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Micro-credentials Policy

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Section 1 - Summary

(1) This Policy sets out the principles that guide the purpose, development, approval, delivery and quality assurance of Victoria University’s micro-credentials.

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Section 2 - TEQSA/ASQA/ESOS Alignment

(2) This Policy complies with the requirements of the Higher Education Standards Framework.

(3) This Policy complies with the requirements of the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018.

(4) This Policy complies with the requirements of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015.

(5) This Policy complies with the requirements of the National Microcredentials Framework (2022).

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Section 3 - Scope

(6) This Policy applies to participants and prospective participants in a Victoria University (VU) micro-credential offering.

(7) This Policy applies to all staff of VU who are involved in the development, approval, delivery and quality assurance of micro-credentials.

(8) This Policy does not apply to: 

  1. HE Award Courses (see Courses Lifecycle Policy and its Procedures)
  2. Non-Award Courses which are not micro-credentials, where learning is not assessed (see Courses Lifecycle - Non-Award Course Approval (HE) Procedure and Courses Lifecycle - Non-Award Course Approval (VET) Procedure).

(9) Where the micro-credential involves an arrangement with a third party, this Policy must be read in conjunction with:

  1. Third Party Arrangements Policy
  2. Third Party Arrangements Procedure; and
  3. Third Party Arrangements - Third Party Arrangements Procedure (VET).

(10) Where the micro-credential is intended to form part of a credit-bearing stack for credit into an HE award unit or course, this Policy must be read in conjunction with:

  1. Credit Policy
  2. Credit - Academic Credit Procedure (HE)

(11) Where the micro-credential involves a certification that is a requirement for professional practice in a regulated profession, this Policy must be read in conjunction with:

  1. Courses Lifecycle - Professional Accreditation and Industry Recognition Procedure; and
  2. relevant external accreditation requirements.
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Section 4 - Definitions

(12) Continuing professional development (CPD)

(13) Lifelong learning

(14) Micro-credential

(15) Micro-credential stack

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Section 5 - Policy Statement

(16) Micro-credentials are part of VU’s suite of offerings to support lifelong learning and to expand its capacity to serve the emerging needs of existing students, the broader community, industry, business and organisations.

(17) Micro-credentials are not Award qualifications under the Australian Qualifications Framework, but do result in a quality-assured certification of learning in a discrete area. They may include, but are not limited to:

  1. certifications required for working or professional practice;
  2. industry-based or organisation-specific continuing professional development education;
  3. individual Skill Sets and units of competency within VET awards; 
  4. general professional development modules; or
  5. other discrete learning opportunities focused on a particular area.

(18) Not all Non-Award courses are micro-credentials. The University offers courses of study that do not lead to an Award under the Australian Qualifications Framework which:

  1. do not result in separate credentialling of learning; and
  2. may or may not be assessed. 
These include:
  1. Bridging Courses for Overseas-Trained Professionals;
  2. Enabling courses (eg Foundations courses) 
  3. ELICOS courses
  4. Personal or professional development / personal interest courses

(19) As micro-credentials result in a certification of learning, the following general rules apply:

  1. All micro-credentials will be quality-assured and developed in accordance with the direction provided in the Micro-credentials Procedure;
  2. All micro-credential learning outcomes must be clearly stipulated;
  3. All micro-credential learning must be assessed;
  4. VU’s policy and guidance relating to Academic Integrity applies to all participants in micro-credentials and the work undertaken for assessment. 

(20) All micro-credential must align with VU's strategic direction and must be financially viable, with due consideration given to development and delivery costs and other factors as appropriate.

(21) Micro-credentials will usually be offered to the general public. However, in some circumstances, micro-credentials may have restricted entry (for example, a micro-credential developed for a government, industry or community partner, or one developed specifically for existing VU students).

(22) A micro-credential must follow the approved naming convention specified in the Procedure and must not include a title currently used for a VU Award Course. 

(23) A register of current micro-credential offerings will be maintained centrally.

(24) A micro-credential designed and delivered with a partner must adhere to this Policy and its Procedure, as well as the Third Party Arrangements Policy and relevant associated Procedures.

Part A - Approval of Micro-credentials

(25) Micro-credentials must be designed, approved and governed according to VU’s Micro-credentials Framework / Matrix.

(26) The approval criteria for micro-credentials will have regard to whether the micro-credential is intended to be potentially credit-bearing. If the micro-credential is to be available for credit, part of the business case must be:

  1. mapping of the micro-credential’s proposed content and assessment to the relevant proposed destination unit or course; and
  2. assurance that the micro-credential’s learning outcomes are aligned with the AQF level of the proposed destination unit or course.

(27) Micro-credentials are established following the submission of a business case that captures:

  1. the rationale for the offering;
  2. the proposed micro-credential design and title;
  3. the relationship between the proposed offering and existing micro-credentials, including whether or not it forms part of a new or existing micro-credential “stack”;
  4. the competitive market for the offering;
  5. the resourcing requirements and availability of the resources to develop the offering;
  6. the proposed timing, mode, volume and duration of learning;
  7. the proposed assessment model; and,
  8. whether the micro-credential offering is intended to be potentially credit-bearing for the purposes of Award unit study, and if so, which Award units it would relate to.

Part B - Criteria and Admissions 

(28) Participants in micro-credential learning are considered students of the University for the period of time of their engagement with the micro-credential, for the purposes of all the general rights and expectations that apply to students.

(29) To be eligible for receipt of a micro-credential, participants must successfully complete the assessment. Participants who attend the contact / classes for the micro-credential but do not complete and / or pass the assessment are not eligible for the micro-credential, but may receive a certificate of attendance if requested.

(30) Potential participants in micro-credentials must be transparently advised of:

  1. the timing, mode, volume and duration of learning in the micro-credential;
  2. the cost of the micro-credential and what payment or fee deferral options apply;
  3. any general requirements for students, such as vaccination status or other non-academic requirements;
  4. where required to be set from an academic or credit perspective, any prerequisite skills, knowledge or capacity required, including numeracy and literacy requirements for VE micro-credentials, and English language proficiency level expectations (which are established in accordance with VU’s Admissions - English Language Admission Requirements Procedure);
  5. the exact certification that will be received at the successful completion of the micro-credential;
  6. whether the micro-credential is part of a credit-bearing micro-credential “stack”, and if so:
    1. what are the other micro-credentials in the stack;
    2. whether the micro-credentials need to be undertaken sequentially; and
    3. what are the Award course unit/s for which the micro-credential stack can be used as academic credit.

Part C - Micro-credential Stacks and Credit: HE Micro-credentials

(31) Specified micro-credentials may be “stacked” to provide academic credit towards study in a subsequently undertaken AQF qualification at VU. 

(32) Completion of a micro-credential stack does not guarantee admission into the unit or course for which it may provide credit. Admission remains subject to the requirements of the Admissions Policy and Admissions Procedure.

(33) As a general rule, micro-credentials carry a credit point translation value of three (3) points. In order to receive credit equivalent to one unit of study in a higher education course, participants must therefore complete four (4) specified and linked micro-credentials, which together form a “stack”. The basis for the assignment of credit is twelve (12) indicative hours of student learning equals one (1) credit point.

(34) Micro-credentials which are intended to form part of a credit-bearing stack must not exceed 6 hours per credit point of total expected participant time across formal and informal learning.

(35) If academic credit is to be available, learning outcomes aligned to the relevant Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level must be developed as part of the design of the micro-credential. 

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Section 6 - Procedures

(36) Micro-credentials Procedure