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Recognition of prior learning - option for successful Skills Assessment

Many people around the world working in trades industry (bakers, plumbers, pastry chefs, welders etc.) will not have the formal education or certificate that is AQF recognised, and even though they can be highly skilled in their profession they cannot complete the skills assessment necessary for gathering points for independent skilled migration.

Migrants with no formal or recognised qualification can have their skills recognised through Recognition of Prior Learning or RPL. RPL is done through TRA approved Registered Training Organisations. The RTOs will assess relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning) to determine the level of competency. If the competency/skills assessment is successful they will issue an AQF qualification (for non-licensed trades) or an Offshore Technical Skills Record (OTSR) (for licensed trades).

The AQF qualification issued by RPL can then be used for obtaining a skills assessment through an official Skills Assessment Authority, which will further assist them in applying for a points based visa.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is a way to use your existing skills and knowledge to get a formal qualification in Australia. Previously called skills recognition, it involves getting current experience and knowledge assessed by taking into account other qualifications and experience (training) gained through paid work, volunteer work or general life skills the skilled person may already have.

Once the skilled person is recognised as a suitable candidate for RPL there will be a requirement to gather evidence which proves the competence.

The assessment may require one or all of the following:

  • Answering questions about work experience in an interview;

  • Demonstrating skills and knowledge by completing practical tasks or showing an assessor how the task would be completed;

  • Providing supporting evidence such as a resume, job description, reports from employers/supervisors, work samples and pictures of completed or ongoing projects. This evidence must confirm that you have shown competence over a period of time and can work under different conditions.

RPL candidates will also need to have substantial employment history that is directly related to the nominated occupation so that their employment prior to the AQF qualification can be taken into consideration.

For skilled trade professionals without a formal/recognised qualification, RPL can be an option to gain a complete qualification without having to relearn skills they already have.

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