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Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

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					Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Information Guide




University of Ballarat – TAFE Portfolio




Edited by:
TAFE Development Unit

January 2008
Information Guide
What is RPL? (Recognition of Prior Learning)


RPL is the formal acknowledgment of skills and knowledge, competencies already obtained
through:
       • Formal Training
       • Work Experience
       • Life Experience

Recognition of Prior Learning occurs when a person seeks, and gains recognition, for their
skills and knowledge no matter where or how these were acquired. If what you have learned
at work, from other courses, from life experience or training provided at work is relevant to
your course, you may be entitled to gain recognition or RPL.

RPL assesses a person's prior learning against the competencies or learning outcomes of the
particular course/unit in which the person is enrolled or interested in enrolling in.


Why apply? - What's in it for you?
It is important to apply for RPL if you think your previous study and/or experiences might be
relevant to the unit/s in which you are enrolling. The advantages of a successful application
are:
         • You won't have to undertake study in units which your competencies
            have been recognised
         • You may complete your course more quickly
         • You can move more quickly into a higher level qualification


How do you apply?
1. Enrol in the course, including the units/modules you are applying for RPL/RCC in.
2. Contact the relevant school to obtain unit/module outlines and advice regarding
   documentation of evidence. You maybe requested to undertake a self-assessment prior
   to applying for RPL.
3. Schools may schedule a brief interview or an information session to discuss the process
   for collecting evidence to support your application for RPL.
4. Once you have decided to apply for RPL, request an RPL application form from the
   school (or from your assessor).
5. Utilise the attached Evidence Guide to assist you in collecting supporting
   evidence/documentation. Remember you must demonstrate competence in all the
   elements and performance criteria in order to receive recognition for a unit/module
   competence. It is your responsibility to collect this evidence and arrange it in a
   logical sequence for the assessor. (see attached Evidence Guide example.)
6. Complete and sign the Application Form.
7. Return the signed Application Form together with the Self Assessment/Evidence Guide,
   supporting documentation and evidence to the designated assessor.
8. Evidence will then be evaluated by the assessor, and you will be advised of the outcome
   (via the University of Ballarat email address, or Australia Post) within 2 weeks of
   submitting your application/or other timeline as per mutual agreement.
Note: RPL cannot be undertaken if training has already commenced
Fees
Students must enrol in the unit/module in which they are seeking RPL and pay the enrolment,
amenities and materials fee. Material fees and student amenities fees may be refunded if
applicable. This will be determined by the Head of Department (HOD) in the relevant School.

Students who are eligible for a concession at the time of enrolment will pay $55.00 per 12
month student period. No fees apply to Credit Transfers.

If RPL is not granted, you may choose to re-enrol and complete the competency/module by
undertaking further study. You will be required to pay an additional enrolment fee.


Credit Transfer
A Credit Transfer is granted on evidence of successful completion of previous Australian
Vocational Education and Training (VET) studies. Credit Transfers are processed at the time
of enrolment, and may result in a reduction in fees and charges. Please present your original
statement of results to the RPL Administrator in the relevant School.

How do you apply for Credit Transfer?
1. Enrol in the course for the current year but not in the unit/module that credit is being
   claimed for.
2. Complete a ‘Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Application' form.
3. Submit your application to the School representative.
4. Evidence will then be assessed by your Course Coordinator/Assessor, and you will be
   advised of the outcome.
5. No fees apply to Credit Transfers.

Note: National Recognition of Qualifications
     University of Ballarat recognises and accepts all Statements of Results for Vocational
     Education and Training (VET) qualifications issued by other Australian registered training
     organisations.



What and how much evidence do I need to submit to support my claim for RPL?
Evidence is the material proof that you have performed the task to the required standard. It
can take many forms and your assessor will use the evidence you present to support their
judgement of your competence. In RPL it is your responsibility to gather suitable evidence to
prove what you have achieved. Your assessor may guide you as to the most appropriate
forms of evidence to present.
Examples of Evidence to be incorporated into a Portfolio:

RPL may be granted where skills, knowledge and competencies have been gained through
means other than formal study perhaps through paid or unpaid work experience, life
experience or informal courses. The means of assessment will vary according to the nature of
the skills/competencies involved, but will generally comprise one or more of the following
examples of evidence.


•   Appraisals you have completed                  •   Position description for current position
•   Budgets/costing sheets                             you hold
•   Certificate of Participation in short          •   Projects (outlining your role)
    courses or professional development            •   Reference/testimonies related to the
    activities                                         skills/competencies claimed
•   Completed job cards                            •   Reports from your workplace
•   Construction Industry Tickets                      supervisor on your skills and
•   Correspondence with clients                        knowledge
•   Demonstration                                  •   Reports or relevant workplace
•   Diary entries                                      documents you have written.
•   Drawings/plans you have created                •   Resume/Curriculum Vitae
•   Folio                                          •   Samples of work

•   Formal Test                                    •   Statement of Results and Course
•   Information and Marketing material you             Outlines for courses you have
    have prepared                                      completed recently (timeframe to be

•   Interview                                          discussed with assessor)

•   Minutes of meetings you have                   •   Supervisor’s report

    participated in                                •   Training diary

•   Performance Review and Development             •   Training Journals

    Plans                                          •   Witness testimonies, etc
•   Photos/videos                                  •   Workplace awards, prizes and
                                                       certificates

Sufficient evidence (this does not necessarily mean lots) for each Unit of Competency is
required and the more recent the prior learning the more value such evidence has as an
indication of current competency.

Any documents you provide must be originals, rather than copies.

If you cannot provide originals, a Statutory Declaration giving your details can be provided. It
is an expectation that students will prepare and submit work which is their own and which
acknowledges the work of others. Plagiarism, either intentional or unintentional, is not
tolerated.
Maintaining Confidentiality
It is important that sensitive information is not included in your evidence portfolio. You may
need authorisation to use some of your evidence so check the privacy and confidentiality
policies of your workplace. Client names should be deleted and financial figures or other
personal details blacked out and made unidentifiable.


How will my evidence be assessed?
Regardless of the form of evidence assessors must be confident that the assessment
decisions are based on quality evidence. To do this evidence must meet the following criteria.

        Rule of            Questions the assessor will ask when assessing your
     evidence: Is                               evidence
    the evidence?


        Valid
                      Does the evidence relate to the Unit of Competency?
                      Does the evidence reflect the four dimensions of competency?
                      Does the evidence address employability skills?


      Sufficient      Does the evidence cover the full range of performance identified
                      in the Unit of Competency?
                      Does the evidence show competency over a period of time?
                      Does the evidence show competency in difference contexts?


       Current        Does the evidence show that the student can apply the
                      competency in current work?


      Authentic       Is the evidence the student’s own work?
                      Are the qualifications presented by the student authentic
                      documents?
Examples of what commonly happens in the RPL process


  Your steps in the RPL process                       Common practice

  You consider you have skills and   Read information about the RPL process or seek
  knowledge and therefore            advice from UB staff about this process. You
  competency obtained through:       maybe required to complete a self assessment
     • Formal training               against the Unit of Competency.
     • Work experience
     • Life experience


  You enquire to the RPL             All students must enrol to be eligible to apply for
  Administration Officer in the      an RPL.
  School offering the course you
  are interested in. You are
  provided with relevant
  information, which may include a
  self assessment checklist, as
  well as an Enrolment form and
  an RPL Application form.


  You decide to proceed with your    Students will often seek advice on what is
  application for RPL. You must      appropriate and acceptable evidence to submit for
  pay the enrolment fee and return   an RPL application.
  the completed Application form.


  You start gathering your           Evidence can be in many forms, refer to the list of
  evidence that will you submit to   ‘Examples of Evidence’.
  the Head of Department, or
  designated Assessor as a
  portfolio of evidence. You may
  be asked to attend an
  assessment interview and/or
  provide additional supporting
  evidence.


  A qualified assessor assesses      RPL is done on a case by case basis. The
  your evidence and makes a          University has full time and part time students, as
  judgement of whether RPL can       well as students who work in many different
  or cannot be granted. Please       specific industry groups in different states of
  note for an RPL to be granted,     Australia. However, all assessment judgements
  evidence must meet all critical    must meet the requirements that the evidence is
  requirements of the competency     valid, sufficient, current and authentic. Evidence
  and the rules of evidence.         must demonstrate the skills and knowledge of the
                                     competency including contingency management
                                     and job role environment skills.


  You will be advised of the RPL     At this stage students are given advice about what
  outcome.                           they need to do if the RPL is not granted. This can
                                     range from a request for more evidence or attend
                                     an additional interview (or a workplace interview).
                                     An assessor may make a recommendation that the
                                     student re-enrol and undertake training, or
                                     participate in workplace professional development
                                     and/or refresher courses.
Your steps in the RPL process                        Common practice


The RPL result is sent to Student   Student waits for official notification via Student
Services for processing.            email or Australia Post.


If you disagree with the RPL        Students are given the opportunity to appeal if they
decision, you have 14 days to       disagree with the decision. The Head of School
appeal the decision to the Head     may schedule a meeting to review and discuss the
of School in writing.               RPL decision.
Definitions

  Competency          The broad concept of industry competency concerns the ability
                      to perform particular tasks and duties to the standard of
                      performance expected in the workplace. Competency requires
                      the application of specified skills and knowledge relevant to
                      effective participation in an industry, industry sector or
                      enterprise.
  Training Package    A nationally endorsed, integrated set of competency standards,
                      assessment guidelines and AQF qualifications for a specific
                      industry, industry sector or enterprise.
  Unit of             Specifications of industry knowledge and skill and the
  Competency          application of that knowledge and skill to the standard of
                      performance expected in the workplace.
  Recognition of      RPL is an assessment process that assesses an individual’s
  Prior Learning      non-formal and informal learning to determine the extent to
  (RPL)               which that individual has achieved the required learning
                      outcomes, competency outcomes, or standards for entry to,
                      and/or partial or total completion of a qualification.
                      http://www.aqf.edu.au/rplnatprin.htm#definition
  Credit Transfer     Credit transfer assesses the initial course or subject that the
                      individual is using to claim access to, or the award of credit in,
                      the destination course to determine the extent to which it is
                      equivalent to the required learning outcomes, competency
                      outcomes, or standards in a qualification. This may include
                      credit transfer based on formal learning that is outside the AQF
                      framework.
                      (AQF National Principles for RPL:
                      http://www.aqf.edu.au/rplnatprin.htm#definition
  Non-formal          Learning that takes place through a structured program of
  learning            instruction but does not lead to the attainment of a formal
                      qualification or award (for example, in-house professional
                      development programs conducted by a business).
  Informal learning   Learning that results through experience of work-related, social,
                      family, hobby or leisure activities (for example the
                      communication skills gained while working as a sales
                      representative).
  Rules of evidence   These are closely related to the principles of assessment and
                      provide guidance on the collection of evidence to ensure that it
                      is valid, sufficient, authentic and current.
  Elements of         Elements of competency are the basic building blocks of a unit
  competency          of competency and continue the description of the key purpose
                      of the unit itself. They describe, in outcome terms, functions a
                      person is able to perform in a particular area of work. The
                      elements combine to make up the unit.
  Performance         Performance criteria are evaluative statements specifying what
  criteria            is to be assessed and the required level of performance. They
                      specify the activities, skills, knowledge and understanding which
                      provide the evidence of a competent performance.
How do you present your evidence?

You should present your evidence portfolio to the RPL Assessor after you have collected.
Your portfolio should contain the evidence you have collected in a clear and logical sequence.
For your evidence to be considered and assessed, it must be matched to Elements and
Performance criteria in the Unit of Competence.

It is highly recommended that you create and include a Summary of Evidence for inclusion in
the front of your portfolio. A summary of Evidence will greatly assist your Assessor but will act
as a guide to you, particularly when responding to questions during an assessment interview.


Example of a Summary of Evidence using the numbering system of performance criteria:

  Number assigned            Name of document or             Performance Criteria in Unit of
   to each piece of             Evidence type                        Competence
       evidence
           1             Work Recognition Award             1.1; 1.2; 3.1; and 4.5
           2             Achievement Award                  1.1; 1.2; 2.2; 2.3; 4.1; 4.2; 4.3; and
                                                            4.4
            3            360 Feedback                       4.5
            4            Performance Review                 1.1; 1.2; 3.1 and 4.5
            5            Performance Planning               2.1; 2.2; 2.3; 3.1 and 3.2

				
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