Recognising previous study and experience

What is credit recognition?

If you have studied before or have relevant work/life experience, you may be eligible for credit recognition towards the qualification you wish to study at Open Polytechnic.

There are several credit recognition pathways available to compare your previous experience with the learning required on one or more of the courses you will be studying. The benefits of considering an application for Credit Recognition are that you avoid having to repeat learning you have already completed, and also that you save time and money by finishing your studies more quickly.

We’re here to help - if you would like to talk with an Open Polytechnic staff member before making an application you are welcome to contact Customer Services by freephone 0508 650 200 or email: customerservices@openpolytechnic.ac.nz

Different pathways for credit recognition

Cross Credit

  • Find out more

    Download the Cross Credit Application form  (PDF, opens in new window)

    If you have successfully completed a course at the Open Polytechnic or another tertiary education institution that is a very close match (a minimum of 80%) with learning outcomes for a similar Open Polytechnic course, you can apply for Cross Credit. Contact Customer Services for a copy of the learning outcomes for the relevant Open Polytechnic course/s before you start completing your Cross Credit Application.

    The Open Polytechnic maintains a Credit Recognition Schedule which has a list of courses with pre-approved cross credit arrangements. Any applications for courses listed on the Credit Recognition Schedule will move quickly through the approval process. You can check with Customer Services to see whether your application meets any of the pre-approved arrangements listed on the Credit Recognition Schedule.

    If the course you wish to have cross credited is not on the Credit Recognition Schedule and your study was at another tertiary education institution, you must supply details of the learning outcomes of the course you successfully completed.

    For Cross Credit application using evidence of previous study with Open Polytechnic, you do not need to provide an Academic Transcript.

    For all Cross Credit applications using evidence of successful study at other institutions, you must supply an original or certified copy of your Academic Transcript with your application. All documentation supplied will be retained by Open Polytechnic. If your previous study contains unit standards, achievement standards or NC5121 New Zealand Diploma in Business courses, you only need to give us your NZQA National Student Number (NSN).

    A Cross Credit application for cross credit from another institution’s course/s to an Open Polytechnic course/s will be $50 (non-refundable) per application. If the application is from an Open Polytechnic course to another Open Polytechnic course, there is no charge.

Credit Transfer

  • Find out more

    Download the Credit Transfer Application form  (PDF, opens in new window)

    If you have successfully completed exactly the same course at Open Polytechnic or another tertiary education organisation, you can apply to have that credit transferred to the qualification you are enrolled into.

    If you completed the previous study through Open Polytechnic, you do not need to supply your Academic Transcript with your application.

    If you completed your course with another provider you must supply an original or certified copy of your Academic Transcript with your application. All documentation supplied will be retained by Open Polytechnic. If your previous study contains unit standards, achievement standards or NC5121 New Zealand Diploma in Business courses, you can either supply your NZQA Record of Achievement or NZQA National Student Number (NSN).

    There is no charge for a Credit Transfer.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

  • Find out more

    Download the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Application form  (PDF, opens in new window)

    If you have work experience, life experience or have completed other education or training which may be relevant to your programme, you may qualify to gain credits towards a course/s using the Open Polytechnic RPL process. The charge for RPL is $15 per credit, plus NZQA reporting fees (if applicable).

    Your application for RPL must include a portfolio of evidence which will show how your prior experience or learning meets each of the learning outcomes in each of the courses you wish to receive credit for. Customer Services can supply the learning outcomes for Open Polytechnic courses.

    What evidence is needed for Recognition of Prior Learning applications?

    It is your responsibility to provide sufficient and accurate evidence, but you can contact us for more information.

    Forms of evidence for RPL

    The Open Polytechnic does not award credit for work or life experience based solely on the experience itself. The credit that is awarded is based on your depth and quality of learning that is derived from that experience.

    Your portfolio of evidence should include comprehensive evidence that clearly matches learning outcomes from the courses that credit is being requested for. If we cannot establish that you have met the learning outcomes from the evidence you provide, your application will not be approved.

    • Examples of evidence that can be combined for your portfolio are:
    • Samples of your work that reflects the learning outcome/s of the course
    • Professional development - training and courses you have completed 
    • Awards or certifications
    • Details and evidence of relevant voluntary and community work

    Up-to-date CV that reflects the skills, knowledge and attributes of the course you are hoping to achieve, but please note that this is not sufficient evidence by itself

    You must include verification that this learning or work/life experience has occurred, in the form of attestation or letter of validation or confirmation from a credible and trustworthy source (cannot be from family, friends or co-workers). Examples of credible sources are:

    • your previous or current employer
    • community leader
    • previous teacher
    • local councillor
    • church leader
    What makes for a “good” letter or validation or confirmation?

    To be of most value, the letter must be on organisational letterhead (if applicable) and be written by the person who has direct knowledge of the learning that you are claiming. It should contain:

    • Your name 
    • The dates of employment, or of the time person has known you
    • The position you held; or the capacity in which the person knows you
    • The writer’s relationship to you
    • For each claim to knowledge, skill, or attribute, a statement of verification that you can, unsupervised, perform the skills to the level indicated; or that you have the attitudes for the knowledge claimed
    • It will also be helpful if the writer includes comments on the quality of your performance in respect of each claim
    • The letter must be signed by the writer, who should indicate the position he/she holds, or held, in relation to your claims
    Show your evidence is relevant to the course

    It is not enough to say that you know how to do something - you need to provide evidence of what you did and learned and show how it is relevant to the course you are seeking RPL for.  A template for this is part of the RPL application form. You must

    • list each outcome of the course/s separately
    • state the evidence you have which shows you meet each learning outcome
    • describe clearly how this evidence meets the learning outcome.
    Make copies

    Ensure that you make and keep copies of your application and evidence before submitting them as all evidence will be kept by Open Polytechnic.

Advanced Standing

  • Find out more

    Download the Advanced Standing Application Form  (PDF, opens in new window)

    This is a pre-approved pathway to accept students into the higher levels of study in a programme, recognising that your prior learning cannot be credited directly against specific courses in the programme. There is no charge for an Advanced Standing application.

    For further information contact Customer Services. The current Advanced Standing pre-approved pathways are:

    OP7030 Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) Advanced Standing Pathway

    Applicants must, to be eligible for Admission with Advanced Standing, hold teacher registration from Education Council New Zealand;

    and:

    • Pathway A: have achieved the Open Polytechnic Diploma of Teaching (ECE) Level 7 no more than six (6) years prior to application; or
    • Pathway B: have achieved either a three year Diploma of Teaching (ECE) from a New Zealand tertiary provider of initial teacher education training or the Open Polytechnic Diploma of Teaching (ECE) more than six (6) years prior to application; or
    • Pathway C: have achieved a two year Diploma of Teaching (ECE) from a New Zealand tertiary provider of initial teacher education training

    Credit for admission with advanced standing will be recognised based on Academic Entry Requirements having been met, as follows:

    For students admitted on Pathway A:

    • 120 credits (advanced standing) at Level 5; and
    • 120 credits (advanced standing) at Level 6; and
    • 80 credits (advanced standing) at Level 7.

    For students admitted on Pathway B:

    • 120 credits (advanced standing) at Level 5; and
    • 120 credits (advanced standing) at Level 6; and
    • 60 credits (advanced standing) at Level 7.

    For students admitted on Pathway C:

    • 120 credits (advanced standing) at Level 5; and
    • 120 credits (advanced standing) at Level 6; and
    • 20 credits at Level 7.

    No further credit recognition or transfer will be granted for any work done either at The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand or elsewhere.

    OP7001 Bachelor of Business - New Zealand Diploma in Business Advanced Standing Pathway

    Applicants who have successfully completed NC5121 New Zealand Diploma in Business (240 credits) plus two years of relevant work experience, will be eligible for admission to the Bachelor of Business with advanced standing. The amount of credit will depend on which major the applicant elects to study, and the specific courses completed in their New Zealand Diploma in Business.

    OP7001 Bachelor of Business - Career Academy Advanced Standing Pathway

    Applicants who have successfully completed the Career Academy’s Diploma in Accounting (awarded prior to 21 April 2016) receive:

    • 71100 Accounting
    • 71202 Management Accounting

    Applicants who have successfully completed the Career Academy’s Diploma in Accounting (awarded 21 April 2016 and after) receive:

    • 71100 Accounting
    • 71201 Financial Accounting
    • 71202 Management Accounting
    OP7080 Bachelor of Applied Management - Best Pacific Institute Advanced Standing Pathway

    Applicants who have successfully completed the Diploma in Business (Level 5) studied through Best Pacific Institute, receive:

    • 78101 Finance for Managers
    • 72140 Business Communication
    • 80 credits (advanced standing) at Level 5
    OP7080 Bachelor of Applied Management - NZIS Advanced Standing Pathway

    Graduates of the following New Zealand Institute of Sport qualifications:

    PC3175 NZIS Diploma in Sport Management and Exercise Prescription (Level 5) (120 credits),

    plus

    PC3107 NZIS Diploma of Sport (Advanced Sport Management) (Level 6) (120 credits)

    will be credited with 240 credits comprising:

    • 72140 Business Communication
    • 78102 Management in Context
    • 100 Credits (advanced standing) at Level 5, and
    • 100 Credits (advanced standing) at Level 6;
    OP7010 Bachelor of Applied Science (unspecified major) – NZIS Advanced Standing Pathway

    Graduates of the following New Zealand Institute of Sport qualifications:

    PC3175 NZIS Diploma in Sport Management and Exercise Prescription (Level 5) (120 credits),

    plus

    PC3107 NZIS Diploma of Sport (Advanced Sport Management) (Level 6) (120 credits)

    will be credited with 240 credits comprising:

    • 72140 Business Communication
    • 72142 Accessing Information
    • 100 Credits (advanced standing) at Level 5, and
    • 100 Credits (advanced standing) at Level 6

    No further credit recognition or transfer will be granted for any work done either at The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand or elsewhere.

    OP700502 Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Civil) - Advanced Standing Pathway for graduates of the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Civil specialisation)

    Applicants who have successfully completed the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Civil specialisation) (240 credits) will be eligible for Advanced Standing entry to the Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Civil) programme.

    An applicant with the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Civil specialisation) qualification will be eligible for 180 credits and 3 practice units (no credit value).

    Applicants with a partially completed New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Civil specialisation) qualification will be assessed on a pro rata basis. 

FAQs

  • Frequently asked questions

    Is there a limit to the amount of credit by Credit Transfer, Cross Credit and RPL I can apply for?

    Yes. The Open Polytechnic examines applications for credit recognition on a case-by-case basis.

    The more similar your previous study is to your intended Open Polytechnic programme, the more credit you are likely to get. The amount of credit you can be awarded depends on several factors such as the number of credits you previously achieved, how closely your previous study matches the Open Polytechnic courses, and the age of your previous study (currency), however you will not be able to get credit recognition for more than two thirds of your programme.  For a degree, credits at Level 7 will not be awarded through credit recognition unless specified in programme regulations.

    Some programmes have Regulations that limit the amount of credit recognition. There are also some programmes which have specific Credit Recognition regulations which are only applicable to that programme, e.g. Bachelor of Social Work. For further information please talk to Customer Services.

    What effect could this application have on student loans and allowances?

    You cannot apply for loans and allowances against courses you have had credited under the credit recognition process. As each application for credit recognition is unique, you should check www.studylink.govt.nz to see how your application could have an effect on your loans and allowances. You can also talk to Customer Services. 

    Can I appeal?

    You have the right to appeal a credit recognition decision made by Open Polytechnic. You can seek a review of the decision by writing to the Executive Director, Academic Services. Contact Customer Services for the appeal form, and information on the fee.

    What is a certified copy?

    A certified copy of a document is one that has been signed by a person listed in the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957 as being able to take declarations. This could be a Barrister or Solicitor of the High Court, Justice of the Peace, Notary Public, Registrar or Deputy Registrar of the Court, Member of Parliament, New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), Public Trust or local authority employee designated for this purpose. If you are in a remote area and do not have access to one of these people, a school principal, minister of religion or general practitioner is acceptable.

    How old can my evidence be?

    Your evidence must show that your skills and knowledge are current. Some programmes have specific regulations that define currency however as a general guide, the Open Polytechnic considers any learning done within the last six years as current.

    If your courses date back significantly longer than six years ago but you have been using the knowledge gained recently, you should apply for an RPL based on the recent demonstration of skills.

    I have a combination of cross credit and RPL. What can I do?

    If you have some courses from other qualifications and think that some of your work/life experience is also relevant, you should apply on separate forms for both a Cross Credit and an RPL.

    This will cost less than doing a single RPL application.