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Advanced standing

If your son/daughter is applying for an ECU course and has completed previous study or professional experience, at an equivalent level, then they may be eligible for advanced standing (credit for previous study or work experience).

What is advanced standing?

Advanced standing is the term we use for credit (or exemptions) for previous studies, or recognition of prior learning, for professional experience.

Advanced standing can enable students to reduce the number of units needed to study to be awarded an ECU qualification. It can be awarded as credit or in the form of a substitution.

Note: If the ECU course is gearing the prospective student to work in an industry where recognition by a professional body is required, such as working as a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA), we encourage them to ensure that accepting advanced standing will not prevent them from being accepted as a member into the professional association.


Credit is the recognition that previous learning reflects and contributes to, in part or whole, the completion of an ECU course.

For the purpose of credit previous learning includes formal, non-formal and in-formal learning:

  • Formal learning:
    Learning completed through a structured program of instruction that has been formally approved through accreditation/endorsement which leads to the full/partial attainment of a qualification (e.g. a certificate, diploma or degree).
    Includes formal learning recognised as part of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) or other formal courses of study recognised by the National Office of Overseas Skilled Recognition (NOOSR) or an institution/organisation.
  • Non-formal learning
    Learning completed through a structured program of instruction which did not lead to the attainment of a formal qualification (e.g. in-house professional development programs conducted by employers, education by professional associations, product courses and unaccredited structured training).
  • Informal learning
    Learning achieved through experience in work-related, social, family, hobby or leisure activities. Unlike formal and non-formal learning, informal learning is not organised or structured in terms of objectives, time or learning support.


Recognises previous learning which reflects and is equivalent to parts of the qualification which is being undertaken but does not lead to credit.

A substitution enables students to be exempted from undertaking the relevant parts that have been achieved (units), but requires them to complete an alternative unit in place of the unit(s) they have been granted substitutions for.

Being granted a substitution means students will complete the same number of units as required by the rules of their ECU qualification

Want to know more?

You can check our advanced standing database to see if a prospective student may be eligible receive credit based on their previously completed qualifications.

If qualifications are not listed in our database, we encourage prospective students to contact the School offering the ECU course to get an assessment of possible advanced standing.

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