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Credit Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This procedure supports the Credit Policy by stating detailed requirements for the management and processing of credit applications.

Scope

(2) This procedure applies to current and prospective students, staff, and decision-making bodies of the University, as well as external agents and staff working with institutional delivery partners of the University.

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Section 2 - Policy

(3) This procedure supports the Credit Policy and should be read alongside it.

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Section 3 - Procedure

Published credit information

(4) Information about recognition of prior learning and credit is published online for prospective students and current students via the University website. However, this online credit information, including content published within the University credit database, is indicative only, and as such assessment may result in more or less credit being awarded than the published information indicates.

(5) Published information about credit precedents and agreements may no longer apply where:

  1. the source or target course or subject has changed, or
  2. the University’s agreement with the relevant pathway program partner has changed.

Credit restrictions and limits

(6) The Credit Policy states the maximum amounts of credit that can be granted towards each type of course at Charles Sturt University and the restrictions that apply to using previously awarded credit within another course.

(7) Some courses may have stricter limits for maximum credit than those published within the Credit Policy, where required to meet academic or professional accreditation needs. Students may contact their faculty course team or Course Director for information about whether there is a lower maximum credit limit set for their particular course of study. 

Applications for credit

(8) Students can apply for credit upon admission, when enrolled or when seeking course transfer.

(9) Applications will not be assessed until the current or prospective student has provided the supporting documents and information needed for assessment. See the ‘Supporting documents’ section below for more information about the evidence required as part of an application for credit based on each type of prior learning.

Prospective students 

(10) Prospective students applying directly to the University for admission use their online admission application to apply for credit, by following the instructions in the credit section of the online application form.

(11) However, prospective students applying for admission via a Tertiary Admission Centre must follow the credit application process outlined for current students in the section below, once they have been admitted into their course and are enrolled as a current student with the University. This includes prospective students applying for admission through:

  1. University Admission Centre (UAC), or
  2. Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC).

(12) Students who do not provide the required documents for credit assessment upon admission will be required to apply for credit as a current student via the online credit application tool after accepting their offer.

(13) If a student does not wish to have credit applied as part of a credit or articulation agreement, they must contact the relevant Admissions Office.

Current students

(14) Current students apply for credit using the online credit application tool, via the Student Portal. They must follow the online instructions for credit applications.

(15) If a student does not wish to have credit applied to their current course enrolment as part of an articulation or credit agreement, then the student must contact their Course Director.

Transferring students

(16) Where a student applies to transfer from one Charles Sturt University course to another, they will have an opportunity to request credit as part of their transfer application.

Outgoing cross-institutional study (FCR applications)

(17) Where a current student wishes to undertake one or more subjects at another institution and receive credit for this study towards their current enrolment in a Charles Sturt course, they must seek approval from their Course Director by applying for forward credit (FCR) to determine whether this external study can be counted towards the requirements of their course at this University.

(18) To request forward credit (FCR) approval for outgoing cross-institutional study, students must submit their application for credit through the online credit tool, including the following supporting documentation:

  1. a detailed unit outline from the other institution, and
  2. an application form for cross-institutional study from the other institution. Not all institutions will require this some may just need you to provide evidence that you have credit approval from Charles Sturt.

(19) At the completion of the studies with the other institution, students must submit a copy of their results to the Credit Team to have their temporary forward credit (FCR) finailsed and converted into transfer credit (TCR). See the ‘Converting forward credit (FCR to TCR)’ section of this procedure for more information about the process and requirements for converting forward credit within the required timeframe before it expires.

Supporting documents

Verification and translation of supporting documents

(20) The University publishes detailed information about which types of documents must be verified as a true and accurate copy, and applicants must follow the online instructions in the supporting documentation guidelines

(21) Where the documents are not in English, the applicant must provide the original document and a translation by a translator acceptable to the University. Translations must be verified in accordance with the instructions published by the University.

(22) If the University requests other supporting documents in addition to those listed below, the applicant must provide them.

Evidence of formal learning (for transfer credit)

(23) Applications for transfer credit based on previous formal learning must include:

  1. a copy of the student’s official transcript of subjects and grades
  2. an explanation of the grading system(s) used on the transcript if the transcript does not include this
  3. document(s) from the institution, such as a subject outline, which outlines and describes the learning outcomes in the year(s) in which the student completed the subject(s), that include:
    1. details of topics covered in the subject such as a syllabus or schedule of weekly topics
    2. the size and duration of the subject with a breakdown of class types (eg: three hours of lectures and one one-hour tutorial per week, three hours of practical workshops fortnightly, for 12 weeks) and a breakdown of any workplace learning activities the student undertook for the subject
    3. the list of prescribed textbook(s) and recommended readings, and
    4. assessment details including types of assessment tasks (eg: essay, quiz, lab report, exam), word limits, content and weighting towards the final mark.

(24) Where a student is applying for credit on the basis of subjects previously completed at this University, formal transcripts may not be required for the study undertaken at Charles Sturt.

(25) Assessors will check the recency of prior formal learning to ensure it is in line with the ‘Recency requirements’ section in the Credit Policy.

Evidence of informal and non-formal learning (for proficiency credit)

(26) Applications for credit based on previous informal or non-formal learning must include relevant supporting documentation that provides evidence of having met the required learning outcomes, such as:

  1. a resume
  2. employment position descriptions
  3. samples of work
  4. project briefs
  5. reports and publications
  6. statements by relevant employers confirming the applicant’s work experience, position and length of service, and
  7. vocational courses and qualifications.

(27) Certain courses and subjects will require additional information to be provided by the applicant after their original application for credit has been submitted to the University. This requested additional information may include a written statement to be submitted by the applicant that:

  1. explains how the relevant work and/or life experience covers the syllabus and meets the learning outcomes of the subject(s) for which credit is sought, and
  2. details the activities, when and where they took place and their duration and/or frequency.

(28) The University will contact the student after their original application has been received to advise if this additional information is required.

(29) Assessors will check the recency of each student’s prior informal and non-formal learning to ensure it is in line with the ‘Recency requirements’ section of the Credit Policy.

Assessment of credit applications

(30) The Credit Policy states the roles that can make a credit decision, and those who can apply pre-approved decisions based on a credit precedent or formal agreement in place at the University.

(31) Credit applications are received by the Credit Team or Admissions Team (depending on application method) and checked for completeness before assessment. Where further information or supporting documentation is required, the application will be held while the student is contacted and asked to provide outstanding information and/or documentary evidence. Completed applications that contain all required information and supporting documents will be forwarded to the relevant credit decision-maker for assessment within three working days of receipt.

(32) Credit applications will be assessed by the relevant decision-maker within 20 working days of receipt. The Credit Team will provide support to faculty staff in assessing credit applications where needed.

Assessing formal learning (transfer credit)

(33) In assessing the equivalence of a student’s previous formal study for transfer credit, decision-makers will apply the following criteria:

  1. Breadth of the learning – topics covered and content in comparison with the learning outcomes and syllabus of the target subject.
  2. Depth of the learning – in what detail and over what total hours the content was covered in comparison with the learning outcomes and syllabus of the target subject.
  3. Level of the learning – whether the learning was at the same level as the target subject and at an equivalent stage in a course at the same Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level (eg: an introductory subject or an advanced subject).
  4. Learning activities – comparing activities undertaken in the source subject(s) (eg: lectures, tutorials, assessment tasks) with the target subject.
  5. Where the target subject includes practical learning and/or workplace learning - whether the source subject(s) has an equivalent amount and level of practical learning so that students will have acquired the skills and knowledge to participate safely in subsequent practical lessons and meet expectations for subsequent workplace learning.

Assessing informal and non-formal learning (proficiency credit)

(34) As well as assessing a student’s written application and supporting documents for recognition of informal and non-formal learning, the Subject Coordinator or Course Director may also require students to undertake an assessment task.

(35) Students will be advised of the date and location of the assessment task, and whether it is written, practical, or a combination. Students will also receive information about the form the task will take, including:

  1. the number of questions and marks allotted to each
  2. the type of answers required (multiple choice, short answers, essays)
  3. the materials to be provided by the assessor, and
  4. the materials the student must provide.

Assessing HDR credit applications

(36) Higher degree by research student applications for credit will be assessed and approved by the Dean, Graduate Research, upon the recommendation of the applicant’s primary supervisor and the relevant faculty Sub Dean (Graduate Studies).

(37) Recognition of prior candidature time will be processed as per the Higher Degree by Research Policy and Higher Degree by Research Procedure

Assessing recency requirements for prior learning

(38) Evidence of prior learning submitted to the University will be assessed against the recency requirements defined in the Credit Policy for credit eligibility, to ensure the learning occurred within the required timeframe.

(39) Where a student’s prior learning is outside of the stated recency timeframe, the decision-maker may determine it appropriate to grant credit outside of these requirements in certain circumstances where sufficient proficiency in the relevant learning outcomes is demonstrated by:

  1. the student’s original learning, plus
  2. evidence that they have maintained currency in their knowledge and skills through subsequent ongoing professional practice, professional development, and/or other means.

Assessment of exceptions

(40) Applications involving exceptions to credit restrictions, rules, and limits stated in the Credit Policy must be approved by:

  1. the Faculty Board of the relevant faculty for individual coursework students
  2. the University Courses Committee for a course or a cohort of coursework students, or
  3. the chair of the University Research Committee for higher degree by research (HDR) students.

(41) For coursework students, applications involving potential exceptions to credit policy rules and restrictions will be assessed for suitability by the Course Director within 20 working days of receipt.

(42) If sanctioned by the Course Director, the application will be forwarded for consideration to the Executive Dean of the relevant faculty. The Course Director may decline to submit the application if it is deemed unsuitable for an exception.

(43) If sanctioned by the Executive Dean, the application will be submitted to the Faculty Board or the University Courses Committee for consideration at their next meeting.

(44) The decision-maker must notify the Credit Team as soon as it is decided to submit the application for review and assessment of a possible exception, so the student can be notified of this delay to their pending outcome within 20 working days of their original submission date, and informed of the additional time expected for assessment of their credit application.

(45) The decision of the Faculty Board or University Courses Committee will be recorded as an outcome of the relevant meeting and communicated to the Credit Team for action.

(46) The Credit Team will process the final outcome of the student’s credit application and notify the student, and will record the assessment decision in the student record and the credit management system, including whether an exception was approved.

(47) For higher degree by research students, applications involving potential exceptions to credit policy rules and restrictions will be reviewed by the Dean, Graduate Research for suitability and then forwarded to the chair of the University Research Committee for assessment. Students will be notified of the outcome of their credit application in writing, and any exception decision will be recorded in the relevant systems by the Office of Research Services and Graduate Studies. 

Recording credit outcomes

(48) New articulation and credit agreements must be set up as precedents in the system by the decision-maker who receives the first application within the University submitted under that agreement. Where the credit application is submitted as part of the admissions process, a credit precedent will need to be manually added to the central credit management system by the decision-maker. 

(49) Credit decision-makers must look at past decisions/precedents and, where suitable, will record all decisions to grant credit for the qualification as a precedent in the credit management system. This will enable consistent decision-making by creating a precedent to be applied to future credit applications based on that source of prior learning.

(50) For current students, credit decisions and the evidence to support those decisions must be recorded in the central credit management system by the decision-maker.

(51) For prospective students, credit decisions and the evidence to support those decisions must be recorded in the admissions workflow by the decision-maker.

(52) For higher degree by research students, the Office of Research Services and Graduate Studies is responsible for recording information about credit decisions in the student document management system.

Monitoring credit outcomes

(53) The Course and Subject Quality Assurance and Review Procedure outlines the process and requirements for monitoring credit outcomes and their effect on student progress as part of formal subject performance reporting and annual course reviews that are undertaken by the University under the Course and Subject Policy.

(54) A review of credit precedents must be undertaken by each faculty at the end of each period for which the precedent has been approved. This review will include an assessment of the subjects included in the precedent for currency and suitability, and consideration of student academic performance compared to students who have not received the credit. The Credit Team will support the faculty in this review.

(55) Faculty staff are also responsible for regular monitoring of the academic progress of students granted credit under articulation and credit agreements, and making recommendations to change these agreements if findings indicate that students are not able to make satisfactory progress.

Notifying students of credit decisions

(56) Prospective students who applied for credit as part of their application for admission will receive a formal written notice of their credit outcome in their letter of offer, provided by the relevant Admissions Office.

(57) The Credit Team will notify current coursework students of credit decisions by email within two working days of receiving the credit application outcome from the decision-maker. This email will refer current students to the online credit application tool, where they can view the details of their credit assessment outcome in writing.

(58) For higher degree by research students, the Office of Research Services and Graduate Studies is responsible for all communications regarding credit that fall outside the admission process.

(59) Unsuccessful credit applicants will receive a written response informing them of the outcome and the reasons for it, including details of how to apply for a review or appeal of the credit decision.

International student acceptance of credit

(60) Where international students are successful in their application for credit and their request is approved by the University, they must formally accept the offer of credit before it will be applied to their enrolment. This is because accepting credit may result in a reduced course duration, which will affect the dates of their confirmation of enrolment (COE) and may impact the length of their student visa.

(61) To ensure international students are able to make an informed decision regarding credit, they will receive written notification of their credit application outcome which will contain information about how the credit may potentially impact their student visa, including:

  1. the effect that accepting credit may have on the length of their confirmation of enrolment (COE)
  2. that the University will report any change in course duration to the Commonwealth Government via PRISMS
  3. a statement that accepting credit may make the student ineligible to meet post-study work rights conditions, and
  4. that they may contact the Department of Home Affairs to seek advice as to whether any of the above will have an effect on their student visa.

Types of credit recorded on transcripts

(62) Granted credit outcomes will appear on student enrolment records and transcripts as follows:

Type of credit Specified credit Unspecified credit
Transfer credit (TCR) The transfer credit (TCR) grade will appear on the transcript next to the specified subject’s name and code, and the number of points the credited subject is worth. The transfer credit (TCR) grade will appear on the transcript next to a code used for unspecified credit, and the number of points that credit has been granted for.
Graded credit The student’s original achievement grade for the source subject completed in a prior Charles Sturt course will appear on the transcript, next to the specified subject’s name and code, and the number of points the subject is worth.
N/A
Graded credit can only be applied to specified subjects.
Proficiency credit (PCR) The proficiency credit (PCR) grade will appear on the transcript next to the specified subject’s name and code, and the number of points the subject is worth. The proficiency credit (PCR) grade will appear on the transcript next to a code used for unspecified credit, and the number of points that credit has been granted for.
Forward credit (FCR)
The forward credit (FCR) grade will temporarily appear on a student’s transcript next to the specified subject’s name, code, and number of points.
This provisional FCR grade will expire after two years and be removed from the student’s enrolment transcript if it has not been converted into specified transfer credit (TCR) before that time, on submission of evidence that the student has completed the approved study.
The forward credit (FCR) grade will temporarily appear on a student’s transcript next to the code used for unspecified credit and the number of points that credit has been provisionally granted for.
This provisional FCR grade will expire after two years if it is not converted into unspecified transfer credit (TCR), on the student’s submission of evidence that they have completed the approved study.

(63) The Credit Policy provides definitions of the above types of credit.

Converting forward credit (FCR to TCR)

(64) Forward credit (FCR) is a temporary grade used to record the approval of potential future credit for a student based on formal study undertaken outside of their current course enrolment which must be completed by the student and converted into transfer credit (TCR) within the required two-year timeframe, or it will expire. 

(65) The Credit Policy outlines circumstances where students may wish to apply for forward credit.

(66) Where a request for forward credit is approved, the Credit Team will update the student’s enrolment records by adding the relevant subject(s) with forward credit (FCR) grade(s).

(67) Students will then have two years (from the date on which the FCR grade is applied to their enrolment) to complete the approved study and provide evidence of their completion to the University before their temporary forward credit (FCR) grade expires.

(68) Upon receipt of evidence that the student has completed the approved study, the Credit Team will update the student’s enrolment by converting the forward credit (FCR) into transfer credit (TCR) against the relevant subject(s) (or points worth of unspecified course components) in their enrolment and on their transcript.

(69) Forward credit will be reviewed each teaching period. If it is identified that forward credit has expired without any evidence of the student successfully completing their outside study by the specified due date, the Credit Team will remove the forward credit from the student’s enrolment in the student management system.

(70) Students do not have to provide evidence of their completion of any subjects undertaken within Charles Sturt University to have their FCR grades finalised within their current course, as the Credit Team will convert the relevant forward credit into transfer credit (TCR) or graded credit once the internal subject results are released by the University.

(71) Forward credit (FCR) grades are outstanding grades that do not count towards completion of a course until the relevant outside study has been completed and the FCR grades have been finalised and converted into transfer credit. See the Conferral and Graduation Policy for information about graduation eligibility requirements.

Credit process for current subject enrolments

(72) Where a student is currently enrolled in the subject(s) they are seeking credit for, they must apply for credit well before each subject’s census date, if they wish to avoid incurring the tuition fees for each subject, should their credit application be successful.

(73) Where a student applies for credit in one or more of their current subject enrolments after the relevant census date has passed, they will have already incurred the tuition fees required for each subject by the time of submitting their application. They will remain liable for those tuition fees even if their credit application is successful, unless and until they meet the requirements and complete the process of applying for a refund after census date, as described in the Enrolment and Fees Procedure.

(74) If a credit application submitted before census date is successful but the decision is made after that census date has passed, Student Administration will:

  1. remove that subject from the student’s enrolment, and
  2. provide an automatic refund or remission of the tuition fees incurred for that subject. This will ensure that the student is not liable for HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP debt for the subject.

Withdrawal of credit 

(75) The Credit Policy states the authorised roles and circumstances under which credit may be withdrawn by the University:

  1. where the credit was granted on the basis of an administrative error or an error in assessment
  2. where the student has not been making adequate academic progress, or
  3. where a misconduct investigation finds the credit was granted on the basis of false, misleading, or withheld information provided by the student.

Credit granted through error

(76) When an error has been identified by the University, the relevant decision-maker (Course Director or Dean, Graduate Research) will complete the following actions within five working days:

  1. review the original credit decision and supporting documentation
  2. consult relevant delegates and stakeholders
  3. determine whether there has been an error in the assessment or administration of credit, and
  4. advise the Credit Team or Office of Research Services and Graduate Studies of the error and of the revised credit decision, if the granted credit was incorrect.

(77) The revised credit decision may alter or withdraw the granted credit where the review finds it was granted in error.

(78) Within five working days of receiving the adjusted credit decision, the Credit Team or Office of Research Services and Graduate Studies will:

  1. request a re-evaluation of the decision in the central credit management system
  2. inform the student in writing of the revised decision and the reason(s) for it
  3. adjust the student’s record of credit granted, and
  4. upload the decision correspondence and supporting documents to the student’s record in the student document management system.

Credit based on false, withheld, or misleading information

(79) Where the University believes that credit has been granted on the basis of false, withheld, or misleading information provided by a student in their application, the decision-maker (Course Director or Dean, Graduate Research) will:

  1. undertake a review of the original credit decision and the reason(s) or evidence indicating that the information on which it was based may have been false, withheld, or misleading, and
  2. confirm whether or not the decision was made on the basis of this potentially false, withheld, or misleading information provided in the student’s credit application and supporting documentation.

(80) If the decision-maker determines that the granted credit was based on potentially false, withheld, or misleading information provided by the student, they will refer the matter to an appointed officer for investigation under the Student Misconduct Rule 2020, within five working days of their review.

(81) If the misconduct investigation results in a decision to withdraw the credit, the appointed officer who applies this penalty will notify the relevant faculty or Office of Research Services and Graduate Studies, who will record this outcome in the relevant systems and withdraw the credit from the student’s enrolment.

Review of credit decisions

(82) The Credit Policy states that students may request a review of a credit decision, and also provides links to the University’s appeals and complaints processes and documentation.

(83) For coursework students, requests to have a credit decision reviewed must be sent to the Credit Team via credit@csu.edu.au within 20 working days of the date on which they were notified of their original credit outcome.

(84) The request must state the reason(s) the student wants the decision reviewed and should include any additional documentation that will support their request for credit.

(85) The Credit Team will check the review request to ensure that it provides additional evidence or information which meet grounds for review. If the grounds for review are met, the Credit Team will forward the request to the Associate Dean (Academic) of the relevant faculty for review.

(86) If the review application does not meet grounds for review, the Credit Team will contact the student and request additional evidence and/or information as required. The Credit Team may decline the review request if the student cannot provide additional evidence and/or information in support of their application.

(87) The Associate Dean (Academic) or delegate (of higher delegation than the original decision-maker) will review the decision.

(88) If the Associate Dean (Academic) or delegate requires more information from the student, they will inform the Credit Team, who will ask the student for it.

(89) The Associate Dean (Academic) or delegate will provide an outcome of the review to the Credit Team, including the reason(s) for their decision, within 10 working days of receiving the review request or of receiving any further information requested from the student.

(90) Where the outcome of the review is:

  1. no change to the decision, the Credit Team will inform the student of the decision and reason(s), and advise them of their right to appeal if they are not satisfied, or
  2. a change to the decision:
    1. the Credit Team will, within five working days of receiving the outcome from the Course Director, inform the student of the changed decision, and initiate a replacement credit application in the central credit management system, after which
    2. the Course Director will, within five working days of receiving the replacement credit application in the central credit management system, perform the necessary steps to approve the new credit decision, after which
    3. the Credit Team will, within five working days of the approval, finalise the application and notify the student of the outcome.

(91) For higher degree by research students, requests for a review of credit decisions should be submitted to the Office of Research Services and Graduate Studies, where they will be forwarded to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) for review. Students will be notified of the outcome in writing within 10 working days of receiving the request for a review (or receiving any additional supporting information, where this was requested) from the student. 

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(92) Nil.

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Section 5 - Glossary 

(93) This procedure uses terms defined in the Credit Policy, as well as the following:

  1. Central credit management system – an online tool staff use to create and manage credit precedents and pathways.
  2. Confirmation of enrolment (COE) – an official document issued to international students to confirm they have accepted a place and are eligible to enrol in a course at this University. The COE provides information about student enrolment status, course details, expected course duration, and enrolment start and end dates. 
  3. Domestic student – a student who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, New Zealand citizen, or holds an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.
  4. International/overseas student – a student who is not a domestic student at the time of the relevant study, who will be studying in Australia on a temporary student visa.
  5. Non-resident – all applicants/students who are not classified as ‘domestic’ or ‘international/overseas’ as defined in this procedure in relation to their visa/citizenship and location status. Non-residents include: any student enrolled in a non-domestic course (including Australian domestic students studying overseas in a course delivered by an offshore partner institution); non-domestic students studying on campus within Australia while on any temporary visa other than the student visa; and non-domestic students who are studying in a domestic course that is delivered entirely online, where they do not need a student visa for their enrolment.
  6. Online credit application tool – an online tool students use to apply for credit towards a course.
  7. Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS) – the Government’s reporting system and records database for the administration of international students enrolled with education providers in Australia for managing COEs and monitoring compliance with ESOS legislation and student visa requirements.
  8. Teaching period – as defined in the policy library glossary.
  9. University credit database – the online tool that current and prospective students use to find credit precedents and pathways that may apply to them.