Credit for skills & past study

We are committed to recognising the valuable learning and life experience that students bring with them when they decide to study at VU.

You may be able to complete your course faster through recognition of your previous study, work skills and past experience as credits towards completion of your course. Some of our courses also have recognised study pathways, making learning more accessible.

The type of credit you may be eligible for will depend on your level of study:

  • Advanced standing applies to Higher Education (HE) (Bachelor degrees, Masters, PhD and Graduate courses)
  • Skills recognition applies to TAFE/Vocational Education (VE) (certificates and diplomas).

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Benefits of applying for credit

Applying for credit has many advantages. Importantly, it can save you valuable time and money when studying at university by reducing the time it takes to complete your course - if you've already studied a unit, or know what it's all about through life experience, why should you have to attend class to learn it all over again?

It enables quicker advancement into a higher level qualification, and can also help you re-enter the workforce, be promoted or find a new career.

Higher Education

Advanced standing

The term 'advanced standing' is used to describe the various methods through which a student or potential student can gain credit towards their study.

Advanced standing is an assessment process that recognises the skills and knowledge you have achieved, whether that be through study or life/work experience, by matching it with what would be covered in specific units within a course.

If you have previously successfully completed any of the units in the course you have enrolled in, or their equivalent, you may be eligible for advanced standing. We encourage you to discuss your options with your course coordinator and submit your application for advanced standing when you enrol.


Skills recognition

Through skills recognition students or potential students can gain credits towards their study through 'recognition of prior learning' (RPL), 'recognition of current competence' (RCC) and 'credit transfer'.

If you have previously successfully completed any of the units in the course you have enrolled in, or their equivalent, you may be eligible for credit transfer. If you have otherwise gained skills and knowledge that are relevant to your course, you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning.

Applications for RPL can be made prior to enrolling. To discuss RPL for any course please contact us on +61 3 9919 6100 and ask for the course manager of the course.

Credit Transfer

Credit Transfer recognises a course(s) that you have previously undertaken and enables you to gain credit in another course. If eligible, you may receive exemptions from parts of the new course for units you have already studied. The units must be identical or equivalent to those in the course you enrol in.

There is no fee for processing credit transfer as part of your enrolment into the course.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL acknowledges that people learn in many different ways and that learning may have been obtained through:

  • formal learning - which takes place within a teacher-student relationship, such as in a school system, at university or TAFE, and is formally recognised with grades, diplomas or certificates;
  • non-formal learning - occurs in a formal learning environment, but is not formally recognised within a curriculum or syllabus framework (workshops, community courses, interest based courses, short courses, or conference style seminars);
  • informal learning - occurs in a variety of places, such as at home, work, and through daily interactions and relationships with members of society;
  • a combination of all.

There are fees associated with applying for RPL, for further information please contact us on +61 3 9919 6100 and ask for the course manager of the course.

Recognition of Current Competence (RCC)

RCC involves being re-assessed against a qualification you already have, to make sure that your competence is current in case industry standards as practice may have changed (for example new technology or new media).

There are fees associated with applying for RCC, for further information please contact us on +61 3 9919 6100 and ask for the course manager of the course.

TAFE Skills recognition tool

Some of our TAFE courses use an online Skills Recognition tool that allows you to complete the RPL process in your own time and at your own pace.

It involves answering a range of simple questions which will determine your suitability for skills recognition. You also need to provide any evidence you have which supports your claim of current knowledge/skills.

An assessor will evaluate your application and provide feedback on any gaps that may need to be addressed through further training. You will then be formally notified by mail of the outcome - whether you have demonstrated competence for and therefore successfully completed a full or partial qualification.

The process normally takes between 2-8 weeks depending on your chosen course and how quickly you gather the required evidence.

Email for more information about the online skills recognition tool.


Government funding is available to eligible applicants to assist with costs. You may apply for a single unit of competency or a whole qualification.

Contact us

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Phone: +61 3 9919 6100
Visit: Student Service Centre