Issuing Credits in VET

Jul 9, 2020

Top 7 FAQs on Issuing Credits in VET

Issuing Credit Transfers

After years of working with clients and reading many discussion posts on LinkedIn, we have seen the all too common confusion around how and when to issue a credit transfer and the correct approach to working out a credit transfer. So, this article answers the top seven frequently asked questions:

  • What is a credit transfer?
  • When can I issue a credit?
  • How do I grant a credit for a superseded unit?
  • How do I grant a credit for a deleted unit?
  • What happens if the units a student holds are from a number of training packages ago?
  • Is credit the same or similar to RPL?
  • How do I issue a credit?

What is a credit transfer?

A credit transfer is when a student has previously completed study and wishes to receive recognition for the previous study they have completed. This is so they can reduce the work they need to do in the qualification or course they are enrolling in.

Issuing a credit does not involve any level of assessment. The only evidence collected is the certificate and statement of results from the student, or additional information that supports the study that was completed, such as subject outlines from the university. 

When can I issue a credit?

An RTO is obligated to offer credits at the time of enrolment. There will be a number of different scenarios you may run into when determining credits. 

  1. The student holds the same unit as included in the course they are enrolling into. In this case you would issue them the credit. 
  2. The student holds an old unit that is deemed equivalent (by Training Package) to the new unit that is in the course they are enrolling into. In this case you need to issue them with the credit. 
  3. The student holds related qualifications or units from outside the VET system and you need to determine whether they are equivalent.  The definition of credit under the VET Quality Framework includes study completed at university level. This will involve looking at the units in the course the student is enrolling into and comparing to the subject outlines from the university and determining equivalence. Do this with caution and seek guidance from SSOs (Skills Service Organisation) where possible. You may or may not be able to issue credits in this scenario. Keep in mind that it’s unlikely that skills have been assessed, and RPL may be a more suitable option for this student if they also have experience. 

How do I grant credit for a superseded unit?

There are several scenarios when students have completed superseded units of competency. The first scenario is if the unit has been superseded and replaced with a new unit. Here you need to check the recommendation on

Sometimes the unit will have been superseded and deemed as equivalent. Sometimes the unit will have been superseded but not deemed as equivalent. You can only grant credit where the unit has been deemed by the Training Package as equivalent. 

Let’s look at an example.

We all know that the Certificate IV in TAE was updated from the TAE40110 to the TAE40116. Within these qualifications most of the units stayed fairly similar with the exception of just a couple of units. Let’s look at the unit TAEDES401A which was replaced by TAEDES401. When we go to to find TAEDES401A you will see the following statement.

This means a credit transfer can be issued for TAEDES401 if a student has completed TAEDES401A.

We have seen people comment online: “If a unit is deemed equivalent then an RTO is still required to look at the learning outcomes of the unit to make their own judgement of equivalency.” However, this is inaccurate information. If the unit has been deemed equivalent by, the RTO is obligated to offer a credit transfer to their students.

Now let’s take a look at TAEASS401B. The recommendation for this unit states:

    When you see this, it means that no credit transfer can be offered, and that the unit has not been deemed equivalent.

    How do I grant a credit for a deleted unit?

    If the unit that the student had studied has been deleted, then a credit transfer can not be offered.

    What happens if a student holds units from a number of training packages ago?

    It is possible to grant credits for really old units. It might just take a little bit longer to work out. You can still use the Training Package mapping information to work out equivalence.
    What you would need to do though is make sure that the old unit had equivalence all the way through to the current training package. This is less likely, however sometimes it does happen.

    Using the TAE example we worked through earlier, let’s take the unit:

    • TAEDEL401 Plan, organise and deliver group-based learning from the TAE40116 qualification
      It superseded the unit and was equivalent to:
    • TAEDEL401A (same title) from the TAE40110 qualification
      It superseded the unit and was equivalent to:
    • TAADEL401B (same title)  from the TAA40104 qualification

    This means that if someone enrolled in the TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment today and they had completed the TAA40104 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, by tracing through the equivalency from one training package to the next, we can still give them a credit in the current training package.

    Is credit the same or similar to RPL?

    Credit and RPL are quite different processes however the terms are still often confused for some. This is often something we find is quite confusing for new people starting out in the industry or who have only been in VET for a short time, as they might have heard confused messages along the way.

    As you can tell from the processes discussed above, Credit is a simple mapping process. It’s an administrative process to look at whether units are the same to determine whether any credit can be granted so that the time in a student’s course can be reduced.

    RPL, however, is an assessment process. This is Recognition of Prior Learning and needs to be conducted by an assessor. The principles of assessment and rules of evidence apply with RPL and while RPL is a way of gaining credit for what you’ve done before in a way, the two processes are very different. 

    How do I issue a credit?

    It is important to be sure that the certificate provided for the purposes of claiming a credit is not fraudulent, and that the student did in fact complete the course.

    First, check for the things that need to be on a certificate that can easily tell you its authentic such as:

    • the RTOID of the issuing provider
    • the NRT logo
    • the AQF logo
    • seal, watermark or identifying features of the issuing provider. 

    It’s also important these days that you call the issuing provider to check the authenticity of the certificate or statement of results, or send an email to ask them to verify the authenticity of the certificate.

    We’ve seen some certificates that students were issued from overseas providers with Australian qualifications and units. So, it is also important to check they are an Australian Business and nothing seems off about the certificate. 

    Once you’ve worked out what the credits are, it’s important you confirm the credit transfers in writing to your student and keep a record of the process and outcomes on file. Document them in your student management system and record an AVETMISS outcome code of 60 against the relevant units. 

    We hope the above information has answered some of your questions around credit transfers. If you have any other questions, we’d love to hear them.