RPL Information

What is recognition?

Recognition of prior learning, or recognition, is a way to use your existing skills and knowledge to get a formal qualification.  It involves getting your current experience assessed and taking into account other qualifications you may already have. It means you don’t have to waste time learning things you already know how to do.

Can anyone apply for recognition?

Yes. Anyone can apply for recognition. What you need to pay will depend upon your circumstances.

I have no qualifications from my industry but I have skills, knowledge and experience gained from working in that industry. What can I do to have these skills recognised?

The recognition process takes into account all relevant skills, knowledge and experience that you have regardless of the way you got them. This includes experience and training you have gained through paid work, volunteer work or just life in general.

Through the recognition process, you may be able to gain a complete qualification or, if you have gaps in your knowledge, parts of a qualification. If you need to, you can complete the rest of the qualification through training.

Why would I bother with recognition?

Recognition is generally faster and cheaper than completing a qualification from scratch and provides you with the opportunity to get:

  • a promotion or more money
  • entry into a different career or job
  • entry to or credit in another course
  • satisfaction from having your skills formally recognised

The qualification you get is the same that you would get if you completed a full training qualification but with the added bonus that you won’t spend time in the classroom going over things you already know, making it faster.

And because you don’t attend class, getting your qualification through recognition means you do not have to pay resource fees, making it cheaper.

Does recognition have the same requirements as other assessments?

Yes. The recognition assessment process is as rigorous as any other assessment. However, the type of evidence that you need to provide may be different from normal class assessments.

Importantly though, the recognition process is flexible. You and your training provider assessor will discuss and determine the evidence you can provide.

How long will it take?

This will depend on how much recognition you are applying for. Your training provider assessor will be able to advise you on how much time it is likely to take you to complete your recognition process.

Is it easier and cheaper just to enrol in the subjects?

Going through recognition can save you time and effort. It will also mean you avoid spending time in classroom going over things you already know. In most cases, applying for recognition will also save you money because you do not have to pay resources fees.

If you do have gaps in your skills and need to attend classes, you will have to pay all the normal fees for those units.

How difficult is it for me to apply for recognition?

After you discuss your skills, knowledge and work experience with staff at a Registered Training Organisation or at the Career Centre to work out if recognition is right for you, applying for recognition and going through the assessment process should be straightforward.

The staff will be able to:

  • provide you with information on the recognition process
  • help you with any forms that need to be completed
  • explain the cost
  • discuss the evidence required

support you through the process.

What is involved in the assessment process?

Once you and your assessor agree that you are a suitable candidate for recognition you will be required to gather evidence which proves your competence. When you provide evidence you may be required to:

  • answer questions about your work experience in an interview
  • demonstrate your skills and knowledge by completing practical tasks or showing your assessor how you would complete a task

provide supporting evidence such as a résumé, job description, reports from employers/supervisors – this evidence must confirm that you have shown competence over a period of time and can work under different conditions

If I need help at any time during the process, what can I do?

Your training provider assessor is there to help you. Contact your assessor at any time, if you are not sure what to do or if you need help to gather evidence.

Is study I completed many years ago OK as evidence for recognition?

Yes, but you will need to show how you have applied and maintained the skills and knowledge.

What if I can't find my old qualifications?

Contact the organisation where you completed your studies as they may be able to provide you with a copy of your qualification.

If you cannot get a copy of your qualification, you can still go through a recognition process, however, you will need to show your competence in some other way.

Can I just show you my skills rather than have to dig out old qualifications?

Yes. You can demonstrate your skills and knowledge without having to present your qualifications.

It’s hard for me to get supporting evidence as I don’t want my employer to know I am applying for recognition. Can I still apply?

Yes, while assessors usually use supporting evidence from your current or past employers or supervisors to confirm that you have demonstrated your skills and knowledge over a period of time in different situations and under different conditions, there is another way. If you cannot provide this supporting evidence through your employer, your assessor will most probably ask you to complete several practical tasks to demonstrate your competency.

What if I enrol in a class and then realise that I already know the work – can I use the recognition process rather than continue that class?

Yes. If this happens to you, talk to the class trainer immediately. If you do this very early in your training program, your enrolment can be converted to recognition. 

What can I do if I am not happy with the result of my recognition application?

If you are not happy with the outcome of your recognition application, the training provider you went to will have a process to follow.
When you first apply for recognition, the training provider should provide you with information about this process.
If you did not receive this information, contact your training provider or your assessor.

If my application for recognition is unsuccessful, will I have to pay again if I enrol in the class?

Yes. Your recognition application is the same as any enrolment. If you are unsuccessful, and want to enrol in a class, you will need to pay again.