RPL Policy

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Recognised Prior Learning Policy (RPL)

INTRODUCTION

The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy was formulated taking cognisance of the Principals of Assessment and the Rules of Evidence. ACOBA is committed to providing assessment tasks that have been validated and mapped against the:

  • Performance Criteria
  • Performance Evidence
  • Knowledge Evidence

GENERAL OVERVIEW

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

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. Skills and knowledge you have acquired under many different conditions such as life experiences, short courses and volunteer work all contribute to the sum total of your skills, but may not be recognised by formal accreditation. RPL is not concerned about how or where your learning occurs—it makes the distinction between forma land in formal training by focusing on outcomes rather than the location of learning. RPL offers a new dimension to education by incorporating the breadth of your experience as it relates to your course. The purpose of RPL is to identify and assess your accumulated learning experiences in relation to clearly defined vocational outcomes. Vocational outcomes form the benchmark against which prior learning is valued. In the case of education, these are the course outcomes defined in your course curriculum or competencies.

To be granted RPL, your experience is measured against a series of already established benchmarks. Some of the benefits of RPL include:

  • confirming competence for a workplace position
  • confirming eligibility for entry into a qualification
  • ensuring that you do not have to re-learn existing skills and knowledge
  • reducing the time required to get a qualification
  • ensuring that 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 are needed as evidence
  • how to present your RPL portfolio
  • how applications are processed
  • how to appeal if you’re not satisfied
  • how credits are transferred

The typical RPL process for providers consists of the following stages:

  • identifying the evidence required
  • providing advice to students about the process
  • providing students with sufficient information to enable them to prepare their evidence to meet the standard required for the RPL assessment process
  • assessing using appropriate evidence-gathering methods and tools
  • recording the outcome, and
  • reporting to key internal and external stakeholders. RPL assessment:
  • as with all assessment, 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
  • should be the same standard as other assessment for the qualification
  • should recognise learning regardless of how, when and where it was acquired, provided the learning is relevant to the learning outcomes in the qualification
  • must ensure that 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 students acknowledge and understand that RPL outcomes are guidelines and are not definite, the actual outcome and competencies issued in this manner may vary depending on the evidence, skills and knowledge demonstrated by the student through the process.  Students are required to sign an acknowledge statement during this process ACOBA.

RPL PROCESS

The candidate 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 candidates 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

Candidates 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 candidate’s skills meet industry standards appropriate to this qualification.

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

The candidate 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 ACOBA Learning assessment recording forms to record this stage of the assessment.

There may be instances where the candidate 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 candidate and arrange a time for both you and the candidate to discuss. Begin alignment of documentation and skills to the relevant qualification:

The candidate 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 ACOBA Learning assessment recording forms to record this stage of the assessment.

There may be instances where the candidate 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 candidate competence.

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

Recording sheets for candidate 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. Candidate 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 candidate has gaps in skills and knowledge against a whole qualification. Not all candidates will have skill/knowledge gaps.

If a candidate has skills gaps, a pathway to complete training in the outstanding units can be negotiated to assist the client 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 student’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 ACOBA that all students sign the “Enrolement Form”. By singing the enrolment for you acknowledge that you have read and understood ACOBA’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, students acknowledge and agree to be bound by all of ACOBA’s policies. This is completed to ensure that students 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.

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