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Conferral and Graduation Procedure

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Section 1 - Context

(1) This procedure sets out the requirements for award completion, conferral, graduation, certification documentation, revocation and reporting to ensure:

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

(2) Authority for this document is established by the Conferral and Graduation Policy.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This procedure 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 and RMIT creds.

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Section 4 - Procedure

Completion

(4) The Academic Registrar will identify students nearing completion of their coursework programs and invite schools to confirm that each student has fulfilled the requirements for completion of the award.

  1. Where the student is enrolled in a double degree and the degrees are offered by different schools, each school must confirm that the student has fulfilled the requirements for completion of the award.

(5) Higher degree by research (HDR) students must meet the conditions set out in clause 34 of the Higher Degrees by Research Policy.

(6) Where a higher education student fulfils the program learning outcomes by completing an approved non-standard enrolment involving courses other than those specified in the program guide, the Dean/Head of School may recommend a non-standard completion to the Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor, Learning and Teaching (DPVCLT).

  1. A non-standard completion may also be approved by the DPVCLT where the student has completed courses other than those specified in the program guide if they have been incorrectly advised on their enrolment.
  2. A non-standard program may not be approved where a student has enrolled incorrectly of their own accord.

(7) A student who is about to complete or who has completed their program in the past may request written confirmation of their completion status. The University will respond:

  1. within 20 working days of the release of the final results
  2. within 20 working days of the student’s application to graduate, where the student has completed in the past.

(8) A student or former student may apply to graduate where completion of the relevant higher education program was confirmed in the student management system within the previous 10 years.

(9) If the award is no longer offered, and 10 years have not elapsed since the student completed the program and the program completion has not been confirmed, the Academic Registrar has discretion to confirm the completion based on each of the following:

  1. a record of the student’s results
  2. a record of the program structure at the time of enrolment
  3. evidence that the results fulfil program requirements
  4. confirmation of completion, including any work integrated learning or clinical placements, from the Dean/Head of School.

(10) Higher education students who completed an award more than 10 years earlier are not normally eligible to have the award conferred.

  1. Following confirmation of program completion from the Dean/Head of School, these students may be issued with a transcript stating that they have completed program requirements.
  2. In exceptional circumstances the Academic Registrar may approve exceptions to this.

(11) Review of Completion Decisions:

  1. Where a student has been assessed by the School as not having fulfilled the requirements for completion of a coursework program, the student may apply to the Dean/Head of School for a review of the decision.
  2. Reviews of completion decisions are not available to higher degree by research students.
  3. A review of a coursework result in the research program is available in accordance with the Assessment Processes.
  4. An appeal against an examination outcome is available in accordance with Part 4 of the Assessment, Academic Progress and Appeals Regulations.

    See also the Program Assessment Boards section of the Assessment Processes.

Conferral of Awards

(12) Students must have been enrolled in the program from which they are seeking to graduate.

(13) Awards will be conferred:

  1. on the date of the next available graduation ceremony
  2. in absentia, at a date determined by the University.

(14) Award conferral is public information; the University may publish graduates’ names and awards conferred, and their conferral dates.

  1. Graduates who do not wish to be recognised publicly must contact Completions, Awards and Graduations.

(15) Nested Awards:

  1. Higher level programs may have lower level programs ‘nested’ within them. These nested programs may lead to awards at different AQF levels, offered and awarded sequentially.
  2. Students who are enrolled in the higher-level program at the outset are not permitted to progressively take out lower level nested awards while only being enrolled in the higher award. Such students normally proceed through the entire program of study, unless they opt to exit at a lower level.
  3. Students enrolled in the higher-level program will normally only be eligible to graduate from a lower level award subject to of the following conditions:
    1. the requirements of the lower program have been met
    2. they exit the higher-level award
    3. they enrol into the lower level award.
  4. Students who are enrolled in the higher-level award of a nested program before 31 December 2020 may apply to graduate with a lower level award only where the program requirements have been met and they enrol into the lower level program.

    See also: Program and Course Policy.

(16) RMIT will not confer an award:

  1. for a vocational education nationally recognised training package qualification that was deleted or superseded, or an accredited course that expired or was superseded, more than 12 months before the student’s completion of the relevant program (in accordance with the ASQA General Direction on learner transition)
  2. where the student is the subject of a misconduct allegation and their completion is dependent on the outcome of the hearing
  3. where the Student Conduct Board has denied the student the right to have their award conferred
  4. where the student owes a debt to the University in relation to the program of study for which the debt was incurred or administrative fees such as library fines.

Graduation

(17) Students must have completed all requirements of their programs to be eligible to graduate.

(18) Subject to confirmation of completion of the program, and other conditions stated in the Conferral and Graduation Policy and Procedure, students may elect to graduate at a ceremony or in absentia.

(19) The Academic Registrar will invite students who have completed to graduate. Other students who are about to complete and students who completed in the past may apply to graduate.

(20) The Academic Registrar may specify which types of awards are eligible to be conferred at a graduation ceremony and which location graduands must have studied at to be eligible to attend a specific ceremony.

(21) The Academic Registrar may decline a graduand permission to graduate in person if they have reasonable grounds for believing that the graduand’s presence at the ceremony would constitute a risk to the safety of any person.

(22) A fee is payable by graduands who attend a graduation ceremony: see the current schedule of fees and charges. This graduation fee is waived for Indigenous graduands.

(23) A student may not graduate more than once with the same award, except where changes to a training package require graduates of a vocational education award to complete the award again to maintain the currency of the qualification.

Certification Documentation

(24) Higher education graduates will receive authorised digital certification documentation via My eQuals, including:

  1. testamur
  2. academic transcript
  3. Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS).

    See also Conferral and Graduation Policy Schedule 1.

(25) Vocational education graduates will receive authorised digital certification documentation via My eQuals, including:

  1. VE Qualification testamur
  2. academic transcript.

(26) A Vocational Education Qualification Testamur will be issued to graduates within 30 days of confirmation of the student’s completion.

(27) Vocational education students who complete one or more units of competence from an AQF qualification are eligible for a statement of attainment.

(28) A Statement of Academic Completion (SAC) can be issued to students who:

  1. are applying for Permanent Residency in Australia
  2. need to prove study start and end dates for visa requirements
  3. are applying for entry to a professional association
  4. are applying for General Skilled Migration.

(29) The SAC is not issued digitally via My eQuals.

(30) A Higher Education testamur or a Vocational Education Qualification Testamur can be replaced where the original has been lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, or where it was never received.

  1. If a replacement is requested because the original was damaged, the damaged document must be returned before the replacement can be issued.

(31) A change of name on a replacement testamur will only be approved by the Academic Registrar where the graduate provides evidence that:

  1. they are in a witness protection scheme,
  2. they have officially changed their gender, or
  3. the reasons for the change of name are of similar weight to the above.

(32) All authorised, official certification documentation is consistent with the Australian Government’s Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 and the AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy:

  1. It is protected against fraudulent use, traceable and authenticable and designed to prevent unauthorised reproduction.
  2. Initiatives to achieve these outcomes include digital security through My eQuals, security paper, unique watermarks and holograms and ultra-violet secure ink.
  3. HE testamurs and VE qualification testamurs carry individual award numbers and the University seal.

(33) RMIT will:

  1. retain registers of AQF qualifications it is authorised to issue and of all AQF qualifications issued, and
  2. retain records of AQF certification documentation issued for a period of 30 years.

Student Records

(34) Once a student’s completion has been confirmed, changes to the student’s results in courses that have been completed can only be made by:

  1. the Academic Registrar, on the authorisation of the Dean/Head of School and the relevant DPVCLT
  2. as a result of student conduct or appeal determinations.

Withdrawal of Revocation of Awards

(35) To ensure integrity of University records, awards may be:

  1. withdrawn by the Academic Registrar if they are found to have been issued in error
  2. revoked by the RMIT University Council in accordance with RMIT Statute No. 1; Section 19 Revocation of Awards.

(36) An award that has been conferred in error by the University may be withdrawn in the following circumstances:

  1. an error was made in confirming the student’s completion, and the student has not in fact fulfilled all requirements to complete the program
  2. an error was made in calculating the student’s award level, and the student needs to be issued with a replacement testamur showing the correct award level.

Honorary Awards

(37) Honorary degrees may be awarded in accordance with the Honorary Degrees Regulations.

(38) In accordance with the AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy, the title ‘doctor’ will not be used by those who hold an honorary award.

Posthumous Awards

(39) If a student dies, they may be considered for a posthumous award subject to the conditions below:

  1. the student had 48 credit points or less of an associate degree, bachelor or master by coursework degree to complete
  2. the student was enrolled in a master by research or doctoral program in the 12 months prior to their death and meets other conditions set out in the HDR Posthumous Submission and Examination Procedure
  3. exceptional circumstances are demonstrated.

Reporting

  1. The Academic Registrar must submit a list of students whose awards have been conferred in absentia to each Academic Board and Council meeting.
  2. RMIT will provide reports of records of qualifications issued to the VE Regulator on a regular basis as determined by the VE Regulator.
  3. The revocation of any awards will be reported annually to the Academic Board and Council.
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Section 5 - Procedures and Resources

(40) Refer to the:

  1. Academic Dress Guideline