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Recognition of Prior Learning Policy (RPL)

INTRODUCTION

The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy was written according to the Principles of Assessment and the Rules of Evidence. ACFPT is committed to providing assessment tasks that have been validated and mapped against the:

  • Performance Criteria
  • Performance Evidence
  • Knowledge Evidence

GENERAL OVERVIEW

We understand that you may already have relevant skills and areas of expertise that you have obtained in different ways, and these are recognised through our RPL process. Any skills and knowledge you have acquired through life experiences, short courses, and volunteer work, will all contribute to the development of your skills. These will not always be recognised by formal accreditation; however, ACFPT strives to a new dimension to education by incorporating the entirety of your related experience.
The purpose of RPL is to identify and assess your accumulated learning experiences in relation to clearly defined vocational outcomes. RPL is not concerned about how or where your learning occurs. Instead, it makes the distinction between formal and informal training by focusing on outcomes rather than the location of learning. To be granted RPL, your experience is measured against a series of already established benchmarks.
Some of the benefits of RPL include:
  • Confirm your competence for a workplace position
  • Confirm your eligibility for entry into a qualification
  • Ensure you do not have to re-learn existing skills and knowledge
  • Reduce the time required for you to get a qualification
  • Ensure your training time is spent acquiring new skills and competencies
Our RPL procedures explain:
  • How to submit an RPL application
  • How RPL applications are assessed
  • What types of documentation is needed as evidence
  • How to present your RPL portfolio
  • How applications are processed
  • How to appeal if you are not satisfied
The typical RPL process for providers consists of the following stages:
  • Identify the evidence required
  • Provide advice to learners about the process
  • Provide learners with sufficient information for them to prepare the required evidence
  • Assess appropriate evidence gathering methods and tools
  • Record the outcome
  • Report to key internal and external stakeholders
  • As with all assessment, RPL should be undertaken by academic or teaching staff with expertise in the subject, content or skills area, as well as knowledge of and expertise in RPL assessment.
  • The assessment should be the same standard as other assessment for the qualification
  • The assessment should recognise learning regardless of how, when, and where it was acquired, provided the learning is relevant to the learning outcomes in the qualification
  • RPL must ensure that the evidence provided is valid, authentic, current, and sufficient, and that the process is fair, flexible, reliable, and valid
Trainers will use the Trainer RPL Toolkit to assist them with this process. It is important that learners acknowledge and understand that RPL outcomes are guidelines and are not definite. This means that the actual outcome and competencies issued may vary depending on the evidence and the skills and knowledge demonstrated by the learner through the RPL process. Learners are required to sign an acknowledgement statement to this effect, should they wish to undertake the RPL process with any ACPFT qualifications.

RPL PROCESS

The learner completes the application forms in SECTION II (the RPL Self Evaluation Toolkit) and submits this for initial assessment along with supporting documentation. It is important learners provide as much information of their previous experience as is available.

Documents that may be available include but are not limited to:

  • any licence they may have obtained
  • brief CV or work history
  • certificates/results of assessment
  • indentures/trade papers
  • certificates/results of assessment – interstate/overseas
  • certificates/results of assessment – universities
  • results/statement of attendance/certificates – vendor training courses, in-house courses, workshops, seminars, symposiums
  • results/statements of attendance/ certificates – colouring courses e.g. first aid, officials, surf life saving, etc
  • tickets held
  • diaries/task sheets/job sheets/log books
  • site training records
  • site competencies held record membership of relevant professional associations
  • hobbies/interests/special skills outside work
  • references/letters from previous employers/supervisors
  • industry awards
  • any other documentation that may demonstrate industry experience

learners also need to provide contact details for one or two referees who can confirm their industry skills in context and over time.

To have skills formally recognised under the Australian Qualifications Framework, you must ensure the learner’s skills meet industry standards appropriate to this qualification.

Review the information provided by the learner and arrange a time for both you and the learner to discuss. Begin alignment of documentation and skills to the relevant qualification:

The learner will have the opportunity to discuss and identify previous experience with you. The available documents are step one in collecting information and you will need to determine which units of competency, if any, are fully covered at this stage. Use the College Learning assessment recording forms to record this stage of the assessment.

There may be instances where the learner has little, or no, documentary information of industry experience. This is not a barrier to gaining recognition. This will just require you to rely on the questioning, practical assessment and referee validation phases of the RPL process.

Review the information provided by the learner and arrange a time for both you and the learner to discuss. Begin alignment of documentation and skills to the relevant qualification:

The learner will have the opportunity to discuss and identify previous experience with you. The available documents are step one in collecting information and you will need to determine which units of competency, if any, are fully covered at this stage. Use the College Learning assessment recording forms to record this stage of the assessment.

There may be instances where the learner has little, or no, documentary information of industry experience. This is not a barrier to gaining recognition. This will just require you to rely on the questioning, practical assessment and referee validation phases of the RPL process

It is important that you use both Steps 3 (Questioning) and 4 (Practical Assessment) in doing this assessment. The RPL process is a streamlined RPL process which does not rely solely on practical assessment but uses a combination of questioning and practical to provide evidence of learner competence.

This is the third phase in collecting evidence. A practical skills test is then conducted by you at the learner’s workplace or another suitable venue. Appropriate permission must be sought before entering workplaces.

Recording sheets for learner information, questioning and the practical assessments have been included in SECTION D. You may use other recording mechanisms provided these also keep a complete record of assessment and justification of judgement. learner responses, observations of skills demonstrated and documents presented as evidence must be noted in enough detail so anyone external to the process (e.g. a fellow assessor, auditor, lawyer, etc) can read the record and retrace your judgement

RPL is an assessment process designed to show areas of competence and to identify if a learner has gaps in skills and knowledge against a whole qualification. Not all learners will have skill/knowledge gaps.

If a learner has skills gaps, a pathway to complete training in the outstanding units can be negotiated to assist the learner to gain the full qualification.

Recognition of prior learning outcomes (both Granted and Not Granted) are now funded nationally and as such will be included in National AVETMISS audits. NCVER have stipulated evidence recording requirements for RPL assessments as a minimum requirement for passing an AVETMISS audit. The following “Evidence Review” proforma has been approved by NCVER as covering AVETMISS audit requirements for RPL recorded outcomes. It also gives you an opportunity to track a learner’s assessment progress at a glance. It is expected that this “Evidence Review” summary sheet (or similar) would be attached to each participant’s evidence compiled during the RPL assessment process.

(Place a tick in the appropriate evidence collection method column for each unit of competency. Place a line through those units not examined as part of this RPL assessment.)

POLICY ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

It is a condition of enrolement with the College that all learners sign the “Enrolment Form”. By singing the enrolment for you acknowledge that you have read and understood the College’s policies and procedures, including this communication policy and agree that you will make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with these policies and procedures. By signing this form, learners acknowledge and agree to be bound by all of the College’s policies. This is completed to ensure that learners understand what our rules are, why they must be adhered to and that action may be taken if any policy is not adhered to. In accordance with best practice this practice will be subject to an annual review.