Director, Student Services and Administration.

(11) Before authorising the issue of a testamur or AHEGS the Executive Director, Student Services and Administration must ensure that all required subjects for the qualification are successfully completed and assessed as Passed.

(12) No academic certification will be issued to a student who has a debt to the University.

(13) The AHEGS is not available for any courses completed prior to 1 November 2012.

(14) The presentation of testamurs or facsimiles for appreciation, service, merit or other recognition is not permitted.

Part C - Methods of Issuance

VET Academic Documentation

(15) All academic documentation for VET students is issued in hard copy and within 30 calendar days of the student exiting their course or completing their final assessment, and in accordance with these procedures.

Higher Education Academic Documentation

(16) Documents issued in digital format will include a statement advising the document is officially certified by the University.

Transcripts

(17) Academic transcripts are available as digital versions via an online platform and hard copies may be purchased for a prescribed fee at any stage of a subject or course.

(18) Final academic transcripts are available as digital versions via an online platform following course completion, and hard copies may be purchased for a prescribed fee.

Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement

(19) (20) AHEGS are issued as digital versions via an online platform following course completion, and hard copies may be purchased for a prescribed fee.

Testamurs

(20) Hard copy testamurs are presented in accordance with these procedures and digital versions may be accessed via an online platform following course completion.

(21) The approved number of testamurs conferred will be:

  1. one testamur for a single qualification
  2. two testamurs for a double, dual or a combined qualification (one for each accredited award)
  3. one testamur for a joint qualification (jointly badged).

All Academic Documentation

Printing Testamurs

(22) Student Services and Administration will arrange for the printing of a testamur from the student information system for presentation on graduation.

(23) Academic transcript blanks for printing will be held in a secure location under the control of Student Services and Administration. Batches of testamur blanks released for printing will be accounted for and a reconciliation recorded for completed, damaged and unused testamurs against the total issued.

Presentation of Testamurs

(24) Testamurs will only be presented in the following circumstances:

  1. where students graduate at an approved ceremony; or
  2. where students do not attend a graduation ceremony and receive their award in absentia; or
  3. in the case of a posthumous award (subject to University policy); or
  4. where honorary degrees are conferred (which must be accompanied by the approved citation).

Presentation of Testamurs in Absentia

(25) A testamur may be presented in absentia where a graduand:

  1. does not respond to Student Services and Administration graduation invitation indicating their wish to attend a graduation ceremony; or
  2. chooses not to attend a graduation ceremony and graduate In Absentia; or
  3. arranges early collection of the testamur from the University.

(26) The testamur in each case will be collected from the University or mailed to the nominated address. In the case of international students, the testamur will be dispatched by DHL express post on receipt of a formal request from the student.

(27) Where a graduand who has previously indicated they wish to receive their award in absentia later applies to attend either the original or a later graduation ceremony, Student Services and Administration will consider the student's attendance on a case by case basis and only if their award has not already been conferred.

(28) Students who have already received a testamur will not be issued with an additional hardcopy testamur at an award ceremony.

Return of Testamur

(29) The University may require the return of a hardcopy testamur and revoke digital access in the following circumstances:

  1. Fraud or dishonesty: The University Council will revoke an award and require the return of the testamur if it is demonstrated to its satisfaction that the award was improperly obtained.
  2. Replacement of original testamur: Where a graduate of the University makes an application for a replacement testamur due to legal name change.
  3. University error: Where the testamur was presented erroneously or contained incorrect details.

Re-issue / Replacement of Testamur

Applications

(30) Student Administration may approve the re-issue or replacement of a testamur upon the receipt of a complete application which includes:

  1. a fully completed application form;
  2. the originally issued testamur if available;
  3. a Statutory Declaration where the original testamur is not available;
  4. legal documents confirming the reason for the request and where appropriate linking the new name with the original name;
  5. photo identification; and
  6. payment of the prescribed fee.

(31) A coursework degree graduate who is dissatisfied with a decision to not reissue or replace a testamur may seek a review of the decision by the relevant Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor Coursework or nominee.

(32) A higher degree by research graduate who is dissatisfied with a decision to not re-issue or replace a testamur may seek a review of the decision by the Chair, Board of Graduate Research or nominee.

(33) Graduates who are dissatisfied with the outcome of a review may make a submission to the University Ombudsman.

Issue

(34) All replacement or re-issued testamurs (including those which relate to antecedent institutions) will be issued in the approved format which is in effect at the time of the application/re-issue.

(35) Re-issued or replaced testamurs will not be presented at an award ceremony.

(36) A statement is to be printed on the bottom of the replacement testamur indicating that the testamur has been replaced or re-issued on a particular date.

Charges

(37) The scheduled fee to cover the cost associated with printing and replacing or re-issuing a testamur will be set annually by Student Services and Administration and approved by University Council. The fee will be published on the Fees pages of the University website.

Records

(38) Records of testamurs will be kept by the University for:

  1. graduands receiving testamurs through attending the conferral of awards at a graduation ceremony
  2. graduands receiving a testamur in absentia
  3. re-issued or replaced testamurs

Part D - Certification for Different Types of Qualifications

Nested Qualifications

(39) A separate AHEGS and testamur will be awarded for each qualification for which a student has enrolled and completed. For example:

  1. if a student enrols directly into a Bachelor qualification, they are eligible only to receive a testamur and AHEGS for the Bachelor qualification on completion.
  2. if a student enrols initially in a nested Diploma course, and upon completion enrols into and completes the related Bachelor course, that student would receive testamurs and AHEGS for both awards.

Double or Combined Qualifications

(40) A student who completes the requirements for a double or a combined qualification where both are accredited as stand-alone La Trobe University awards will receive two testamurs and AHEGS: one for each accredited qualification.

(41) In cases where a double qualification includes an award that has not been accredited in its own right as a standalone award, a single testamur and AHEGS naming the double degree will be awarded.

Joint Qualifications

(42) A single double-badged testamur may be awarded in a manner specified in any formal agreement with a partner organisation.

(43) In accordance with the Australian Qualifications Framework requirement that there is one issuing organisation, all certification documentation must be traceable back to the single issuing organisation which is responsible for authentication of the documents, and the replacement of documents where necessary.

(44) Where the partner is an overseas entity and is specified as the issuing organisation, La Trobe University may still issue an AHEGS.

Dual Qualifications

(45) Where these are awarded under a formal agreement with other institutions, each institution may award a standard testamur and graduation statement (where it is relevant for that jurisdiction) for their component of the dual award.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Definitions

(46) For the purpose of this Policy and Procedure:

  1. Academic transcript: a record of all studies leading to an AQF qualification in which a student is enrolled at the University, whether complete or incomplete. See also ‘Statement of attainment’.
  2. Articulation: the process of linking two or more qualifications together by creating/identifying the content relationships between them.
  3. Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement: a supplementary statement to qualification certification documentation that provides information to enhance understanding of the qualification by students, employers, industry, professional associations and internationally.
  4. Combined Qualifications: A combination of two La Trobe University qualifications of different AQF levels (eg. Bachelor/Master).
  5. Conferral: The legal act of graduation. Awards are conferred by the University at a graduation ceremony or 'in absentia'.
  6. Double Qualification: Where two La Trobe University qualifications of the same AQF level (eg Bachelor/Bachelor) are completed concurrently, and in less than the minimum time required to complete each qualification separately. Also known as Double Degrees, these are considered one course of study.
  7. Dual Qualification: Where two qualifications of the same type (eg Bachelor/Bachelor) are completed at La Trobe University and another higher education provider (most commonly an overseas provider as a form of Transnational Education) and in less than the minimum time required to complete each qualification separately.
  8. Joint qualification: where a single qualification is undertaken in more than one institution under a formal arrangement between the institutions. Alternative titles in use included ‘cotutelle’ or ‘multi-badged’.
  9. Qualification: A degree, diploma or course that comprises approved studies at La Trobe as prescribed by the Academic Board.
  10. Skills set: a group of units of competency from an endorsed Training Package that meets a licensing or regulatory requirement or a defined industry or professional need.
  11. Statement of attainment: a form of academic transcript that confirms that an accredited short course or a group of units/modules/subjects from an AQF qualification that form a skills set have been completed. See also ‘Academic transcript’, ‘Skills set’. Statements of attainment are issued only to students undertaking VET courses.
  12. Testamur: the official document that confirms that a qualification has been awarded. In the case of VET courses, this document may be called a ‘certificate’.
  13. Transcript: see ‘Academic transcript’.