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Skills and Learning Recognition, Credit Transfer and RPL (VET and Foundation) Procedure

This document is not in force yet. It will take effect from 01/05/2024.

Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The purpose of this procedure is to outline the process for monitoring and assessing Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) applications for individual units of competency at Melbourne Polytechnic.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) This procedure applies to:

  1. current and prospective students applying for Credit Transfer and RPL for VET units of competency on Melbourne Polytechnic’s Scope of Registration;
  2. staff involved in processing and assessing Credit Transfer and RPL applications for VET and Foundation units of competency on Melbourne Polytechnic’s Scope of Registration.

(3) This procedure does not apply to:

  1. the awarding of Melbourne Polytechnic qualifications. This is covered by the Granting of Awards Policy and Granting of AQF Qualifications (VET) Approval Procedure;
  2. the granting of credit or recognition for Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) subjects or VCE Vocational Major units. The process for this is outlined in the relevant Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority Administration Handbook.
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Section 3 - Procedure

Informing prospective and current students of Credit Transfer and RPL availability

(4) Student Acquisitions, in consultation with the Directors VET and Foundation, will maintain a Melbourne Polytechnic Skills and Learning Recognition webpage that, at a minimum:

  1. explains Credit Transfer and RPL (see definitions Section 6)
  2. explains how fees are calculated for that type of credit/recognition
  3. alerts potential Credit Transfer applicants that if they recently completed the equivalent units at Melbourne Polytechnic they may have an automatic credit granted, and should check their training plan before submitting a formal application
  4. encourages RPL applicants to read the RPL Application Guide prior to submitting an application
  5. outlines the potential implications of shortened course length on visa status and fees for international students
  6. recommends international students seek advice from the International Office prior to submitting a formal application
  7. enables completion of the Skills and Learning Recognition Application directly through the site
  8. guides them through the application process.

(5) Teaching departments will review detailed course information provided to prospective students annually to ensure it:

  1. refers to the availability of skills and learning recognition for eligible applicants
  2. provides information about/links to the Melbourne Polytechnic Skills and Learning Recognition webpage.

(6) During the Pre-Training Review stage of enrolment, Enrolling Officers will discuss Credit Transfer and RPL with applicants. Those indicating an interest will be provided a link to the Skills and Learning Recognition webpage and advised to apply promptly and contact the Student Hub for further assistance if required.

(7) Individuals contacting Melbourne Polytechnic with enquiries specifically regarding Credit Transfer or Recognition of Prior Learning will be directed to the Skills and Learning Recognition webpage for general guidance and to the relevant teaching area if course-specific information is required.

Employing consistent application procedures and a case management approach

(8) Apart from Credit Transfers automatically applied for same or equivalent units recently completed at Melbourne Polytechnic, all requests for skills and learning recognition must be commenced by submitting a formal application.

(9) All formal applications for Skills and Learning Recognition will be submitted on a Skills and Learning Recognition Application Form via the Skills and Learning Recognition webpage.

(10) The Student Hub will support current and prospective students to understand the process. Other areas of Melbourne Polytechnic receiving direct enquiries will assist applicants to apply via the website or direct them to the Student Hub.

(11) The Student Hub will record receipt of applications submitted through the website and notify the relevant teaching department administrator. Where the application is from an international student, they will also advise the International Office.

(12) The nominated teaching department administrator will monitor the timely progress of the application within the department and alert the Program Leader for their action if any issues arise regarding timelines.

(13) The Program Leader will assign suitability qualified and competent individuals to authenticate evidence and assess applications as per the steps outlined later in this procedure.

(14) Once the authentication and assessment process is complete, the teaching department will notify the applicant, Student Hub and International Office (if relevant) of the outcome of the application as outlined later in this procedure.

(15) Results for Credit Transfers will be notified to Academic Registry for them to enter onto Melbourne Polytechnic’s systems. Results for RPL will be entered by the assessor directly into the Student Management System. If that system is not set up to be able to record RPL results, the teaching department administrator will submit the result to Academic Registry for it to be directly entered into the SMS.

(16) The Student Hub will monitor the overall progress of applications, providing monthly reports to Program Leaders (cc to Academic Managers) to ensure timely resolution.

(17) Academic Registry, International Office and the Student Hub will undertake their respective actions on receipt of the outcome from the teaching department to complete the process as outlined later in this procedure.

Providing and authenticating suitable evidence to support applications

(18) The applicant must provide suitable evidence to support applications for Credit Transfer and RPL. That evidence must be able to be authenticated.

(19) For all Credit Transfer applications, the applicant must provide evidence that they have satisfactorily completed the units they are referring to in their application. Suitable evidence includes one of:

  1. permission to view a Unique Student Identifier (USI) transcript on the USI Registry and a printout from the USI site showing that permission has been granted
  2. permission to view a My eQuals transcript and a copy of a secure link to their results on that site
  3. a copy of results issued by Melbourne Polytechnic
  4. a certified copy of results issued from another Registered Training Organisation (RTO) or Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) authorised issuing organisation.

(20) The teaching department will, within 5 business days of receiving the application from the Student Hub, determine the authenticity of the evidence provided (unless a written extension with reasons is provided to the applicant). This will be done by undertaking one of the following and recording the details on the Skills and Learning Recognition Application Form:

  1. viewing the USI record
  2. viewing the My eQuals record
  3. viewing Melbourne Polytechnic’s internal records
  4. obtaining verification from the RTO or AQF documentation issuing organisation.

(21) As the evidence provided for RPL may vary, what is considered suitable and how it will need to be authenticated will be discussed with the applicant during the application and assessment process. Any qualifications presented as part of the RPL process will need to be authenticated by similar processes as those outlined in paragraph 20 or by contacting the issuing individual/organisation.

(22) Where authenticity is unable to be determined, the applicant will be notified and invited to provide additional evidence and/or assist in determining authenticity.

(23) Where authenticity is unable to be determined within reasonable timelines, skills and learning recognition will not be granted.

Granting Credit Transfers

(24) Melbourne Polytechnic will grant Credit Transfer for a unit when the individual provides evidence that can be authenticated that they have already successfully completed:

  1. a unit with the same code and title
  2. a unit that is equivalent in content and learning outcomes as defined by the training package/accredited course. This will apply even where the unit may have passed through multiple iterations, provided all intermediary units are equivalent
  3. a unit where an analysis by the teaching department determines that a combination of studies have been undertaken that meet the requirements of the requested unit.

(25) Where possible, credit will be granted automatically without the need for a formal application to individuals who have completed the requisite unit previously at Melbourne Polytechnic.

(26) Individuals relying on completion of units at other providers, or who have not been granted credit through the automatic process, will need to formally apply for Credit Transfer.

(27) The process to be followed for Credit Transfer is outlined in Appendix A.

(28) The timeline for processing and assessing Credit Transfer applications is 10 business days from application, assuming all required evidence is provided initially and can be authenticated without delay.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

(29) Melbourne Polytechnic will grant RPL where the applicant is enrolled in the unit and assessed as competent based on evidence demonstrating they have developed competency through formal, informal and/or non- formal learning, including training, workplace experience and/or life experience.

(30) Flowcharts summarising the process from the applicant’s and the teaching department’s perspectives are provided at Appendix B (RPL Flowchart – Applicant’s Perspective) and Appendix C (RPL Flowchart – Teaching Department perspective).

(31) A table detailing the application and assessment process is provided in Appendix D.

(32) The timeline for processing and assessing RPL applications will be agreed between the Program Leader or their delegate and the applicant at the RPL Initial Conversation stage of the process. This agreement may be modified as the assessment process progresses. Assessment must be completed by the end date of the unit.

Reviewing decisions

(33) Applicants expressing dissatisfaction with a decision relating to skill and learning recognition are to be advised to discuss their concerns with the Program Leader in the first instance.

(34) If the issue remains unresolved, the Program Leader will advise the applicant they can lodge a complaint in accordance with the Student Complaints and Appeals Policy.

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Section 4 - Accountability and Responsibility

(35) The Education Quality Committee is responsible for monitoring implementation of this policy and its associated procedure and reporting on this to the Melbourne Polytechnic Board.

(36) The VET and Foundation Boards are responsible for:

  1. monitoring and reporting skills and learning recognition practices to the Education Quality Committee
  2. assuring there is evidence of assessment consistent with course and regulatory, accreditation and funding organisation requirements
  3. reviewing the performance of this policy and its associated procedure in their area of operation
  4. initiating and overseeing progress and outcomes of quality improvement activities.

(37) The VET and Foundation Directors are responsible for:

  1. ensuring this policy and its associated procedure are followed across all offerings
  2. preparing twice yearly reports on Credit Transfer and RPL in their area for the VET or Foundation Board.

(38) The Director International Academic Operations is responsible for ensuring all relevant international programs and international partners follow this policy and associated procedure.

(39) The International Office is responsible for:

  1. ensuring all contracts with international partners clearly outline Melbourne Polytechnic’s requirements with respect to this policy and its associated procedure
  2. providing advice to international students on the potential impact of skills and learning recognition on their course length, fees and visas
  3. providing an adjusted Confirmation of Enrolments (COE) to international students or notifying PRISMS of international students whose course length has been adjusted due to successful skills and learning recognition applications.

(40) Student Acquisitions is responsible for providing information to prospective students on Credit Transfer and RPL and how to obtain further information and to apply.

(41) Marketing is responsible for:

  1. maintaining the Skills and Learning Recognition webpage in collaboration with the Directors VET and Foundation;
  2. establishing course webpage templates that enable inclusion of skills recognition information and/or links.

(42) Student Hub is responsible for:

  1. providing general information on Credit Transfer and RPL to prospective, enrolling and current students
  2. assisting applicants to submit skills and learning recognition applications through the website
  3. recording skills and learning recognition applications and notifying relevant areas they have been received
  4. monitoring progress of skills and learning recognition applications
  5. providing monthly reports on outstanding skills and learning recognition applications to Program Leaders (cc to Academic Managers).

(43) Academic Registry is responsible for:

  1. processing results for Credit Transfer and RPL as requested
  2. assisting teaching departments to determine the authenticity of AQF academic transcripts where the matter is not straightforward
  3. providing reports on Credit Transfer and RPL activity as requested by senior management, Committees and Boards.

(44) The Curriculum Unit is responsible for:

  1. setting the standard for assessment design and development across VET and Foundation Directorates
  2. working collaboratively with teaching areas to develop exemplar RPL assessment tools for teaching areas to use as the basis for developing assessment instruments.

(45) The Professional Teaching Practice Team is responsible for providing professional learning to build staff expertise in implementing quality skills and learning recognition assessments and conducting competency conversations.

(46) The Academic Quality Team is responsible for:

  1. providing quality advice on requirements regarding informing prospective applicants
  2. providing quality expertise regarding VET and Foundation skills and learning recognition assessment
  3. contributing to continuous quality improvement processes.

(47) Managers are responsible for:

  1. managing and supporting the implementation of this policy and associated procedure in their area of responsibility
  2. implementing actions to ensure skills and learning recognition applications are resolved in a timely manner
  3. leading continuous quality improvement processes regarding skills and learning recognition in their area of responsibility.

(48) Program Leaders are responsible for:

  1. liaising with the Student Hub, Academic Registry and International Office regarding skills and learning recognition applications and results
  2. responding promptly to queries and applications from prospective and enrolling students regarding skills and learning recognition
  3. assigning and supporting staff to process skills and learning recognition applications, including checking the authenticity of the evidence provided
  4. ensuring all RPL assessors are suitably qualified and vocationally and educationally competent
  5. appointing and supporting assessors to:
    1. undertake analysis and mapping of non-equivalent units for Credit Transfer purposes where this is required
    2. review, develop and/or implement suitable RPL assessment tools to meet the needs of each application
    3. complete assessments in a timely manner
    4. document decisions and advise applicants of outcomes within required timeline
  6. ensuring assessors have necessary rights to enter RPL results into the student management system
  7. addressing requests for re-assessment and special consideration
  8. contributing to quality assurance and continuous improvement processes
  9. ensuring all records regarding skills and learning recognition applications and assessments are maintained securely as per the Records Management Policy.

(49) Assessors are responsible for:

  1. conducting RPL in a manner that is valid, reliable, flexible and fair
  2. ensuring the evidence assessed as satisfactory is valid, sufficient, current and authentic
  3. completing assessments in a timely manner, ensuring feedback is provided and assessment decisions documented within required timelines.

(50) Authenticators are responsible for checking that the evidence provided to support a skills and learning recognition application belongs to the individual and is an accurate representation of the original.

(51) Nominated teaching area administrators are responsible for:

  1. assisting with communication between Student Hub, applicants, Program Leaders, assessors, Academic Registry and the International Office
  2. monitoring processing timelines for skills and learning recognition applications within the department.

(52) Applicants are responsible for:

  1. applying for Credit Transfer and RPL
  2. providing valid, sufficient, current and authentic evidence in a timely manner to support their application
  3. preparing for and undertaking RPL interviews at agreed times
  4. providing information and links to assist with verification when submitting evidence to support their applications.
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Section 5 - Policy

(53) This Procedure is pursuant to the Skills and Learning Recognition (VET and Foundation) Policy.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(54) In addition to definitions contained in the Skills and Learning Recognition (VET and Foundation)Policy, this procedure contains the following definitions apply:

  1. authenticator: staff member nominated to check that the applicant’s provided evidence is true and accurate. That is, it belongs to the person providing it and it is an accurate representation of their work and/or the original. Where this involves checking the authenticity of a document, this person does not need to be a qualified assessor as this is an administrative process.
  2. enrolling officer/enrolment centre advisor: staff assigned the authority to enrol students by the Chief Executive.
  3. eSTP: Electronic Student Training Plan. A document created in the SMS which outlines the training requirements that are needed to be achieved to satisfy eligibility for the AQF Qualification.
  4. My eQuals: a tertiary credentials platform for universities, TAFEs and tertiary education providers that enables education providers, learners and verifiers to view, share and verify certified tertiary credentials online.
  5. RPL Initial Conversation: part of the RPL process. A conversation that occurs between the applicant and the assessing team at the beginning of the process to provide the applicant with a better understanding of RPL and what is required. It may also start the evidence-gathering process.
  6. USI transcript: Unique Student Identifier transcript. This is a document showing an individual’s online national training record. The transcript should include details of all nationally USI Student Portal on the USI Registry System. For more information see: VET transcripts - Information for students | Unique Student Identifier (