View Current

Recognition of Informal and Non-Formal Learning Procedure

This is the current version of this document. You can provide feedback on this policy to the enquiries contact - refer to the Status and Details on the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Document Context

(1) This procedure supports the implementation of the Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and must be read in conjunction with that document.

(2) The University of Newcastle (University) recognises prior learning including informal learning and non-formal learning undertaken by students


(3) This document outlines the requirements for assessing applications for the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) on the basis of informal learning and non-formal learning.


(4) This procedure applies to the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for students enrolled in:

  1. enabling programs;
  2. undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs; and
  3. coursework programs offered by the University to students studying in Australia and offshore, including those in which students enrolled through a partner institution.


(5) This document must be read and understood by staff responsible for administering credit applications, and students submitting applications for credit on the basis of informal learning and/or non-formal learning.


(6) In the context of this document:

Defined Term Meaning
Authorised Officer means the staff member with responsibility for processing the credit applications and corresponding outcomes for students.
Appeal Officer means a staff member who has delegated authority to consider and determine the outcome of an appeal of an academic decision relating to credit.
Top of Page

Section 2 - Recognition of Informal and Non-formal Learning


(7) Recognition of formal learning must be in accordance with the Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

(8) Applications for recognition of informal learning and non-formal learning will be assessed and will be granted where it is deemed that the student has met all learning outcomes for the course for which credit is sought in a relevant context.

(9) Multiple experiences and evidence of informal learning or non-formal learning may be assessed in combination to determine if the learning outcomes have been met.

(10) Where the majority of learning outcomes have been met, the Program Convenor may request additional evidence be provided or may conduct an interview to verify the attainment of the necessary knowledge, understanding and skills.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Applications and Supporting Documentation

(11) Applications seeking recognition for informal learning and non-formal learning must be made using the Recognition of Prior Learning Application Form (application).

(12) All supporting documentation for applications must be in English or accompanied by an English translation provided by an agency accepted by the Universities Admissions Centre (NSW and ACT) Pty Ltd (UAC).

(13) Applicants must:

  1. ensure the authenticity of any supporting documentation; and
  2. retain supporting documentation for six months from application; 
  3. produce the original supporting documentation if requested by the University.

(14) The University may take steps to verify the authenticity of any documentation provided. This may include seeking further information from parties relevant to the supporting documentation.

(15) The supply of false information, false or falsified documentation by a student to the University will result in the rejection of the application and/or the rescission of the credit granted. This may result in disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Conduct Rule.


(16) The Program Convenor will assess whether the informal learning or non-formal learning achieves the learning outcomes.

(17) Where applications do not contain sufficient or appropriate evidence to enable the Program Convenor to make a determination, the student may be requested to provide additional documentation. If additional documentation is not provided, the application will be denied.


(18) Applicants/students will be advised of the application outcome, including any reasons why credit has not been granted.

(19) Where an International applicant/student is granted credit, a new offer of admission specifying the revised (if shortened) duration of the Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) will be issued. 

(20) Credit outcomes will lapse if the applicant does not accept and enrol in the program within twelve months of the issuance of the application outcome. Where the outcome has lapsed, the applicant may re-apply, but the outcome of the original approval is not guaranteed.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Roles and Responsibilities

(21) Authorised officers with defined roles and responsibilities in the context of this document are:

Role Responsibility
Program Convenor
  1. Consider and determine the RPL applications on a case by case basis in accordance with the provisions of this document, the Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy, and the Program-Based Credit Limits and Currency.
  2. Seek advice, as appropriate, if an application for credit is for a course(s) convened by another School.
Course Co-ordinator Where consulted by the Program Convenor, make a recommendation related to the recognition of non-formal learning or informal learning.
Assistant Dean (Education) Consider and determine the outcome of an application in the absence of or in place of the Program Convenor.
Deputy Head of College (Education) Consider and determine the outcome of an application in the absence of or in place of the Program Convenor.
Relevant Global Office, Pathways and Academic Learning Support Centre staff, Newcastle Australia Institute of Higher Education (NAIHE) and Student Central staff.
  1. Grant credit in line with any approval made by the Program Convenor.
  2. Notify students of Program Convenor determinations.
  3. Reject any applications that fall outside of the eligibility criteria set out in the Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and this procedure.
Top of Page

Section 5 - Relaxing Provision

(22) To provide for exceptional circumstances arising in any particular case (for an individual student or student cohort), the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Vice President and President Academic Senate in a joint capacity and on the recommendation of a College Pro Vice-Chancellor, may relax a provision of this procedure except for clauses relating to the determination of appeals against credit outcomes.

Top of Page

Section 6 - Appendices

(23) Program-Based Credit Limits and Currency

(24) Recognition of Prior Learning Application Form