Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and Procedures

version Dec 2014; updated June 2016

Recognition of Prior Learning Policy

The College through the application of its Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy will:

  • Offer RPL opportunities to all students;
  • Only charge fees for RPL commensurate with the work involved;
  • Ensure RPL assessment meets the rules of evidence;
  • Explain RPL and the processes (for example in the Student Handbook)
  • Implement appropriate procedures to efficiently offer, assess and report RPL

RPL Policy and Procedure Details

  • Offering and Publicising RPL

    a) Published information available to students such as this website, Student Handbook and Webclass (the student portal) will explain RPL. The RPL application for each unit of competency is available in Webclass. A summary Application is available in Forms.

    b) In the Induction / Welcome first contact calls to students the allocated Student Adviser will confirm that the student is aware of RPL and ascertain if they will be applying. The Initial Skills Assessment and enrolment data will show if the student has undertaken prior formal studies.

  • RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) Fees

    RPL Fees are payable in addition to listed course fees. Refer to Policy and Procedures on RPL Processes.

    Prior to students being charged the RPL Fee they will be given a quick verbal assessment of whether the RPL is likely to be successful based on the evidence they plan to submit.

    RPL Fees apply as RPL is often a personalised training activity and so there are limited opportunities to minimise costs through economies of scale.

    Course Level

    RPL Fees

    Certificate I, II or III

    $ 400

    Certificate IV

    $ 800


    $1 200

    Advanced Diploma

    $1 600

    Credit Transfers are exempt from this fee.


    RPL Fees for Individual Subjects / Units of Competency. These include the subject enrolment fee.

    Course Level

    RPL Fees per Unit of Competency

    Certificate I, II or III

    $ 400

    Certificate IV

    $ 800


    $1 200

    Advanced Diploma

    $1 600

  • RPL Assessment Process

    a) Suitably industry experienced and qualified Assessors will undertake the RPL assessment.

    b) RPL on the basis of work experience and portfolio (as opposed to Credit Transfers for past studies) will be reviewed and authorised by a Director of Training Services who hold the unit TAEASS504 Develop and implement recognition strategies (as recommended under the NSW Recognition Framework).

    c) Students will be advised in writing of the result.

    d) Normal assessment would take 14 days; but may take as long as 30 days depending on complexity and other workloads.

    e) Assessment includes activities to confirm authenticity of any submitted evidence. A third party report or statement will not, in isolation, be treated as adequate evidence of authenticity.

  • Records of RPL Evidence and Results

    a) Scans will be made of the original evidence, to sufficient detail, to show the type and value of the evidence provided.

    b) Any paper evidence provided will be security destroyed after assessment and scanning, so students should not submit originals.

    c) Assessment results will be recorded in the College Student Management System.

  • Appeals about RPL Assessment Decisions

    a) Appeals about RPL Assessment decisions are in accordance with standard appeal procedures.

  • RPL Application Form

    The RPL application for each unit of competency is available in Webclass. A summary RPL Application is used to list units requested and authorise fees payable.

Credit Transfer Policy and Procedure

  • Credit Transfer vs RPL

    Credit Transfer is the process of recognising completion of the same or equivalent unit of competency in earlier studies undertaken at the College or with another RTO.

    RPL or Recognition of Prior Learning is an assessment process that assesses the competency/s of an individual, based on previously acquired skills and knowledge, for which evidence from a range of sources is supplied.

  • Fees for Credit Transfers

    a) Fees are not charged for Credit Transfers. 

    b) Course fees may be discounted by the number of subjects reduced from a course due to the award of Credit Transfers. The discount is in proportion to the number of subjects no longer required.

  • Evidence and Validation of Credit Transfers

    a) A Statement of Attainment or Qualification with accompanying Record of Results is required as evidence of successful completion of a unit of competency.

    b) The provided documents must be JP certified and/or the College is authorised to verbally confirm authenticity with the issuing RTO.

    Students will be asked to complete the RPL Written Authority that is sometimes required by other RTOs before they confirm authenticity of documents.

    c) If the completion of the unit was greater than 4 years the College will not automatically grant a Credit Transfer without first determining the currency requirements. This may involve the student undertaking a verbal or written Skills Assessment to evidence currency.

  • ASQA Process to Obtain Documents from Closed RTOs

    a) Where students have completed a unit of competency, but are unable to provide a Statement of Attainment due to an RTO closure, the College will process this as RPL. The evidence considered in the RPL submission may require ASQA's confirmation of results.  Under usual circumstances, the prior RTO should have provided ASQA with records of their students results and copies of their completed assessments.

    b) RPL fees will be waived or reduced to reflect the workload involved.

    c) Students must apply to ASQA for copies of past results from close RTOs. 

  • Qualifications will not be Issued Based on Credit Transfers

    a) The College will not issue a Qualification Testamur based solely or mostly on Credit Transfers obtained at other RTOs.

    b) At least 30% of units in a course must be undertaken at the College or awarded as RPL by the College (as distinct from Credit Transfer).

    c) Students may still enrol in a Statement of Attainment course and complete specific units, noting that only a Statement of Attainment will be issued.

    d) If the College, at its discretion, agrees to issue a qualification the Dual Qualification Testamur Fee applies in addition to subject fees.

  • Equivalence of Units for Credit Transfer

    The equivalence of a unit for Credit Transfer purposes will be determined by using to determine if the unit is treated as equivalent to the current unit.

Other RPL Procedures

  • Recognition of University Studies

    a) RPL for University Studies is not a Credit Transfer. This is because the University sector sets its own “curriculum” i.e. subject content. Each University determines its own curriculum. There is therefore no national standard to look up to identify what content was covered and to what depth. There is also no one-to-one relationship with specific units of competency.

    b) The College is unable to process RPL solely on the basis of past University studies. This is because the only information about what was intended to be covered in the subject is from the University’s “Calendar” for the year that subject was undertaken. Even if this is able to be obtained, it mostly only includes a generic descriptor of the subject.

    c) Standard RPL Fees apply

  • State Funded Courses Do Not Allow RPL

    a) Many state funded programs either do not fund RPL or have limits on the amount of RPL in a qualification and will not allow a qualification to be fully assessed by RPL.

    b) In these cases RPL can be delivered as a Fee for Service activity with the student directly invoiced.

  • Invoice Issued for Non-Refundable RPL Fees

    a) An RPL application will be quickly reviewed to determine if there is likely to be sufficient evidence. If there is insufficient evidence the student will be asked to reconsider RPL or revise the evidence they submit prior to formal RPL assessment.

    b) RPL Fees will be invoiced and are payable prior to the RPL assessment being undertaken.

    c) RPL Fees are not refundable regardless of outcome.

  • Re-assessments of RPL Evidence

    a) RPL applications will be re-assessed up to 3 times before an additional fee is payable.

    b) The College may refuse to re-assess an RPL application after 3 assessments where in its judgement the RPL is unlikely to be achieved.

  • RPL Evidence Requirements

    RPL assessment must meet the assessment evidence requirements of: 

    Validity The assessor is assured that the learner has all of the skills, knowledge and attributes as described in the unit of competency and associated assessment requirements. In some cases gap learning may be identified for minor areas where evidence is not available.

    Sufficiency The assessor is assured that the quality, quantity and relevance of the assessment evidence enables a judgement to be made of a learner’s competency. The College will require evidence from a range of sources and will not regard resumes, job descriptions or third party references as sufficient evidence in isolation of other sources of evidence.

    Authenticity The assessor is assured that the evidence presented for assessment is the learner’s own work. By lodging RPL evidence the applicant authorises the College to make unrestricted verification to test authenticity.

    Currency The assessor is assured that the assessment evidence demonstrates current competency. This requires the assessment evidence to be from the present or the very recent past. The College applies a standard 4 year period, but this may vary (either way) based on the unit under consideration and the extent to which industry practice in that field has changed.