Newbery’s Audit Guide – Clause 3.5


What the clause requires:

3.5 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: a) AQF certification documentation issued by any other RTO or AQF authorised issuing organisation; or b) authenticated VET transcripts issued by the Registrar.


What is this clause about:

This clause is about the recognition of outcomes issued by other RTOs. Our National Skills Framework is relatively unique in the world. Over the last 20 years, we have been building this wonderful framework of nationally recognised qualifications, accredited courses, skill sets and units of competency. We have a system to approve providers the ability to train, assess and award these nationally recognised outcomes. A cornerstone of our system is the concept of mutual recognition. A learner can be issued a unit of competency in Darwin and that outcome is as equally valuable in Adelaide. This is because for RTO’s have a statutory obligation to recognise the outcomes issued by other RTO’s. Colloquially, this is referred to as credit transfer. It is common to also hear people refer to this as “national recognition”.

The common misunderstanding with credit transfer is that it is somehow linked with recognition of prior learning. RPL is assessment and has nothing to do with the process of credit transfer. Credit transfer is administrative process where a learner seeks credit for units of competency they have previously achieved and the RTO determines if these units of competency are equivalent to the units of competency they are offering in the course. If the units are equivalent then the relevant units of competency are issued as a credit transfer. The RTO will retain the evidence that it relied on to issue a credit transfer outcome. This will typically be an AQF certificate and should always be certified as a true copy. It is quite critical that the RTO can produce this evidence at a regulatory audit when requested to do so.


You must be able to demonstrate that:

You inform learners of their opportunity to seek credit transfer for units of competency previously achieved

You recognise the outcomes issued by other RTO’s and do not discourage students from seeking a credit transfer

You retain evidence that was relied on to issue a credit transfer


Evidence to prepare:

Policy or procedure applied by the organisation to handle credit transfer applications

Information provided to learners (Learner Handbook) that informs them of the opportunity to apply for credit transfer and the requirements for this.

An example of a unit of competency being awarded as a credit transfer and the retained evidence that was relied on to demonstrate existing competency.

An example of a unit of competency being awarded as a credit transfer where the unit codes and titles were different and equivalency was established through confirmation on the national training register.

Credit transfer application forms that systemise the application process and enable quality checks to be conducted prior to issuance being awarded.


You should prepare for these types of questions:

Can you provide a recent example of where you have issued a credit transfer to a learner?

Can you talk me through the process for handling these applications?

Can you talk me through how you determine equivalency when the units of competency code and title are not the same?

How do you inform learners of the opportunity to seek credit transfer for units of competency previously achieved?


Published by: Joe Newbery, released 2nd May 2017

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