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Microcredential Procedures

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) This document sets out the purpose and procedures for the development, approval, management and quality assurance for Microcredentials offered by Western Sydney University (University) and Western Sydney University - The College. It does not apply to award programs or subjects.

(2) These procedures apply to all external-facing Western Sydney University Microcredentials, excluding those postgraduate microcredentials that form part of an award program. They can be applied to the University's professional learning activities, but this is not mandatory.

(3) These procedures should be read in conjunction with the Academic Records Issuance PolicyArticulation Pathways PolicyAssessment PolicyCommercial Activities GuidelinesCredit for Prior Learning Policy, Curriculum Design and Approvals Policy, Curriculum Approval Procedures, and Student Honour Code.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(4) For the purposes of these procedures, the following definitions apply, as well as Policy DDS Glossary definitions:

  1. Mainstream curriculum means an Australian Higher Education Qualification (or international qualification with equivalent learning outcomes) awarded by an accredited provider.
  2. Microcredential Stack means a cohesive set of microcredentials that collectively meets specified learning outcomes.
  3. Microcredential Learners means learners who are enrolled in one or more Microcredentials at the University. This may include enrolled Western Sydney University students or other learners.
  4. Microcredential Management Committee (MMC) means the key University body that provides oversight, operational support and approval or endorsement of the University's Microcredentials. This committee is a sub-committee of the Academic Planning and Curriculum Approvals Committee (APCAC). Refer to the Microcredential Management Committee Terms of Reference.
  5. Professional Learning means a broad variety of formal, non-formal and informal learning experiences delivered by employers, Continuing Professional Development providers, membership organisations, Higher Education Providers and Registered Training Organisations.
  6. Statement of Work means document that outlines the scope, objectives, deliverables, and timeline of a specific microcredential project. It is typically prepared by the project team and formalises the commitment of a microcredential proposer to design and deliver the product.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(5) The Curriculum Design and Approvals Policy affirms that the University is committed to offering non-award curricula that:

  1. are easily understandable to students with accessible pathways into, through and back into our academic qualifications, alternative qualifications and learning experiences, and support learners to achieve their career aspirations across their lifetime
  2. build on the advantage of university status for our academic qualifications and complement these with Microcredentials
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Section 4 - Procedures

Eligibility for Study

(6) Microcredentials can be accessed by learners in Australia and overseas.

(7) Currently, studying a Microcredential does not make a Microcredential Learner an enrolled student of the University. For the purposes of institutional and governmental reporting obligations, a Microcredential Learner does not meet the definition of an Award Student in the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

(8) Microcredentials may have enrolment or participation criteria, set out in the approval documentation.

Naming of Microcredentials

(9) Each Microcredential must have a clear, descriptive title that unambiguously identifies its category and area of disciplinary or professional focus and is consistent with requirements of the University's record-keeping systems.

(10) Names of Microcredentials are not governed by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) but must clearly distinguish each Microcredential from cognate AQF qualifications offered by the University.

(11) Descriptive and promotional materials must avoid any implication that Microcredentials, on their own or in combination, are AQF awards.


(12) The design and development of Microcredentials will be led by staff in the relevant Schools, University Research Institutes, Divisional units or Western Sydney University - The College.

(13) When designing Microcredentials, open educational resources must be used to support unrestricted access to information by learners. Staff will be provided with access to the Microcredential learning platform to develop the learning materials.

Microcredential Features and Criteria for Approval

(14) Microcredentials at Western Sydney University must be designed, developed, and delivered to ensure the highest quality and currency of educational offerings. They must:

  1. embody the University's commitment to provide high quality alternative educational opportunities to learners, University partners, and the wider community
  2. be designed and developed with discipline or industry expertise and pedagogical rigour, embodying partnership pedagogy where possible and appropriate, with current scholarship underpinning the curriculum
  3. represent self-contained and supported educational experiences for Learners that result in recognition of achievement or attainment that may be recognised by the University, and where relevant its partners, employers, and the wider community
  4. include assessed educational experiences that satisfy the Australian National Microcredentials Framework.

(15) Microcredentials may:

  1. be stacked with other Microcredentials offered by the University where appropriate to provide extended educational opportunities, additional recognition, or pathways into mainstream curriculum
  2. provide pathways into mainstream curriculum, either through explicit articulation into nominated programs, or through recognition of prior learning.

(16) The volume of learning for a Microcredential is typically less than a ten credit-point subject. Any proposed exceptions will be evaluated during the Expression of Interest and approval processes.

(17) Where Microcredentials provide a pathway into mainstream curriculum, and/or are available for credit for prior learning, they must comply with the Credit for Prior Learning Policy and/or Curriculum Approval Procedures.

(18) Microcredentials that are designed and/or delivered by a partner must have a signed agreement specifying delivery and quality assurance arrangements. These agreements, including any revenue-sharing arrangements, must comply with the  University's Commercial Activities Guidelines.

(19) The approval criteria will include a requirement that the Microcredential presents clear value to the University, its partners, and its current and prospective students, in terms of cost, opportunity and outcomes, and must be financially viable.

Application and Approval

(20) Approval to develop a Microcredential is a three-step process that aims to be rapid and flexible, while ensuring academic quality.

(21) Step 1: Submitting a Microcredential Expression of Interest Form (EOI)

  1. The MC Proposer may submit an EOI to develop a Microcredential at any time.
  2. The WesternX team provides an initial assessment and feedback to MC Proposers if resubmission is required.

(22) Step 2: Submitting a Microcredential Concept Proposal Form

  1. The MC Proposer must:
    1. ensure that adequate socialisation and consultation with all relevant stakeholders is undertaken prior to submitting the Microcredential Concept Proposal Form for approval to the Dean, Director, CEO The College or other relevant Unit Head, and
    2. submit the finalised Microcredential Concept Proposal Form to the MMC for evaluation and approval to progress to Step 3
  2. The MMC will ensure that the proposal has been assessed to assure its educational quality, strategic alignment, financial viability, and value proposition to the University and either:
    1. approve, for a new non-credit bearing Microcredential, or
    2. endorse, for a new credit-bearing Microcredential, or
    3. reject, and provide relevant feedback on the application
  3. If the financial threshold for an approved Microcredential is greater than the amount specified in the Definition of a Commercial Activity clauses of the Commercial Activities Guidelines, it will be submitted to the University's Business and Infrastructure Development Committee (BIDC) for approval. For Microcredentials with budgets below this figure, a quarterly summary report will be submitted to BIDC for noting.

(23) Step 3: Following endorsement or approval by the MMC:

  1. a non-credit bearing Microcredential is approved by the MMC and does not require further approval
  2. a credit-bearing Microcredential must be approved by the relevant School Academic Committee (SAC) for use under the Credit for Prior Learning Policy, and for inclusion in any relevant precedent databases and in accordance with the delegations under the Curriculum Approval Procedures
  3. the WesternX Team will agree on the Statement of Work with the MC Proposer before development starts
  4. Deans, Directors, CEO The College or Unit Heads sign off on the built Microcredential before launch

(24) The University will maintain a register of all approved Microcredentials.

Approval Period for Microcredentials

(25) Approval of a Microcredential is for a period of up to three years.

(26) Upon expiry of the approval period, the MC Proposer may seek re-approval.

(27) Microcredentials may be varied or discontinued in accordance with the sections of these procedures on Variations and Discontinuation.


(28) The MMC reviews and, where appropriate, approves all variations to existing non-credit bearing Microcredentials.

(29) Variations to credit-bearing Microcredentials require the approval of the relevant SAC or equivalent.


(30) A Microcredential may be discontinued after not meeting Key Performance Indicators or quality standards agreed to during the approval process.

(31) The relevant Deans, Directors, CEO The College or other relevant Unit Heads have the delegation to discontinue Microcredentials after consultation with the chair of the MMC and any other Schools or Units that use the Microcredential, and the relevant SAC or equivalent for a credit-bearing Microcredential.

(32) A proposal to discontinue a Microcredential must take into account the learners currently enrolled in the Microcredential, or who might expect to enrol in it as part of a Microcredential Stack and include a summary of the transition arrangements.

Learning Management System

(33) All Microcredentials offered by the University must use a University approved Learning Management System (LMS).

(34) Enrolment in a Microcredential will be in accordance with standard processes for the approved LMS.

(35) Learners agree to the terms and conditions of the Learning Management System as part of enrolling in the MC.

(36) Learners declare that they will adhere to Western Sydney University Microcredential terms and conditions including the academic integrity expectations as part of the enrolment process.

Ownership, Management and Quality Assurance

(37) The Dean or Director, of the School, Division or Institute or CEO The College, in consultation with all relevant partners, is responsible for the quality of the MC.

(38) The owner of the Microcredential is the University body or entity (School, Division, Institute, or The College) that is primarily responsible for its design, development, and delivery. Non-University entities may be partners or stakeholders in a Microcredential but cannot be owners. Microcredentials may be developed as a collaboration between more than one School, University Research Institute, The College and other partners.

(39) The MC proposer or staff member identified as responsible for the MC assures the quality of the MC by:

  1. Having a current How to Create Microcredentials course certificate 
  2. Engaging in expert peer review of the subject matter
  3. Obtaining the approval of the Dean, Director, CEO The College or equivalent before the MC goes live.

(40) As part of the build process the learning design of an MC is reviewed based on meeting Western Sydney University Digital Learning Thresholds and the Australian National Microcredentials Framework.

(41) The mechanism for the evaluation of Microcredentials is determined by agreement with the MMC.

(42) The MC Proposer submits an annual MC performance review report to the MMC for consideration and further reporting in line with the Microcredential Management Committee Terms of Reference.


(43) Assessment for Microcredentials is carried out in accordance with the University's Assessment Policy.

(44) Assessment tasks must assure the achievement of the Microcredential learning outcomes.

Academic Integrity

(45) Microcredentials are designed to promote academic integrity, ensuring that all Learners receive clear instruction about maintaining academic integrity, and that opportunities for contract cheating and other breaches of integrity are minimised. See the Assessment Guide.

(46) University resources for supporting academic integrity, including the Student Honour Code, are available for inclusion in Microcredential learning materials, where appropriate.

(47) Learners who are found to have breached academic integrity expectations:

  1. may have their registration in a Microcredential suspended or cancelled
  2. may not be permitted to register in future Microcredentials
  3. may have any digital badge or certificate awarded for the Microcredential to which the breach relates, withdrawn or cancelled
  4. will not receive a refund of fees for the Microcredential to which the breach relates.

Certification of Learning and Credentialing

(48) On successfully completing a Microcredential, a learner may receive a Digital Badge and/or certificate of completion. Refer to the Western Digital Badging Taxonomy for more details.

(49) Microcredentials must list sufficient metadata (including learning outcomes, volume of learning, earning criteria, an understandable unit of exchange (if available), quality assurance arrangements) to ensure future portability and recognition.

(50) Completion of Microcredentials does not, in itself, make a learner eligible to graduate and/or to receive a formal University academic transcript. See the Academic Records Issuance Policy.

Articulation and Recognition of Prior Learning

(51) Microcredentials or Microcredential Stacks may be used to provide pathways into award programs at the University as either a direct articulation into a particular program, or as part of a portfolio of evidence for use under the Credit for Prior Learning Policy.

(52) Microcredentials used for articulation must meet the following criteria:

  1. credit awarded for a Microcredential or Microcredential Stack must be consistent with the Credit for Prior Learning Policy, including the requirement that it may only be awarded in multiples of ten credit points, equivalent to whole subjects; partial credit cannot be awarded
  2. where a Microcredential Stack has been designed to provide articulation into one or more award programs, the School Academic Committee(s) of the Schools that own the programs are responsible for seeking the Academic Planning and Courses Approvals Committee (APCAC) approval for the articulations and any associated credit under the Articulation Pathways Policy.

(53) There is no automatic entitlement to credit for Microcredentials unless specifically approved by the relevant SAC or equivalent, with reporting to APCAC.


(54) Fees are approved by the MMC according to the Fee Setting Guidelines.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(55) Relevant resources include:

  1. Microcredential Approval Workflow
  2. Microcredential Expression of Interest Form
  3. Microcredential Concept Proposal Form
  4. Microcredential Management Committee Terms of Reference
  5. Western Digital Badging Taxonomy (for University staff)
  6. Assessment Guide
  7. Student Honour Code
  8. WesternX Portal
  9. How to Create Microcredentials’ Short Course
  10. Fee Setting Guidelines
  11. Microcredential Performance Review Template

(56) Detailed information on the design and development of Microcredentials, consistent with these procedures, is available on the WesternX web page.