Skills Recognition Guide
Industry's right hand
Managing Director's welcome Contents
SkillsTech Australia is Queensland's
lead TAFE institute for trade and Introduction 1
technician training in automotive, Overview ................................................................... 1
building and construction, electrical/ What are the benefits of Skills Recognition? ............... 1
electronics, manufacturing and
engineering, and sustainable
technologies. Recognition types 2
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)............................. 2
At SkillsTech Australia we don’t
expect people to repeat learning that Credit Transfer ........................................................... 2
they've already attained through
work/life experience or prior study. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) 3
The Skills Recognition program formally recognises existing The RPL process ........................................................ 3
skills and experience, fast-tracking study and reducing the
cost of learning.
Frequently asked questions 4
To find out if you are eligible for Skills Recognition, read What is a unit of competency?.................................... 4
on or contact the SkillsTech Australia Recognition Services
What is meant by “competent”? ................................. 4
Team on 1800 654 447.
What evidence can be provided to the Assessor? ....... 4
We look forward to assisting you to achieve your training
What if the applicant has little documentary evidence? 4
What is gap training? ................................................. 5
How much does RPL cost? .......................................... 5
What is scholarship funding? ..................................... 5
Steve Ghost What is Skilling Solutions Queensland? ..................... 5
Managing Director How can applicants prepare for the RPL process? ....... 5
SkillsTech Australia What if the RPL application is unsuccessful? .............. 5
Contact information 6
Contact and support .................................................. 6
Where to find us 7
Training centre locations ............................................ 7
There are a number of ways SkillsTech Australia can
formally acknowledge existing skills, knowledge and
education. This guide covers:
• Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
• Credit Transfer (including National Recognition).
RPL formally recognises current skills and knowledge,
gained through previous “informal" learning - i.e. work
experience, life experience and education.
Credit Transfer provides recognition of “formal” study and
training - for example, at university, school and/or TAFE.
Skills recognition can assist in fast-tracking study and
reducing training costs.
What are the benefits of
Skills Recognition can save time and money as a number of
the “units of competency” that make up the chosen training
program may already have been successfully completed.
It can also be used to identify any “gap training” (see page
5) that may be needed to complete a whole qualification.
Skills Recognition can assist applicants to:
• complete a qualification
• gain eligibility for occupational licences, tickets or
• reduce study load
• re-enter the workforce
• gain job promotion or improvement
• change careers
• move on from redundancy or unemployment
• enter further education or training courses.
Furniture making student
Recognition of Prior How can I gain recognition through Credit
Learning (RPL) To gain recognition through Credit Transfer, a Skills
RPL is a means to formally recognise competencies gained Assessor will compare previously completed “formal” studies
through previous “informal” study (education/training) and/ with the competencies of the training program.
or through work and life experience.
Documentary evidence (e.g. an academic transcript,
The applicant's skills, knowledge and attributes will be qualification, result of assessment) must be provided so that
assessed against required industry standards and then the Assessor can establish whether the skills and knowledge
certified. required in the proposed training program have been
RPL assessment can result in applicants being granted
partial or full results in a qualification without undertaking For example, applicants may have successfully completed
formal study. equivalent units of competency in another accredited
program of study at school, TAFE or university.
What is informal study? NB: Under the principle of National Recognition, SkillsTech
Informal study happens outside the classroom, college or Australia will recognise a qualification that is valid under
university. It can range from: the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) issued by
another Registered Training Organisation.
• short courses delivered within the workplace or
community group To apply for Credit Transfer, contact the SkillsTech Australia
Recognition Services Team on 1800 654 447.
• special training programs delivered within the
workplace by a vendor or manufacturer - for
example, to instruct in the use of machinery or to use
What are the fees for Credit Transfer?
new processes Assessment of previous formal study for Credit Transfer is
• seminars, workshops or training events held outside free.
Credit Transfer is the process that recognises any completed
“formal” study that is relevant to the chosen training
It allows the applicant to avoid studying for competencies
that they have already gained.
Please note that credit transfers cannot be granted for a
whole program of study. At least one competency must be
achieved through normal enrolment or RPL.
What is formal study?
Formal study is organised learning and assessment that is
undertaken in educational institutions, including schools,
universities, TAFE institutes and professional organisations
recognised for educational and training purposes by
national or state governments.
Formal study results in the student being awarded a
qualification, Statement of Attainment or Result of
Assessment. Carpentry student
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
If this is required, a practical skills test may be arranged at
The RPL process the applicant's current workplace, at a SkillsTech Australia
training centre or at another suitable venue. The Assessor
While every RPL assessment is unique to the skills and will also contact the listed referees to verify the applicant's
knowledge of the applicant, the general process is listed competence.
below. The time for this process is dependent upon the
individual, but usually takes up to 12 weeks. Step 7: Feedback and gap training
Step 1: Obtain an RPL Application Kit After assessment, the applicant will be given feedback about
the skills that have been recognised and if they are eligible
Before enrolling in a program, contact the SkillsTech to receive the full qualification. The Assessor will discuss
Australia Recognition Services Team for an Application gap training options that assist the applicant in reaching
Kit by calling 1800 654 447 or by emailing their goals, if required.
Step 2: Complete and submit an application form Process overview
Submit the application for RPL to SkillsTech Australia The diagram below provides a quick overview of the RPL
either by post or in person at the Acacia Ridge or Eagle process.
Farm training centres (see page 8). Enclose any supporting
documentation (evidence) with the application. Copies of
any official documentation such as licences, certificates or Complete and
formal qualifications must be certified by a Justice of the submit application
Peace (JP) or a Commissioner for Declarations.
Step 3: Enrolment into core units of competency
Enrolment into core
On receipt of the application, the applicant will be advised
units of competency
of the enrolment fees and payment options, and enrolled
into the core units of competency of the qualification. Fees for RPL assessment
paid by applicant
Step 4: Pre-assessment consultation
The Recognition Services Team will arrange an interview Pre-assessment
with one of its qualified Skills Assessors for an initial consultation
pre-assessment consultation. During the interview, the • Via phone or in person
applicant's previous experience and training will be • RPL process and evidence
discussed. requirements clarified
Step 5: Enrolment into remaining units of competency
After the pre-assessment consultation, the Assessor will
recommend the remaining units of competency that the Enrolment into remaining
applicant should enrol into. The Recognition Services units of competency
Team will advise the enrolment fees and payment options.
Please note that fees for RPL assessment are structured
to minimise cost to the individual. The cost will vary
between qualifications and depends upon which electives
are included in the qualification, or how many units of • Workplace/institute
competency the applicant wishes to enrol in. • Third party validation completed if required
Step 6: Assessment interview • Practical tasks
At the assessment, the Skills Assessor will ask questions
to gain further evidence of past experience and advise
whether a practical demonstration of the applicant's skills is Award issued
necessary. (e.g. Qualification)
Frequently asked questions
What is a unit of competency? What evidence can be
Industry standards or benchmarks are set out in a unit of
provided to the Assessor?
The RPL Assessor will assess the evidence in relation to
A unit of competency specifies knowledge and skills that specific units of competency.
apply to the standard of performance expected in the
workplace. For example: MEM13.14 Apply principles of While the RPL process can recognise skills developed over
occupational health and safety in work environment is a time, the skills and experience gained over the last three
unit of competency. years will be the most important.
Every qualification is made up of a number of core and Competence can be assessed in a number of ways,
elective units of competency. A single unit of competency is including:
the smallest unit that can be assessed and recognised.
• work history or current resumé
Within a unit of competency, elements describe the tasks or • photos or videos of completed work/installations
key activities of the work covered by the unit. For example,
• work samples such as completed pieces of work and
in the competency unit Apply principles of occupational
health and safety in work environment, one element is
“follow safe work practices". • a practical demonstration of skills
• answers to questions
During an RPL assessment, the Assessor collects evidence to
• testimonials from employers, supervisors or principal
provide that the applicant:
• holds the necessary knowledge • references from clients
• holds current knowledge and skills • performance reviews
• can apply that knowledge successfully in the • training records
workplace • work diaries, log books, job sheets
• can perform tasks to the level set out in the industry • industry awards
• industry or professional memberships
To be assessed as “competent", the Assessor will determine • duty statements and job descriptions
that the required skills, knowledge and attributes are at the • certificates of attendance at vendor/manufacturer
level and standard required. information sessions
• other documentary evidence (such as occupational
What is meant by licences or workplace documents).
“competent”? What if the applicant has
Being competent means that the applicant:
little documentary evidence?
• is able to perform specific tasks required to do a job
to the standard set by industry Having little or no documentary evidence of industry
experience is not a barrier to gaining recognition.
• knows the reason the task needs to be done
• understands and follows the correct procedures to This will mean that the Assessor will need to rely more on
complete the task questioning, referee validation and practical skills testing
• knows what resources are required to complete the for evidence of experience.
• follows the correct and safe use of these resources
• knows what to do if something goes wrong
• can use these same skills in different work contexts.
What is gap training? How can applicants prepare
On completion of the RPL assessment, the Assessor may
determine that further training (known as gap training) is
for the RPL process?
required for successful completion of a whole qualification. Assessment happens in a variety of ways. Being prepared
can save valuable time and make the RPL process stress-
The Assessor will create an individualised training plan and free.
outline the options and costs for completing the program.
To best prepare for the RPL process, applicants should:
In cases where the Assessor identifies a large number of
units to be completed, options for training will be discussed • be prepared to talk about their job roles and work
with the applicant. These options may include enrolling into history by bringing a resumé or work history or jot
night or part-time day classes, flexible learning, or an adult down a few points about paid and unpaid work, both
apprenticeship. previous and current
• bring position descriptions and any performance
How much does RPL cost? appraisals received from the industry or workplace
• consider the possibilities for workplace contact
As an Assessor has to complete a thorough RPL assessment - for example, is the workplace supporting goals
of skills to ensure that all necessary requirements are met, to become qualified; would the applicant feel
there is a fee for RPL assessment. comfortable having the Assessor contact their
workplace or previous workplaces to have their skills
Each assessment is unique. In most cases the recognition validated?
process will cost less than formal training. Scholarship • think about who can confirm their skill level, such
funding may be available to eligible applicants. as current or recent supervisors who have seen them
work in the past 18 months and will be able to
What is scholarship funding? confirm their skills, or community contacts or clients
who can vouch for their skill level
The applicant may be eligible for scholarship funding • collect any certificates from in-house and/or vendor
which will contribute towards enrolment fees for the RPL training or formal training previously completed.
assessment. Once an RPL application has been received
by the Recognition Services Team, they will contact the
applicant about eligibility. What if the RPL application
What is Skilling Solutions If the RPL application is unsuccessful, the applicant may
Queensland? apply for a re-evaluation of the assessment.
Skilling Solutions Queensland (SSQ) is a free information If the applicant is dissatisfied with the outcome of the re-
service on training and career options. It offers a range evaluation, they have a right to formally appeal the result
of services including career pathway planning, industry/ through the Academic Appeals Process.
occupational information on Queensland industries, training For further information regarding the appeal process, please
information, language, literacy and numeracy indicator and refer to the SkillsTech Australia Student Guide.
preliminary Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) advice.
For further information on Skilling Solutions Queensland,
Contact and support
Recognition Services Team
Northside location Send RPL applications to
SkillsTech Australia Recognition Services Team
Eagle Farm Training Centre
776 Kingsford Smith Drive
Eagle Farm, QLD 4009 LMB 2020
Archerfield, QLD 4108
Acacia Ridge Training Centre
247 Bradman Street
Acacia Ridge, QLD 4110
1800 654 447
Where to find us Redcliffe
Samford Valley Geebung
Everton Hills Chermside
South Brisbane Coorparoo Wakerley
Yeronga Alexandra Hills
Redbank Acacia Ridge
Training centre locations
SkillsTech Australia delivers trades training at 10 metropolitan training centres. The two main training centres are located at
Acacia Ridge on Brisbane's south side and Eagle Farm on the north.
Acacia Ridge Eagle Farm Mt Gravatt South Brisbane
247 Bradman St 776 Kingsford Smith Dr 1030 Cavendish Rd (TAFE Open Learning)
Acacia Ridge QLD 4110 Eagle Farm QLD 4009 Mt Gravatt QLD 4122 Cnr Cordelia St and Peel St
South Brisbane QLD 4101
Alexandra Hills Ithaca Salisbury
Windemere Rd Fulcher Rd 460-492 Beaudesert Rd Yeronga
Alexandra Hills QLD 4161 Red Hill QLD 4059 Salisbury QLD 4107 Cnr Park Rd and Villa St
Yeronga QLD 4104
Bracken Ridge Loganlea
157 Norris Rd 50-68 Armstrong Rd
Bracken Ridge QLD 4017 Meadowbrook QLD 4131
Visit www.skillstech.tafe.qld.gov.au for maps showing detailed locations of all SkillsTech Australia training centres.
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1800 654 447
Postal Address: Locked Mail Bag 2020, Archerfield, Queensland Australia 4108
Telephone: 1800 654 447 Fax: (07) 3633 5033 Email: email@example.com
Main Training Centres
Acacia Ridge: 247 Bradman Street, Acacia Ridge, Queensland Australia 4110
Eagle Farm: 776 Kingsford Smith Drive, Eagle Farm, Queensland Australia 4009
Other Brisbane Training Centre Locations
Alexandra Hills, Bracken Ridge, Ithaca, Loganlea, Mt Gravatt, Salisbury, South Brisbane, Yeronga