How many times have you thought to yourself, “I could do that” or “I know how that works.” I have met a good amount of people who have been in an industry for a long period of time and find out that they need a qualification to prove it now. Fortunately, there is a way to get recognised and get awarded without having to do an entire course, it’s called Recognised Prior Learning (RPL for short). This is one of the greatest ways to be able to get acknowledged for the skills that you already have in our day and age, especially when it comes to the IT industry. Employees from schools, workplaces and such have come and found the process to be one that is easily achievable and even better than that, it is affordable. I have written up for you a few ways on how it all works so that you understand before diving into what is, Recognised Prior Learning.
- RTO investigation
For this, you will need to get your monocle on, your tobacco pipe and a tartan cloth hat because you are investigating where you should go to find the right training organisation for you to get qualified. The main things to look out for are:
- Price – You don’t want to be paying to much when it comes to getting a qualification. I have found that a lot of private Training organisations are a lot cheaper compared to the bigger ones out there such as TAFE.
- Quality – It is always important to be wary of what websites you are looking at when you are online. Checking three specific items on the website is a must when it comes to a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).
- RTO Number. RTO’s are required to have their five-digit number on their website to some capacity. Whether it be on each page, on the about page or the contact page, it needs to be there.
- Nationally Accredited, the website should also have a Nationally Recognised Training image on the website as well as it is confirmed in the course that it is Nationally recognised. This helps you know that the course legitimate and is recognised in Australia.
- Easily contactable. If you find that the people who are running the business are hard to contact and get a hold of, then it shouldn’t feel comfortable to purchase an online course with them.
- URL Secure. A helpful tip for any website especially when money and passwords are involved is to look at the URL address bar to see if it is a secure website or not, there is usually a green lock pad and the word ‘Secure’ to ensure it is a secure site.
These are a great few ways to understand and know that you are getting the right place for your learning and skills assessment experience.
- How it all works
Basically, ‘RPL’ or a ‘Skills Assessment’ gives you the opportunity to be qualified without having to do an entire course, as well as not having to pay too much either and this sounds a bit too good to be true and to be fair, it is. There are a few different aspects to getting a certification through an RPL process, most RTO’s prefer that you have been in the industry for 5+ years. However, this isn’t always the case, you can get an RPL off less time in the industry if you have a lot of evidence to prove your knowledge although RTO’s can be reluctant to go through with that.
Once you have figured out which specific course you want and the RTO you want to go with they will explain their process. The basics of the process are that they want to prove you know the information and are able to show that in two ways. The first being knowledge-based, this is where you will get asked some questions regarding the units that are within the course itself. This will prove your understanding and ability regarding the course and give an idea to the trainer of what you are capable of and this is the easy part of the whole Skills Assessment. The more difficult part, which really isn’t that hard, is having to provide physical evidence. Physical evidence, depending on the course, is asked for in various ways. A copy of your resume will usually be asked as well as a workplace checklist or similar for your supervisor/manager to sign off to confirm your capability. The next step is the remainder of the physical evidence and an example of this is how LearnMe goes about doing this is:
For a Certificate III in Information Digital Media and Technology, there are topics that involve you having to have a basic understanding of how a digital camera works. For the evidence we would ask that you take three different photos in different scenarios as well as a video explanation of how to use different features on the camera.
This is just an example of how we would go about gaining evidence.
The RTO has been chosen, the evidence is now submitted, and the trainer is confirming it all as viable for you to be certified in your field, it’s as easy as that. What we find a lot of the time is that people are happy that the process of gaining certification in their area of interest through Recognised Prior Learning come out with a better understanding of everything and are excited for what lies ahead.
So, if you are keen to get certified in your industry and you have a good amount of experience why not try looking into RPL.
To sum up:
- Make sure you find the right RTO for you and make sure it is legitimate and welcoming.
- Be prepared for questions regarding your experience in the field.
- Enjoy being qualified!