Recognition of Prior Learning
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Applicants or students that can provide supporting documents to verify they already know, understand and can perform the learning outcomes for one or more units within a Southern Cross course, are eligible to have their prior learning assessed for credit by submitting an application for Advanced Standing.
Below are answers to frequently asked questions about applying for Advanced Standing to receive credit for your prior learning.
How do I determine which units to seek credit for?
To identify units for which credit might be sought:
- Choose your Southern Cross course;
- In the 'Course structure' tab, read the Course requirements to become familiar with the blend of units that form the course.
- Scroll down to the Advanced Standing information (if applicable), as it will guide you regarding any course specific credit limits;
- View the list of units, known as the Schedule of Units. The schedule contains a list of compulsory or core units of study, for example in Part A. Some courses also have major, specialisation or elective unit options shown in other parts;
- Click on any unit link, or perform a Unit Search to view the unit's content (topics), learning outcomes and graduate attributes.
You should apply for Advanced Standing if you are able to provide a range of supporting documents that verify you have already learnt similar content, can consistently perform unit learning outcome requirements and show the qualities described by the graduate attributes.
Is credit aggregated or awarded for the highest level of learning achieved?
The following case studies demonstrate how the highest level of learning attained influences the amount of credit awarded. Normally, aggregated credit amounts do not apply.
Case Study 1: If a person has completed two cognate (AQF level 4) Certificate IV qualifications, any credit awarded will not be the sum (or aggregate) of the two. For example:
|1st Certificate IV (4 units of credit) + 2nd Certificate IV (4 units of credit) ≠ 8 units of credit awarded||1st Certificate IV (4 units of credit) + 2nd Certificate IV (4 units of credit) = 4 units of credit awarded|
In Case study 1, Certificate IV is the highest level of cognate learning. A total of 4 units are awarded.
Case Study 2: If a person has completed a cognate (AQF level 4) Certificate IV qualification and progressed to a cognate (AQF level 5) Diploma qualification, any credit awarded will not be the sum (aggregate) of the two. For example:
|a Certificate IV (4 units of credit) + a Diploma (8 units of credit) ≠ 12 units of credit awarded||a Certificate IV (4 units of credit) + a Diploma (8 units of credit) = 8 units of credit awarded|
In Case Study 2 the Diploma is the highest level of cognate learning. A total of 8 units are awarded.
Case Study 3: If a person has applied to study the Bachelor of Business and they hold an (AQF level 4) Certificate IV in Business and (AQF level 5) Diploma of Massage Therapy (AQF level 5), the lower Certificate IV qualification is considered cognate in determining the amount of credit awarded for prior learning, as the field of learning in the Certificate IV qualification aligns with that of the Bachelor of Business. Any credit awarded will not be the sum (aggregate) of the two. For example:
|Certificate IV in Business (4 units of credit) + a Diploma of Massage Therapy (8 units of credit) ≠ 12 units of credit awarded into the Bachelor of Business||Certificate IV in Business (4 units of credit) + a Diploma of Massage Therapy (8 units of credit) = 4 units of credit awarded|
In Case Study 3, the Certificate IV in Business is the highest level of cognate learning. A total of 4 units are awarded.
Case Study 4: If a person has completed an (AQF level 4) Certificate IV in Business and has worked full-time as an Operations Manager (at ANZSCO Skill Level 1) for 2 years, which substitutes for holding an (AQF level 6) Advanced Diploma in Leadership and Management, any credit awarded will not normally be the sum (aggregate) of the two. Credit will be awarded for the highest cognate learning. For example:
|Certificate IV in Business (4 units of credit) + informal learning deemed equivalent to an Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management (12 units of credit) ≠ 16 units of credit awarded into the Bachelor of Business||Certificate IV in Business (4 units of credit) + informal learning deemed equivalent to an Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management (12 units of credit) = 12 units of credit awarded|
In Case Study 4, the 2 years of informal learning attained on-the-job as an Operations Manager, provides the highest level of cognate learning, equivalent to an Advanced Diploma. A total of 12 units are awarded.
When should I apply for Advanced Standing?
The amount and form of credit awarded will determine a student's study plan. Wherever possible, submit an application for Advanced Standing at the same time as applying for admission into your preferred course.
Students wishing to apply for Advanced Standing at a later stage during their studies should lodge an application at least one month before the start of a session for course work units and four months prior for industry placement units. This will ensure that your application is assessed and adjustments are made to the study plan in time for enrolling in units.
All applications must be submitted before the commencement of a student's final session so that course completion and graduation are not unnecessarily delayed.
How do I apply for Advanced Standing?
Australian or New Zealand citizens and humanitarian visa holders should:
- Choose your Southern Cross course, and campus, or opt to study online;
- Apply for Advanced Standing when you Apply for Admission into the course;
- Accept your Offer to study; and
- attend Orientation, or participate online.
International citizens planning to study in Australia on a student visa should:
How will I be notified of the Advanced Standing outcome?
Applications will be acknowledged by the University upon receipt. Applicants will be notified of the outcome in writing via email or post within 20 working days, depending on the level of assessment complexity and whether sufficient supporting documents have been supplied.
Regularly check personal or Southern Cross student email accounts for notification and maintain up-to-date contact details in 'My Enrolment'.
Some Southern Cross courses may be externally recognised or accredited. The University cannot advise on how the granting of credit might impact on your ability to apply for professional recognition or accreditation with professional bodies, organisations or associations. Please view the information about how credit may be overturned (rescinded).
Do I need to accept the credit offered?
Only international students studying in Australia on a student visa, who have applied for Advanced Standing and been granted credit after the commencement date of the course, are required by the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act to acknowledge, in writing, acceptance of the amount of credit granted.
The Advanced Standing Acceptance Declaration, supplied with the notification of Advanced Standing, must be signed, dated and returned to SCU International within 14 working days of the date of the 'Advanced Standing Notification'.
Accordingly, SCU International will vary the period of study on the 'Confirmation of Enrolment' (CoE).
What unit credit values and forms of credit apply?
Credit value is the number of credit points awarded towards the successful completion of a unit (or course). For example:
|UNIT DESCRIPTION||CREDIT POINTS (CP)|
|half-weighted unit||6 CP|
|single-weighted unit||12 CP|
|double-weighted unit||24 CP|
|triple-weighted unit||36 CP|
|quadruple-weighted unit||48 CP|
Credit awarded is the total credit value resulting from the Advanced Standing assessment to determine a student's prior learning achievement (what they already know, understand and are able to do) in relation to Southern Cross unit learning outcomes within a course.
Credit decisions are evidence-based, equitable and transparent, resulting in forms of credit that emulate the course structure and is either:
- unspecified units (elective credit points) or block credit points);
- specified units where the units are named;
- block credit (usually granted towards whole stages or components of a qualificaiton through articulation); or
- a combination of the above.
Can granted credit be overturned?
If credit has been awarded, you may apply in writing to rescinded (withdraw, overturn or cancel) part or all of this credit.
Requests to Rescind will only be approved for sound academic reasons (e.g. you wish to undertake the unit (subject), to change direction in your degree, qualify for professional recognition or accreditation, or undertake an approved exchange or study abroad program.
Once credit has been rescinded you will not automatically be re-granted that credit.
If you are an International student studying in Australia, please consult your Fee Acceptance Agreement about any refund impacts.
How will credit granted affect my study plan?
Any credit granted or rescinded (withdrawn, overturned or cancelled) will affect study plan preparation, unit selection and online enrolment.
View the Course Progressions to find out which units you should enrol in for each study period. If credit has been awarded for a particular unit or units, do not enrol in these units.
Seek personal study plan advice and assistance by contacting t: 02 6620 3666 OR 1800 005 687 (free call within Australia).
What Policy and Procedural information applies for RPL and Advanced Standing?
Still have questions? Contact us