Starting from 15 October 2018, as an integral part of QR, there is a dedicated search function in the QR for CAT information which will enhance not only the transparency and dissemination of credit transfer information between institutions and programmes but also the availability of credit transfer arrangements on quality assured qualifications contained in the QR.
CAT(I) refers to the institutional arrangements about credit accumulation and transfer that apply across a cognate group of learning programmes offered by the institution.
CAT(P) refers to the CAT arrangements at the programme level for specific learning programme(s). These programme specific CAT arrangements should be underpinned and are in sync with the institutional CAT arrangements.
For a learning progamme indicated as CAT(P), it is a receiving programme with learning programme(s) as sending qualification(s) displaying the relevant credit transfer arrangement.
CAT(R) refers to the specific CAT arrangements at the programme level are based on and/or include the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) qualifications obtained by the learners through the RPL mechanism under the Qualifications Framework (QF) and should be underpinned by and in sync with institutional CAT arrangements.
For a learning progamme indicated as CAT(R), it is a receiving programme with a list of RPL qualification(s) as sending qualification(s) displaying the relevant credit transfer arrangement.
A receiving programme refers to a learning programme into which the credits earned from a qualification (including both learning programme and RPL qualification) are recognised for transfer.
A sending qualification refers to a qualification from which credits are recognised for transfer by the receiving programme.
For CAT(Programme), a sending qualification is a learning programme from an institution; whereas for CAT(Recognition of Prior Learning), the sending qualifications will be a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) qualification from an appointed assessment agency.
One of the principles of CAT arrangement is that granting of credits is based on individual receiving institution’s decision. As stated in the “Policy, Principles and Operational Guidelines for CAT under Qualifications Framework in Hong Kong” (the Guidelines) published by the Education Bureau, “CAT shall not affect the authority of a receiving institution to make decisions about the admission of learners. Under the principle of institutional autonomy, it is a decision for the receiving institution.”
Therefore, the presence of CAT arrangement between a sending and receiving programme does not guarantee entry to the receiving programme.
As one of the principles stated in the “Policy, Principles and Operational Guidelines for CAT under Qualifications Framework in Hong Kong” published by the Education Bureau, the decision on the maximum percentage of credit transfer is subject to quality assurance measures by the receiving institutions.
The underlying principles for uploading CAT information on the QR include the following:
HKCAAVQ as the Accreditation Authority adopts a user-friendly approach to reviewing the CAT arrangement of the existing programmes on the QR. All CAT information submitted by HKCAAVQ-accredited operators will be accredited by HKCAAVQ before it can be uploading onto the QR. HKCAAVQ will review the CAT arrangements as part of the accreditation exercises when looking at the admission policies and the articulation pathways. This means that the CAT information and credit transfer arrangement of programmes is part of the accreditation determination.
As stated in the “Policy, Principles and Operational Guidelines for CAT under Qualifications Framework in Hong Kong” (the Guidelines) published by the Education Bureau, “there are cases in which more than 50% of the total credits required may be granted. The ceiling for credit transfer may be more flexibly determined where the transfer is from programmes offered by the same institution and where the contents of the courses/modules involved dovetail with each other by design.”
As stated in the “Policy, Principles and Operational Guidelines for CAT under Qualifications Framework in Hong Kong” (the Guidelines) published by the Education Bureau, “institutions have the flexibility to develop their own systems for CAT implementation to suit their own needs”.
HKCAAVQ has developed a glossary and a Q&A section dedicated to CAT to ensure a common understanding among operators and the public. The terms used in the CAT centralised database have been developed making reference to the Guidelines.
The creation of the CAT Centralised Database on QR is to enhance the openness and transparency of CAT information which further facilitate learner’s progression. As stated in the “Guidelines for Advertisements relating to the QF”, “it is the responsibility of the operators or qualification granting bodies to ensure that all information relating to the relevant QR entry is factually accurate and current in the advertisement.” This requirement is applicable to all advertisements with QF-recognition claims.