RPL Information

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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. 

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.

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.