Frequently Asked Questions – Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL or Recognition of Prior Learning, as the name suggests, is the process of recognising the skills and experience you already have, and turning them into a nationally recognised qualification.

RPL and skills recognition is the process of recognising the experience and skills that a person has acquired throughout their career with a nationally recognised qualification. In order to issue nationally recognised qualifications, we at Qualify Me! have partnered with a number of well-founded and compliant registered training organisations.

1. Free skills assessment
We discuss what your goals are and help you choose the right qualification that matches your skills for recognition of prior learning (RPL) and show you what you need to do to achieve your goals.

2. Evidence Portfolio
Gather evidence such as: current resumé, reference letters, work examples/samples, photos/videos, certificates and transcripts and overseas qualifications and learning experiences.

3. Skills Check
Once our assessors have gone through your portfolio, they will call you in for a competency conversation and a practical observation if required.

4. Qualified!
All certificates are Nationally Recognised and issued by a Qualify Me! partner college certified as RTO. Now you can grab that licence or promotion.

If you have solid experience and knowledge in your field of work in Australia, then you may be eligible or at least very close to attain a related qualification via RPL. Think about it, do you have more knowledge, and experience than that kid that just graduated from TAFE?

That’s where Qualify Me! comes in. We recognise your experience and overseas qualification with a nationally recognised qualification, and fill in any gaps you have with our easy & fast RPL and simple gap training & qualifications programs. Give us a call at 1800 765 295.

There are three main areas that are considered during an RPL process. These are:

  1. Existing work experience. The practical work experience you have gained to date may have provided you with solid skills and knowledge that are of relevance to a course of study. Work experience may be informal, formal, full time, part time, voluntary, or paid.
  2. Existing qualifications. You may have completed educational courses that have provided you with knowledge and understanding that is of relevance to the course of study. For example, if you have another TAFE course or unit, this may count as credit toward a different qualification.
  3. Life skills and experience. Your general life experiences and the skills you have developed over time may also count toward the qualification you wish to complete.

As a rule of thumb you must demonstrate that you have above and beyond the experience displayed by say an apprentice that has completed ‘their time’. You will be critically assessed on the skills you have acquired to ensure you are competent in all areas of your field including your knowledge and understanding of Australian standards and industry regulations, as well as your practical skills.

The RPL process is typically a 6-week process from the point you submitted your evidence.

Every qualification has a unique list of requirements that you must meet in order to demonstrate competency. As a general rule of thumb, you will need to demonstrate / provide:

  • Solid Employment history with Australian experience
  • Past qualifications relevant to the qualification you are applying for
  • Referee statement(s) from tradies you worked with, and who are licensed in your trade
  • Referrals/endorsements – from coworkers and customers
  • Pictures, working documents and videos – demonstrating specific tasks, knowledge and skills

As soon as you receive your qualification you are able to apply for your licence in your state. When applying for your licence, there are generally a few criteria you must meet in order to attain a licence in your state. These include: financial history, criminal history, qualification and sometimes experience. By completing our RPL program, we are helping you to attain the qualification requirements for your licence. There may also be specific ‘experience’ requirements that you must meet. We have a number of articles covering licensing requirements in different states see https://qualifyme.edu.au/qm-blog/. It’s always good to check with your State’s licence regulator to ensure you have the latest information, as licensing requirements do change from time to time.

Our RPL program relies on the fact that you are experienced in your trade, and therefore already have the skills and knowledge down pat. The 6-week RPL process is simply ‘converting’ your prior experience and on the job skills into the subjects that are taken up in a regular classroom when completing the relevant qualification for your trade. This does not mean studying an entire certificate or diploma course in 6 weeks! You should already have attained this knowledge before attempting RPL. Remember we are assessing your skills and knowledge against the criteria spelt out for each subject required to attain your trade qualification.

Look at it this way: If you were to review the documents you work on at work, most of those are essentially real workplace-based versions of the assignments you would have had to complete at college. If you look at the meetings you hold, most of those are real workplace-based versions of the role play meetings you held at college or school. You get the drift? Basically what you do in your workplace or on the worksite covers a large proportion of the practical and theoretical elements and performance criteria required to complete subjects that make up a nationally recognised qualification. So therefore if you have ample experience on an Australian worksite alongside the right people to mentor and train you, then you may very well have already attained a substantial amount of skills and knowledge required to be deemed competent in your trade qualification.

If you are not able to meet the competency of each subject for your trade qualification, then you will be flagged for extra training. This is known as gap training. Here you will be taught against the competencies that you have not met. In other words, you will be taught what you do not know.

In a perfect world, apprenticeships are a critical and fundamental learning curve in the knowledge and skills development of a tradie. Unfortunately, there are many examples where apprentices don’t take their apprenticeship seriously, or employers don’t give apprentices a chance to develop their skills (they keep them as cheap labourers), or sadly even some training providers do not endeavour to fulfil their obligations towards their apprentices. Under these circumstances, you end up with apprentices who have done their time but still lacking in skills. When it finally dawns on the apprentice that they are not getting anywhere in their apprenticeship, they usually look for other ways to develop their skills and knowledge, and pay. This often means, they leave their apprenticeship entirely and a few years down the track have no way to get back onto their feet, even if they have now developed the skills and knowledge required to attain their trade qualification. The concept of RPL, which for the record is government endorsed, is the perfect solution to such situations. Our RPL program allows these candidates, to prove that they are competent, and allow them to get back on track to a successful career in their trade.

The concept of RPL and skills recognition is a government endorsed program. In fact you can read up on it at every state’s departments of education in Australia. Here’s QLD and NSW’s information pages for your convenience.

 

As you can see, RPL and skills recognition is perfect if you have solid experience in your industry and able to prove your skills. We will rigorously check your qualifications and evidence and have a dedicated student support officer to work with you one-on-one and ensure that you get all your requirements submitted correctly. If you have the skills and knowledge to demonstrate that you DO meet the requirements set out by your trade qualification, then why shouldn’t you have it? That’s really what the government is trying to endorse. It ensures that you have followed through the right avenues, such as getting the right licence, and insurances you need to get through.

 

Just to clarify, successfully completing your RPL program will result in you achieving a partial or full qualification in your trade. This of course does not mean you will automatically get a licence. By completing our RPL program, you will attain the qualification requirement for your licence. There may also be specific ‘experience’ requirements that you must meet. We have a number of articles covering licensing requirements in different states see https://qualifyme.edu.au/qm-blog/. It’s always good to check with your State’s licence regulator to ensure you have the latest information, as licensing requirements do change from time to time.

Contract work in a trade without the correct licence is illegal. We encourage you not to undertake any work under these circumstances. If you have the experience and the skills to prove it, then there is no need for you to put yourself and your stakeholders at risk! From our side we do need to verify that your experience is valid, we do this partially by assessing that you have attained the right skills and knowledge to do your job successfully.

Obtaining a qualification is crucial to the development of your career. For more information, or enquiry, give us a call at 1800 765 295, send us an email at info@qualifyme.edu.au or click the chat section below and we’d be glad to help.

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