Faculty of Business and Law

Credit for prior learning (CPL)

Credit for prior learning is the term used when the University allows prior study or work experience to count towards your Deakin degree. There are two types:

  1. Credentialled learning - credit is transferred to a Deakin award program from completed or partly completed studies from other accredited institutions.
  2. Uncredentialled learning - credit towards a Deakin award is granted on the basis of knowledge and skills acquired through relevant in-service programs, work experience and other experiential learning.

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Framework

The Faculty CPL Framework details the level and maximum number of specified and unspecified credits applicable for Business and Law courses based on relevant course rules and requirements as outlined in the Faculty Credit for Prior Learning Instruction [164KB PDF].

Formal assessments of credit will be made upon admission to an award course at Deakin, and the information obtained at time of initial enquiry is subject to the formal assessment process, and is to be used as a guide only.

The information in this framework is updated regularly and whilst accurate at the time of publishing, Deakin reserves the right to alter, amend or delete details at any time.

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) from uncredentialled learning

What is CPL from uncredentialled learning?

CPL from uncredentialled learning is a form of credit that recognises skills and knowledge acquired through informal learning by way of:

  • work experience,
  • in house training conducted by industry.

The main principle of CPL from uncredentialled learning focuses on the outcomes rather than how, when or where the learning occurred.

For example, if you are studying accounting, and you have already worked in that field, you will know some of the key concepts of that particular discipline. This type of CPL is a way of getting credit for this learning, which may reduce the amount of time you spend studying.

Deakin University policy permits the granting of credit for a specific unit of your course if it can be shown that your previous work experience, in-house training and/or other prior learning is similar in content and standard to the unit for which CPL is requested.


What are the advantages of CPL from uncredentialled learning?

This type of CPL:

  1. allows you to complete formal education in a shorter period of time and at less cost;
  2. means that you do not have to repeat or waste time learning what you have already learned;
  3. increases your career and education options through recognised skills and knowledge;
  4. allows for fairer access to studies that you wish to undertake.


Is CPL from uncredentialled learning for me?

Anyone can apply for CPL but not everyone will get credit for their skills and knowledge. A typical successful applicant is someone who has a reasonable amount of experience in an area that their course covers. This might mean working in that field.

If you are continuing from secondary school or you have limited work experience, it is unlikely that you would be successful in an application for CPL. If you are a mature age student with relevant experience, your skills are likely to have some value for credit through CPL.

Note: If you have gained qualifications in a course or have a statement of attainment for completed units of a course from another institution or training provider, then you need to apply for Credit for Prior Learning from credentialled learning.


Is there a cost to apply for CPL?

No. There is currently no cost to apply for CPL.


How do I apply for CPL from uncredentialled learning?

Application for CPL requires you to prepare a written case to the Faculty (including verifiable evidence) supporting your request for CPL. It is your responsibility to ensure that you provide the correct information.

Obtain a Credit for Prior Learning application form from the Faculty of Business and Law Undergraduate or Postgraduate Student Centre or download [88KB PDF]. This form covers CPL applications for credentialled learning and uncredentialled learning. You will need to complete Sections 1-4 and sign the declaration at Section 13 for CPL from uncredentialled learning.

Return your completed form, with supporting documentation, addressed to:
Credit for Prior Learning Office
Faculty of Business and Law
Deakin University
221 Burwood Highway
Burwood VIC 3125


How do I check my skills against a unit/units within my course?

Identify from the Faculty unit offerings the specific unit/s for which credit is sought.

Contact the unit chair(s) for the relevant unit(s) and obtain a detailed description of the unit including content, reading guides and assessment, or access the Unit Guide information

Read the unit guides for the units that you wish to be assessed against and compare with your own knowledge and skills before deciding whether you want to apply for CPL. Please take particular note of the learning objectives and content/topics outlined for the unit. You should match your skills/experience/knowledge against these within your application.

You need to ensure that you are able to demonstrate skills/experience/knowledge that are relevant to today's industry requirements and current theory and practice.


What sort of information do I include in my CPL from uncredentialled learning application?

In making an application for CPL from uncredentialled learning for a unit you need to prepare a written case, supported by verifiable evidence, outlining why you believe you have covered the content at the appropriate standard for the unit/s concerned. This evidence must be related to the specific content, reading and assessment required for the Deakin unit/s. Please take particular note of the learning objectives and content/topics outlined for each unit. You should match your skills/experience/knowledge against these within your application.

You also need to include the following details:

Personal Details:

  • Full name
  • Student ID number
  • Address
  • Contact numbers (home and work telephone, Deakin email address)


  • Name of employers
  • Duration of employment
  • Position description
  • Contact person for further information
  • Letter supporting work experience on company letterhead

Other information:

  • Full details of any other information you consider relevant

Note: Do not enrol in a unit if you intend to apply for CPL until you have spoken with a student adviser.


What sort of evidence do I need to support my CPL from uncredentialled learning claim?

If you are considering CPL from uncredentialled learning, you will already have a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate that you have acquired the necessary knowledge and skills.

These may include:

  • your résumé
  • evidence of training programmes attended
  • copies of prepared courses and seminars
  • references from employers outlining your responsibilities
  • letters from clients
  • evaluations from supervisors
  • publications
  • software design and development
  • job descriptions
  • documented work tasks

If your application is based on work experience, you must have a verifying statement from a supervisor/employer that they have read your application and that what you have stated is an accurate statement of your skills and knowledge. This employer statement must be on company letterhead and the original document must be sent.

Use all relevant evidence to support your application.

Where copies are provided they must be certified as a true copy.


How is my application for CPL from uncredentialled learning assessed?

On receipt of your application, a preliminary assessment will be made by the Faculty Business and Law Assessment Services Team, who will contact you if further information or clarification is required.

The Faculty will treat all applications as confidential but retains the right to verify any of the information provided.

The process includes an assessment of your skills and knowledge against the elements and performance criteria of the relevant unit. Your application will be assessed against the following criteria:


Do you have evidence of your skills and knowledge? (You can include formal qualifications, position descriptions, references and any other material you might have to support the application. The evidence must be authenticated by the appropriate authority.)


Are the skills and knowledge used in the work force now?


Are the skills and knowledge at a standard appropriate for current requirements?

The final assessment of your application will be made by the Faculty Business and Law Assessment Services Team after seeking advice from the appropriate Unit Chair/s. The final determination will provide a brief explanation of the reasons for the granting or denying of the credit.

Note: The overriding criteria used to assess CPL from uncredentialled learning is an assessment as to whether the applicant has demonstrated that they possess existing skills and knowledge within a particular area, equivalent to those that they would reasonably have been expected to achieve had they studied and successfully completed the relevant unit at Deakin.


What happens then?

Once your application for CPL from uncredentialled learning has been assessed, the outcome is forwarded to a faculty student adviser, who will then send you an official notification.

If you have any further queries please contact your student adviser by email to the following:

enqblm@deakin.edu.au – for Undergraduate at Burwood (Melbourne)
enqblg@deakin.edu.au – for Undergraduate at Waterfront (Geelong) and Undergraduate Cloud (online) Law
enqblw@deakin.edu.au – for Undergraduate at Warrnambool and Undergraduate Cloud (online)
postgrad-enquiries@deakin.edu.au – for Postgraduate at Burwood (Melbourne)
postgrad-students@deakin.edu.au – for Cloud (online) Postgraduate


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28th March 2014