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Recognition of Prior Learning FAQs

RPL stands for Recognition of Prior Learning. It is a way for you to use your past experience, study and your skills to get a recognised qualification that will improve your work opportunities, boost your credentials and give you recognition for your achievements without having to undertake a similar course of study again.

You may have learned skills from mentors, from previous informal or formal courses or through self education: you've been developing skills all your career and, if you can provide evidence of them, then you're well on the way to getting a qualification.

Many people are unaware that you can actually enrol in an Assessment Only pathway instead of completing a formal training program. In support of this, we enable you to catalog your skills and experiences which will then be assessed by CIVT a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) . We have qualified assessors who will consider your experiences and look at your prior learning and, if you have the underpinning knowledge and completed all of the requirements they can award you a formal qualification. If you've completed some of the requirements, then they will perform a 'skills-gap analysis', work out what you need to do, and will give you an opportunity to complete the rest of the course: all from home!

All evidence is assessed for equivalence against the full unit of competency to provide for a valid assessment outcome. There are no pre-set evidence requirements to demonstrate equivalence, as this is determined on a case by case basis once the assessor can make a judgment about the evidence submitted in the context of the particular individuals' practice or career experience. Official assessment occurs once you have finalised your portfolio and enrolled in the Course. Credit will apply to all or some of the course or qualification.

What is the Process of RPL?

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process that involves assessment of the individuals' relevant prior learning to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit. RPL assesses the individuals' non-formal and informal learning to determine the extent to which that individual has achieved the required learning outcomes, competency outcomes, or standards for entry to, and/or partial or total completion of, a qualification.
The RPL Principles for Good Practice require that RPL recognise learning regardless of how, when and where it was acquired, provided that the learning is relevant and current to the learning outcomes or competencies in a subject, unit, module, course or qualification. RPL has always differed to other forms of assessment, in that it is based both around an individual and the competency being assessed. Therefore, your evidence requirements will vary. Professional judgement is used to make an assessment decision as to the individuals' demonstrated equivalency, regardless of the format of the evidence  supplied.
RPL assessment must ensure that evidence is valid, authentic, current and sufficient and that the process is fair, flexible, reliable and valid. In order to provide the flexibility to candidates, we can contextualise the RPL assessment instruments to match each individuals' unique background, prior-learning requirements. This occurs through a series of structured procedures that provide a personalised experience to the candidate, whilst still meeting the principles of assessment and rules of evidence requirements.

What is competency based assessment?
Competency based assessment is the process whereby you are assessed as to whether you can provide evidence of the specific skills or knowledge required to meet the criteria for a specific qualification. Definition of competency: Competency is the consistent application of knowledge and skill to the standard of performance required in the workplace. It embodies the ability to transfer and apply skills and knowledge to new situations and environments.

What is the AQF?

The AQF is the national policy which has been setup for regulated qualifications throughout Australia's education and training system. It comprises all the education systems into one simple framework. It includes vocational education and training and higher education institutions. It also includes the accrediting authorities who oversee these institutions . There are many stakeholders to the AQF system, and the AQF attracts representative bodies, associations, unions, trainers, licensing authorities and the government. Ultimately students can graduate to benefit themselves, employers, and industry.

Under the AQF, education and training is governed by the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments.

The AQF provides a framework that:

  • underpins the national regulatory and quality assurance arrangements for education and training in Australia

  • provides the rest of the world with a framework that is consistent and useful

  • supports and enhances graduates and workers through evaluating career and life skills and converting them into qualifications.

What is the Cost of RPL?

RPL is a rigorous process that requires validation and documentation throughout the process. Our processes are audited and our assessors are qualified to conduct the assessment regulated by AQF. This means that we need to match your experience, skills and any prior study against the underperpinning knowledge and competency requirements of our qualifications. You need to provide the evidence we need. Its a lengthy process and you should expect to spend some three months gathering documentation and other evidence to support the RPL process. This may also require interview, video evidence and evidence form your peers. However , gaining a formal qualification through RPL is an incredibly cost-effective process. The RPL process enables you to put all of the time that you have spent working and developing skills to good use: it counts as part or all of your course, saving you a significant amount of time and money. The cost will vary somewhat dependent upon the qualification or course and what you have already done.

Am I eligible?

If you have work/ practice experience, or you've specialised in an interest and undertaken previous study, then you may have developed skills that are relevant to a qualification. You will need to be able to provide evidence of these skills and be willing to gather this together.  It doesn't matter when or where you developed your prior learning: you could have developed a skill several years ago and not used it recently, or you may have been working part-time and built up a skill over a number of years. All skills and experiences are valid - providing you can gather sufficient evidence of them, and they meet the learning outcomes and assessment criteria of the qualification for which you are seeking to be recognised.

What does the term ‘Nationally Accredited' mean?

Nationally Accredited means that a qualification is endorsed by the AQF (see above). The AQF are the 'benchmark' for Australian qualifications. So if you have a ‘Nationally Accredited' qualification, it is recognised throughout Australia and in many other countries around the world.

How long will the process take?
Subject to reasonably business hours assessor availability, It really depends on how much time you can dedicate to uploading and describing your evidence to a satisfactory level to the chosen assessor. It may takes the average person 3-4 weeks if they spend from just a few minutes, to an hour each day collating evidence. It really depends on the Qualification, and your career experience. It can take between 6 to 8 weeks for us to assess you once you have uploaded your portfolio of evidence.