Credit for prior study or experience

Reduce the amount of study you need to do by getting credit for prior study or experience.

Credit for prior study may be awarded for previous studies at RMIT, or other institutions across Australia and around the world. You may get credit even if you didn’t complete your prior program of study. 

Overseas studies will be compared to equivalent Australian qualifications to determine eligibility.

Credit for prior experience, which is also called recognition of prior learning (RPL), may be awarded for skills or knowledge gained during employment, professional development, short courses, on-the-job training, or life experience.

How much credit can I get?

You can only receive credit for study or experience that is closely related to your RMIT program. 

The maximum amount of credit you can get depends on whether you’re enrolled in a vocational, undergraduate or postgraduate program.

The following information is provided as a guide only. For more detailed information please see our credit procedure.

Program Maximum credit
Certificate IV No maximum
Diploma No maximum
Advanced diploma No maximum

The following information is provided as a guide only. For more detailed information please see our credit procedure.

Program Maximum credit
Associate degree 50%
Bachelor degree 66%
Bachelor honours degree (4 years) 75%
Bachelor honours degree (1 year) 50%

The following information is provided as a guide only. For more detailed information please see our credit procedure.

Program Maximum credit
Graduate certificate 50%
Graduate diploma 50%
Masters by coursework* 50%

* Based on a 2-year program. Where masters advanced standing has been granted, the minimum study requirement will be based on 50% of the remaining program duration.

The following information is provided as a guide only. For more detailed information please see our credit procedure.

Program Maximum credit
Masters by research Core coursework only
PhD Core coursework only

For more information about Higher Degree by Research coursework, please see Enrolment, leave and changes to candidature.

Applying for credit as a domestic student

You can apply for credit as soon as you have accepted your offer to study at RMIT. This will help you avoid the time and cost involved in doing unnecessary study. Applications may take a while to process, so please apply as soon as possible after accepting your offer.

Apply before your census date. If you apply after your census date, you will incur all course fees and possibly an academic penalty. 

If you are a vocational education student applying for credit for prior experience/RPL, please ensure you discuss your prior experience with your Program Manager or Program Coordinator before you submit your application. 

If you're applying for a master's by coursework and have completed a related undergraduate degree, we may give you an exemption to study certain courses. If your application to study is successful, your letter of offer will list any exemptions we’ve awarded you. You can still apply for additional credit once you have accepted your offer.

When you apply for credit, you will need to supply evidence of your prior study or experience (see below).

If you’re seeking credit for study you did at RMIT, we’ll use your academic record to assess how much credit you should get. There’s no need to supply additional information.

If you’re seeking credit for study you did at another institution, your application for credit must include the following documents.

Academic transcript If your transcript isn’t in English, please provide a translated copy that has been certified.
Explanation of results Education providers express academic results in different ways. If your transcript does not include an explanation, you can include a link to the relevant page on the institution’s website.
Course outline This must detail learning outcomes and assessment criteria for your previous studies. Course outlines may be an extract from a subject guide, handbook, or syllabus.

Each RMIT course is designed around a set of learning outcomes or elements you’ll be expected to achieve. When you apply, you’ll need to provide detailed statements explaining how your work or life experience aligns with the learning outcomes or elements for the courses you’d like credit/RPL for. 

How to find course learning outcomes or elements:
  1. Search for your program guide.
  2. Click ‘Program delivery and structure’ to see all the courses in your program.
  3. Click on each course to get more detail and find the learning outcomes/elements.
Examples of work or life experience that can count towards credit for prior experience/RPL include:
  • paid or unpaid work experience 
  • prior formal training 
  • skills and knowledge gained on the job 
  • community work experience 
  • short course and work-based learning 
  • trade skills.

Types of evidence 

Make sure your statements reflect the depth and breadth of your knowledge and skill. You’ll also need to provide supporting evidence showing how your experience aligns with the course learning outcomes or elements. 

Evidence may include (but is not limited to) the following documents.

Resumé or CV This should include job titles, employment dates and the scope of your duties.
Portfolio of work or finished work This includes reports, presentations, artwork, garments, webpages, music videos or other artifacts. If the work was collaborative, please detail your and others' roles. 
Position description This should include obligations, staff supervision and any budgetary responsibilities.
Written references Please include referee contact details in case we need to seek further information. Each reference should confirm the information in your written statement and explain how your experience relates to the learning outcomes. 
Memberships This includes any relevant industry or association memberships/subscriptions to support your application.
Certificates of attainment / Training records / Professional development These should provide evidence of relevant training activities or personal/professional development and includes:
  • OHS training records
  • annual performance reviews
  • audio/video/photographic evidence (time/date stamped/verified)
  • certified copies of certificates and/or transcripts.
Letters of support Letters should be written by an individual with first-hand knowledge of your experience.
Photos and recordings You can include videos, audio recordings and photographs that show you performing relevant tasks and activities. 
Logbooks or diaries You can provide logbooks or diaries detailing tasks you’ve performed and what you’ve learned. Include dates and timeframes.
Documents or work samples you have written This includes project reports.
Industry experience This includes file notes or emails demonstrating your industry experience, as well as industry licenses and/or tickets.
Workplace documents

These include:

  • workplace training records with details of your attendance
  • details of in-house courses, workshops, seminars, or other training you have attended
  • documents detailing your attendance at relevant meetings.  

Prior experience checklist

Before you apply, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I addressed each of the course learning outcomes/elements?
  • Did I address the verbs (actions) in the course learning outcomes/elements?
  • Do my statements provide detail on the currency of my knowledge and skills?
  • Does my application show I can reliably meet the course learning outcomes/elements?
  • Are my statements and evidence valid as well as relevant to the course learning outcomes/elements?
  • Does my statement and evidence show I have conceptual knowledge and understanding of the course learning outcomes/elements?
  • Have I provided an adequate amount of supporting evidence?
  • Is my application being submitted before the relevant census date?

If you answer 'yes' to each question, you're ready to apply!

Assessment criteria

We will assess your prior experience using the following criteria. 

Currency Whether your knowledge and skills are up to date.
Authenticity Whether you can provide verified evidence that you’ve applied your skills and knowledge.
Reliability and consistency Whether your knowledge and skills have been demonstrated over time.
Conceptual knowledge Whether you can demonstrate deep learning and a critical understanding of why something is done, as opposed to procedural knowledge.
Relevance Whether you can provide evidence that your knowledge and skills have been applied in a valid context.

Vocational education students applying for RPL

Click on the arrow below to see extra information about applying for RPL as a vocational education student.

The RPL application can take up to 8 weeks depending on the complexity of your application. It's important you provide all documents as early as possible and within the given timeframes to the assessor. 

How to apply for RPL 

Step 1: Discuss your application

Talk to your Program Manager or Program Coordinator before applying. This will:

  • establish whether you have a case for RPL before you apply
  • determine the types of evidence to be provided.

Your Program Manager or Program Coordinator will review your situation and advise if you should apply for RPL. This can take up to 2 weeks after your initial discussion.

Step 2: Prepare your supporting evidence

Refer to the table above to find out about what evidence to submit. The evidence provided must:

  • meet the assessment criteria for each course for which you're applying for RPL 
  • demonstrate your skills, knowledge and/or experience associated within the course/s
  • be clearly listed in your application 
  • uploaded online when you apply for RPL.

Depending on the course/s you are applying for, there can be different types of evidence accepted. Evidence items can be used for more than one unit of competency if it is appropriate.

Step 3. Apply online

Before you apply, refer to the prior experience checklist to ensure you have everything you need.

Click the red button below - Apply for credit as a domestic student. This will take you to the online application form in the RMIT Student Connect portal.


Assessment can take up to 2 weeks. You must continue in the course/s until the outcome has been finalised.

Your Program Manager/Program Coordinator will review the application and, if necessary, assign it to another assessor to review. You will have to complete an assessment kit with your Program Manager and/or Program Coordinator . The assessment kit will be explained in your pre-application RPL discussion.    

The assessor might schedule a meeting with you if further information or evidence is needed. The assessor will discuss any gaps in the evidence against the unit’s criteria and how they can be addressed. This might be through a formal conversation, feedback from your employer or you may need to undertake a gap assessment. 


Credit transfer for prior study - You will not be charged fees for the course/s you successfully receive credit for.

Credit for prior experience/RPL - Vocational education students (in both Government subsidised and full fee places) will be charged the standard tuition fees for the course/s RPL's granted for. Higher education students will not be charged fees.

Your enrolment and attending classes

If you haven't yet enrolled, you should enrol in all classes as per your program structure, including the courses for which you have applied for credit.

If you are enrolled, you should continue attending classes for the course/s for which you have applied for credit until the outcome of your application is known. 

If your application is successful, RMIT will help you to change your enrolment, either by withdrawing your enrolment for the course/s for which you have received credit (as long as it's prior to the relevant census date) or contacting you directly and guiding you through the steps.

Ready to apply?

If you're a domestic student and have accepted an offer to study at RMIT or are currently enrolled, you can begin your application for credit right away. Make sure you apply as early as possible. Remember to submit your application before the relevant census date.


You will usually be notified of the outcome of your credit application within ten working days of submitting your application, providing all the required documents are included at time of submission. Outcomes may take longer during busy periods like the start of semester and close to census dates.

You will receive an email to your RMIT student account with the outcome of your application.

If credit is granted - you will be asked to accept or reject the offered credit before it is reflected on your academic record. 

If credit is not granted - you will need to continue in class and complete the unit. 


To appeal the outcome, you must first request a review from your school or college by replying to the outcome email within five working days of receiving the outcome.

If this doesn’t resolve your issue, you may submit an appeal by completing and submitting the Appeal against RPL and credit transfer form (PDF, 529KB). This must be submitted within 20 business days after the initial outcome of your credit application.

An appeal decision can take up to 2 weeks.

Applying for credit as an international student

You should apply for credit when you fill out your application to study at RMIT. If your study application is successful, your letter of offer will let you know whether any credit has been awarded.

If you have already begun your studies and did not apply when you filled out your application, you can apply for credit as a current student.

Important information about your visa:

  • Receiving credit may reduce the length of your studies and therefore the duration of your student visa.
  • If you’re a higher degree by research student, your visa will not be affected because receiving credit will not shorten the length of your studies.
Three students smile as they walk down a corridor.

Frequently asked questions

Log in to the RMIT Student Connect Portal, then click the Credit and RPL Application box.

An email will also be sent to your RMIT student inbox when the status of your application changes.

If you’re granted credit for a course before the census date, RMIT will withdraw your enrolment for the relevant course/s you’ve been granted credit for. If you’re granted credit after the course census date and withdraw from a course, you may incur fees or a possible academic penalty. 

If you're a vocational education (TAFE) student applying for credit for prior experience (recognition of prior learning), you will need to change your enrolment. RMIT staff will contact you to explain how to do this. 

Once you have accepted your offer of credit or RPL, it will take 5-10 working days to appear on your academic record.  

To accept your offer of credit, follow the instructions in your assessment outcome email. Credit may be granted in the form of specified or unspecified credit.

  • Specified credit will be identified with an RMIT course code and title.
  • Unspecified credit will appear as ‘Approved Studies’ or ‘Block Credit’.  

If you receive credit for RMIT study, your previous grades may be transferred to your new course and appear on your academic transcript. This may include fail grades.

You can find more information on the Grades page.

If your international student application is successful, your letter of offer will list any credit we may have granted you. If you would prefer not to accept the credit, please let the admissions team know before you accept your offer to study at RMIT.

If you’ve applied for credit as a current RMIT student, we’ll notify you via email. You'll then need to log in to the Student Connect Portal and accept or reject the outcome.

Your benefits may be affected if your study load changes due to an approved credit application. If you’d like to discuss your circumstances, contact Student Connect

Need help?

If you need help applying for credit, please contact Student Connect.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.