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Recognition of prior learning

The scope of an RPL is to take as reference an official Australian qualification from the AFQ and to compare it with the professional profile of the RPL applicant. The bodies entitled to issue a qualification through RPL are called Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and we collaborate with most of those all over Australia.

These institutes have the authority to recognize to applicants skills that have been accumulated during previous studies (in countries different from Australia), during internships, apprenticeships, volunteering, and previous work experience.


Click on the link to download our free RPL guide, inside the full list of titles you can get through RPL.


What is the RPL?

Despite most people decide to attend a formative pathway in Australia, a great idea is to assess whether you have already recognizable skills. It is indeed possible, in some instances, to reduce the necessary time to be awarded a formal Australian qualification. We refer to such process as ‘ Recognition of Prior Learning ‘ and we usually abbreviate it with the acronym RPL. Let’s have a look into it!

A quick example: having worked as a motor mechanic for several years without having ever completed any formal qualification might be a problem when trying to apply for permanent visas requiring a Skill Assessment as a condition to apply. The applicant can then choose to attend a Certificate IV in Mechanical Diagnosis in Australia or, alternatively, to request an RTO to recognize his skills as a motor mechanic and translate them into the very same certificate.


Required Documentation

Clearly, in order to obtain a positive outcome, it is necessary to provide accurate and complete information, including but not necessarily limited to:

  • ID
  • Resume
  • Payslips/work contract/ABN if self-employed
  • Letter of Employment
  • Current employment contracts
  • Letters of reference from licensed tradesmen you have worked with.
  • Videos or photos of your work.
  • Evidence of overseas qualifications.
  • Transcripts or assessments frome related previous qualifications.
  • Apprenticeship papers.
  • Safe Work Method Statements
  • Job Safety Analysis
  • Quotes/Invoice and stock orders
  • Job Cards
  • Maintenance Reports/Service sheets
  • Testing and diagnostic sheets


RPL e Skills Assessment

It is not uncommon for the RTO to request an interview with the applicant.

It’s very important not to make confusion between an RPL with a Skills Assessment. A Skills Assessment is an official recognition of a specific profession in Australia that works as a ‘warranty’ for the Australian government. A Skills Assessment almost always requires an Australian qualification (or one gained overseas but judged as equivalent) to produce a positive outcome. It is very important to understand when an RPL is necessary and when it makes sense to apply directly for a Skills Assessment. Simply put, an RPL is needed to obtain an Australian qualification without having to attend a course, provided that the applicant has acquired adequate skills in the past. A Skills Assessment is a more complex process where the authority conducts a careful analysis of both educational and professional experiences based on the industry standards.

Atlas has ongoing partnerships with most RTOs so do not hesitate to ask us for more information or assistance not just with the RPL process but to evaluate your overall situation. Especially if in doubt between the need of applying for an RPL or Skills Assessment we can help you to make more clarity of what’s the best course of action!

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