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Recognition of Prior Learning Policy

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					 Recognition Policy and
      Procedures




          TASMANIA FIRE SERVICE
                   July 2005




Version 2.4                           Date Effective: 13/07/2005
Page 1 of 13                   Review Date: 31st Decemeber 2006
                                  CONTENTS

          1.   INTRODUCTION                                   3


          2.   SCOPE                                          3


          3.   RECOGNITION POLICY                             3


          4.   PROCEDURE                                      5


          5.   RESPONSIBILITIES                               6


          6.   GUIDELINES FOR LATERAL ENTRY                   7


          7.   DEFINITIONS                                    8


          8.   RECOGNITION APPLICATION FORM (Appendix 1)      12


          9.   APPEAL PROCEDURE (Appendix 2)                  15




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1.      INTRODUCTION
        Recognition means the recognition and attainment of a unit of competence, regardless of
        how, when or where the learning and skills acquisition occurred. Under the Australian Quality
        Training Framework, competencies may be attained in a number of ways. This includes
        through any combination of formal or informal training and education, work experience or
        general life experience. The term Recognition encompasses both Recognition of Prior
        Learning (RPL) and Recognition of Current Competence (RCC). In order to grant recognition,
        the assessor must be confident that the candidate is currently competent against the endorsed
        industry or enterprise competency standards or outcomes specified in Australian
        Qualifications Framework accredited courses. The evidence may take a variety of forms and
        could include certification, references from past employers, testimonials from clients and
        work samples. The assessor must ensure that the evidence is authentic, valid, reliable, current
        and sufficient.

2.      SCOPE
        The scope of this policy applies to all Tasmania Fire Service personnel, career, volunteer and
        non-operational and where applicable references commercial clients. This document outlines a
        policy and procedure to be followed for applications for recognition within the framework of
        the units of competence contained in the Public Safety Training Package, or other units of
        competence approved by the Tasmania Fire Service. Recognition can be granted only for units
        that are included within Tasmania Fire Service Scope of Registration and are applicable to the
        candidates Career Stream Pay Point or Volunteer Firefighter Skills Matrix. This document
        also describes the recognition assessment process. The scope of this document is to allow
        people to provide evidence for recognition of a unit/s of competence and does not replace the
        direct assessment process.

3.      RECOGNITION POLICY
        In the context of the Tasmania Fire Service RCC is a process normally used to establish a
        base level of qualification when our organisation adopts a new training system to determine
        the level of competence of its personnel by recognising the role they currently fulfil. This only
        applies to personnel already operating in that role within the organisation and forms part of a
        transition agreement not included within this policy. An RCC process may also apply to new
        employees with qualifications from other Registered Training Organisations (RTO) or
        agencies. This is subject to award, certified agreements and State Service Act 2000 conditions.
        RPL in the context of the Tasmania Fire Service requires the candidate to formally prepare a
        written application for each unit the candidate seeks recognition. This application must be on
        the approved TFS Recognition form and be supported by evidence to demonstrate competence
        for that unit.
        Where the elements or learning outcomes of a particular unit/course from another training
        package are aligned to the standards of a unit/s within the Tasmania Fire Service scope of
        registration and is accepted as an equivalent qualification Credit Transfer may apply.
        Automatic credit transfer is only allowed for qualifications identified as meeting the context
        of the Tasmania Fire Service (i.e. assessed for specialist equipment, legislation or SOP’s).
        This means the credit transfer is based on pre-determined assessment of the specific
        unit/course and not the candidate.



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        Mutual Recognition is the acceptance by the Tasmania Fire Service of Australian
        Qualifications Framework qualifications and Statements of Attainment issued by other
        Registered Training Organisations, enabling individuals to receive national recognition of
        their achievements. The Tasmania Fire Service will honour its RTO obligations in accepting
        other RTO qualifications however, reserve the right to make judgement of the knowledge and
        skills being applied in the Tasmania Fire Service context. The Tasmania Fire Service may
        establish additional Credit Transfer arrangements with other RTO’s to cover:
         Identical units/modules with different codes
         Equivalent units/modules
        This Policy will facilitate a consistent approach to the recognition of competencies in the
        Tasmania Fire Service. Applicants who believe they can demonstrate competence for a unit of
        competence within the scope of registration of the Tasmania Fire Service may apply for
        recognition of that unit. Applications will be processed if units claimed are relevant to the
        employee's work situation.
        Applications will be assessed by a Recognition Panel against nationally accredited
        competency standards to ensure the evidence supplied is authentic, valid, reliable, current and
        sufficient. The Recognition Panel will document the assessment and provide results to the
        applicant and Training Services. Applicants who disagree with their assessment outcome have
        a right of appeal. (See 4.3)
        A register of Assessors qualified in Certificate IV Assessment and Workplace Training and
        skills specialists will be maintained by the Tasmania Fire Service, Training Services. In most
        cases skills specialists will be fire industry employees, but for special cases external skills
        specialist may be utilised. Applicants may have access during a recognition interview to a
        support person to provide further evidence.
        Tasmania Fire Service employees with skills and qualifications above their employed pay
        level may apply for recognition of those qualifications however, they will be subject to
        Tasmania Fire Service skills maintenance policy for currency and all other conditions of their
        employment.
        Commercial clients are informed of their rights for recognition at the time of course
        consultation by a TasFire Training Consultant. All commercial clients wishing to apply for
        recognition for a TasFire Training accredited course/s are to approach a TasFire Training
        Consultant for direction.




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4.      PROCEDURE
        4.1 Applying for Recognition.
        a)     Training Services will advertise for recognition applications via internal email, the
               Fireground publication and the intranet prior to April and October each year or at other
               times based on organisational demands.
        b)     A person applying for recognition should seek advice from his / her supervisor or an
               assessor prior to application.
        c)     The application shall be completed on the relevant Tasmania Fire Service Recognition
               Application Form (Appendix 1). The recognition application must be complete with
               supporting evidence to demonstrate the candidate’s competence against the elements
               and performance criteria of the unit. This may include Certificates or Statement of
               Attainment, workplace documents or reports, supervisor’s reports, evidence of work
               practices, training records etc or demonstration of skills in the workplace or simulated
               exercise.
          d) The recognition application shall be forwarded to the District Officer Training Services
             at Cambridge by the advertised closing date for applications.

          4.2 Assessing Recognition
          A Recognition Panel shall convene biannually in April and October and at other times based
          on organisational demands.
          The Recognition Assessment Panel shall assess applications against nationally accredited
          competency standards to ensure the evidence provided is authentic, valid, reliable, current
          and sufficient.
          If the Recognition Panel considers that further information is necessary to properly assess
          the application, the applicant may be required to do any or all of the following:
          a) Provide further written evidence such as workplace documents or products, testimonials
             and awards, reports from third parties including current and previous supervisors or
             trainers, personal statements and resumes or records of prior training and work
             experience to support their application.
          b) At interview provide answers to questions on knowledge and understanding.
          c) Demonstrate practical skills and competence and ability to apply those skills in the
             workplace or simulated setting within the context of the Tasmania Fire Service
             organisational policies, procedures and equipment.
          The Recognition Panel shall provide a written assessment report, summarising the
          assessment carried out and including a report to the District Officer Training Services at
          Cambridge regarding the extent of recognition to be granted. A copy of this report shall be
          forwarded to the applicant, and their manager.
          Individual elements of a unit may be evaluated to identify training gaps for subsequent unit
          acquisition.

          4.3     Rights of Appeal
          An applicant who disagrees with the recognition assessment outcome may request a review
          of assessment through the appeals process. (Appendix 2)

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5.        RESPONSIBILITIES
          5.1 The District Officer Training Services at Cambridge is responsible for;
          a) Receiving applications and consulting with the relevant Managers in selecting
             appropriate technical experts/assessors for the Recognition Panel, (Operations – District
             Officer Development and Learning (South and North), District Officer
             Burnie/Devonport, Community Fire Safety – Director of Community Fire Safety,
             Firecomm – Supervisor of Firecomm, Volunteers – District Officer Training Services
             (South and North/North West), Corporate Services – Director of Corporate Services).
          b) Convene the Recognition Panel and advise the applicant of the outcome of the desktop
             assessment by the panel.
          c) Monitor and report on the quality and consistency of recognition outcomes achieved via
             the recognition procedure and comment on this Policy when required to the Deputy
             Chief Officer.

          5.2    The Recognition Panel is responsible for;
          a) Assessing recognition applications through a desktop process and advise the candidate
             and Training Services of the outcome.
          b) Arranging the time, place and date of an interview or practical demonstration if required
             to support the application and advise the applicant and Training Services.
          c) Advising applicants and their manager on the recognition outcome and future training
             and development options.
          d) Forwarding records and results to Training Services for data entry and archiving.

          5.3    The candidates Manager will appoint an assessor who will be responsible for
                 providing guidance to applicants if requested and will:
          a) Advise intending applicants regarding the recognition process.
          b) Advise applicants regarding the preparation of their application.
          c) Provide recognition guidelines for skills specialists.




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6. GUIDELINES FOR RECOGNITION OF LATERAL ENTRY FOR EMPLOYEES
   6.1 Through mutual recognition the Tasmania Fire Service as an RTO has an obligation to
       recognise nationally accredited qualifications issued by other RTO’s. The Recognition
       Panel may make a direct credit transfer or recommend practical demonstrations/challenge
       tests to determine the level of competence of the applicant to apply the knowledge and
       skills in the workplace within the context of the Tasmania Fire Service, or make
       recommendation for training in Tasmania Fire Service specific equipment and
       procedures. The Recognition Panel may request further supporting evidence to verify
       currency of qualifications.

     6.2       New employees through lateral entry will have their qualifications recognised against the
               TFS pay point schedule. The Tasmania Fire Service Recognition Panel will convene to
               assess a candidate with qualifications or past experiences from other agencies. This must
               be supported by a panel interviewing the candidate to determine the local content of any
               qualifications to ensure the knowledge and skills can be applied in the context of the
               Tasmania Fire Service. This usually applies to equipment, SOP’s and legislation and any
               gap training identified should be documented in an induction process.

     6.3       Recognition of experienced employees will be subject to award, certified agreements and
               State Service Act 2000 conditions.

     6.4       Lateral entry of volunteer firefighters from other fire agencies joining the Tasmania Fire
               Service as a volunteer brigade member may be recognised using the same process upon
               request through their Brigade Chief/First Officer and District staff.

     6.5       This process of recognition will also apply to firefighters undertaking exchange
               programmes


7.         DEFINITIONS
Accredited course: A structured sequence of vocational education and training that has been
accredited and leads to an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualification or Statement of
Attainment.
Assessment guideline: An endorsed component of a Training Package that underpins assessment
and that sets out the industry approach to valid, reliable, flexible and fair assessment. Assessment
guidelines include the assessment system overview, assessor requirements, assessment resources
design, tools for conducting assessment and sources of information on assessment.
Assessor: A person with the minimum qualification of the units Plan BSZ401A, Conduct BSZ402A
and Review BSZ403A assessment from Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training or
equivalent.
Assessment: The process of collecting evidence and making judgements on whether competency
has been achieved to confirm that an individual can perform to the standard expected in the
workplace, as expressed in the relevant endorsed industry/enterprise competency standards or the
learning outcomes of an accredited course.
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF):                The policy framework that defines all
qualifications recognised nationally in post-compulsory education and training within Australia. The
AQF comprises titles and guidelines, which define each qualification, together with principles and
protocols covering articulation and issuance of qualifications and Statements of Attainment.

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Competency: An applied skill that focuses on what is expected of an employee in the workplace
rather than on the learning process. It embodies the ability to transfer and apply skills and
knowledge to new situations and environments.
Credit Transfer: Where the elements or learning outcomes of a particular unit/course from
another training package are aligned to the standards of a unit/s within the Tasmania Fire Service
scope of registration and is accepted as an equivalent qualification.
Skills Specialists: People who possess skills and knowledge in the area they are assessing. They
may be fire industry employees, or external experts.
Life Experience: A set of experiences that a person accumulates through interacting within the
their social environment. Normally it implies development of a set of skills that assist this
interaction, such as occupational, communication, problem solving, decision-making and social
skills. It is those skills and areas of knowledge which can be translated into a direct relationship
with industry and vocational training.
Mutual recognition applies nationally and means:
1. The acceptance of the decisions of the registering body that has registered a training
   organisation, or the course accrediting body that has accredited a course, by another
   registering/course accrediting body, without there being any further requirement, including:
     a)        The recognition by each course accrediting body of the decisions of course accrediting
               bodies in other States and Territories in relation to the accreditation of courses.
     b)        The recognition by each registering body of the decisions of registering bodies in other
               States and Territories in relation to the registration of training organisations and the
               imposition of sanctions including cancellation of registration; and
2. The recognition and acceptance by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), of Australian
   Qualifications Framework qualifications and Statements of Attainment issued by other RTO’s,
   enabling individuals to receive national recognition of their achievements.
3. The recognition by all State and Territory registering/course accrediting bodies of the national
   endorsement of Training Packages as notified by the National Training Information Service.
Recognition Panel: Normally comprises two qualified assessors and may include an appropriate
skills specialist holding a technical qualification related to the unit of competence being assessed.
Additional personnel may be used when assessing higher level units.
Recognition: A process for persons to obtain recognition of competencies regardless of when,
where or how obtained, through formal and informal training in industry and/or education, work
experience and/or life experience which can be assessed against nationally accredited competency
standards.
Registered Training Organisation (RTO): A training organisation registered by a registering body
in accordance with the Australian Quality Training Framework, operating in accordance with a
defined scope of registration.
Statement of Attainment: A record of recognised learning which, although falling short of an
Australian Qualifications Framework qualification, may contribute towards a qualification outcome,
either as attainment of competencies within a Training Package, partial completion of a course
leading to a qualification, or completion of a nationally accredited short course which may
accumulate towards a qualification through recognition processes.
Support Person: A person who assists an applicant to prepare evidence, and during the interview,
may validate the applicant’s evidence and prompt the applicant to provide further evidence.


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Training Package: An integrated set of nationally endorsed competency standards, assessment
guidelines and Australian Qualifications Framework qualifications for a specific industry, industry
sector or enterprise.
Unit of competency: The specification description of knowledge and skill and the application of
that knowledge and skill to the standard of performance expected in the workplace. During the
transition from the Australian Fire Competencies to the Public Safety Training Package, where unit
of competence is stated in this Policy the meaning will also include modules.
Work experience: Work activities undertaken in the workplace where acquisition of skills and
knowledge is related to tasks, processes and the work environment. It may include informal
industry training or self-directed learning by doing.

Evidence:
 Practical demonstration of skills in a workplace or simulated setting.
 Reports from third parties, including current and previous supervisors, trainers, managers and
  customers/clients.
 Questioning about knowledge and understanding written or verbal.
 Personal statements and resumes.
 Workplace documents and products.
 Records of prior training and work experience.
 Testimonials and awards.




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                        Advertise for expressions of interest
                             to apply for recognition


                      The applicant consults with an assessor to
                          determine evidence required for
                                     assessment


                        The applicant submits a recognition
                      application on TFS form with supporting
                                      evidence


                       The panel assesses the evidence against
                       the performance criteria for the unit of
                             competence being assessed



                Assessed as Not
                Yet Competent




                Further evidence                 Personal
                     required                  Development
                   (interview,                Plan negotiated
                documentation,                 to meet gaps
                    practical
                 demonstration)
                                                                                          Appeal
 Assessed as                                    Assessment                                process
 Competent                                      Conducted




Statement of
 Attainment
   issued




Competency
Maintenance




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                                        Tasmania Fire Service
                                             Recognition Application Form

Name:
Brigade/Division:
Unit Name:
Unit Code:

Date of Application:
Recognition Panel
Name/s:                            ............................................................................................................................
                                   ............................................................................................................................
                                   ............................................................................................................................
Recommendation
Competent                         Not Yet Competent                             Further Information Required 

Method of Assessment
Desk Top                                                         Interview                        
Challenge Tests                                                  Credit Transfer                  
Other                                                             .............................................................................................

Date :                             ............................................
Comments: ...........................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................

Assessor Signatures ...................................................................... Date: .............................................

Assessor Signatures ...................................................................... Date: .............................................

Assessor Signatures ...................................................................... Date: .............................................


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Indicate briefly significant ways in which you believe that your prior experiences such as any
additional work experiences, interests, skills, courses or education may be relevant to this
unit.




RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE UNIT AND PRIOR LEARNING

From the Competency Standards available in hard copy or on Public Folders, establish those areas
for which you seek recognition. Review your training and experiences and match it with the
performance criteria of the Unit; consult an assessor if you are at all unsure. Remember, you need to
be able to provide enough evidence to demonstrate current competence in this unit.

Element 1



Relevant Prior Learning




Element 2




Relevant Prior Learning




Element 3




Relevant Prior Learning




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9.        APPEAL PROCEDURE

The Tasmania Fire Service recognises that candidates have rights of appeal should they be
aggrieved with a training or assessment outcome. Appeal rights are contained within the Tasmania
Fire Service Training Code of Practice.

Recognition assessment appeal process

Candidates will be encouraged to raise and resolve issues of concern without fear of prejudice or
reprisal. The Tasmania Fire Service guarantees to instigate a fair and ethical procedure for dealing
with candidate grievances and complaints, which may follow the appeal procedure detailed below:

 In the first instance, candidates who feel aggrieved with a recognition outcome will be
  encouraged to approach a representative from the recognition panel and attempt to resolve the
  grievance.

 If the grievance cannot be resolved in this way, the candidate may appeal to the District Officer
  Training Services who will hear the grievance and facilitate negotiations for a solution
  acceptable to the parties to the grievance.

 Should the issue still not be resolved the matter should then be referred to the relevant Career
  Stream Manager who after reviewing the process, all available information and consulting with
  District Officer Training Services, will either uphold or dismiss the review. That decision being
  confirmed in writing within 30 days of the Career Stream Manager being formally notified of
  the grievance in writing.

 If the grievance still remains unresolved the person concerned has a further right of appeal
  through the Tasmanian State Training Authority. (TASTA) For full details on appeals and
  grievance procedures see the Tasmania Fire Service Training Code of Practice.




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