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Recognition of Prior Learning

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The ins and outs of RPL

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) recognises that you may have life experiences that may be assessed for credit in your chosen course.

RPL is an assessment process that involves assessing your relevant prior learning which may have been gained through employment, voluntary work, or formal or informal learning experiences.

You will be asked to provide evidence of your life experiences and an assessor will work with you to determine whether it meets the requirements of one or more units of your course. They will advise you as to which units you could apply for RPL and help you to identify evidence to collect.

The RPL process

Step One: RPL Guidance briefing

Your RPL assessor will contact you and arrange a briefing interview with you. At this briefing the assessor will:

  • Ask you questions about your previous work, voluntary and life experiences,
  • Help you to identify which units you could apply for RPL,
  • Help you to identify specific evidence that will be suitable for each unit,
  • Answer any questions you have about your evidence,
  • Ensure that you understand what you need to do next,
  • Arrange a time for you to present the evidence,
  • Provide written confirmation of dates/ locations of meetings and what evidence you have to gather.

Step Two: Gathering evidence

You will gather and organise your evidence, ready to present to your RPL assessor. You may contact your RPL assessor at any time during this stage if you want support or have any questions.

Step Three: Presentation of evidence and interview

You will present your evidence. Your assessor will ask you questions about this evidence. Their aim is to match up the evidence against the units. Your assessor will work with you to give you the chance to provide the evidence needed to meet the unit of competency.

Your assessor may decide that the evidence could be supplemented, by asking you to demonstrate a skill or sit a challenge test. In such cases, your assessor will arrange a time with you to complete these additional tasks.

Step Four: Finalising RPL assessment

Your assessor will advise if your skills and experience have been recognised and provide a result against those units. Your assessor will give you feedback about your RPL assessment. You will also receive an official GOTAFE result for the units.

Timeline of the RPL process

  • GOTAFE will aim to complete your RPL process within three months from the initial briefing interview.
  • In general, you can expect to be contacted within one week after discussing a possible RPL with the onboarding team.
  • You can expect to be contacted by the assessor who will organise the first RPL interview within two weeks.
  • You will be given four weeks to gather your evidence portfolio. You may discuss a shorter timeframe with your assessor.
Read the Student Guide to RPL for more information
Student and trainer sitting at table looking at document

Frequently asked questions

If you complete units through RPL, you will have more time to concentrate on your other units. Credit may shorten your length of study, so you could finish your course earlier than expected.

The option of applying for RPL will be discussed with you at enrolment time. Together with an assessor’s guidance, you may identify units and suitable evidence to support an RPL application. You can then make a decision as to whether to go ahead with an RPL application.

No. You will be assigned an assessor who will coach you through the process, working closely with you to identify which units you should apply for RPL. They will talk to you about your life experiences and assist you to identify evidence for each unit on your RPL application. You can expect that the assessor will be open and honest with you throughout the process.

You may lodge an appeal through the GOTAFE Complaints and Appeals process.

Please refer to the Student Guide to RPL for detailed information on each category of evidence.

You will prepare a resume as evidence. Put simply, a resume is a record of your work experiences and should include:

  • Current job and previous jobs – length of time and dates
  • Position description outlining duties and responsibilities for most recent roles
  • Qualifications
  • Training programs provided at your work
  • Voluntary work including any positions held e.g. Cricket Club Secretary
  • Interests and hobbies
  • Name and contact details of past employers or referees

The fees for RPL are the same as for training and assessment for a unit.

If your application is not successful you may enrol into the unit for training and assessment.

More questions about RPL at GOTAFE?

Get in touch with our team at GOTAFE to learn more. You can contact us by phone, ask a question online, or drop into one of our campuses to speak to our friendly staff in person.