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Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) 

ACCCO provides individualised and innovative training and assessment which incorporates the potential for advanced standing upon evidence of a students’ relevant prior learning, where applicable.

What is RPL?

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) is a process where you can use your existing knowledge, skills and experiences gained through life experiences and/or other employment to demonstrate your competency in particular unit/s. When you apply for RPL, you are essentially saying 'I already know all about this unit so I don't need training'. RPL is an assessment process only and no training is provided.

The purpose of this procedure is to ensure each student’s evidence of prior learning is systematically assessed for recognition purposes in alignment with the rules of evidence as determined by the Vocational Education Training (VET) industry regulatory body, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).

Please click on the link to read more about our > RPL Procedure <

How are my skills assessed?

Please note, RPL is not necessarily a quick process. A student is required to collate and coordinate evidence to show they have sufficient, valid and current knowledge and skills equivalent to the qualification they are enrolled in. Your skills will be assessed against industry standards. This is done by an ACCCO Trainer 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.

RPL is about the student proving that the knowledge, skills and experience they have matches a unit or qualification.The student drives the RPL process by collating evidence to demonstrate their current knowledge, current skills and current experience that are relevant to the qualification they are seeking. 

Once the evidence has been collated by the student and submitted, an ACCCO Trainer Assessor will consider the evidence of skills and knowledge the student has provided, matching this evidence against the relevant qualification.

During the RPL process, the student will be asked to:

  • Provide details about how current and previous employment, previous training and other learning relates to the unit requirements
  • Complete a self evaluation of the knowledge and skills they posses against the unit criteria, and provide evidence of the completion of those competencies
  • Engage in competency conversation to discuss their knowledge and skill with the Trainer
  • Complete workplace tasks
  • Provide validation from a supervisor about typical workplace performance.

DIY Recognition of Prior Learning

The Queensland Government has a quick self-evaluation tool that highlights what you could achieve with your past work and study experiences. It should only take you 10 -15 minutes. 

You can access the online tool by clicking the button below;

Click Here Click Here


If your qualification is funded by the Australian Government under state training initiatives, there will be no additional cost for the RPL process. If you are a self funded student and enrolled as a Fee-For-Service student, the cost for RPL is $160 per unit. All fees are outlined through the Fees and Funding page on our website. 

How do I apply for RPL?

In order to make an initial assessment for RPL, can you please send and email to and provide the following documents:

  • Current resume outlining your work history, skills and knowledge
  • Job description
  • Transcripts of qualifications completed
  • Any professional development, training you have attended

Please keep in mind that this will be an initial assessment only. The actual number of units for RPL may increase or decrease throughout the RPL process. This will depend on your prior skills and knowledge.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I RPL?

Each person has different knowledge and skills. Therefore, if you think you can RPL you should...

1. Consult the qualification outline, and make a list of the unit codes you believe you may be able to RPL
2. Go to the search function on to enter the unit code under 'search for nationally recognised training components'
3. Read the list of knowledge and skills needed to hold competency in that unit. If you believe you already have all the knowledge and skills, then talk to your ACCCO Trainer about RPL. If you only have some knowledge and skills, you should complete a unit of competency as additional training will be needed.

How do I complete a unit through RPL?

Initially, the ACCCO trainer will identify units you could complete as RPL though discussing your current skills and abilities. Where RPL is indicated, you will be issued an RPL Assessment for the unit. This will supports you to demonstrate your skills and knowledge against unit criteria though a formal assessment process. Each RPL assessment process is different as it is customised to your work experience, history and evidence of knowledge and skills.

What are the work requirements for RPL?

You need to be currently employed in a position that allows you to demonstrate the skills required for the unit and/or qualification. For example, if you are applying for RPL of the programming units at Diploma level, you will need to hold a position where you responsible for planning and implementing the curriculum. This enables our Assessors to see you fulfilling the requirements of the unit to assess your competency. You will also need a supervisor in that workplace willing to sign you off on the competencies required.

I've heard RPL is a quicker way to finish my course. Is that true?

Please note, RPL is not necessarily a quick process unless you already have the skills and knowledge and evidence needed to complete the unit. If you don't already have these skills and knowledge and evidence, you may find it will take you longer to complete the unit through RPL as you will need to research and investigate the information you need. However if you completed the unit, all the information will be provided to you and a Trainer will support you with the learning.

I've heard RPL is an easier way to finish my course. Is that true?

Yes, but once again it is only easier if you already have the skills and knowledge required. You will need to answer questions, provide evidence of your knowledge and demonstrate your skills in your workplace.

What happens if I decide to do an RPL but then discover that I don't have the knowledge and skills needed?

All you need to do is telephone ACCCO and transfer from an RPL to a unit, and pay the difference between the RPL and unit. If you submit an RPL and your Assessor makes it as Not Yet Competent due to not having sufficient skills and/or knowledge, your Assessor will request you transfer to the Unit too. This will allow you to gain the knowledge and skills required.

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