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Credit for previous study or work experience

Students may be eligible to have their past studies and/or work experience count as credit towards their ACAP qualification. Credit is also known as Advanced Standing or Recognition of Prior Learning. This means that the student applying for credit could be exempt from some of the units listed in the relevant course sequence guide and be able to complete their qualification in a shorter period of time. Please note that applicants must be an enrolled student with ACAP before they can apply for Credit.

Credit may be granted through articulation, credit transfer or recognition of prior learning.

1.  Articulation

ACAP enters into agreements with other education providers on the basis of relativities between qualifications or on whether articulation agreements result in a logical sequential pathway for students to successfully meet the learning outcomes of the higher qualification.

The credit the student will receive will be in accordance with the articulation agreement.

2. Credit Transfer

Credit Transfer is a process that provides students with agreed and consistent credit outcomes based on identified equivalence in content and learning outcomes between matched qualifications as specified in a credit transfer arrangement between ACAP and another institution.

3. Recognition of Prior Learning

 Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is only available in exceptional circumstances however is not based on a formal agreement between ACAP and another institution.  It refers to the assessment of an individual’s relevant formal, non-formal and informal prior learning when applied to ACAP’s higher education programs.

For definitions of these terms please refer to the Credit Arrangements Policy.


Students can apply for credit for

  • units completed at ACAP in a different course
  • units completed at a different institution
  • extensive relevant work experience

Some Higher Education units are not available for credit. These are listed on the Application for Credit (Higher Education) form.

For Masters students credit will only be granted for units completed at the same level of study (that is, at Master level) or extensive (15 years +) work experience in the field.

Each Higher Education course has a maximum percentage of units for which a student is able to apply for credit:

  • Graduate Diploma of Counselling: 50% of the qualification requirements and must not exceed 50% of core units.

International students are also able to apply for credit, however, if credit is granted, and as a result the course duration is shortened, their student visa may be affected.

ACAP is required to report any variation in course duration to the relevant government authorities. For any questions please contact Lisa Bedwell: [email protected]u.

The Process

Step 1: Self-assess

 Applicants must first self-assess their prior formal learning, non-formal learning and work experience and other informal learning against the learning outcomes and content areas of the ACAP unit or units for which they are applying for credit. Unit outlines are available in the Module and Unit Descriptions on the website under the Current Students tab, Course Guides.

Step 2: Prepare a portfolio of evidence. All applications must have a separate portfolio for each unit.

For Higher Education units the student must provide a portfolio which contains:

1. an application letter, indicating

  • the unit for which the student is claiming credit, and
  • the learning outcomes of the ACAP unit, and
  • how the student has already met those specific learning outcomes in their previous learning (whether formal, non-formal or informal learning).

Single unit outlines can be found on the ACAP website under Current Students tab, Course guides or here.

2. Certified copies of transcripts or certificates if the student is applying for credit based on formal units/courses completed at a different institution.

3. Supporting documentation such as unit outlines (for credit transfer) or a resume, job description, letters from employers on letterhead for recognition of prior informal and non-formal learning.

 Step 3:

 Complete the Application for Credit (Higher Education) form and return to the relevant campus along with the portfolio.

Campus Contacts

For Sydney and Online Delivery please return to:

Administration ACAP, Locked Bag 11, Strawberry Hills, Sydney NSW 2012

For Melbourne please return to:

Level 10, 123 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia

For Brisbane please return to:

East Tower, Ground Floor, 410 Ann Street, Brisbane QLD 4000 Australia

Students are able to apply for credit at any time unless they have completed the unit or are enrolled in the unit at census date. It is therefore advisable to do so at the beginning of their studies.

Students must not enrol into units for which they are applying for credit.  Students who are enrolled in a unit at census date are liable for all fees and must meet all academic requirements to pass the unit.

Check the academic calendar for census dates.

After the application has been submitted

The relevant course coordinator will source a suitable assessor for the application, for example, an experienced educator for a particular unit. The assessor will either approve or decline the application based on the evidence supplied. The portfolio of evidence is extremely important in a successful application. The assessor will provide extensive feedback.

The course coordinator will inform the applicant of the outcome of the application and, where applicable, may request further evidence. This process may take up to 20 working days. Insufficient documentation provided by the student can lead to an unsuccessful application or a delay in the assessment of an application.

If the application is approved credit will be granted for the relevant unit or units and entered into the student management system. If the application is declined the student will need to complete the relevant unit or units as part of normal requirement of the course at ACAP.

The student may appeal any decision in this process in accordance with the Academic Grievances and Appeals Policy and Procedure.

For more information please contact the relevant course coordinator.

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