View Current

Microcredentials Policy and Procedure

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

Section 1 - Preamble

(1) Charles Darwin University (‘the University’, ‘CDU’) is committed to the delivery of high quality educational courses. This is achieved through the provision of flexible methods of learning that enable student choice; facilitation of student mobility between tertiary sectors and education and training providers nationally and internationally; compliance with regulatory and best practice standards; the provision of efficient and rationalised unit and course offerings and consistency in educational offerings at the same level.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This policy and procedure provides a framework for academic quality assurance in the development of microcredentials. The principles set out in this document shall guide the development, approval and recognition of microcredentials at CDU.

(3) This policy and procedure should be read in conjunction with the Units and Courses Policy and the Higher Education Course Accreditation Procedure.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Scope

(4) This policy and procedure applies to all staff involved in the design of microcredentials at the University and apples to both Higher Education (HE) and Vocational Education and Training (VET).

(5) This policy and procedure does not apply to accredited HE courses and registered VET Training Programs (VTPs), Statements of Attainment or AQF qualifications.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Policy

(6) Microcredentials differ from other qualifications as they are typically offered as ‘bite-sized’ and ‘flexible’ learning opportunities in a range of areas. Microcredentials promote lifelong learning and engagement in diverse study areas to enable the rapid development of new skills and capabilities responsive to current trends in industry.

(7) Microcredentials are currently not eligible for the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) or the Commonwealth Grant Scheme support and are not available for cross-institutional enrolment.

(8) Microcredentials that are not accredited or aligned with an AQF qualification, must not be represented as such in any advertising/promotional material, other than they may contribute towards an AQF qualification.

(9) Credit will be awarded in accordance with the Academic Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

(10) There are three categories of non-award microcredentials

  1. A microcredential that is not eligible for academic credit and has no specific relationship to current AQF qualifications. These units are not compulsory and are generally supplementary to a course of study. They may be aligned to CDU Graduate Attributes and aligned to a specific AQF level. They can directly address a field of study and contain Learning Outcomes, but do not have to be summatively assessed. Units of this type may be issued with a university endorsed badge signifying their completion.
  2. A microcredential that is eligible for academic credit. These units will embed select CDU Graduate Attributes and are aligned with a specific AQF level. They contain one or more summative assessments aligned to learning outcome/s. These units may be taken as part of an accredited course of study when stacked with other microcredential units or provide academic credit towards an accredited course. This may be at either an undergraduate or postgraduate level, unless specified otherwise in specific course rules. These units may be worth between 1 and 5 credit points.
  3. A microcredential where assessment evidence can be used as the basis of an RPL application for VET and/or HE unit/s. These units may be accredited or un-accredited that the Faculty recognises as sufficient to be awarded a level of recognition of prior learning. These units are aligned to CDU Graduate Attributes and to a specific AQF level. They will directly address a field of study, contain Learning Outcomes, and be assessed. Units of this type will be issued with a university endorsed badge signifying their completion. These units may be worth between 1 and 5 credit points.

(11) Other short learning experiences or short courses such as Executive Education and Continuing Professional Development are not considered microcredentials unless there is a formal component of assessment.

(12) HE credit and RPL must be awarded in accordance with the Academic Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy. VET RPL must be assessed in accordance with the VET Recognition Procedure.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Procedure

(13) All categories of microcredentials:

  1. can provide opportunities to demonstrate specific learning, skills, knowledge and/or experience
  2. can certify achievement through evidence and/or the demonstration of learning outcomes 
  3. can certify successful completion of assessment(s)
  4. can be developed in partnership with relevant industries, employers, or communities 
  5. can meet the needs of external parties (e.g., public sector organisations, private sector employers in industry or business, professional bodies and/or community groups) 
  6. are recorded and archived in line with other unit completions in approved University systems;
  7. may be combined with other designated microcredentialed units to claim credit against other accredited units of cumulative equal value
  8. can be recognised by external professional bodies
  9. can be conferred digitally using a University approved digital badging platform.

(14) The University approves microcredentials in accordance with the principles and practices applied in the Curriculum Management System, with quality assurance delegated to the Faculty responsible for delivery.

(15) Where a microcredential requires the allocation of a digital badge, these will be issued in accordance with the CDU Microcredentials Play Book, and terminology for certificate classifications and requirements for awarding using a standard template.

(16) The Faculty responsible for running the microcredential unit shall set the fee for this unit.

(17) Once approved the microcredential will be established in the Student Management system, allowing for a corresponding Learnline unit to be established.

(18) Students will enrol in a microcredential unit through the Student Management System, or directly where this functionality is provided. Where direct entry is permitted there will be a mechanism to allow for a record to be established in the Student Management System.

(19) The unit leader is responsible for allocating the credential along with a digital badge once they are satisfied the student has successfully completed the unit. If a final grade (fail/pass only) is awarded this will also be recorded in the SMS.

(20) To establish microcredentials that are not eligible for academic credit and have no specific relationship to current AQF qualifications the Faculty must prepare a course plan and design in the Curriculum Management System (CMS) including the following information:

  1. Microcredential code
  2. Microcredential title
  3. Microcredential structure
  4. Microcredential outline
  5. Field of Education
  6. Student commitment (indicative hours of study required to complete the unit)
  7. Language of instruction

(21) VET Team Leaders/Course Co-ordinators must review and approve microcredentials that are not eligible for academic credit and have no specific relationship to current AQF qualifications.

(22) To establish microcredentials that are eligible for academic credit in a HE unit the Faculty must prepare a course plan and design in the Curriculum Management System (CMS) including the following information:

  1. Microcredential code
  2. Microcredential title
  3. Microcredential structure
  4. Microcredential learning outcomes
  5. Microcredential assessment (including mapping to course and unit outcomes)
  6. Microcredential content
  7. Microcredential outline
  8. Field of Education
  9. Duration
  10. AQF level
  11. HE Credit Points (the credit point value for each individual microcredential must be between 1 and 5 credit points)
  12. Volume and duration of learning proportionally aligned to the credit point value
  13. Pre-requisites
  14. Relationship to other microcredentials to claim credit against other accredited units of cumulative equal value
  15. Graduate Attributes
  16. Assessment
  17. Work experience/placement
  18. Student commitment
  19. Language of instruction.

(23) The Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee must review and approve the microcredential and submit it to Academic Programs Committee for final approval. 

(24) To establish microcredentials where assessment evidence can be used as the basis of an RPL application for VET and/or HE unit/s the Faculty must prepare a course plan and design in the Curriculum Management System (CMS) including the following information:

  1. Microcredential code
  2. Microcredential title
  3. Microcredential structure
  4. Microcredential learning outcomes
  5. Duration
  6. Microcredential assessment (including mapping to course and unit outcomes)
  7. Microcredential content
  8. Microcredential outline
  9. Field of Education
  10. AQF level
  11. Pre-requisites
  12. Graduate Attributes
  13. Assessment
  14. Work experience/placement
  15. Student commitment
  16. Language of instruction

(25) The Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee must review and approve the microcredential and submit it to Academic Programs Committee for final approval. 

Publication and marketing

(26) All microcredentials will be published on a dedicated webpage to provide a distinction between AQF qualifications. Microcredentials that offer credit into a HE unit or course will be made clearly identifiable and will show how they meaningfully integrate into a HE course.

(27) Published information will include:

  1. Microcredential code
  2. Microcredential title
  3. Microcredential structure
  4. Microcredential learning outcomes
  5. AQF level
  6. Pre-requisites
  7. Microcredential assessment (including mapping to outcomes)
  8. Credit arrangements
  9. Industry or professional recognition
  10. Delivery dates, times and details 
  11. Student commitment
  12. Language of instruction
  13. Enrolment
  14. Fees
  15. Contact.

Microcredential properties

(28) Microcredentials must have the following properties:

  1. level;
  2. alphanumeric code;
  3. title;
  4. field of education;
  5. credit value;
  6. offering;
  7. aligned learning outcomes and assessment (and their enabling content and learning activities);
  8. Learnline site (in some cases, multiple microcredential units may share one or more Learnline sites); and
  9. result type (usually in the form of a Grade).

Microcredential Coding Convention

(29) Microcredentials will only have one code and will use the following coding convention: MICRO#1###2, where:

  1. #1 = the first digit of the microcredential level as per the microcredential level table below;
  2. ###2 = a unique microcredential identifier.

Microcredential title convention

(30) The microcredential title should be concise and descriptive. It should meaningfully and fairly represent the learning outcomes of the unit. It should be readily understandable, particularly for students choosing their microcredential.

(31) Terms such as "Introduction to…", "Foundations of…" or "Beginning…" will normally be restricted to 1000 level microcredential units: terms such as "Advanced…" will normally be restricted to 3000 or 5000 level microcredential units.

(32) The length should be 2-5 words. The maximum length shall be 50 characters (including spaces).

(33) Abbreviations, acronyms and the ampersand (&) will not normally be used, and punctuation will be kept to the minimum necessary for grammatical correctness.

Microcredential levels

CDU microcredential level Basic description Type
0000 These microcredentials do not necessarily align with any AQF level. •Credentials that are not eligible for academic credit and have no specific relationship to current AQF qualifications.
•Credentials where assessment evidence can be used as the basis of an RPL application for VET and/or HE unit/s.
1000 These microcredentials broadly align with AQF Level 5. It provides disciplinary foundations and an introduction to studying in that field. •Credentials that are eligible for academic credit in a HE unit. 
•Credentials where assessment evidence can be used as the basis of an RPL application for VET and/or HE unit/s.
2000 These microcredentials broadly align with AQF Level 6. These are intermediate units that reflect a greater depth of knowledge than, and may build upon, 1000- level outcomes. •Credentials that are eligible for academic credit in a HE unit. 
•Credentials where assessment evidence can be used as the basis of an RPL application for VET and/or HE unit/s.
3000 These microcredentials broadly align with AQF Level 7. These are advanced and more specialised microcredentials.
They build upon and reflect a greater depth of knowledge than, and may build upon, 1000 and 2000-level outcomes.
•Credentials that are eligible for academic credit in a HE unit. 
•Credentials where assessment evidence can be used as the basis of an RPL application for VET and/or HE unit/s.
5000 These microcredentials broadly align with AQF Level 8 and 9. These microcredentials are designed to provide an advanced level of disciplinary knowledge or to allow the student to enter into a new field of education. These microcredentials build upon the general academic skills developed in undergraduate education. •Credentials that are eligible for academic credit in a HE unit. 
•Credentials where assessment evidence can be used as the basis of an RPL application for VET and/or HE unit/s.

Credit points

(34) Where credit pathway microcredentials are designed to provide credit into an existing unit/course, the credit point value for each individual microcredential must not exceed 5 credit points, unless otherwise approved by the Academic Programs Committee. Volume and duration of learning must be proportionally aligned to a credit point value.

(35) Microcredentials that are eligible for academic credit in a HE unit will be assigned a credit point value of between 1 – 5 credit points:

  1. 5 credit points = 75 study hours (including contact hours)
  2. 4 credit points = 60 study hours (including contact hours)
  3. 3 credit points = 45 study hours (including contact hours)
  4. 2 credit points = 30 study hours (including contact hours)
  5. 1 credit point = 15 study hours (including contact hours)

(36) Microcredentials that are not eligible for academic credit and have no specific relationship to current AQF qualifications and Short form credentials where assessment evidence can be used as the basis of an RPL application for VET and/or HE unit/s will be assigned a credit point value of 0 credit points.

(37) Assigned credit points cannot be in decimal values.

Certification

(38) Students will be issued an Academic Record on completion of a microcredential.

Applying for credit into courses at the University

(39) Participants, on successful completion of microcredentials, may apply for admission or credit into specified award courses offered by the University in accordance with the Academic Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy

(40) Once the participant has enrolled as a student, they are a student of the University and, as such, all relevant rules and policies apply.

(41) Microcredentials are not available as exit awards.

Top of Page

Section 6 - Non-Compliance

(42) Non-compliance with Governance Documents is considered a breach of the Code of Conduct – Staff or the Code of Conduct – Students, as applicable, and is treated seriously by the University. Reports of concerns about non-compliance will be managed in accordance with the applicable disciplinary procedures outlined in the Charles Darwin University and Union Enterprise Agreement 2022 and the Code of Conduct – Students.

(43) Complaints may be raised in accordance with the Code of Conduct – Staff and Code of Conduct - Students.

(44) All staff members have an individual responsibility to raise any suspicion, allegation or report of fraud or corruption in accordance with the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Whistleblower Reporting (Improper Conduct) Procedure.