What is Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)?

Traditional qualifications are issued after many months, sometimes years, of study and exams. This is all to prove that the student has learnt the course material. With a Recognition of Prior Learning approach, a student is assessed based on the knowledge they already have obtained through real-world experience. This can be done in a matter of weeks with only a few hours of actual time commitment by the student.

How does Recognition of Prior Learning Work?

The student’s experience is mapped by authorised assessors towards the subjects that make up the intended qualification. This is done using a combination of student interviews, documented work samples, on-site observations and manager verification. If all subject requirements are met the qualification is eligible to be issued.

Why would I consider getting a qualification using RPL?

Having a nationally recognised qualification to demonstrate your career experience is very useful in gaining either an internal promotion, a new job opportunity or to simply have documented recognised evidence of your experience. Also, some people do not find the pressure of assignments and exams suits their style of learning. Recognition of Prior Learning is favoured by people who may have avoided formal study to obtain the qualifications they in fact deserve.

How will I know if I’m eligible for RPL?

The easiest way to check your eligibility is to undertake a skills assessment through a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). An accredited Skills Coach will provide an assessment to identify the most relevant qualification and the likelihood of qualification. Generally, if you have over 12 months of experience in a particular field there will be some form of recognition available.

Who are Skills Coaches?

A Skills Coach is employed by an RTO. A Skills Coach will almost always hold the qualification you are seeking (and likely higher industry qualifications). They will also have extensive and up-to-date industry knowledge including hands-on experience. So you can be assured they will be very familiar with your day to day role and how it relates to the recognised qualifications they are most familiar with.

What if I don’t meet all the criteria for a qualification?

If you have gaps in your skills or knowledge your chosen RTO is required to develop a program to meet your specific needs. They will build skills and knowledge in the areas needing work. This is done through practical and relevant activities such as undertaking a task in your workplace, completing an online learning module or workplace project. The requirement for any additional training should be made clear to you by the RTO before formally enrolling in the qualification.

How long does an RPL qualification take?

An RPL qualification can be completed in a matter of weeks with as little as a four-hour time commitment by the student. This is compared to 1-2 years to complete the same qualification with no prior experience.

How do I begin my RPL journey?

Now that you understand a little more about Recognition of Prior Learning, speak to Opportune about how we can help you obtain a nationally recognised qualification using your prior work experience. We provide excellent support for students during the qualification which has resulted in our pass rates being as high as 95% which is three times the industry average. If you are an employer, we can also offer bespoke training programs using RPL for your employees at scale. Contact us on 1300 721 121 or email [email protected].

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