We understand that some key adult learning takes place outside of educational institutions, which is why we offer Informal Learning assessments.
Informal Learning applications assess skills or knowledge required for Recognition of Prior Learning where there are no formal or informal qualifications as evidence.
To receive RPL based on informal learning, you will need to provide evidence that you can meet the learning outcomes for a particular subject or the required knowledge and skills of a particular unit of study.
Informal Learning includes professional or paraprofessional experience which is not part of a course or qualification. Furthermore, it may include:
- Workplace or other professional or paraprofessional experience
- Life experience
- Learning which occurs outside of a structured course of study.
The evidence used for your assessment must comply with the rules of evidence from the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). This means that your evidence must be:
- Valid: It must cover the necessary requirements of the subject/s or unit/s
- Sufficient: You need to have sufficient evidence to demonstrate your ability to meet the learning outcomes, or the required knowledge and skills
- Current: Your evidence must be current; this means no more than ten years since you were actively using the learning for a higher education qualification, and no more than three years since you were actively using the learning for a vocational education and training (VET) award
- Authentic: You may be asked to verify that the evidence you present is your own work.
- Relevant: Your evidence must be applicable to the qualification
Your assessor may also apply the following principles:
- The evidence should be consistent – being representative of a period of time rather than one specific instance. For example, several client testimonials gathered over six months of a work period are better evidence than one single testimonial.
- The reliability of the evidence – has it come from a reliable and verifiable source? This is particularly relevant with testimonials and references from colleagues, clients, and employers.
- The range of your evidence – does it come from different contexts, locations, and times?
There are four types of evidence that you can provide:
- Direct evidence
- Indirect evidence
- Personal statements
- Supplementary evidence
Direct evidence is anything that you have either produced yourself or for which you have been primarily responsible. It must reflect your own work and could include:
- Record keeping systems
- Operation schedules
- Spreadsheets developed
- Correspondence (letters, memos, fax messages and emails) you have written
- Diary notes you have made
- Completed job cards for work that you have done during your normal work activities
- Job specifications developed by you
- Monthly, annual, or financial reports
- Business plans
- Appraisals or team reviews that you have completed
- Videos of your work
- Photographic evidence of your work
This is information gathered from others about you, and could include:
- Workplace supervisor reports/references
- Magazine or newspaper articles about you
- Prizes, certificates, or other forms of commendation
- Minutes of meetings which contain information on your participation and performance in specific activities
- Letters of appreciation from clients or work colleagues
- References from previous employers
- Video recordings/photographs of activities you have undertaken that can be verified by a third party.
- Witness testimony or third-party reports – this could include statements from other people to support your claim for RPL. You might include managers, supervisors, previous employers, customers, and colleagues. These are not references, the information contained in this type of statement must be relevant to the learning outcomes.
A personal statement must be included with every application based on informal learning, but will only be considered as supporting evidence (not as primary evidence).
A personal statement plays two very important roles in helping evidence included with your application.
- It gives you the opportunity to explain the evidence that is specific to your own work situation or industry so that the assessor can understand it and match it against the criteria for the course.
- It helps you highlight the knowledge and understanding that you have acquired.
The personal statement is a concise description of your activities and the functions carried out, and should be related to the specific requirements of the subject/unit being applied for. It reflects the actions you have taken, your knowledge and your understanding.
Your personal statement should include:
- A brief description of the context (situations and circumstances) in which you have applied your learning
- Details of the activities you undertook
- An explanation of the planning processes used
- An explanation as to why you made certain decisions, and the factors which influenced the outcome; for example, was it necessary to follow company policy or any specific legislation? What underlying principles were applied? Relate any applicable theories to your evidence
- The decisions regarding follow-up of the outcomes of your activities
- Other similar situations you handled
Supplementary evidence may include any other documentation or statements you would like to provide that authenticates your claim for RPL and provides supplementary details to your direct and indirect evidence (or your personal statement).
Some additional limits apply to credits based on Informal learning:
- Credit into a higher education course has a maximum limit of 25% of the course
- Credit cannot be awarded for clinical placements in higher education courses based on Informal learning