Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is practiced across the world for many different reasons. It could be for improving a person’s standing in their profession, for trades qualifications, academic achievements, recruitment, performance management or career planning.
In Australia, RPL is beneficial for all of these reasons and more. It is used to translate the experiences and skills that people have gained previously into accredited qualifications. Having these qualifications mean that your skills are nationally recognised and you can use it to advance or change your career path.
The prior skills can be those gained from work, learning, or other activities like volunteering. RPL allows students to achieve qualifications without wasting time learning what they already know and it greatly shortens the time needed to undertake a qualification.
How does RPL work in Australia?
RPL in Australia must be undertaken at an accredited training organisation, such as an RTO. All RTOs are required to offer RPL assessment. When you enrol in a course with an RTO, your eligibility for RPL will be assessed. Not everyone is eligible for RPL and it may not be the best option for everyone. This is why training organisations will help you put your documentation together and then assess if this is enough to get you across the line.
RTOs will develop and implement strategies to assist in the training and assessment of RPL students. OPEC College for instance has a focus of getting you your qualification in the most efficient way possible. Our assessment process looks at the characteristics, skills and experiences of each individual learner and ensures no stone is left unturned.
Some people confuse what RPL is with Credit Transfer, but it’s important to understand their differences. RPL considers evidence of competencies that can be drawn from any aspect of a person’s personal or professional life. Credit Transfer on the other hand deals with an evaluation of a person’s academic performance as it relates to a particular field of study.
Recognition of Prior Learning Process
When applying for a qualification with RPL, your application will be assessed and reviewed. Every organisation’s process may be a bit different, so it’s important to understand what is required of you from your chosen RTO. At OPEC College, our process to receive a qualification through RPL involves 5 steps:
Free assessment – This is the first step you’ll need to take to apply for RPL. Contact us to receive our pre-assessment form. Once you fill this in, we can give you guidance for your next steps to achieving your career and qualification goals.
Evidence portfolio – Once you pass through pre-assessment, you will then gather evidence, like your current resume, reference letters, and examples of work completed, to prove your prior skills and knowledge. The evidence is then submitted online for our assessors to review.
Evidence review – We assess your evidence portfolio and then contact you for a competency conversation and a practical observation if it’s required.
Training if needed – If your evidence isn’t enough to get your over the line for your qualification, you can fill in any gaps in your prior learning through our online training courses.
Qualified! – Once you have completed your evidence review and any extra training if required, you will receive your new certification. Your certification will be Nationally Recognised and issued by our Registered Training Organisation (RTO). Once you have this, you are ready to pursue your new career and greater opportunities.
The benefits of RPL
The skills and knowledge you have gained throughout your life can be highly beneficial to your future career. RPL allows you to use these skills to get ahead and fast track your career for greater opportunities.
It also assists in developing adaptable and versatile skill sets, drawing from personal experiences and translating this into nationally recognised certifications that can be used across industries.
RPL improves access to education and accreditations for people, particularly for those who may not have had the time or opportunity previously. This also ensures a stronger workforce and greater opportunities for those who achieve certification.
Why OPEC College
OPEC College exists to help you achieve every possible qualification you are entitled to. This is our passion and something we are very good at. Perhaps the biggest difference between OPEC College and the other RTOs you will come across is that we are not just an RTO. OPEC College is a Division of OPEC Systems and OPEC Systems has very broad and deep links across business, industry and Defence in Australia. That means we have our finger on the pulse and are able to advise you on trends and opportunities.
If you’re interested in finding out more about our RPL offerings or what RPL can offer you, you can contact our friendly team by calling 1300 99 6732 or learn more on our RPL page.