What is Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)?
RPL is the acknowledgment of skills and knowledge obtained through learning achieved outside the formal education and training system and includes work and life experience including paid and volunteer work, and skills attained through leisure pursuits such as community, mechanical or linguistic abilities.
Why you should apply for RPL?
If you apply for RPL and your application is successful, you could:
- Reduce or eliminate the need for any training in skills and knowledge you already have
- Save time by not needing to attend any or a reduced number of classes and completing unnecessary work
- Save money because you will not have to buy textbooks and other learning material
- Complete your qualification in a shorter time
- Have your collective experience recognised by attaining a nationally recognised qualification
- Advance to a higher-level qualification in a shorter time
RPL Evidence Guide
In order to grant RPL, the assessor must be confident that the student is currently competent against the endorsed industry or enterprise competency standards or outcomes specified in Australian Qualifications Framework accredited courses. The evidence may take a variety of forms and could include certification, references from past employers, testimonials from clients and work samples. The assessor must ensure that the evidence is authentic, valid, reliable, current and sufficient.
Tips and hints to help you show your skills for recognition
In order to have skills formally recognised in a national system, Assessors must make sure you have the skill and knowledge to the standard required by industry. This means you must be involved in a careful and comprehensive process that addresses in detail the content of all of the units of competency within the qualification you are applying to have recognised.
Being prepared can save you time and hassle. Here are some tips and hints to prepare for a recognition process:
- Be prepared to talk about your job roles and your work history. Submit a resume or jot down a few points about where you have worked, either paid or unpaid and what you did there.
- Submit your position description(s) and any performance appraisals you have from relevant organisations where you have worked.
- Position descriptions, duty statements and similar are particularly strong evidence. While we accept it may be difficult at times, it is worthwhile making an effort to obtain these documents.
- Collect any diplomas and certificates from Nationally Recognised Training and/or in-house training and/or formal training you have done in the past.
- Other documents you can provide as examples of your work history include:
- Examples of the work activities identified in your position description
- Examples of work orders, client orders/requests, work contracts
- Any relevant licenses or tickets held, e.g. forklift, crane
- Photographs of work undertaken
- Diaries/task sheets/job sheets/logbooks
- Site training records
- Site competencies held on record
- Membership of relevant professional associations
- References/letters from previous employers/supervisors
- Industry awards
- Any other documentation that may demonstrate your trade or industry experience that will support your claim
- Consider the possibilities for workplace contact. Are you in a workplace that is supporting your goals to get qualified? Would you feel comfortable to have the assessor contact your workplace so your skills can be verified?
- You can consider other ways you can show your skills and experience. These could be letters from employers, records of your professional development sessions, competitions, employers or clients, acknowledgements, workplace forms (as long as they don’t show client details) or other relevant documents.
Your Assessor will review the information you have provided (usually with you) and begin to match up your skills to the units in the qualification.
At this point, you will have the opportunity to discuss and identify your previous experience with the assessor who will understand your industry experience and conduct a competency conversation with you.
RPL is an assessment process designed to show areas of competence and to identify if an RPL Applicant has gaps in skills or knowledge.
Not all RPL Applicants will have skill/knowledge gaps. If you have skill gaps, a pathway to complete training in the outstanding units can be negotiated to assist you to gain the full qualification.