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Conferral and Graduation Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The purpose of this policy is to:

  1. define who is eligible for the conferral of an award
  2. define who is responsible for managing conferral and graduation, and to
  3. ensure the integrity of awards conferred.
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Section 2 - Overview

(2) To ensure:

  1. compliance with relevant standards
  2. integrity, authenticity and security of award certification
  3. qualifications are awarded legitimately.
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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This policy applies to all RMIT University awards, including those offered through RMIT controlled entities, international partners and Open Universities Australia, AQF award programs and non-AQF award programs offered through RMIT Training or RMIT creds.

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Section 4 - Policy

(4) An award may be conferred up to 10 years from when a student fulfils the requirements for completion of the award program.

(5) RMIT will enable conferral of awards as soon as possible after students are identified as having fulfilled the requirements of the relevant program.

(6) Eligible students may elect to have their award conferred at an official ceremony or in absentia.

(7) RMIT will provide graduates with testamurs and award documentation in formats that ensure the integrity, security and authenticity of documents.

(8) RMIT may publish award conferral information, including graduate names, awards conferred and their conferral dates.

(9) Where a student dies before conferral of their award, the award may be conferred posthumously either to a member of the student’s family or in absentia.

(10) RMIT may confer honorary awards on members of the community to recognise outstanding achievements.

(11) Awards may be withdrawn where conferred in error or revoked in accordance with RMIT statute and regulations.

(12) Award conferral and revocation will be periodically reported to Academic Board and Council.

Responsibilities

(13) The Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Training and Development (ADVC RT&D) is responsible for confirming a student has fulfilled the requirements for completion of their higher degree by research award or higher doctorate.

(14) The Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor, Learning and Teaching (DPVCLT) is responsible for:

  1. approving non-standard completions
  2. approving, together with the Dean/Head of School, changes to a student’s record after completion has been confirmed.

(15) The Dean/Head of School offering a student’s coursework award program or (in the case of double degrees) plan is responsible for:

  1. confirming the student’s completion and reviewing completion decisions
  2. recommending non-standard completions to the DPVCLT
  3. approving, together with the DPVCLT, changes to a student’s record after completion has been confirmed.

(16) The Academic Registrar is responsible for:

  1. identifying students nearing completion of their program
  2. confirming completion where an award is no longer offered, and ten years have not elapsed
  3. changing student results after completion
  4. approving conferral where the completion is not within 10 years
  5. approving posthumous conferral of an award in exceptional circumstances
  6. inviting students who have completed their program to graduate
  7. declining permission for a graduand to graduate in person where it is believed that they constitute a risk to the safety of any person
  8. reporting to Academic Board and Council on awards conferred in absentia and awards revoked
  9. ownership of the Conferral and Graduation Procedure and the Academic Dress Guideline, and associated resources.

(17) Schools are responsible for:

  1. confirming that each student has fulfilled the requirements for completion of the award - unless clause 13 applies
  2. communicating with students where an award is conferred in error and needs to be withdrawn and arranging return of the testamur by the student.

(18) Students are responsible for applying to graduate and payment of any fees required that are related to graduation.

Review

(19) This policy will be reviewed every three years by the DVCE.

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Section 5 - Procedures and Resources

Refer to the following documents which are established in accordance with this Policy:

  1. Conferral and Graduation Procedure
  2. Academic Dress Guideline
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Section 6 - Definitions

(Note: Commonly defined terms are in the RMIT Policy Glossary. Any defined terms below are specific to this policy).
Academic dress The regalia, comprising gowns, hoods, caps and stoles, which identify the holders of academic awards. RMIT academic dress is described in the Academic Dress Regulations and Guidelines.
Academic transcript A list of courses undertaken, and results achieved by a student, which is authorised by the Academic Registrar.
AHEGS Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement – a statement issued to a graduate of an AQF qualification providing information to supplement the testamur and record of results, ensuring that students, employers, industry and professional associations understand the qualification. Issued for each award conferred.
Award A degree, diploma or certificate approved by Academic Board which may be conferred or granted by Council.
Completion Where a student has fulfilled all requirements of an award.
Conferral The act of granting an award to a student either in person or in absentia at an official ceremony after completion of their program requirements.
Graduand A person who has completed all the requirements for an award but has not had the award conferred upon her/him.
Graduation The university ceremony at which awards are formally conferred.
Intermediate award An award for which the requirements are a subset of the requirements for a higher award.
My eQuals Official platform providing secure access to qualification documentation. Certified, digital versions of official academic statements. These are authentic, tamper-proof and legally valid, and contain digital signatures that meet the legal standards set by the European Union for authentic electronic documents.
Nested awards A set of programs that are configured and offered sequentially that can lead to qualifications at different AQF levels. Programs at the lower qualification levels are described as ‘nested’ within the programs leading to qualifications at the higher levels.
Non-standard completion Where a student obtains approval to fulfil program learning outcomes by completing courses other than those specified in the program guide.
Statement of Academic Completion A statement authorised by the Academic Registrar, that a student has completed all requirements of a program.
Statement of Attainment A statement authorised by the Academic Registrar, listing one or more units of competency that a student has achieved. It is only issued where a student has not completed a whole AQF program, as per the AQF Issuance Policy.
Testamur A document that is binding on and certified by the university and issued to the students on conferral of a higher education award.
VE Qualification An interim digital document authorised by the Academic Registrar, certifying that a student has completed a vocational education program, and which lists the courses or units of competency they have achieved.
VE Qualification testamur A hard copy document authorised by the Academic Registrar, certifying that a student has completed a vocational education program, and which lists the courses or units in which they have achieved competency. This document includes completion and conferral dates and the RMIT coat of arms. It is issued to students on conferral.