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Recognition of prior learning

In the resources sector, the search is on for workers to fill thousands of projected job vacancies. With the industry facing a shortage of skilled labour, and billions of dollars’ worth of new projects scheduled to start in the next few years, job seekers with experience in other areas are encouraged to look for alternative pathways into the industry.

If you’re interested in the resources sector as a career, but you have little or no relevant industry experience, recognition of prior learning may help you get on site faster.

What is recognition of prior learning?

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is an assessment where the knowledge and experience you already possess is compared against what you need to know to receive a formal qualification. An RPL provides a faster, more efficient way for people interested in working in the resources sector to get the accreditation they need.

Prior learning doesn’t necessarily have to be job related. It can include the skills you gain from:

  • Life experience including hobbies and general interests.
  • Previous work experience.
  • Formal education including school, university, adult education and workplace training programs.
  • Internships or volunteer work.

What are the benefits of RPL?

For people wanting to get work in the resources sector, there are many benefits of RPL including:

  • Reducing the amount of time you have to spend studying towards a formal qualification.
  • Reducing the need to repeat material you may already know.

What type of information do I need to provide to receive recognition of prior learning?

Every course and qualification is different but you may need to:

  • Answer questions related to your work experience in an interview setting.
  • Provide supporting documentation such as prior qualifications, transcripts from courses you’ve completed, letters from employers, and previous job descriptions.
  • Perform a skills test and demonstrate your abilities and knowledge to an assessor.

Using RPL to get you on site quicker

If you’re planning to study at a state training provider or registered training organisation (RTO), you can request a recognition of prior learning assessment be carried out. If your RPL standing is granted you will receive credit towards your course.

Be aware that, in most cases, an RPL assessment does incur a fee, so be mindful of this when making your application.

Recognition of prior learning provides an alternative route for experienced workers to get a head start in the resources sector. If you have a solid job history and a willingness to learn, this may be the path for you.

Visit our Training Resources section for more information.

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