TAC Fact Sheet: Awarding Credit

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The purpose of credit in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector is providing recognition of a unit of competency and/or modules in which a learner has previously been assessed as competent.

Clause 3.5 of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 state:

The RTO accepts and provides credit to learners for units of competency and/or modules (unless licensing or regulatory requirements prevent this) where these are evidenced by:

  • AQF certification documentation issued by any other RTO or AQF authorised issuing organisation, or
  • authenticated VET transcripts issued by the Registrar.

This Fact Sheet provides advice for RTOs awarding credit for units of competency and/or modules and considers credit in relation to training product revisions and changes that can occur over time. Guidance is provided on the following two situations where credit is possible by an RTO:

  1. The student provides evidence of holding the current unit of competency and/or module; and
  2. The student provides evidence of holding the superseded unit of competency and/or module reflecting the current unit and/or module outcomes.

When considering credit, RTOs need to adhere to Clause 3.1 (certification) of the Standards which indicates that:

The RTO issues AQF certification documentation only to a learner whom it has assessed as meeting the requirements of the training product as specified in the relevant training package or VET accredited course.

This Fact Sheet should be read in conjunction with the TAC Fact Sheet: Training Product Equivalence and the TAC Fact Sheet: Recognition of Prior Learning.

Awarding credit when a learner holds the current unit of competency/module

Where a learner provides suitable evidence they have successfully completed a unit of competency and/or module at any RTO, all RTOs must provide credit for that unit or module.

Before providing credit on the basis of a qualification, a Statement of Attainment and record of results, you should authenticate the information in the document (e.g. by contacting the organisation that issued the document and confirming its authenticity or checking the information on the Unique Student Identifier (USI) website).

In some cases, licensing or regulatory requirements may prevent a unit or module being awarded through a credit process.

Determining Equivalence of Training Products

When Training Package developers determine equivalence, they conduct an analysis of the new unit or module and the one it immediately supersedes. This determination does not consider the units of competency or modules from versions superseded twice or more i.e. does not review historical versions.

Further information on equivalence is available in the TAC Fact Sheet: Training Product Equivalence


Awarding credit when successive versions are "Equivalent"?

RTOs can automatically award credit using the 'equivalent' determination where the unit of competency or module attained by the learner immediately precedes the unit or module for which credit will be awarded. 


Awarding credit when equivalent units or modules have been superseded twice or more*

Where a learner seeks credit for equivalent units or modules that have been superseded twice or more (e.g. there is a unit or module interceding) the RTO must conduct a mapping process to confirm no gaps exist in the training and assessment requirements between the unit or module attained by the learner and the unit or module for which the learner seeks an award of credit. An example of a mapping process is available in the TAC Fact Sheet: Training Product Equivalence.

Where a mapping process identifies gaps in the training and assessment requirements, no award of credit can be provided. 


When unit or module information is no longer available

There are instances where the content of a previous version of a unit or module is no longer available on the national VET Register, training.gov.au.

For example, consider the unit CPCCBC4008 Supervise site communication and administration processes for building and construction projects (as detailed in the TAC Fact Sheet: Training Product Equivalence) and go back two versions to CPCCBC4008A (Release 1). This unit is listed on training.gov.au, but the content of the unit can no longer be accessed. The mapping contained in the Companion Volume for this training product indicates that CPCCBC4008A is equivalent to CPCCBC4008B. And in the next release of the training package, CPCCBC4008B is equivalent to the current unit CPCCBC4008.

As an RTO has no way of knowing the content of CPCCBC4008A or what differences or similarities exist between this unit and the other two superseding versions of the unit, it would not be reasonable to grant credit in this situation as no mapping or evidence could be sourced.


When versions are "Not Equivalent"

Credit cannot be awarded when versions of units or modules are not equivalent, however the RTO could undertake an RPL process with the learner. RPL is a formal assessment process where all unit requirements are addressed, and the judgement is made using evidence that meets all the rules of evidence. The TAC Fact Sheet: Recognition of Prior Learning assists in interpreting the requirements of Clauses 1.8 and 1.12 (assessment).


Determining the vocational competency of trainers and assessors

RTOs are required to demonstrate their nominated trainers and assessors are vocationally competent and current in accordance with Clause 1.13 of the Standards for RTOs. This means that the trainers and assessors hold the unit they deliver and assess or are able to prove that they have equivalent competence. 


Evidence used to demonstrate equivalence of vocational competency may include relevant past training (including superseded and pre-existing industry qualifications), experience and professional development. The TAC Fact Sheet: Vocational Competence and Industry Currency assists in interpreting the requirements of Clause 1.13a.

What are auditors looking for?

When equivalence is part of a decision about credit, RPL and vocational competence, an RTO must provide evidence of mapping indicating how judgement and decisions occurred within each process. 


An overview of the decision process for Credit

The following flow chart provides guidance on key questions that must be considered by the RTO when awarding credit.   

Credit Decision Process Flowchart.png


*For providers who are not registered with TAC, please ensure that you are adhering to the guidance of the relevant VET regulator.

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Last modified: 16/01/2023 10:32 AM