OPEC College

Recognition of Prior Learning

What is Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)?

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) converts your existing skills, knowledge and experience, gained through prior work or study, into formal competencies. The end result? Our five-step RPL process allows you to achieve nationally recognised qualifications without having lost time studying something you already know.

RPL means you can gain qualifications simply through providing evidence of relevant knowledge and skills you have gained through previous work. If the RPL process reveals a deficiency in your skill level, we can help by providing training in the relevant qualification.

OPEC College is ideal for first responders and military personnel seeking to gain qualifications to aid transition into an alternate career. Our team possess extensive experience working both within and in collaboration with the Defence and private sector. We understand the skills and knowledge gained across the Defence rank levels, and how to assess and apply this within the RPL process.

Outside of Defence and First Responder communities, OPEC College also caters to people formerly employed in the public or private sector who are looking to gain qualifications in order to progress their career or change their vocation pathway.

Regardless of your employment background, our team are here to streamline the process, providing support, clear communication, comprehensive assessment and training excellence.

For a free, no-obligation, preliminary assessment, please contact us:


Step 1

Free assessment

Fill in our pre-assessment form and we’ll give you the guidance you need for the next steps to achieving your career and qualification goals

Step 2

Evidence portfolio

With our help, gather evidence, e.g. current resume, reference letters, examples of work completed, to prove your prior skills and knowledge and submit it online for our assessors to review.

Step 3

Evidence review

After we’ve assessed your evidence portfolio we’ll contact you for a competency conversation and a practical observation if required.

Step 4

Training if needed

If necessary, fill in any gaps in your prior learning and achieve greater qualifications through our online training courses.

Step 5


Your new certifications are Nationally Recognised and issued by our Registered Training Organisation (RTO). You are now ready to pursue your new career and greater opportunities!


Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can provide you with nationally recognised qualifications through converting your existing skills, knowledge and experience, gained through prior work or study, into formal competencies. RPL means you can gain qualifications simply through providing evidence of relevant knowledge and skills you have gained through previous work. This means you don’t have to waste time studying what you already know. For much more information click on the RPL button in our top bar.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process where we can provide you with nationally recognised qualifications through converting your existing skills, knowledge and experience, gained through prior work or study, into formal competencies. Credit Transfer is where we recognise qualifications or units of competence that you already hold. You will have received these qualifications or units of competency through another accredited Registered Training Organisation. We can apply those units against any study or RPL application you make with us, free of charge, to reduce the amount of evidence you need to supply or the study you need to complete.
Basically anyone can. The RPL process involves your assessor looking at the skills, knowledge and experience you have built up across your working life and mapping that to qualifications or parts of qualifications. Any person who has worked more than two or three years should be able to achieve RPL for a qualification and if you have worked less than that, you should still be able to at least start on the qualification journey. The level of qualification you will be able to achieve will be dictated by how long you have worked and the seniority level you have reached. Talk to us today and we will be happy to give you more specific information in relation to your personal circumstances.
The RPL process can be completed as quickly as a week but more typically takes between two weeks and a month. The time frames are largely dictated by yourself and how long it takes to gather the evidence that you have discussed with your assessor. Once that evidence is gathered, we will assess it and come back to you with an answer within 3 working days. If you are having trouble gathering evidence, or if you prefer, we will engage with you and conduct interviews and observation in order to speed the process up.
Generally, that process is completed in the following steps: 1. You gather and submit your first evidence offerings. a. They could be items from the attached RPL Guide. b. Gather as many of the suggested items as you can. No need to gather everything, just give us what you are able to access. c. You can also add other items that you feel are relevant. d. No need to order them or apply them to specific competencies; we will do that for you. e. Submit those offerings using one of the suggested methods in the RPL Guide. 2. Our Assessors will map your evidence against the units of competence, performance criteria and required knowledge and skills. a. That process will tell us if any gaps exist b. The Assessor will write an “Additional evidence required” document. c. It is possible your first evidence offerings will be enough and we will need no more. 3. We will come back to you with a detailed plan as to any additional evidence we will need. a. We will discuss together how that evidence can be gathered b. We have a range of evidence gathering techniques, above and beyond documentation, that will allow us to fill any gaps. c. An example of this is a “Competency Conversation” where we question you, record that conversation, and use it as evidence. 4. That second evidence offering is added to the mix and the Assessor completes the mapping process. 5. Your qualification is issued! The RPL process is meant to be as easy for you as possible. Please just “dump” your evidence on us and let us sort it out. We would not have offered you the qualification by RPL unless we were extremely confident of your competence so rest assured we will get you to the finish line. The golden rule of evidence submission is – “If in doubt, submit it”. Our Assessors are extremely good at teasing out relevance across various documents. Above all, communication is the key. Please don’t hesitate to contact us, at any time, if you have questions.
Absolutely they are! Your qualifications will be issued under the Australian Qualification Framework and, as such, they must be recognised by all other Registered Training Organisations including TAFE Colleges. We are very proud of our Training and Assessment skills and knowledge and we are happy to put our people up against the TAFE system at any time.
You will find the cost of each qualification on the brochure and on the website as well as within the Student Handbook. Once you contact us and we have a chat about your needs and wants, we will send you a fees letter that sets out for you exactly what costs you will experience and when you will need to pay them. We will always be as open and transparent about costs as it is possible to be.
If you are seeking RPL we will conduct the initial assessment for free and with no obligation. Once you decide to enroll with us we will charge you $500 to start the process. That money is held in trust until you either start studying with us or we conduct the first formal RPL assessment. Prior to your enrolment you will receive a fees letter that sets out very clearly how much and when you are requested to pay. That letter also has information on our refunds policy.
Current government funding models available to our students include Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) funding and Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers (SCOW) funding. You can find information on these funding models on our Funding page: opeccollege.edu.au/funding. Please contact us if you want to check your eligibility for these at [email protected]
Your RPL Assessor will discuss in detail with you the types of evidence that are appropriate for the qualification that you are seeking to achieve. A good start point for pretty much every qualification is a resume, job description and any qualifications or certificates you already hold. If you are a Defence member, a service record is a great help as well. The same goes for Police, Ambulance and Fire Officers.
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.
The Standards that we assess against require that evidence demonstrating current competency is from the present or the ‘very recent past’. They do not specify the time that would be considered ‘very recent past’, as this may vary between industries. Basically, this means we must determine whether the evidence is recent enough to show that you are competent at the time we make the assessment decision. Generally, the newer your evidence the better. This does not mean older evidence cannot be included in the evidence used to make an assessment judgement it has less weight and needs to be supported by more recent activities.
Your RPL Assessor will leave no stone unturned as we help you gather evidence to achieve a qualification. Sometimes though, it is just not possible to get you across the line. In that case we will discuss your options with you. They will include, looking at a different qualification or studying only those parts of the qualification we are not able to source evidence for. Our sole focus will be on getting you your qualification in the most efficient way possible.
Yes you can. Many people come to us with a desire to study a qualification in order to expand their resume, knowledge or skills. This may be as part of your plan to move onward and upward at your current work or in a new role altogether. If you choose to study with us you will be assigned a Trainer/mentor who will work closely with you to make sure you receive all the help you need.
You can find our Policies in several places. Our Student Handbook is the best source of all the information you need about OPEC College and how we will work with each other. There is a link to the Handbook in the footer of this page and every page. You can also find specific policies like Refunds, Complaints and Appeals, Privacy, and Access and Equity on our Policies page. There is a link to the Policies page in the footer of this page and every page.
The best place to find information about each qualification is on the Qualification tab in the tool bar at the top of our home page. Click on the area of interest and then onto the specific qualification you are looking for. You could also call us at 1300 99 OPEC and speak to one of our student support staff who will be very happy to send you out a brochure for the qualification you are interested in.
The best place is the Student Handbook in the footer of this page. You could also ring our 1300 number and speak to one of our student support staff.
We will assign you a Trainer/Mentor or Assessor, depending on the type of support we are providing you. That person will be your first point of call for all the help you need. We ensure that our Trainers and Assessors have a student load that is small enough that they can provide very timely and targeted support to you whenever you need it. Our turn around times for enquiries or support requests are the best in the business and we are happy to take a call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
OPEC College has partnered with Macleay College to offer study pathways from Diploma to Degree for OPEC College graduates. The Bachelor Degree qualifications offered within the Pathway include Business; Advertising and Media; and Digital Media. For more information on our Pathways: opeccollege.edu.au/diploma-to-degree-qualification-pathways-with-macleay-college