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Recognition of Prior Learning

What is Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)?
Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is defined as follows:
Recognition of prior learning is an assessment process that involves assessment of an individuals relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning) to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit.
Credit is the value assigned for the recognition of equivalence in content and learning outcomes between different types of learning and/or qualifications. Credit reduces the amount of learning required to achieve a qualification and may be through credit transfer, articulation, recognition of prior learning or advanced standing.
RPL assessment methods used by the Australian Adult Learning Institute:
  • Inclusion of reasonable adjustment for the literacy levels, cultural background and experiences of students
  • Request for specific evidence required to demonstrate prior achievement of the learning outcomes and assessment requirements of the particular qualification components for which credit is sought
  • Provision of a range of ways for individuals to demonstrate that they have met the required outcomes and can be granted credit.
These might include:
  • Mapping of learning outcomes from prior formal or non-formal learning to the relevant qualification components
  • Questioning (oral or written)
  • Observation of performance in work based and/or simulated environments
  • Consideration of third party reports and/or other documentation such as articles, reports and project material
  • Papers, testimonials or other products prepared by the RPL applicant that relate to the learning outcomes of the relevant qualification component
  • Consideration of a portfolio and review of contents
  • Participation in structured assessment activities that individuals normally would be required to undertake if they were enrolled in the qualification components.
The assessment outcomes may enable you to meet the entry requirements and/or components of the qualification.
This may reduce the duration of time to complete your qualification.

Credit Transfer

You may also apply for a credit transfer.

Credit transfer occurs when you already hold a relevant unit/s of competency from another

Registered Training Organisation (RTO), and would like to use the unit/s of competency already

achieved towards the credit for a qualification.

Credit transfer can only occur when the unit/s are mapped across, and are equivalent to the current

unit/s for credit being sought.

You are required to provide certified documentation for this to occur.

If you believe that you are a suitable candidate for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or Credit

Transfer, please indicate this when completing your Enrolment Form within the field that refers to


Principles of Assessment


The individual learner’s needs are considered in the assessment process.

Where appropriate, reasonable adjustments are applied by the RTO to take into account the individual learner’s needs.

The RTO informs the learner about the assessment process, and provides the learner with the opportunity to challenge the result of the assessment and be reassessed if necessary.


Assessment is flexible to the individual learner by:

  • reflecting the learner’s needs;
  • assessing competencies held by the learner no matter how or where they have been acquired; and
  • drawing from a range of assessment methods and using those that are appropriate to the context, the unit of competency and associated assessment requirements, and the individual


Any assessment decision of the RTO is justified, based on the evidence of performance of the individual learner.

Validity requires:

  • assessment against the unit(s) of competency and the associated assessment requirements covers the broad range of skills and knowledge that are essential to competent performance;
  • assessment of knowledge and skills is integrated with their practical application;
  • assessment to be based on evidence that demonstrates that a learner could demonstrate these skills and knowledge in other similar situations; and 
  • judgement of competence is based on evidence of learner performance that is aligned to the unit/s of competency and associated assessment requirements


Evidence presented for assessment is consistently interpreted and assessment results are comparable irrespective of the assessor conducting the assessment.

Rules of Evidence


The assessor is assured that the learner has the skills, knowledge and attributes as described in the module or unit of competency and associated assessment requirements.


The assessor is assured that the quality, quantity and relevance of the assessment evidence enables a judgement to be made of a learner’s competency.


The assessor is assured that the evidence presented for assessment is the learner’s own work.


The assessor is assured that the assessment evidence demonstrates current competency. This requires the assessment evidence to be from the present or the very recent past.