These resources can help with the practices, policies and processes associated with Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

Keeping up to date on RPL

Training providers are encouraged to revisit, renew and refresh RPL policies and practices to increase their level of RPL activity. This will:

  • help individuals to meet the minimum entry requirements for a training course, gain a qualification, re-enter the workforce, change jobs, improve their job security
  • work in partnership with enterprises to identify current skill levels and skill gaps so that investment in training can be better targeted
  • expand the knowledge and skills of your workforce
  • contribute to the achievement of social and economic development goals.

Best practice in RPL

Best practice means:

  • responding to the needs of your clients
  • being flexible in the approach taken in RPL and
  • maintaining industry and training package standards.

The process takes into account assessment for learning, opportunities for upskilling and further developing an individual’s skills, attitudes and knowledge by reviewing direct, indirect or historical evidence. This could occur by:

  • having a conversation with the learner, perhaps in their workplace
  • viewing some written evidence, eg certificates, job descriptors, résumé
  • sighting photos, or digital stories, or listening to audio footage
  • collecting third party evidence from supervisors, team managers or leaders
  • observing the demonstration of skills.

RPL assessment processes should be developed in consultation with industry through the profiling of jobs where it is often possible to cluster units of competency or skill sets. This is done by unpacking the training package in a holistic manner using unit descriptors, critical aspects of assessment, the evidence guide and essential knowledge and skills rather than based on performance criteria.

Process for RPL

Expectations of the RPL process and what it involves should be clearly outlined to the candidate, both verbally and in writing.

An essential step is to maintain a positive approach and to support, acknowledge and value the skills and experiences of the individual.

A formative assessment approach is recommended that involves collecting and using evidence and feedback to identify where learners are in their learning.

The RPL process should ensure:

  • obtaining information about the learner
  • planning conversations and interactions that feature thoughtful questions, careful listening and reflective responses
  • observing learning and providing feedback
  • supporting the learner through self-assessment so that it is reflective
  • negotiating flexible options
  • providing constructive guidance about how to improve or address gaps.



WA Department of Training and Workforce Development - VETinfoNet Professional Development resources

Queensland Government Department of Education, Training and Employment Recognition of Prior Learning resources


Hunter Trainers and Assessors Network (HTAN)

RPL Online Network (RON)

Skills recognition services

Skilling Queenslanders for Work

Skills Recognition in NSW

Skills Tasmania

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