• Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process of assessing your current knowledge and skills that may have been acquired from informal training such as your work history or formal training whereby you have received a tertiary qualification or statement of attainment. This means that some students:

  • may be able to provide evidence that they meet all of the performance criteria for a particular unit of competency
  • will not need to complete the assessment tasks of a subject

If you would like to pursue RPL there is a section on the enrolment form for you to indicate your request for RPL. There is an RPL pre-assessment process to give you an indication of what units of competencies you could apply for recognition in. This will incur a fee which will form part of your overall course cost. RPL cannot be guaranteed as it is assessed on an individual basis, depending on your experience and qualifications. Should RPL not be granted, you will need to complete the work required to gain competency in the unit or course.

If you decide to apply for recognition of your prior learning (RPL) for full or part of the qualification or units of competency you are enrolled in, the process will identify, validate and acknowledge your current skills and knowledge and the process will also identify any gaps that will require training and assessment.

National Training Solutions offers Recognition of Prior Learning for these qualifications:

CHC40413  Certificate IV in Youth Work

CHC42015  Certificate IV in Community Services

CHC42315 Certificate IV in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care

10742NAT  Certificate IV in Christian Ministry and Theology

CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling



I have work experience, should I apply for recognition of prior learning (RPL)?
You need to look at the units of competencies and the course overview in the course you are enrolling in. You can then reflect on what evidence (work experience and previous formal training) you've gained to prove that you have the skills and knowledge covered in the units of competency. Some applicants decide to complete the training although they may have some existing skills they want to be current in their knowledge, in particular legislative requirements.

What are the benefits of applying for recognition of prior learning (RPL)?
If you are successful in your RPL application, it provides you with acknowledgement of your current skills and knowledge and saves yourself time because you may not have to complete all or some of the qualification assessments. Completing a qualification earlier will allow you to apply for that position sooner and/or be more effective in your workplace as your existing skills and knowledge are validated.

What kind of work and life experience can I submit when applying for RPL?
You may have experience you have gained in your current or previous employment and you may have volunteered at for example your local community centre or church, this can count towards your application. Previous formal study may also contribute to your application. It is important that any work and life experience you have is relevant to the units/subjects for which you are applying for recognition.

What sort of things can I use as evidence?
You must provide sufficient evidence for the assessor to determine your level of competency. There are various types of evidence that you can provide (dependant on what is most appropriate and relevant to the units of competence), which can be gathered from a number of sources.

 Examples of evidence that may be submitted:

  • Brief CV or work history

  • Job/Position Description/s

  • Qualifications/ Certificates/ results of assessment for nationally recognised qualifications

  • Qualifications/ Certificates/ results of assessment for other qualifications and courses

  • Results/ statement of attendance/ certificates; for in-house courses, workshops, seminars,

  • Conferences you have attended

  • Membership of relevant professional associations

  • Other documentation that may demonstrate industry experience, i.e. participation in the development of industry programs; industry awards.

  • Relevant industry licences i.e. WHS induction card

  • Work samples, which may include but not limited to: diaries/ task sheets/ job sheets/ log books

  • Performance appraisals/ work plans/ projects.

  • References/letters from previous employers/supervisors.

  • Letters of support/appreciation

  • Workplace awards/ prizes/ certificates

  • Evaluation forms/ feedback sheets

  • Hobbies or interests that relate to the outcomes of the unit elements

How much evidence do I need to provide?
Your Trainer and Assessor will be looking at the quality of your evidence submitted, rather than the quantity of evidence that you provide. For your application to be successful you must remember that the evidence you supply will need to demonstrate to the assessor that you have the required skills and knowledge that meets the standards identified in the criteria for the unit. You must be able to verify that the skills / knowledge / experience in your application are genuine and the evidence you are presenting is your own work. Any copies of original qualifications, certificates or documents you submit must be certified by a Justice of the Peace (JP).

I have a transcript that is fifteen years old; can I use this as evidence?
The evidence that you provide for your RPL assessment must comply with the rules of evidence from the Australian Quality Training Framework. This means that you must ensure that the evidence is Current  you must be able to show that your skills are up-to-date and that you could demonstrate these now if required. Evidence that is not current must be supported by up-to-date evidence of your continued application of the relevant competencies.

Do I have to meet with a trainer/assessor?
You will be required to have what is termed a competency conversation with your assessor. This will be either face to face or via a teleconference. You will be asked to bring any evidence you have to the meeting to prove that you have accomplished what you say. Be prepared to talk about your experiences that are relevant to the units of competency for which you have applied for recognition in. The Assessor will be looking at your evidence and recording your work and life experiences and details of previous studies to work out if you have enough evidence to be granted recognition for the units of competency you are applying for.

How much RPL can I apply for?
It is possible to apply for recognition for an entire qualification or for one or more units of competency. Remember, you need to have the necessary evidence for the units of competency you are applying for. It is possible to use the same piece of evidence for several units of competency if it is relevant to the requirements.

Is there any set time for me to submit my evidence?
It may take you some time to collect your evidence, and then it will take the Assessor time to go through your evidence and assess it against the assessment criteria for the unit/s of competency you are applying for. Your assessor will work with you and support you in the process and be on hand to answer any questions you may have. The timeline will depend on the unit/s of competency or qualification you are applying for and will also depend on the time you have available to gather your evidence due to work and other commitments. It is expected that you complete the RPL process within three months to ensure you have ample time to complete any gap training and assessments. You will commence your training (if required) after completion of the RPL process.

Do I receive a guide to follow when applying for RPL?
You will receive what is termed an 'RPL kit' and this will be a guide for you to follow to ensure you have the appropriate information required to submit your evidence. Your assessor will be available to answer any of your questions and to support you in your application.

These options can be discussed by contacting us on 1300 161 844 or email us