Convert Experience into Qualifications: UnderstandingRPL

An RPL assessment is a process used by regulatory bodies to convert an individual’s professional experience into nationally recognised qualifications. It involves evaluating the skills and industry knowledge against a given set of standards, competencies, and learning outcomes. If you’ve gainedprofessional experienceoutside the classroom and want to convert itto an Australian qualification, you must undertake an RPL assessment.

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RPL stands for Recognition of Prior Learning. It is a process that exists in many parts of the world and can be offered by adult learning centres, training organisations, human resources departments and universities. You can use it to be qualified for a course of study that you may not currently meet the prerequisites for. By gaining credits, you can reduce the amount of time and courses you need to take to obtain the certification.

Methods of RPL assessment are varied. In Australia, it involves the following steps.

1. Reach out to private RPL companies 

The first step is to find a company that offers RPL services. You have to choose one that offers and specialises in the qualification that you want to obtain.

2. Gather the required documentation 

The process and types of documents you must present will also vary depending on the certification. But in most cases, you will need to prepare a detailed resume or application letter, showing your key areas of knowledge and skills relevant to your chosen field. Aside from this, you also need to gather reference letters from previous employers. These shall serve as proof that you do have the relevant work experience.

3. Attend an interview (for some providers)

Depending on the institution or training organisation, you may need to attend a face-to-face interview with an assessor, some organisations may simply assess your documentation. If an interview is required, you’ll be quizzed about your industry knowledge and experience. This is one way for the assessor to see how much you know and check if you meet the standards or learning outcomes for the course and certificate you are applying for.

4. Prepare for practical assessments

 RPL assessmentsmay also involve observation of performance within workshop type scenarios and/or simulated environments where you can perform some basic tasks. This will help assessors evaluate your ability and provide the necessary feedback or advice. This may also depend on your qualification and the institution you’re undertaking the assessment.

About the Author:  

Warren Rowe has a dedicated team of ex-military personnel who are committed to obtaining qualifications for current and former defence personnel. 3CIR acknowledges that Military service is difficult, demanding and dangerous. But, returning to civilian life poses trials and challenges of a different kind for these men and women. During the early stages of their careers or towards retirement, they would have developed skills in many areas. They can be skilled in Leadership, Security, Risk Management, Work Health and Safety, Frontline Management, Community Service, Emergency Management, Training, First Response, Systems Technology, Logistics, and Trades.


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