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Knowing yourself

Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is the acknowledgment of skills and knowledge obtained through:

  • formal training or study including courses at school, college, adult education and training programs at work;
  • work experience including paid and volunteer work; and
  • life experience including skills attained through leisure pursuits such as musical, mechanical or linguistic abilities.

Recognition of prior learning recognises this prior knowledge and experience and measures it against the course in which you are enrolled. You may not need to complete all of a training program if you already possess some of the competencies taught in the program.

Recognition of prior learning has many benefits such as:

  • you can finish your course/s earlier;
  • your study loads and costs can be reduced;
  • you can take on additional study leading to a second qualification; and
  • by identifying your current competencies, RPL can effectively target training requirements.

You will need to provide your training provider with evidence of prior learning if you wish to have your knowledge and skills recognised under RPL.

Training providers take previous experience and study into account - whether it was achieved in Australia or abroad.

Training providers can also grant RPL to apprentices/trainees as part of their training plans. Before an apprenticeship/traineeship is reduced however, the employer, apprentice/trainee and representatives from both the Australian Apprenticeship Centre and the Apprenticeship Office must agree to a variation of the training contract or agreement.

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