The greatest sacrifice you can make is to dedicate your life to your country. So what happens when your service is up, and it’s time to move on? While you will never really be separated from the defence force and you will never forget your experiences, how will you move to civilian life and will your skills be recognised?
Asset College work alongside Defence in Business, an organisation that assists individuals to successfully transfer between Defence and civilian careers. Through this partnership, our military RPL assessor Craig Tyson along lead RPL assessor Henry Winzar and the ASSET team are able to assess ex-defence skills and award them transferable civilian qualifications, aiding in their chances of employment post-service.
But who is Craig Tyson? Craig is an infantry soldier who spent 28 years in the army, discharged as a Warrant Officer Class 2. During this time, he was posted to 4 Infantry Battalions, 3 training establishments, 2 Army reserve units and DMO. He has had 2 operational deployments to East Timor in 1999 and Afghanistan in 2010.
Craig applied for a job at Asset College because he was out of work. He was made aware that Asset was looking for an RPL consultant who had military experience – and now, we couldn’t think of anyone better or more suited to the job.
‘Because of my experience, I can ascertain very quickly if you may be entitled to recognition of prior learning. I can break down civilian talk to military lingo when we start talking evidence and make the whole process less daunting. The client knows that I know what I am talking about when we talk PARs or PRRs or record of service longs or PMKeyS printouts. I can read these and understand them. I have been there myself not knowing what it is I am qualified for and no idea what I can get in the real world.’
Craig says that leaving defence was not a hard decision, although this may not be the case for all of the RPL candidates ASSET deals with on a daily basis. ‘I felt it would be of benefit to my whole family to settle down in one spot instead of dragging them all over the country’. So, that is what they did.
Recognition of Prior Learning allows ex-defence members to transfer their skills and knowledge to a nationally recognised qualification, without repeating their past learning experiences. To some, RPL is a daunting and consuming process but Craig notes, ‘RPL can be time consuming because of the evidence required to be compiled but it is definitely not a hard process’.
Some points to remember are that doing your research and knowing exactly what qualifications you wish to be awarded helps to speed up the process. As an example, if a soldier leaves Defence as a Sergeant in the Infantry Corps with no promotion subjects for Warrant Officer and has only performed regimental duties, it is likely that Craig would be able to grant RPL for a Certificate IV in Security & Risk Management – working on the premise that the candidate can supply the required evidence of course.
RPL is not only recognition of prior learning, but life experience, whether that be through service, in the civilian workplace or anywhere else! This is one of the reasons why Craig became involved with Defence in Business.
‘Defence in Business facilitates bringing together Defence and the business world, highlighting how serving members of our community can complement any business!’ Craig says.