Recognition of prior learning, or RPL, is one of the easiest ways to get a qualification, especially if you already have expertise. It takes your previous experience in a field, tests you on it and then awards you certifications based on your knowledge and demonstrable skills. If you are able to prove sound knowledge and competence, then you will be awarded with the relevant qualification (after paying a small fee of course). There are four steps involved in RPL. These include:
1 - Skills Assessment
Skills Certified Australia offers a free skill assessment. It allows you to be guided towards the right qualifications and lets you know the steps required to reach certain goals. For example, if you want to become a certified plumber, you may be told what to demonstrate so that you can be sure of meeting Australian standards.
2 - Experience Portfolio
This is where you provide evidence that you have enough experience in an industry to be awarded a qualification. You need to include any relevant documentation with your application, including but not limited to:
- Photos and videos of you on the job
- Letters of reference from former employers
- Overseas qualifications in English
- Transcripts and certificates
- Your current resume
These documents will allow assessors to either award you the desired qualification, or to arrange a practical assessment.
3 - Review of Evidence
Once you have submitted a portfolio of qualifications and other supporting material, a qualified assessor will review it. There are a number of outcomes that could then happen. If your portfolio is complete, then you will be awarded your qualification quickly and without fuss. However, you may need to complete a practical assessment and after that, if you still have weak areas, then further training will be required.
4 - Awarding of Relevant Qualifications
If you have a satisfactory portfolio and have shown full competency, then you should be awarded one or a number of qualifications relevant to your field of work. Since Skills Certified Australia is partnered with nationally accepted and registered training organisations, your new skills should now be recognised throughout the country.
If you have experience in an industry, but don’t have the papers necessary required to make a living in Australia, then the RPL process could be your new best friend! A few simple days work could lead to you obtaining a certificate in a field that you have worked in but never, in the past, had the qualification to back it up.