Mai 20, 2022

Innovative Methods For Qualification in Australia

What would you say if I was to tell you that you can get a nationally recognized training qualification without spending one day in a college or university?

Excited? Thought so! Well, if you have worked in an industry for a period of time, you may very well be eligible for skills recognition or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

These terms are generally used in the education sector and relate to a process of conducting a simple yet efficient assessment to review skills, knowledge and experience an individual has developed ‚on the job‚. RPL Assessment is an effective process which uses checklists to review and ‚match‘ the tasks, duties and responsibilities against the requirements of a qualification. And yes, these are potentially tasks that you have performed in various jobs throughout your career.

In Australia, each nationally recognized qualification is contained within a ‚Training Package‘ which clearly defines the ‚Units of Competency‘ requirements that must be achieved to be issued a qualification.

So how do you actually get a certain qualification?

Easy, by submitting evidence to match each ‚Unit of Competency‘ required for that specific qualification. You will be deemed ‚competent‘ if the evidence you submit is reviewed and adequately determines that you have the necessary level of expertise to work at the standard expected by the industry.

This is not a new concept and was originally developed in the USA in the mid 1970’s. It is now widely accepted as a valid means of assessment in the Australian vocational education and training sector. By using skills recognition and RPL to assess industry skills and experience, you can be issued with a formal qualification without any need to complete any extra study, exams, assignments or testing.

Your work experience and skills are verified by evidence you submit to show your competency and ability to perform tasks assigned to your qualification units.

What evidence should you provide?

Various types of evidence can be used for completing skills recognition and RPL assessments. To verify your industry skills and career experience you can submit:

  • employment contracts;
  • job descriptions;
  • references from employers and colleagues;
  • appraisals and performance reviews; and
  • records of any ‚in-house‘ training and/or industry courses you have completed.

This is mostly for what we call „Green Qualifications“ which in turn means office work related qualifications that are not based on actual ‚hands on‘ skills. A good example of a green qualification can be management or accounting.

As for the practical ‚hands on‘ skills and experience, skills recognition is used by the assessor to check that you are competent in key tasks relating to the qualification. Evidence to verify this includes:

  • work checklists;
  • plans;
  • task sheets;
  • briefings and reports;
  • photographs of completed work; and
  • samples and videos that tasks being completed or items being prepared, produced, assembled or built.

What if your skills are not enough to cover all of the required units of a qualification?

If that was the case, then you will only have to study those remaining units to achieve your qualification using any conventional means (classroom based or online). You will still save time, effort and money by getting your existing skills and knowledge recognized.

Once you have been deemed competent and issued with a national accredited qualification, this can be used to obtain credit exemptions on any further Australian qualification or study you wish to complete. This is „fast tracking“ education as the RPL and skills recognition process is fairly quick and simple given that no actual study time is needed.

So whether you are looking for career development, career change, personal development, or higher education, you should be considering skills recognition and RPL to get qualified if you already have skills, knowledge and experience, but no qualifications to prove it.

RPL and skills recognition provide many benefits, including:

  • Your current industry standards are checked against the expected levels in that field, any skills that need development are identified.
  • If you already understand key elements of a qualification, there is no need to waste time completing extra study.
  • You save heaps of time by using an efficient assessment process.
  • Money is saved by reducing time with assessment or study.
  • Qualifications you receive in Australia are recognized in all states and territories.
  • Flexible and personalized assessment matches the requirements of each individual.