Do you have the skills but not the qualification? Recognition of Prior Learning may be for you!
There is no argument that skills and experience are more important than having the piece of paper to prove it. However, it feels good to be recognised for your hard work and it can make the difference between getting your next promotion/job or being overlooked because someone else was seen as being more qualified.
Our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process is very simple; our team do most of the hard work for you and provide you with one-on-one guidance throughout the whole RPL process.
What is RPL?
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment pathway offered by Registered Training Organisations such as Asset College for individuals to gain a nationally recognised qualification.
Generally, to achieve a qualification you would undertake a training program followed by an assessment process. The RPL pathway is a substitute for the standard assessment process for individuals who have gained the same knowledge and skills through their experience rather than through a training program. This process recognises that experience can be as valuable as undertaking training.
We understand that people acquire knowledge and skills from other training programs (both accredited and non-accredited), employment within various industries as well as participation in voluntary, social and recreational activities. By documenting and assessing this experience (or prior knowledge), our assessors may be able to align this experience to competencies in the Australian Qualifications Framework.
In cases where an applicant can supply evidence that aligns completely with the requirements of the unit or qualification applied for, Asset College can issue the relevant Qualification or Statement of Attainment without the candidate requiring further training/assessment.
Why should I undertake RPL instead of studying the course?
RPL is not a suitable pathway for everyone. It is suitable for individuals who have knowledge, skills and experience that is at the same or higher level than the qualification outcome. For example, a General Manager of an organisation who has extensive leadership experience but no formal leadership qualifications would be an ideal candidate to undertake a Graduate Diploma of Strategic Leadership through an RPL pathway.
If RPL is the right option for you then it can have these benefits:
- RPL takes less time than studying
- RPL is cheaper because you are only paying for assessment, not training and assessment
- Receive credit for the work and other experience that you have already completed
- Any gap training that may be required can be based on your current role/business
- Customised assessments to suit your personal circumstances
According to an NCVER report produced in 2020, RPL has these flow on benefits:
- Improving workplace productivity by reducing the time an employee needs to be off the job attending formal training
- Fostering closer links between training providers and industry
- Improving self-esteem and motivation in the individual who has been granted RPL; having their existing skills recognised formally can make students see themselves more positively and even provide motivation for further study.
What qualifications are available for RPL?
Basically all of our Certificate, Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma qualifications are available through an RPL Pathway.
There are some qualifications and short courses which are not suitable for RPL due to industry licensing requirements or the level of risk involved. Examples include firearms training, security licensing courses and short courses like the OHS White Card and RSA.
How does the RPL process work?
RPL is simply an assessment process. The main difference to a normal assessment is that instead of supplying a standard set of assessment records (ie. questions, case studies, practical activities, projects, etc.) which have been pre-mapped to meet the training package requirements; you would be supplying equivalent evidence collected from your own experience. The assessor then maps your evidence to ensure that what you have supplied meets the training package requirements.
- Initial Assessment – Initially you complete our Free Skills Assessment by uploading your resume and/or position description along with any prior qualifications you hold. The assessor will use this to determine if the RPL process is appropriate for you. There is no need to provide all of your evidence at this stage as this will be requested if you choose to go ahead with your RPL.
- Selection of Units – If you decide to go ahead with the RPL process, a 50% deposit is required to begin along with standard enrolment paperwork. Once paid, you will then choose your electives (if applicable) and be enrolled.
- Evidence Gathering – Your assessor will either release the online RPL kits to you or provide you with guidance on the relevant evidence to supply so your evidence can be mapped. Whether this is done through online RPL kits or manually is dependent on the qualification applied for. You should collect and submit as much evidence as possible for the assessor to review.
- Evidence Mapping – Your assessor will review the evidence that you supplied and map it against the training package requirements. You must be able to demonstrate sufficient, valid, authentic and current evidence against all aspects of the training package in order to be assessed as competent.
- Additional Evidence / Gap Training – Once the mapping has been completed your assessor may find some gaps in your evidence. If this is the case they will develop a strategy for you to supply additional evidence. This may be supplying work samples, completing projects, undertaking an RPL interview and/or completing other tasks required to collect sufficient evidence.
- Final Administration – Once your qualification has been mapped, we will complete a final administrative process to ensure that our assessors have followed the correct process to ensure quality and consistency of assessment decisions. Once this process has been complete, final payment is required prior to your qualification being issued.
How long does the RPL process take?
The minimum timeframe to complete an RPL is generally 1 – 2 weeks however this varies depending on the qualification, the evidence that you supply and the assessor’s workload. Often our assessors require information and verification from 3rd parties which can also take some time.
We may need to request additional evidence several times throughout the assessment process which can extend the overall timeframe so we ask that you submit as much evidence as possible in the first instance.
We require that RPL evidence must be submitted within 90 days of enrolment to ensure candidates stay motivated and the process continues to move swiftly. There are exceptions to this rule which will be discussed on a case by case basis. A re enrolment fee will be required if evidence is not provided within 90 days and no reasonable excuse can be provided.
Are these qualifications nationally recognised?
Yes. All qualifications offered by Asset College are nationally recognised under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).
What happens if I don’t have or cannot find sufficient evidence?
Our assessors have several strategies for collecting evidence to meet the assessment requirements. In addition to supplying typical RPL evidence we can provide projects, case studies, question banks, etc. We can also conduct an RPL interview, obtain 3rd party reports and have various other options. For most of our courses, you will be able to transfer your remaining units across to online study in order to complete your qualification.
There are plenty of options which your assessor can discuss with you based on your individual circumstances.
What support is available to complete the RPL process?
You will be provided with the direct contact details for your assessor. You will be able to contact them by phone, email and in some cases in person.
Can I get a refund if I am not eligible for the qualification?
There is no cost for the Free Skills Assessment which will give you an indication of your suitability to undertake the RPL assessment.
If you commence the formal RPL assessment you will be required to pay a minimum 50% deposit to cover the time for our assessor(s) to review your evidence. This deposit is not refundable. If you have paid in full and are deemed unsuitable for RPL at this point we will refund all fees paid excluding the 50% deposit.
If you do not complete the RPL because you change your mind or choose not to supply the requested evidence then you will not be eligible for any refund.
Do you accept international qualifications and overseas work experience as evidence?
All evidence for an RPL assessment needs to be valid, authentic, sufficient and current.
International qualifications and work experience gained outside of Australia that meets these requirements can be considered as RPL evidence. Please note that the evidence must be in English for us to determine its validity and must be from a source that we can contact to verify authenticity.
If you are unsure, submit the evidence as part of the no-obligation initial assessment and the assessor will provide some feedback regarding the suitability of the evidence.
How do I complete a free skills assessment?
Our Free Skills Assessments can be completed in as little as 10 minutes by uploading your resume and previous qualifications as well as answering a few questions related to your work experience.
This can be done completely online and will be sent to our RPL Manager to review. You will receive a response as to whether you are a good candidate for RPL based on the information you have provided to us within 2 – 4 business days (but usually much quicker than this!).