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Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is an assessment process to evaluate a person’s skills, knowledge and experience gained through work skills and exposure to your industry, paid or unpaid experience and other community experience to meet industry standards. RPL can provide credit towards a nationally recognised Australian qualification and can often shorten the time required to complete a qualification and may not require any additional study.

How can RPL benefit me?

RPL can provide you with the opportunity to gain a full or partial qualification without having to study subjects you already have skills in. This means you can save time and money by completing a qualification in a shorter period of time.

RPL can also help you with:

  • improving your job security
  • re-entering the workforce
  • job promotion
  • changing your career
  • reducing your study load
  • improving your career development
  • entry to further education

Who is likely to gain RPL?

Recognition of prior learning is usually successful if the student is currently working in an organisation within the relevant industry or has worked in one within the last five years. The criteria for success can include the following:

  • Currently working in Industry.
  • Has worked in Industry for at least two years
  • Has worked in Industry within the last three years
  • Has worked directly with clients
  • Has work experience that can be utilised for generic or transferable skills
  • Has knowledge of the sector and/or networks
  • Has knowledge and insight into the current issues faced by the sector and its clients
  • Has an understanding of both the large and small issues relevant to their area of work
  • Is responsible for supervision of other staff (where applicable or higher level of Skills Recognition is sought)
  • Is responsible for supervising/co-coordinating services and programs (where applicable or higher level of Skills Recognition is sought)
  • Has a university qualification (where competence requirements match)
  • Has TAFE and/or other qualifications relevant to area
  • Has current certificates or certifications relevant to the industry
  • Has attended in-house or short courses and workshops.
  • Has other relevant training that can be utilised for generic or transferable skills
  • Has workplace/industry support necessary to complete this Skills Recognition process

What is the RPL process?

Our RPL process considers relevant skills, knowledge and experience you have regardless of the way you got them. The assessor will work with you to identify what evidence you have and whether it meets the required industry standard.

It's a good idea to self-assess first whether your experience is at industry standard. Visit in a new tab) to download the individual unit of competency documents for each qualification. If you are already enrolled in study with us, discuss RPL with your lecturer who will assist you by providing you with access to the relevant documents and explaining the procedure for recognition.

Fees apply for RPL.

Contact South Metropolitan TAFE's Jobs and Skills Centres on 13 64 64 or email to discuss your RPL enquiry. You'll then be required to complete a pre-assessment checklist (142 KB) (PDF document - opens in a new tab) and provide supporting documentation which will be reviewed by an RPL Assessor.

An RPL assessor will contact you to arrange a pre-RPL interview to discuss your skills and experience and RPL eligibility. There is a $100 non-refundable fee payable at the time of the interview and you'll be required to provide your unique student identifier (USI) at this time. To get a USI, visit:

If after your pre-assessment interview, your assessor agrees that you're a suitable candidate to proceed with RPL, then the RPL assessor will complete an RPL enrolment form listing the units you are seeking RPL for.  Your enrolment form will be processed by our RPL Enrolments Team and you'll be required to pay all fees in full. You will then have six months to complete your RPL and if you don't complete it within this timeframe, you'll be required to re-enrol.

Once your RPL enrolment is processed, you'll be required to gather evidence which demonstrates your competence in each unit. This may involve observing you in the workplace or in a similar environment, contacting referees or employers to support your claims. 

When you have provided all evidence for assessment, the RPL assessor will advise you if your skills and experience have been recognised towards a full or partial qualification. The RPL assessor will advise you if you're required to do additional gap training to complete the qualification or units you are enrolled in.


Credit for past study

Credit transfer recognises formal education already undertaken as credit in your study plan. If you have certified copies of the unit(s) of competency, we will work with you to credit those units off the study plan for a course. 

If your past study includes superseded units that are equivalent or you can demonstrate currency with the training package, talk to us so we can identify credit opportunities in your study plan.

Credit transfer happens during your enrolment and is at no charge. To find out if you can use past study as credit, contact us for a discussion with our Customer Service team. 

Begin your Recognition of Prior Learning journey

For recognition of prior learning advice and help with the next step in your career talk to a Jobs and Skills Centre.

Learn how you can:

  • leverage skills already developed in other study or work you've achieved
  • plan your study pathway
  • apply for Recognition of Prior Learning

For more information please contact your nearest Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64 or email