Recognition of prior learning
If you're thinking about studying or training, think first about what skills you already have. You may be able to reduce the time it takes to get your qualification—you may not need to study at all.
Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is about the skills and knowledge you've gained through work and life experiences.
For example, working in an office could help you get a certificate in business administration. Working on a farm could count towards a qualification in agriculture or mechanics. Working as a volunteer with teenagers may get you a certificate in youth work. RPL applies for both paid and unpaid work.
Try an online self evaluation as a guide to which qualifications best suit your skills and experience before you start the formal RPL process.
How are my skills assessed?
Your skills will be assessed against industry standards. This is done by an RPL assessor. You may be asked to:
- perform tasks or jobs
- talk about and explain how you do those jobs
- provide samples of your work.
A visit to your workplace may be organised so you can demonstrate your abilities. You may have to provide job descriptions, references or performance appraisals.
The assessor will consider your skills and knowledge and match them against a suitable qualification.
Who should I contact?
You can also contact the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training on 1300 369 935 to discuss your RPL options.
Costs and financial help
There is a cost for RPL assessment. Costs may vary between RTOs. Contact more than one to discuss their process and fees. In some cases financial help may be available.
Previous study—credit transfers
A credit transfer recognises the study you've already done at school, college, TAFE or university. You may be able to have credit from a relevant earlier course transferred to your current studies.
You should check with your college, TAFE or training organisation before enrolling. You cannot get credit transfer for your whole course. You must have certified copies of your certificates, awards or qualifications. There is no fee for a credit transfer.
If you have skills in a trade area but don't have the certificate to prove it, you may qualify for trade recognition.
- live in Australia and have trade skills in an electrical or metal trade, you may qualify for the Trades Recognition Service (TRS)
- have trade skills in other areas, contact an RTO to apply for an RPL assessment.
Approved RTOs may also offer trade skills assessment and gap training.
Read about overseas skills recognition if your qualifications, training or skills were gained outside Australia.
Licensing and registration
Some occupations require people to be registered or licensed before they can work in Queensland.
Read more about licensing and registration for work in Queensland.