Informal experience and formal qualifications - how do they compare for credit?

The University has a formal method for comparing the knowledge and skills you have gained through informal learning (the hours of service in an an occupation, a voluntary role or life's passions and experiences) to formal learning (the study of a qualification), using the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).

Estimate Credit amounts for Industry Experience

To estimate the amount of credit you may be awarded into a related Southern Cross course, based on your industry experience, follow these steps:

  1. Search ANZSCO for an occupation with similar tasks and responsibilities as you perform in your current/previous role.
  2. Record the occupation code and title, along with the names of similar roles;
  3. Identify the occupation's indicative ANZSCO Skill Level;
  4. Refer to Appendix 1, in Schedule 1 of the Advanced Standing and Recognition of Prior Learning Procedures (accessible through clause 13) to determine an equivalent AQF Qualification Level, based on your actual FTE years of service and the amount of credit transfer you may be granted as a student at Southern Cross University.

The knowledge and skills you have gained in lower level qualifications may be considered in combination with your experience.


Proficiency and currency are different. Currency standards have a lot to do with best practice and staying legal, where proficiency is about being competent and prepared to handle any situation professionally. Generally, credit will not be awarded for learning completed more than ten years prior to the date of your application, unless you are able to establish that your knowledge and skills are up-to-date, due to more recent and ongoing learning in a relevant field. 

Minimum requirements for currency depend on the profession, the level of experience held and, if applicable, the length of absence from the field. Even if you have studied a qualification within the last ten years, you could be asked to provide supporting documents to demonstrate the ways you have generated and maintained currency of practice, for instance through, professional memberships with peek bodies, on-the-job training, research or professional development. 


Credit decisions must be evidence based. You must present sufficient supporting documents, adequate enough for the assessor to justify a credit decision. You must show the many ways that your knowledge, skills and experience relate to the learning outcomes of a unit or units in your course. Context is important. Before you apply for Advanced Standing, read the Portfolio of Evidence for Experience - Guidelines and complete the Portfolio of Evidence for Experience - Form.


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