Recognition of Prior Learning
People develop skills in a variety of ways including via informal on the job training, non-recognised training, work and life experience. Skills developed in one industry may also transfer to other industries.
The process of skills recognition is designed to enable people to match their existing skills against the national training package. This may also allow them to gain credit for these skills that can lead to a nationally recognised qualification.
The process of recognition is often called Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or Recognition of Current Competency (RCC). Skills recognition should be made available to anyone enrolling in a qualification.
All Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) are required to have a process in place for skills recognition, and this is usually outlined in their enrolment and induction literature. It is also possible to make an application to an RTO for skills recognition alone without enrolling in a full training program.
The recognition process requires that you collect evidence of your skills and then make an application to an RTO.
The RTO will assess the evidence, and if you meet the requirements, will recognise you for the relevant units of competency. RTOs usually charge a fee for this service.
There are many possible types of evidence that can be used to support an application for recognition. These could include performance reviews, appraisals or other reports from previous or current employers, reports or letters from employers, examples of position descriptions, copies, photographs or examples of completed work, certificates or transcripts for other training that you have completed. The RTO may also arrange to assess you in the workplace if you are currently working in the industry.
Outcomes of the recognition process
It is possible to gain recognition for one or more individual units of competency or for full qualifications. If you are recognised as competent in one or more individual units of competency, you will be entitled to receive a Statement of Attainment for the relevant units.
Statements of Attainment stand in their own right to show that you hold particular skills, and they can also be used as credit toward full qualifications if you wish to complete more training and finish a qualification now or in the future.
If you are recognised as competent in the required combination of units to make up a qualification, you can be awarded the qualification.
The best way to begin the process is to find an RTO to manage the process. They will be able to advise you on their fees and procedures, and assist you in working through the process.
Information supplied by Service Skills Australia.