RPL - Recognition of Prior Learning

What is Assessment by Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)?

Assessment conducted through recognition allows you to receive skills recognition and accredited qualification or statement of attainment for the knowledge, experience and skills you have, no matter how and where they were attained.  This can include skills / knowledge from:

  • Previous study 
  • Work experience

What matters in the skills recognition process is that the knowledge and skills you have previously gained to meet the learning outcomes and assessment criteria of the qualification for which you are seeking skills recognition.  Recognition assessment can result in a full qualification or a statement of attainment for partial completion. 

What are the benefits of applying for skills recognition via RPL?

You may seek recognition to:

  • Demonstrate competence for an appointment to a workplace position or an industry classification.
  • Seek a qualification /statement of attainment of knowledge, skills and competences.

Organisations may use skills recognition to recruit or promote staff and place them in appropriate positions and skills classifications.

Who can apply for recognition?

Any person who believes they have the skills and knowledge identified in the outcomes of a full qualification or units (subjects) is encouraged to apply for skills recognition.  The following factors may help you in deciding whether an application will be successful.

  • Do you have the underpinning knowledge required in the qualification or unit (subject)?
  • Can you demonstrate the skills required in the qualification or unit (subject)?
  • Can you apply the knowledge and skills in a work situation?
  • Can you apply the knowledge and skills in a range of work situations?
  • Are your knowledge and skills current?
  • Can you provide evidence of your skills and knowledge?

What can an assessment by recognition of prior learning cost?

In some circumstances, a TRAINING WORX  assessor conducting the assessment may recommend an assessment event such as an examination, workplace observation or project to confirm the applicant’s competence.

These costs include a standard administrative charge and then an hourly rate for the work done by TRAINING WORX assessor based on a cost per individual unit being assessed for the RPL. This cost can vary due to the number of units being assessed and therefore costs will be negotiated with each student at the time of enrolment.

What support is available?

TRAINING WORX assessor will work with you to identify appropriate and necessary evidence throughout the recognition process.  It is your responsibility to gather the evidence and present it for assessment.  When you have your plan meeting or video conference meeting or phone interview with your assessor, you will be guided on how to present the evidence and discuss the critical aspects of evidence.

To ensure that training and assessments are conducted fairly, TRAINING WORX  provides support to students and assessment candidates.  If you require support with reading and writing, translation or with the provision of any aids, please advise us when you enrol so that services can be tailored to your specific requirements.


Assessment plan

Initially, you may need to meet or discuss via video conference or phone with your TRAINING WORX AUSTRALIA assessor and develop an assessment plan.  You and your assessor will complete Form One in this Kit and you will need to have the agreement at the end of the form signed by your supervisor.  Form One will be your record that the appropriate people have been consulted in the development of your assessment plan.

Academic transcripts 

Successful completion of each Unit of Competency is recorded in the TRAINING WORX  student record system and a listing all successfully completed Units of Competency is provided with all awards (Certificate /Diploma/Statement of Attainment). 

Completing your qualification

You have up to 12 months to complete your assessment and it is important that you complete the units as soon as possible.

How does assessment work?

Assessment provides an avenue through which your skills and knowledge can be formally recognised and accredited towards nationally recognised qualifications. 

TRAINING WORX  recognises qualifications and statements of attainment issued by any other registered provider for nationally recognised training.  In line with RTO Standards 2015, where a participant is seeking a full qualification, statements of attainment already held will be recognised as full units towards a qualification i.e. Certificate or Diploma level, but not to the extent of replacing one Certificate with another. 

There are two pathways to assessment in a competency based framework:

  • Recognition of competency – evidence portfolio based
  • Workplace assessment – assessment on the job

Using this portfolio you will gather evidence from past and present workplace experiences or by engaging in development activities, and provide these to a workplace assessor.

Evidence plays a critical role in the assessment process.  It is important your evidence is:

  • Valid – focused on the specified skills and knowledge in the Performance Criteria and Evidence Guide of the unit of competency.
  • Sufficient - satisfying all elements of the unit of  competency taking into account the range of variables and Evidence Guide.  To ensure you are supplying enough evidence it may be necessary to use supplementary resources such as – verbal confirmation, written testimonials, completed performance appraisals, certificates, job descriptions or third party reports.  Your assessor can advise you on the amount of evidence you require.
  • Authentic – related to your performance.
  • Current – you must be able to demonstrate your evidence is still relevant and current according to the competency requirements. 

The following table summarises some types of evidence and examples of each.  You may need to provide several types of evidence for each unit of competency assessed or claimed to satisfy the assessor.  You should discuss evidence required with your assessor during the initial interview. 

Evidence Type



Accredited training program

A qualification or statement of attainment including a transcript of units of competency awarded

statement of attainment, Certificate or Diploma

(has to be certified true copies or originals)

Other training programs

Documents that confirm attendance at a formal course of study

Non-accredited course or a University course, or workshops

Work history

Documents that demonstrate completion of relevant workplace training and the capacity to apply the   skills in the workplace

Memos, emails, course completion certificates etc

Work product

Samples of work verified as authentic

Emails, letters etc

3rd Party reports

Report from a competent supervisor or colleague that confirms the candidate’s level of knowledge and ability to apply skills in the workplace.

Reports from managers, supervisors and clients

Interview / questioning

Confirms the candidate’s knowledge of the legislation policy and procedures that underpin the   assessing process

Responses to scenarios, knowledge of policy and processes

Workplace documents

Workplace documents that have been produced by the candidate that are relevant to his/her claim

Written communications

Practical demonstration

Observation by the assessor of   the candidate actually performing the tasks in the workplace or in a simulated workplace environment

Conduct a simulated assessing interview

Your portfolio will be examined by an assessor.  Assessment is a process of confirming you have achieved competency.  To be certain the final decision of competent / yet to demonstrate competence is accurate, your evidence must be examined to ensure it is valid, reliable, sufficient, authentic and current. 

The focus of the assessor will be “can the candidate do this now?”  They will make this decision based on the evidence you present and any discussions you may have.  Additionally, the assessor will need to determine whether the evidence, as a whole, matches your claims.  They will do this by comparing and contrasting the documents with the competency standards.  If there is something the assessor cannot reasonably infer from the evidence, they will either ask you a specific question about this at interview or request further documentary evidence.

Although documentary evidence is the key to a portfolio assessment, you will also need to meet with the assessor.  This provides an opportunity for you to flesh out the evidence you have presented and for the assessor and/or subject matter expert to satisfy themselves regarding any concerns about gaps in your skills and/or knowledge they may not be able to infer from work documents alone.  You will usually be asked “what if …” type questions by the assessor so they can be sure you are able to apply your skills and knowledge to real life situations. 

What to expect when meeting with an assessor 

The length of an assessment will vary depending on a number of factors, such as what is being assessed, the strategies being used to gather evidence, how many tasks you are being assessed against, the type of evidence you present, the availability of assessors and / or subject matter experts, etc. 

As a guide an assessment will usually involve:

  • a meeting or video conference or phone discussion whereby an assessor will explain the assessment process to you and work with you to determine the most appropriate way of gathering evidence.
  • a period of time for you to gather evidence.
  • a meeting with the assessor where you will either be presenting your evidence or the assessor will be observing you in the workplace.
  • if necessary, some time to find additional evidence and a follow up meeting to discuss that evidence.
  • a final meeting to provide feedback to you on your performance, to advise the final assessment decision and to allow you to sign the assessment report.  This is also an opportunity for you to provide feedback to the assessor on the conduct of the assessment process.

Third party referee reports

Third party referee reports can be completed by any member of staff who has worked with you, and you are confident can supply relevant examples of your work performance.

People completing third party reports do not have to be accredited assessors.  These are not statements of competence they are comments and examples of how you conduct yourself in the workplace.

It is important that you select the most appropriate person to complete your third party report. There is no requirement for a third party report to be completed by a staff member of a higher level as in many cases it is other staff of the same or lower level who are best placed to submit comments on your behalf.

Who will have access to my portfolio?

In accordance with the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015, TRAINING WORX confirms your portfolio will be treated in confidence and only shown to individuals who have a genuine need to see the portfolio in order to conduct the assessment.  Where you feel the need to use sensitive documents as evidence, it is recommended that your third party reports refer to the documents and you do not include them in your portfolio.

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