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Assessing Recognition of Prior Learning Applications Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) To specify the responsibilities and actions required for the assessment or reassessment of applications for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for the purpose of admission and/or Credit Transfer, and the rescission of Credit.


(2) This Procedure (Assessing Recognition of Prior Learning Applications Procedure) applies to staff and coursework students of Macquarie University, and its entities including the Macquarie University International College (MUIC).

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Section 2 - Policy

(3) Refer to the Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

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Section 3 - Procedures

Part A - Responsibilities and Required Actions

(4) This Procedure requires actions by the following:

  1. Students/Prospective students;
  2. Student Administration;
  3. Macquarie International;
  4. Faculty Exemptions Officers and/or Course Directors;
  5. Faculty Boards and MUIC Sub-committee of ASQC; and
  6. Academic Standards and Quality Committee (ASQC).

(5) RPL is administered by Student Administration (Lifecycle) and by Macquarie International (Academic Programs) on behalf of Faculties and Departments and the Macquarie University International College (MUIC), which authorise the granting of RPL within defined guidelines.

Student/Prospective Student

Application for RPL and Related Time Frames

(6) Prospective and current students may apply for Recognition of Prior Learning:

  1. as part of an application for admission to the University;
  2. during their course; or
  3. prior to an approved Macquarie University outbound mobility program.

(7) Where not applying for RPL at the point of application for admission, students must submit their RPL applications prior to commencement of an academic session and before enrolment in the unit for which RPL is sought - submission dates for the current year are advised on the RPL webpage. For students going on approved Macquarie University outbound mobility programs, credit applications must be submitted during the academic approval stage of the mobility process.

(8) Students should note that the granting or rescinding of credit may affect their duration of study. It may also result in timetable clashes or issues with certain study combinations and the University is under no obligation to make special arrangements for students where this occurs. International students must inform themselves about the impact any such changes may have on their student visa.

Evidence to Support the Application

(9) Applicants must supply evidence to support their request for admission or credit as defined on the RPL webpage. Evidence of the student’s prior formal, informal or non-formal learning must demonstrate attainment of learning outcomes required for admission to the specified Macquarie course and/or achievement of the specific learning outcomes of the unit(s) for which credit is sought.

Evidence for PACE equivalence

(10) Students must provide evidence through:

  1. having completed a PACE-like unit elsewhere; or
  2. submission of a portfolio providing evidence that all four essential PACE elements (as specified in Clause 14(b) have been met.

Re-assessment of RPL

(11) Under the circumstances set out below, and complying with the RPL application timeframes, applicants may request a reassessment of RPL:

  1. on admission to a course;
  2. when transferring to another course;
  3. if student has identified additional prior learning that was not originally assessed;
  4. when seeking to convert previously granted unspecified credit to specified credit; and
  5. on readmission to a course after an absence.

Rescission of RPL

(12) A request for rescission of RPL may be made by the student on admission to a course. Students may also request rescission of credit post course commencement if the request is academically justified and forms part of an academic success intervention strategy. Rescission requests must comply with the RPL application time frames noted above.


(13) Applicants whose request for assessment, reassessment or rescission of RPL is not approved may appeal under the provisions of the Academic Appeals Policy.

Student Administration/Macquarie International

Assessment of RPL

(14) Note the RPL application timeframes above and follow the procedures described below.

  1. Assess the applicant’s request for recognition of prior learning for credit, or for admission to a reduced duration course, based on approved RPL decisions in the following:
    1. Unit to unit precedents recorded in the Credit Transfer Register;
    2. Articulation or credit and related arrangements recorded in the Articulations Register; and
    3. Approved informal or non-formal learning scenarios outlined in the RPL schedules (Departmental RPL plans).      
  2. Direct all other credit requests for decision by  the Faculty/Department responsible for teaching the unit or course for which admission or credit is being sought. In the case of Standard Foundation Programs, credit requests must be forwarded to the Associate Director, Learning and Teaching, MUIC.

    For assessment of PACE units, the student must have engaged in an experiential learning activity that:
    1. was mutually beneficial; and
    2. met or exceeded the minimum hours standard set in Senate’s Criteria for the Accreditation of PACE units and activities; and
    3. enabled the integration of theory with practice; and
    4. was embedded in and supported by a reflective practice framework.
  3. Ensure the total credit yield adheres to the RPL Policy, the Schedule of Equivalencies, and the Schedule of Minimum Requirements.
  4. Ensure the granting and recording of Credit for international students on a student visa adheres to the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students (the ESOS National Code).
  5. Record the outcome of the assessment on the student record and where a precedent is approved record it in relevant registers or schedules.
  6. Where a student changes courses, collate the RPL approval(s), and make any necessary adjustments to the allocation of unspecified and specified credit within the student’s new course.
  7. Notify the student of any RPL granted/not granted in the context of their course, and of the reason for requests that have not been approved.
  8. Student Administration / Macquarie International will determine a student’s total eligible credit in accordance with the RPL Policy, Schedule of Equivalencies, and the Schedule of Minimum Requirements, and may grant unspecified credit to exhaust elective requirements.

Reassessment of RPL

(15) The process for Reassessment of RPL is the same as the process for Assessment of RPL.

Rescission of RPL

(16) Where a student requests rescission of credit on admission to a course, review the request and make a decision.

(17) Where a student requests rescission of credit post course commencement, direct the request for decision by the Faculty/Department/College responsible for teaching the unit or course for which rescission of Credit is being sought. In the case of Foundation courses, requests are directed to the Associate Director, Learning and Teaching MUIC.

(18) Credit rescission may also be made by the University in the following circumstances:

  1. credit was granted on false or misleading information provided by the student; and
  2. where it is required due to a change in a Course or Major.

(19) Where Credit is rescinded, make any necessary adjustments to the allocation of unspecified and specified Credit within the student’s course, and record on the student record.

(20) Notify the student of the outcome of the request for Rescission of Credit.

(21) Where the rescission of credit affects the course duration for an international student on a student visa, ensure adherence to the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students (ESOS National Code).

Faculty / College Exemptions Officers and/or Course Directions and/or Faculty Academic Director of PACE


(22) Approval of Specified Credit is by the Faculty/Department that teaches the unit (including equivalent MUIC Diploma units). Approval is by MUIC for all Foundation Program units. The appropriate Faculty/ Department/ College will assess requests for specified credit that:

  1. are not covered by a precedent in the Credit Transfer Register; or
  2. where the precedent has lapsed.

(23) When approving a unit equivalency, the Faculty/Department/College may determine whether the approved equivalency is to be recorded as a precedent and published on the Credit Transfer Register to enable it to be applied to other students requesting the same credit.

(24) Unit to unit equivalencies held in the credit transfer register may be amended by Departments that teach the unit.

(25) Approval of block credit is by the Faculty/Department/College that teaches the course for which the student is seeking admission or credit. The process of defining block credit requires that the Faculty/Department/ College:

  1. Consider how the prior learning has contributed to achievement of the course learning outcomes of the Macquarie course; and
  2. Determine what portion of the Macquarie course is required to allow the student to build upon the prior learning to meet the Macquarie course learning outcomes.

(26) Rescission of Credit previously granted is by the Faculty/Department/College that teaches the unit and requires that the Faculty/Department/College:

  1. make this decision as part of a student success intervention strategy, considering the academic justification and impact of rescinding previously granted Credit.

(27) Approval of Prior Learning for PACE Units is by the Faculty Academic Director of PACE, or the Academic and Program Director of PACE, or Nominee

Faculty Boards/ MUIC Sub-committee of ASQC

(28) Faculties / Departments / the College will regularly review RPL information held in the Credit Transfer Register, the Articulations Register, and in RPL Schedules (Departmental RPL Plans) so that information is kept current and relevant.

(29) Articulation and credit arrangements held in the Articulations Register may be amended according to the Development of Articulation and Related Credit Arrangements procedure.

(30) Amendments and additions to RPL schedules (Departmental RPL Plans) are approved by Faculty Boards.

Academic Standards and Quality Committee

(31) Standards for the assessment of Prior Learning are regularly reviewed and monitored by the Academic Standards and Quality Committee (ASQC).

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(32) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(33) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. Definitions specific to this Procedure are contained in the Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.