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Recognition of Informal Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the assessment of skills or knowledge required for advanced standing where there are no current or formal qualifications as proof.

We understand that some important adult learning takes place outside of educational institutions, which is why we offer RPL. To receive advanced standing based on RPL you will need to provide evidence that you can meet the learning outcomes and skills for a particular subject.

Providing evidence for RPL

The evidence used for your RPL 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 all requirements of the subject
  • Sufficient: You need to have sufficient evidence to demonstrate your ability to meet the learning outcomes
  • Current: Your evidence must be recent, this means no more than eight years old
  • 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, a number of client testimonials gathered over six months of a work period is 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

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
  • Procedures
  • Monthly, annual or financial reports
  • Business plans
  • Appraisals or team reviews that you have completed
  • Videos of your work
  • Photographic evidence of your work

Indirect evidence

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 which 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.

Personal statement

A personal statement should be included with every application, but will only be considered as supporting evidence, not as primary evidence. A personal statement plays two very important roles in helping you prove 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 required to do your job. The personal statement is a concise description of your work activities and the functions you carry out, and should be related to the learning outcomes of the subject that is the focus of the application. It reflects the actions you take, your knowledge and understanding.

Your personal statement should include:

  • A brief description of the context (situations and circumstances) in which you carried out the work
  • 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

In addition to providing evidence, the RPL assessor may contact you and arrange for you to undertake a challenge test to assess your knowledge and skills.

Applying for RPL

The process for applying for RPL is outlined in the Recognition of Prior Learning Procedure. The student must supply appropriate information as outlined in the Recognition of Prior Learning Application Kit.

Application for RPL must be made at least 20 days prior to census date of the relevant subject to permit processing, decision making and communication of the result. In general students are advised to make an advanced standing application immediately after enrolling.

Email your completed application kit to educational.pathways@endeavour.edu.au.

Appealing a decision

If the applicant thinks the RPL process was not handled in accordance with College policy or the above-mentioned guidelines, they may appeal the outcome through the College grievance process (refer to Grievance Policy).


This page was last updated on Wednesday 28 September 2016.