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Recognition of Prior Learning Procedures




Procedural statements

Procedural ownership and support


Approval information

PDF version


1. Purpose

1.1 These procedures outline UTS requirements and processes for granting credit to students for their prior learning.

2. Scope

2.1 These procedures apply to all staff, students, applicants and/or future students (hereafter, applicants) wishing to assess or gain credit for prior learning.

3. Principles

3.1 The principles outlined in the Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy apply for these procedures.

4. Procedural statements

Advice to applicants

4.1 UTS must publish current advice on the Recognition of prior learning (RPL) webpage (on the Current students’ website) on timelines, types of learning assessed and application processes for students wishing for recognition of prior learning (RPL).

4.2 Applicants should note that eligibility to apply for RPL towards a particular course does not imply or guarantee a place in that course, nor the granting of RPL.

4.3 Applicants should be advised by the Executive Director, Lifetime Learner Experience Unit (LLEU) or UTS International of any implications related to fees or visa requirements that may arise from having prior learning recognised or the cancellation of previously recognised learning.

4.4 Applicants will be officially notified in writing of the results of their RPL applications by the Executive Director, LLEU via either LLEU or UTS International.

RPL applications processes

4.5 Applicants must apply for RPL through the process approved by the Executive Director, LLEU and published on the RPL webpage.

4.6 International applicants can apply for RPL through the UTS international application form approved by the Director, UTS International and published on the Applying to study at UTS webpage.

4.7 Applicants are responsible for providing all required and/or requested information (including official documentation, course outlines or structures, translations as requested, etc.) to the university by the prescribed deadlines. In addition, students may be required to complete an examination or other form of assessment to test equivalency of their learning, as part of the approval process.

4.8 Normally, the following documentation is required as part of the request for RPL:

  • certified copies of academic transcripts or subject results, with an official explanation of the grading system
  • the appropriate sections from the handbook, official subject outlines or syllabus (including topics covered, class hours, type of assessment, textbooks) for the year in which the relevant subjects were passed; describing in detail the subjects studied at the previous institution that are being used to apply for credit recognition.
  • official English translations of all documents submitted as part of the application by either a Public Notary, a UTS registered student recruitment agent, a recognised translation company in the student’s home country. The translated documents need to have the official (translation) seal and must be signed by the translator or by a translator accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).

4.9 Documentation provided with any application for RPL may be verified by UTS in consultation with the issuing authority.

4.10 Where documentation cannot be verified or the issuing authority confirms that the documentation is fraudulent in any way, the Executive Director, LLEU must be notified. The Executive Director, LLEU may cancel credit recognition granted or take action under Rule 5.6, Student Rules, to cancel the offer of admission or enrolment.

4.11 Where an application for RPL includes ‘non-formal’ learning (including work experience or other life experiences), applicants must normally provide:

  • a resume or position description which outlines the relevant experience
  • letter from the applicant’s employers (where recognition is on the basis of work experience)
  • a letter or reference from the relevant organisation(s)
  • details of how this experience addresses the course requirements (provided in the UTS Handbook), and/or
  • any other documentation required for the course as outlined in the UTS Handbook or the relevant faculty’s credit recognition website.

4.12 Timeframes for domestic and international RPL applicants may differ and should follow the advice published on the RPL webpage:

  • Normally, domestic applicants will have their RPL assessed and/or approved in a timely manner on or shortly after enrolment, or before the end of the second week of semester at the latest to allow for adjustments to the study plan.
  • For international applicants, RPL should be assessed by the authorised delegate prior to admission and should be part of the formal offer of a place at UTS. RPL may be approved after the time of offer in cases where additional information is required or there are other circumstances outside UTS’s control that delay the approval process. The authorised delegate should indicate a minimum level of RPL in terms of credit points and duration of exemption of study, which the student should receive as part of the formal offer from UTS, with final RPL confirmed at enrolment and/or after an interview with the student.

4.13 For all students, RPL applications made after initial enrolment will only be considered at the discretion of the authorised delegate in cases where a student’s circumstances have changed since initial enrolment. Second or late applications should be submitted:

  • on the authorised form, by the deadlines approved and published by LLEU on the RPL webpage
  • with a written statement, which must include full disclosure of the initial application and set out the circumstances which prevented an initial application or the changed circumstances which justify a second application.

4.14 Students cannot apply for RPL under any circumstances after final re-enrolment. Students may apply to have approved RPL cancelled up to the point of final re-enrolment.

RPL processing and management

4.15 Faculty boards, in line with the Student Rules, must approve a process for approving RPL, the limits on RPL and the standards by which RPL equivalency is determined, including but not limited to requirements for currency (normally a maximum of five years), knowledge requirements, alignment between learning outcomes, the volume of learning, any interview assessment processes, content of study and other learning and assessment approaches.

4.16 Faculties must ensure the integrity of RPL decisions and take appropriate steps to manage perceived or actual conflicts of interest and other related risks. Faculties may require (where appropriate or necessary) authorised delegates to assess RPL applications without identification of, or personal interaction with, the applicant.

4.17 Faculties must publish RPL requirements in the UTS Handbook, linked to the faculty’s RPL website, and provide LLEU with any changes to the RPL processes or parameters before the start of each admissions period.

4.18 In cases where one faculty is teaching a subject in the course of another faculty, the teaching faculty is responsible for defining the RPL criteria and process in respect of the taught subject. Decisions regarding RPL can be made either by the teaching faculty or the faculty that owns the course, in accordance with these RPL criteria.

4.19 Faculties cannot levy fees for assessment of RPL for Commonwealth supported students and domestic fee-paying students.

4.20 Faculties must ensure that a record of RPL precedents is maintained, either by the faculty or other organisational units on the faculty’s behalf. Wherever possible, these precedents should be published on faculty websites, including:

  • UTS subject number, name and version
  • source university
  • source subject number, name and its version, year or similar identifier
  • status: approved/refused
  • year offered.

4.21 The National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (NOOSR) Country Education Profile or the United Kingdom National Information Centre (UK ENIC) should be used for assessing equivalency of overseas study. A list of supplementary reference materials maintained by UTS International may also be used for advice to faculties as appropriate.

4.22 When an RPL application is made on the basis of formal learning, it is checked against the faculty’s current precedent records. Where a precedent exists, the application is approved or declined based on the precedent. Where no precedent exists an assessment of the equivalency for credit is made by the authorised delegate with expertise in the relevant subject.

4.23 Where an application without precedent is assessed by the authorised delegate, the person who does the assessment must not be the same person who does the data entry into CASS (the university’s curriculum and student system).

4.24 When an application for credit recognition is made on the basis of non-formal learning, an equivalency assessment should be made by the authorised delegate with expertise in the relevant subject or area.

4.25 When approved by faculty boards, UTS International may assess and approve international students’ RPL applications that are:

  • covered by an approved external arrangement captured on CASS
  • based on precedent data and specific faculty board directions.

4.26 UTS International will check applications for completeness and seek additional information from applicants if required.

4.27 UTS International must refer applications to the relevant authorised delegate for assessment if they fall:

  • outside the approved external arrangements captured on CASS, or
  • outside precedent data and faculty board directions, or
  • in any case of doubt.

4.28 For the purpose of monitoring RPL trends, the LLEU or relevant faculty administrative officers will, if requested, provide summary reports to Responsible Academic Officers (RAOs) and course coordinators on the RPL granted by course (from the relevant Student System report), at the end of each admissions round.

Articulation arrangements, pathways, international arrangements

4.29 External courses may be recognised by UTS through an articulation arrangement via written agreement with an external provider. Further guidance on articulation arrangements is outlined in the Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

4.30 Applicants covered by articulation arrangements or pathway programs must submit all required or requested information (including certified or official documentation or translations as requested).

4.31 Where the articulation arrangement and submission procedures are governed by a written agreement between UTS and a partner institution, the applications must follow the procedures as described in the agreement.

4.32 Faculties must submit applications for, and maintain the currency of, articulation arrangements with external institutions via the Online Course Approval Process (OCAP) system in compliance with relevant UTS policies.

4.33 UTS International is able to receive, process and approve RPL applications for international students covered by an approved external arrangement captured on CASS.

4.34 Faculty boards may authorise UTS International to receive, process and approve RPL applications of international applicants based on precedent data and approved faculty board directions.

4.35 UTS International and LLEU will:

  • check applications for completeness and seek additional information from applicants if required
  • refer applications to the faculty-authorised delegate (see Delegations) for assessment if the applications fall outside the approved external arrangements captured on CASS, the precedent data or outside faculty board directions.

Concurrent study recognition

4.36 Students who wish to undertake concurrent study must complete the application for concurrent study form (available from how to apply on the concurrent study webpage), and follow all published directions, deadlines and submission requirements for application.

4.37 Students who complete subjects at another institution while enrolled at UTS, without prior approval for concurrent study, may not have credit granted.

4.38 Once concurrent study has been approved by the authorised delegate, the student is issued with a concurrent study notification by LLEU, which includes the name of the host institution, the subject(s) to be attempted at the host institution and the UTS subject(s) or unspecified credit that will be granted.

4.39 Students on concurrent study at another institution (including exchange arrangements) must comply with all rules and regulations of the host institution and abide by the requirements of the UTS Student Declaration.

4.40 On successful completion of the subjects at the host institution, students should submit the necessary documentation to the Student Centre as directed on the RPL webpage, so that the credit can be transferred to the UTS student record.

4.41 Subjects successfully completed are added to the UTS student record as a subject exemption. No mark is recorded and the subjects do not contribute to the calculation of level of award or the grade point average.

Course transfer

4.42 If a student transfers between UTS courses or has completed previous studies at UTS (including UTS microcredentials), they may be entitled to have subjects automatically credited to their current course.

4.43 If RPL is not automatically applied, the student will be required to go through the process outlined on the RPL webpage.

Unavailable documentation

4.44 Refugees and applicants applying under the humanitarian access support package, who cannot provide documentation of previous educational qualifications, must provide a statutory declaration and any supplementary assessments as required under the provisions of the scheme (see Admissions Procedures).

Cancellation of RPL

4.45 Students who wish to cancel their RPL for academic or other reasons may apply in writing following the directions provided on the RPL webpage. The Executive Director, LLEU will refer the application for consideration and decision by the RAO in accordance with Rule 6.3.2, Student Rules.

4.46 Previously recognised learning may be cancelled or action may be taken, under Rule 5.6, if false or misleading documentation is submitted; and an offer of admission or enrolment may be cancelled.

Records management

4.47 All originals of processed application forms and supporting documentation must be sent to LLEU. The application form is scanned, and the originals of the form and supporting documentation are kept in batches for two years and the scanned copy for six years after course completion or discontinuation, in accordance with section 12.6.1 of the State Records General Disposal Authority 23.

5. Procedural ownership and support

5.1 Procedures owner: The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) is responsible for approval and enforcement of these procedures under the Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

5.2 Procedures contacts:

The Executive Director, LLEU (or nominee), Director, UTS International (or nominee), deans and/or faculty board chairs are all responsible for the implementation of these procedures, and act as primary points of contact for advice on implementing its provisions.

5.3 Others:

Authorised delegates are responsible for approving or rejecting applications for RPL in accordance with the requirements of the Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy, these procedures and the Delegations.

Faculty boards are responsible for setting specific RPL requirements, for ensuring that a systematic approach to assuring the quality of RPL processes and decisions is established and for monitoring the broad trends related to RPL.

6. Definitions

These definitions apply for these procedures and are in addition to the definitions outlined in Schedule 1, Student Rules and the Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

Applicants means any student or future student making a request for RPL.

Non-formal learning means any learning that does not have formal or recognised certification that is recognised by a faculty board for RPL.

Approval information

Procedures contacts Executive Director, Lifetime Learner Experience Unit and Director, UTS International
Approval authority Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students)
Review date 2024
File number UR19/1203
Superseded documents Credit Recognition Procedures 2011 (UR10/990)

Version history

Version Approved by Approval date Effective date Sections modified
1.0 Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) 11/04/2019 16/05/2019 New procedures
1.1 Director, Governance Support Unit 22/05/2020 27/05/2020 Addition of the RPL process for international students and transfer between courses to reflect current practice. Minor amendments to provisions 4.5, and 4.50.
1.2 Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students)t 05/10/2021 27/10/2021 Updates and corrections to the RPL process, course transfer and articulation arrangements.

PDF version

Recognition of Prior Learning Procedures (PDF 193KB)


Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy

Admissions Procedures

Current students website: concurrent study, recognition of prior learning


Student Rules: section 5.6, section 6.2, section 6.3.2, schedule 1

UTS Handbook

UTS Student Declaration