Good Practice Principles for Credit Transfer and Articulation from VET to Higher Education

(adopted by MCEETYA on 13 May 2005)


Credit transfer and articulation arrangements increase opportunities for students with prior VET sector experience and qualifications to access higher education by facilitating student mobility between institutions and sectors.

Ministers recognise that the following good practice principles should not impinge upon or replace the academic integrity of courses and programs and the autonomy of individual institutions and providers in taking decisions on admission, prerequisites for ongoing study, and the levels and amounts of credit or articulation conferred in their courses and programs of study.

However, Ministers are agreed that students and intending students need reasonable assurance that they will be able to take education pathways which recognise previous work and study outcomes and give appropriate credit where these relate to further studies. Effective credit transfer and articulation is a key component in making lifelong learning a reality. It can also mean efficiencies in both time and money for students, institutions, and governments.

The principles set out below will apply nationally to all credit transfer and articulation arrangements by both recognised VET and Higher Education Providers. They set some broad goals to encourage measurable improvement over time and provide a benchmark against which progress can be assessed and reported.


  1. The focus of credit transfer and articulation arrangements from VET to Higher Education is to establish the equivalence of learning outcomes, and to assist these equivalence decisions to be reached, regardless of the similarity or differences of the education processes involved (including processes of delivery, teaching methodology and assessment); whether the provider is a Registered Training Organisation or an accredited Higher Education provider; or of entry levels to previous qualifications (for example, eg Diploma from year 12 entry versus Diploma from Cert IV).

  2. All individual institutions and providers should include formal vertical and lateral pathways for credit and articulation, both in the design of new courses and programs of study and when upgrading existing courses and programs of study, and that these pathways should be widely publicised to existing students and potential applicants.

  3. Decisions to grant applications of credit or articulation between the VET and the higher education sector should have general applicability for all eligible students, but may not guarantee automatic admission to specific courses or programs of study where demand exceeds the numbers of student places available.

  4. Rules, Regulations and any Register of Precedents which inform, influence or govern decisions taken in respect to the granting of credit or advanced standing should be transparent and publicly available to intending students prior to submissions of enrolment and include applications for credit in an easily accessed format. This should include transparent information related to fees where they are charged.

  5. Arrangements for articulation and credit transfer, when applied, should not unfairly advantage or disadvantage either the students entering courses and programs of study with credit transfer or articulation or those students who enter directly.

  6. Arrangements for credit transfer and articulation should take account of existing and continuing arrangements and procedures which support improved credit and articulation agreements from VET to Higher Education at industry-wide, State-wide, regional or institutional levels.

  7. Institutions should employ agreed measures to evaluate the effectiveness of their credit transfer and articulation arrangements in improving over time the mobility of students from VET to Higher Education.

  8. Individual institutions and providers are expected to demonstrate through their regular internal and external quality audits that their policies and practices for all types of credit transfer and articulation support these agreed principles.