Apply for Recognition of Prior Learning

Previous Tertiary Study or Work Experience

If you're applying for a course and have previous study or professional work experience, you may be eligible for Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning (CRPL).

CRPL can allow you to reduce the number of units you need to study to be awarded your ECU qualification. It does this in one of two ways:

  • A Credit Transfer which is a claim for recognition of a previous unit, module, or qualification you've achieved through formal learning.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning where we assess the skills and knowledge you've achieved outside the formal education and training system – through non-formal or informal learning.

Frequently Asked Questions

Credit can be granted in three ways:

  1. Specified Credit is when you're given credit for specific units and where there is at least 70% equivalence in Learning Outcomes of your prior learning compared to the specific ECU unit.
  2. Unspecified Credit is where you're given credit towards a course. It could be a credit for elective units or an unspecified Unit Set or Minor.
  3. Block Credit is where you're given credit for a block component of a course, for example the first 60 credit points.


Only Specified Credit can be applied to a designated unit. Where credit is given, no numerical mark from the prior learning will be transferred or awarded, nor will it be included when determining a Weighted Average Mark.

Non-formal or informal learning is often referred to as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

Non-formal learning can be in-house professional development or training you've received through an employer.

Informal learning can relate to relevant life or work experience.

In either case, we'll assess this prior learning using the supporting documents uploaded in your CRPL application.

To see if you're eligible for a possible course credit you should search for your qualification in our credit and recognition of prior learning database.

If you can't find your institution where you completed your qualification, it could be because we don't have it on our system.

If your previous studies were completed within Australia, try selecting 'Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas (Australian Training Packages) Inc TAFE' in the institution field, or selecting 'Country not Stated' in the country field.

If these options don't show anything, we'll complete an individual assessment for credit, based on your prior learning and supporting evidence when you submit an online application for CRPL.

Examples of where credit will not be granted

  • Where study was completed more than 10 years ago, is not normally considered (for some courses this time limit may be shorter where professional accreditation standards must be met).
  • For enabling courses completed at another institution.
  • Certificate IV (VET) qualifications won't be considered for credit towards undergraduate or postgraduate degrees.
  • Units of study with a fail grade or conceded pass.
  • Units of study you've attempted and received a finalised grade.
  • If you've exceeded the maximum allowed credit for your course (refer to maximum credit table)

Credit transfers (formal learning)

If you're applying for credit transfer based on successful completion of units, modules or qualifications achieved through formal learning, please provide the following documents with your application:

  • Official academic transcript: Copy of your official academic transcript, that includes all units/modules completed, results and a grading or marking key. Academic e-records or web-based printouts are not accepted.
  • Official completion certificate: If you're applying for CRPL based on a completed qualification, such as a Diploma, you'll need to provide a copy of your official completion certificate. Academic e-records or web-based print outs are not accepted.
  • Official unit-outlines/syllabi: Required for units completed outside of ECU. Official unit outlines include learning outcomes, weekly tutorial and lecture topics, reading lists, assessment advice, etc.

    If you're applying for credit based on an existing credit precedent from our CRPL database or an Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) Diploma or Advanced Diploma, you won't be required to submit your unit outlines, unless we request these from you.
  • Unit-to-unit mapping: A unit mapping table is required if you're applying for credit towards a specified unit in your course.

    Before completing a unit mapping table, we recommend you search the online CRPL database to see if any precedents exist for your prior study and the ECU course or unit for which you are seeking credit. If a precedent exists for your prior study, you won't need to provide a unit mapping table.


If you're applying for credit towards a Bachelor of Science (Nursing) or Bachelor of Science (Nursing)/Bachelor of Science (Midwifery), you must use the school's unit mapping template for your application.

Recognition of prior learning (non-formal or informal learning)

If you're applying for recognition of prior learning (RPL) based on work experience and informal or non-formal learning, e.g. professional development or in-house training, you'll need to supply these documents with your application:

  • Cover Letter with a summary as the basis of your request, listing your full name and student number, contact number, unit code and name of the unit you're seeking RPL for.
  • Resume (maximum 2 pages): include detailed work experience, position title and length of service, and referee name and contact number of supervisor/manager.
  • Learning Outcomes Statement: this document should address the Learning Outcomes of the unit, as listed in the full unit outline in ECU's handbook.

    A paragraph is required for each Learning Outcome demonstrating in detail how your experience meets the learning outcome.
  • Letter from employer: This is required if you're applying for credit for units within the following Schools:
    • School of Engineering
    • School of Medical and Health Science
    • School of Nursing
    • School of Science

    The letter must be on company letterhead, stating that they have read your RPL statement and can verify the content. The employer's letter must be signed and contain contact details.
  • Other supporting evidence: Other evidence such as publications, portfolios, testimonies, letters from employers or clients can also be included with your application.


If you intend to apply for RPL for Social Work Field Placement units, there are specific supporting document requirements and application submission dates.

If you're a new student, or starting a new course at ECU, we recommend you submit your application for CRPL as soon as you have accepted your offer.

If you leave it until closer to the start of the semester it'll take us longer to process.

The next step after accepting your offer is to enrol in course units. It's best to know if you're going to be awarded a credit for a unit before you enrol.

However, if you have enrolled in a unit(s) and you're now seeking CRPL, you must submit your CRPL application no later than 14 days after the unit commences.


Applications received outside of this timeframe will not be considered.

It can generally take around 10 business days to process your application and provide a final outcome.

However, during peak periods and for complex applications that require review by one or more academics, applications can take longer to process, and in some instances it can take up to 25 business days.

Therefore, applicants should submit their CRPL forms as soon as they accept their offer.


If we need further information, you'll receive an email notification to your ECU student email account. This account will also be used to notify you of the outcome of your CRPL application.

  • Already a student? Ask a question through our Current Students Webform
  • Applying to ECU? Phone 134 328, or +61 8 6304 0000 if you are overseas.

Need technical support?

If you're having a technical issue, including accessing or completing the form, uploading or deleting documents, please contact the IT Services Desk via email at or phone (08) 6304 6000.

If you believe your credit determination is incorrect you can request an informal review of the assessment and decision. This must be made within 14 days of the credit decision notification.

You can contact us to initiate an informal review. We'll provide information on who will undertake the review and facilitate the referral to an appropriate reviewer on your behalf, if required.

If you're not satisfied with the outcome, you can request a formal review.

You'll need to write a statement presenting the grounds on which you're seeking the review and provide any documents you'd like to be considered. Once you've prepared your formal review statement and documents, you can submit these through our online enquiry form.

A request for a formal review can only be made on one or more of the following grounds:

  1. the decision was affected by discrimination, prejudice, or bias
  2. a process was not duly carried out in accordance with the Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy or Procedures
  3. the Credit Determination was made contrary to the evidence provided.

    For more information about review grounds, please read the Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning Procedures.