Recognition of Prior Learning

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) allows for/ facilitates the progression of students through qualifications by giving credit for learning outcomes they already have achieved.Credit outcomes may allow for entry into a qualification and/or provide credit towards the qualification. Credit given may reduce the time required for a student to achieve the qualification.

RPL is one of a number of processes for establishing credit or advanced standing. RPL broadens access into formal learning by enabling credit to be given for student achievement though other formal, non-formal or informal learning. RPL involves issuing organisations undertaking an assessment of each individual who applies to determine the extent to which that individual’s previous learning is equivalent to the learning outcomes of the components of the qualification.

 It is the responsibility of issuing organisations to offer RPL assessment to students.

To ensure consistency, fairness and transparency, issuing organisations should establish a systematic, organisation-wide approach to RPL including policies and procedures that govern implementation. 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 facilitators or teaching staff with expertise in the subject, content or skills area, as well as knowledge of and expertise in RPL assessment. RPL:

  • 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

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