Enrol - Recognition and Credit Transfer

Recognition and Credit Transfer

We understand that studying is a major commitment, which is why we want to help you get credit where and when it's due. TAFE NSW is very aware that many of you already have skills and knowledge, gained through working, volunteering or previous study, which could be directly relevant to your course. This is called “recognition”.

By applying for recognition, you could reduce the amount of time you need to study and get your qualification faster. Obtaining recognition also means once you get started in your study, you will only be building new skills, rather than repeating old ones.

How to obtain recognition

You can get recognition in two different ways:

  • Credit Transfer – recognises your previously completed studies, which may allow for entry into a qualification and/or provide credit towards the qualification.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) – recognises skills, knowledge or experience you have gained outside of the formal education and training system and how they may meet the requirements of your qualification.

You can get recognition when you enrol into a TAFE NSW qualification; or once you have graduated from TAFE NSW and want to obtain credit into further studies, like a degree.

Be recognised when starting a TAFE NSW course

At TAFE NSW, we realise that you may have relevant experience and knowledge prior to commencing your studies, and we consider them through both Credit Transfer and RPL.

Credit Transfer for previously completed studies

Credit Transfer allows you to receive credit for previously completed unit(s) of competency. If you are undertaking a government subsidised course and you gain credit for unit(s) of competency, it may also reduce your fee, so it is important to apply for your recognition for Credit Transfer at enrolment or as close to enrolment as possible.

Applying for Credit Transfer

TAFE NSW recognises qualifications that are part of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). Under these arrangements, TAFE NSW will recognise AQF qualifications gained from other RTOs. This form of recognition is called National Recognition. We also have pre-arranged credit transfer arrangements with NSW schools, Adult and Community Education (ACE) colleges, and some private education and training providers into certain TAFE NSW qualifications.

Credit Transfer pathways

School to TAFE NSW

Some high school courses and subjects can give you credit towards a TAFE NSW qualification. School subjects for which you may gain recognition include:
TVET studies (nationally recognised units from Training Packages or Accredited Courses).

HSC subjects developed by the NSW Board of Studies in a range of industry areas (you'll need to show you have successfully completed these in the last five years and then discuss, with TAFE NSW staff, the credit they earn you towards the course you're interested in).

For advice on credit for your school studies contact your local TAFE NSW to speak to the Course Information Officer.

Please note: Credit Transfer does not give automatic entry into a TAFE NSW course.


When you complete certain courses or competencies with training providers in the Adult and Community Education (ACE) sector, you could be eligible for advanced standing in many different TAFE NSW courses. ACE also provides a growing number of national competencies that are recognised by TAFE NSW.

International qualifications to TAFE NSW

If you have qualifications gained overseas, in a field of study the same as or related to your TAFE NSW qualification, we will also undertake an assessment to determine if your studies meet the entry requirements for your course and the amount of credit for which you will be eligible. Your documents and qualifications will need to be certified, and if it is written in another language, you should provide certified translations of your qualification documents.

You may wish to contact the following services for assistance with translation:

If you are enquiring as a future international student, contact TAFE NSW International directly.

How to apply for Credit Transfer

You will need to complete the Enrolment Adjustment – Credit – Previous Studies form and submit to the relevant Teacher or Head Teacher for processing. If possible, submit this form upon enrolment or before your course or unit begins, as it may reduce your fees. If you are already enrolled, the best is to discuss it with your teachers as they can guide you on how to be best recognised.

Evidence requirements for Credit Transfer

For previously completed qualifications with TAFE NSW, evidence of previously awarded successful results may include a USI transcript, a TAFE NSW issued Transcript of Academic Record, or by automated system authentication.

For previously completed qualifications from another Registered Training Organisation (RTO), evidence for application of Credit Transfer may include a USI transcript or a verified Transcript of Academic Record, with successful results, from the issuing RTO.

To support a Credit Transfer application TAFE NSW will request verification of a Transcript of Academic Record with the issuing Provider and equally, TAFE NSW will verify authenticity of a TAFE issued Transcript of Academic Record when requested by another Provider in accordance with the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).

Students wishing to supply a USI Transcript as evidence for Credit Transfer will need to provide TAFE NSW with permissions via their USI account to allow for authenticity verification.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) involves an assessment of your previous skills, knowledge and experience and how they may meet the requirements of your qualification. Put simply, it means if you can demonstrate you already have the skills and experience you can complete a whole or partial qualification without needing to attend classes or participate in learning.

Some TAFE NSW courses already have a skills recognition pathway and detailed information should be available in your course information.

You should receive notification within three weeks of lodging your application for recognition. A qualified staff member will review your application and verify the evidence is relevant, authentic, recent, and sufficient.

If your RPL assessment is successful, you may be granted exemption from certain subjects in your course.

Applying for RPL

If you can clearly show that you have already gained the equivalent skills, or knowledge, then you may be granted recognition of prior learning for unit(s) of competency in your TAFE NSW course. This includes skills, knowledge or experience gained through part-time, full-time or casual work. We may also recognise relevant skills gained through community or volunteer work, sports team management, domestic responsibilities or even hobbies and leisure activities.

Skills, knowledge and experience may be assessed as equivalent to your course requirements. You may apply for recognition of prior learning for a single unit/module or groups of units up to 100% of a qualification.

How to apply for RPL

In order to apply for RPL, you can follow these steps:

  1. Determine your eligibility
    Lodge your initial enquiry online with TAFE NSW customer centre by filling in the form on our ‘Enquire now’ webpage. Be sure to indicate the course you wish to enrol in as well as the location (campus or digital) and clearly indicate your request is about RPL. A TAFE NSW member of staff will get back to you and request more information, so they can determine which units of competency you could be eligible to apply for RPL.
  2. Get the information ready and apply
    Once you have determined if you are eligible to apply for RPL, you must complete the Enrolment Adjustment – Recognition of Prior Learning form, attach your evidence. Then submit all to the TAFE NSW staff member who had assisted you, who will then guide you through the application and enrolment process.
  3. Obtain recognition
    You will be notified of the outcome of your RPL by TAFE NSW. If you are successful you will be sent a current transcript with the recognition you have been granted. If you are not successful in receiving the level of recognition that you applied for, you can appeal for a review of RPL results.

Evidence requirements for RPL

To receive RPL credit, you will need to provide evidence to the assessor at your local TAFE NSW to demonstrate that you have the skills and knowledge to meet the requirements of your course. Submitted evidence must be current and may include the following items:

  • Portfolio - A portfolio is a collection of assembled evidence that proves that you already have the skills and knowledge in the units or course for which you are seeking RPL. This should include the following information:
    • Job description
    • Performance management report or annual reviews
    • Minutes of meetings attended or conducted
    • Work examples that may include reports, articles or samples of work
    • Publications
    • Email or memo communication with clients or colleagues
  • Media - Media files, such as images, video or audio, which demonstrates communication, customer service or work skills.
  • Certificates or course transcripts - Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees, Statements of results, Courses completed at work.
  • Life experience - Community group involvement, Hobbies, Leisure pursuits, Membership of a committee.
  • Letters and references - Letters of validation from your employers, clients, community groups or people you have worked with.
  • Resume or work history - Documented along with supporting examples and contact details, as some references may require a follow-up phone call.

Your supporting evidence will assist the TAFE NSW assessor to map it to the unit(s) of competency (it is the quality of evidence that counts, not quantity), so please include any academic transcript copies verified by the original provider, or original or certified copies of other documentary evidence. A Justice of the Peace (JP) must certify copies of original documents.

You will also be required to undertake an interview, practical assessment or challenge tasks to demonstrate that your skills are current.

You will be contacted if further evidence is required and to provide an update on your application.

Once you are enrolled as a TAFE NSW student, you can provide evidence for RPL or assessment via your teacher.

Appeal for a review of RPL results

If you are dissatisfied with the results of your RPL assessment, in the first instance, contact your teacher or head teacher. If they are unavailable, contact the Student Administration Officer, within 14 working days of receiving your results.

If you would like to lodge a formal appeal, please contact your head teacher for the assessment appeals procedure at your college/campus. Before lodging a formal appeal, you are encouraged to discuss your concerns with the Head Teacher or the relevant staff member responsible for marking an assessment.

Find your local TAFE NSW.

Be recognised for your TAFE NSW’s achievements - get credit for a higher education qualification

TAFE NSW has on ongoing commitment to formalise Credit Transfer arrangements with Higher Education providers such as universities, so our graduates can gain Credit or Advanced Standing towards a university program they chose, including guaranteed pathway articulations. This is why Credit Transfer arrangements are now in place for over a 150 TAFE NSW courses.

Credit Transfer towards a higher education qualification

With over 2,500 pathways available, the TAFE NSW Credit Transfer website is worth a visit to help you tailor your study journey into higher education and your desired degree.

You may be eligible for:

  • Block credit - Credit for a whole year, a stage of a university or other higher education qualifications for a whole TAFE NSW qualification;
  • Specified credit - Credit for having completed a TAFE NSW qualification, including specified units of competency which match particular parts of the university qualification; or
  • Unspecified credit - Credit towards some elective components of a university degree. These may equate to a whole year of study, but usually not the whole first year.

The amount of credit you may receive depends on the agreed arrangements (called Articulation Arrangements) for your qualification and the higher education qualification you want to do. A pre-arranged Credit Transfer arrangement must exist for articulation to be granted.

Visit credittransfer.tafensw.edu.au to find out how many Credit Points a TAFE NSW qualification can give you to start a degree with TAFE NSW or with a top Australian university.

What if no Credit Transfer agreement is listed for my course?

Where there is no formal TAFE NSW articulation agreement for either your chosen TAFE NSW course, your chosen university or higher education provider, you may still approach any Australian university to negotiate your own credit arrangement.

All education providers must meet the pathways requirements stated in the Australian Qualification Framework’s Qualifications Pathways Policy, so ask them directly to Be Recognised!

For further information please visit the TAFE NSW Credit Transfer website or you can contact us to discuss your options.