Cross-credit your experience: recognition of prior learning

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is credit granted towards your AUT programme from previous tertiary studies or through life or work experience.

Formal recognition of prior learning

Formal recognition of prior learning gives you credit towards your current AUT programme for papers that you completed in another programme at AUT or another tertiary educational institution. This is often referred to as a transfer or cross-credit.

To qualify for RPL credit, prior formal learning must normally have been undertaken within five years of the first date of enrolment into the programme for which credit is sought.

Non-formal recognition of formal learning

You may be able to get credit for papers in your current AUT programme from previously acquired learning gained from life or work experience, or a combination of non-formal and formal learning.

  • Assessment fee: $100.00 (not applicable to RPL applications from international students)
  • No charge for credit for study undertaken at AUT

You can pay online through Arion or by cheque, cash or credit card at the Student Hub.

Before applying for RPL you must have completed your application to study at AUT, gained and accepted an offer of place. Only then can you lodge the RPL application for us to confirm any credits.

Once an application for formal RPL (and all the material required to evaluate it) is lodged, evaluation normally takes 10-15 working days, longer at busy time.

If an application for formal RPL may affect your enrolment in an upcoming semester, ensure the application with required supporting material is lodged at least three weeks before the start of semester. We can’t guarantee that applications lodged after this time will be evaluated in time to make the required changes to your enrolment.

Some programmes may accept RPL applications up to the end of week one of the semester. Contact your programme administrator for specific time frames.

Applications for both types of RPL (formal and non-formal) must be evaluated then approved by the Examination Board before the credit(s) can be put onto your academic record. Ensure that your application is processed in time, particularly if you require these credits as prerequisites or to be eligible to graduate.

Recognition of formal prior learning (RFPL)

You need to submit:

  • Application Form for Recognition of Formal Prior Learning
  • A copy of your transcript(s)
  • Course descriptors for evaluation

There is a fee of $100.00 (not applicable to RPL applications from international students). There is no application fee for recognition of formal prior learning credit from study at AUT.

Recognition of non-formal prior learning (RNPL)

You will need to provide evidence that you’ve met the learning outcomes in the paper. The assessment method will depend on the type of paper and may take the form of a portfolio, demonstration or challenge exam.

You will need to:

  • Identify the paper(s) in your current programme for which you intend to apply for non-formal RPL
  • Obtain the paper descriptor(s) - contact your programme administrator for a copy if they aren't online
  • Discuss the method of assessment with the paper leader
  • Pay the non-refundable non-formal RPL fee of $100.00 per application*
  • Prepare and submit your portfolio or sit the challenge exam


*If your application is successful, you also need to pay $10.00 per approved credit.

Student loans and recognition of prior learning

If your application for recognition of prior learning is successful, and as a result you won’t be enrolled full-time, this may affect your eligibility to receive student loans and allowances.

StudyLink website