RPL – Recognition of Prior Learning
Who decide to move to Australia in order to attend an educational course, may have already developed some abilities or have learnt some skills through his previous study or work experiences.
The RTOs, the Registered Training Organisations who are allowed to provide Vocational Education Training (VET), valuate the future student’s potential previous learning, acquired in theoretical or practical ways, in official or unofficial manners, in Australia or abroad.
During the RPL process, the candidate is assessed in order to prove if he has the competences required by the Australian standard. Actually, often happen that some students begin courses having already developed relevant skills, abilities and knowledges in their field.
An individual who move to Australia after having studied or worked in a specific sector, may have already developed useful abilities for a peculiar job. For example, a person who has worked many years as office’s receptionist, may have learnt business administration skills, effective in order to receive the qualification. In the same way, a person with garage work experiences, may have relevant competencies for a mechanical qualification.
Any previous learning, acquired in an educational or working environment, may be useful in order to get a qualification in Australia.
The Recognition of Previous Learning may lead to two different achievements.
In the case skills and abilities developed are recognised to be complete, the qualification may be immediately issued.
On the other hand, when these previous experiences appear to not be enough to be fully recognised, the learned skills are valued and used as credits. These may result in a reduction of the amount of work, by a cut of the total number of modules requiredto be qualified.
Asking for an RPL turns to be always a good move: experiences, knowledge and skills are officially recognised. This may prevent the person to get training and instructions on areas in which he is already capable. At the same time, it may reduce the total amount of time needed in order to be qualified.
Three are the big areas assessed during the RPL process.
1. Previous work experiences: if a person has had previous work experiences, may have developed solid abilities and relevant knowledge for the study course he is interested in. Therefore, it is valued any kind of work experience, official or unofficial, full-time or part-time, paid or voluntary.
2. Gained qualifications: many people move to Australia having completed already educational pathways in their home country. These may have given to the future student relevant knowledge for the educational course they chose. For example, if one previously attended another TAFE course or part of it, this may be considered as credit for another kind of qualification.
3. Life experience: one’s general life experience and skills developed during life, may be also valuable for the qualification he want to gain.
Who can ask for a RPL?
Anyone who may have previously developed particular ability useful in order to gain an Australia qualification, can ask for RPL. Any kind of experience may be valued: educational, professional or simply oneself background. The place where one has had the experience is not relevant, since they are evaluated the once in and out of Australia. The only fundamental requirement for RPL is providing the evidence of the learnt abilities or knowledge. This evidence may be a diploma, a certificate, a contract, a reference letter, or even a picture featuring the individual in action.
The RPL process
The RPL process is made of four steps.
Free Skills Assessment
The future student must fill out a Free Skills Assessment. This first step will help him choosing the right qualification among the many available courses, linked and in-line with his preexistent abilities and experience. At this stage the person will find out what is the best path to walk down to achieve his goal.
Whoever want to request an RPL is asked to prepare evidences to demonstrate the acquisition of specific competences. The evidences can be the more diverse, as long as they are related to the purpose a person is following. These evidences may be an up-to-date CV, a reference letter, example of work, photos and videos of the person while working, certificates, transcriptions, foreign previous qualifications.
The Free Skills Assessment form and the Evidences Portfolio are verified by an assessor. Skills and experiences are compared with the standard of the chosen educational course and the available qualification. The assessor will then get in touch with the candidate in order to set an interview. During the interview, they will be analysed competences and some practical skills, is necessary. This is a crucial moment which determine the RPL eligibility.
If the competences and abilities of the interested person are compliant to the standards, he will receive a RPL certification valid for the school and the qualification he would like to get. The certificate is provided from the RTO partner the future students interested in, and it is internationally recognised!