Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and Procedures

Reviewed Jun 2020, Dec 2020, Jun 2021, Updated Dec 2021, Updated Jun 2022, Reviewed Jul 2023, Dec 2023

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" on this website.

    b) In the Induction/Welcome first contact calls to students via Service One, staff will confirm that the student is aware of RPL and ascertain if they will be applying.

    c) The Initial Skills Assessment and enrolment data will show if the student has undertaken prior formal studies and also provides information how to access the USI portal to allow ACCM College access to their records (or how to provide a transcript).

    d) An automated email is sent to all learners post-induction from the CEO to encourage them to apply for RPL if appropriate.

  • 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. If the time taken to process the RPL is less that the time we have factored into our pricing below you will be given a proportionate refund (however please do not anticipate any refund as RPL assessment is time intensive).

    Course Level

    RPL Fees

    Certificate III

    $500 minimum or $200 per unit whichever is the greater

    Certificate IV

    $1000 minimum or $300 per unit whichever is the greater


    $1400 minimum or $400 per unit whichever is the greater

    Credit Transfers are exempt from this fee.

     RPL Fees for Individual Subjects/Units of Competency are calculated on the same basis and the minimum fee applies as above.

  • 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 or CEO who holds 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 securely 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

    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 Verification of Credit Transfers

    a) The following is required as evidence of successful completion of a unit of competency:

    1.  A Statement of Attainment or Qualification with accompanying Record of Results or
    2. A USI Transcript plus the student grants the ability of ACCM College to login to the USI Registry and verify the transcript.

    b) The College must be authorised to verbally confirm authenticity with any documents with the issuing RTO and/or login to the USI Registry and verify the transcript. In some circumstances provided documents may be JP certified and/or originals sighted by ACCM staff.

    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 a now superseded 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 or updated USI transcript 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 closed RTOs after checking the USI Registry. 

  • Qualifications Will Not Be Issued Based On Credit Transfers

    a) ACCM 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 ACCM 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 ACCM College, at its discretion, agrees to issue a qualification the Minimum Qualification Testamur Issuing Fee applies in addition to subject fees as published on the Course Fees page.

  • Equivalence of Equivalent 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) University studies would be one part of a RPL process that included other evidence and Standard RPL Fees would apply.

  • State Funded Courses Do Not Allow RPL

    a) State funded programs may not fund RPL, may have limits on the amount of RPL in a qualification, or 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. Fees will not be charged at this stage (or where paid are subject to refund).

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

    c) RPL Fees are not refundable regardless of outcome of the formal RPL application.

  • 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 and/or assessment 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.