ACPE Definitions and Acronyms

ACPE Definitions and Acronyms


Advanced Standing: Advanced standing is a form of credit for any previous learning. See also articulation, credit transfer, recognition of prior learning.

Articulation: Articulation is a process that enables students to progress from one completed qualification to another with credit in a defined pathway. E.g. VET to HE qualifications

Articulation Pathway: A documented study pathway for a student to undertake after assessment of advanced standing. The document outlines the specific study requirements for completion of a qualification. The pathway provides for maximum advanced standing and is predetermined.

Block Credit: Is credit granted towards whole stages or components of a qualification.

Course: A structural program of learning built around a range of specific learning outcomes or units of competency, usually delivered in or by an educational training institution through an approved curriculum.

Credit transfer: Is a process that provides students with agreed and consistent credit outcomes based on identified equivalence in content learning outcomes, skills, knowledge and assessment criteria between matched qualifications and/or subjects.

Educational Pathway: Allows students to move between two cognate courses, and throughout qualification levels with full or partial recognition of the qualifications and/or learning outcomes and/or units of competency they have achieved.

Equivalency test: Is a test to measure the extent to which a person’s existing knowledge or skills satisfy the requirements of an education or training program.

Formal learning: Refers to learning that takes place through a structured program of learning and assessment that leads to the full or partial attainment of a recognised AQF qualification or other formally recognised qualification.

Informal learning: Refers to learning that occurs through experience of work-related, social, family, hobby or leisure activities. Unlike formal and non-formal learning, informal learning is not organised or externally structured in terms of objectives, time or learning support.

Learning Outcomes: Statements that specify what students will know, be able to do or be able to demonstrate when they have completed or participated in a subject and/or course. Outcomes are usually expressed as knowledge, skills, attitudes or values.

Mapping: An operation that associates each element of a given set of information with one or more elements of a second set of information.

Non-formal learning: Learning that takes place through a program of instruction but does not usually lead to the attainment of a formal qualification or award, for example, in-house professional development programs conducted in the workplace.

Specified Credit: Is credit granted towards core and/or specific components in a qualification.

Qualification: Formal certification, issued by a relevant approved body, in recognition that a person has achieved learning outcomes or competencies.

Unit of Competency: Is the specification of knowledge and skill, and the application of that knowledge and skill, to the standard of performance expected in the workplace. A unit of competency is the smallest unit that can be assessed and recognised.

Unit of Study: Is the combination of two or more units of competency combined in to one learning program.

Unspecified Credit: Is credit granted towards elective components in a qualification.


AQF: Australian Qualification Framework – The national policy for regulated qualifications in Australian education and training. It incorporates the qualifications from each education and training sector into a single comprehensive national qualifications framework.

GPA: Grade Point Average – A grade point average on a scale of 0 – 7 is calculated once the student has completed all subjects for a course, and it is placed on the course transcript. GPA = Sum of (subject grade point X subject credit points) Total credit points attempted

HE: Higher Education – The term ‘higher education’ refers to education at degree level and above.

RPL: Recognition of Prior Learning – The acknowledgement of a person’s skills and knowledge acquired through previous training, work or life experience, where there are no formal qualifications as proof, which may be used to grant status or credit in a subject or module.

RTO: Registered Training Organisation – A registered provider and assessor of nationally recognised training under the Vocational Education and Training scheme.

VET: Vocational Education and Training – Formal, accredited post compulsory education designed to develop knowledge, skills and attributes of a vocational nature. Training is provided by registered training organisations.