Recognition of
Prior Learning

Are you Skilled but not Qualified?

• Paid or unpaid work in Australia or overseas
• On-the-job training
• Other qualifications from Australia or overseas
• Community or voluntary work
• Hobbies, sport and leisure activities


Free Eligibility Check

Fill out the form below to take our free RPL eligibility test.

Steps to RPL at

Realistic Training Options


Qualification or Trade

Choose the Qualification or Trade that you have experience in.



Check your eligibility by completing our online self-assessment in 60 seconds.



Gather your supporting evidence that helps to prove your knowledge and skills.



If required, complete any assessments given to confirm your knowledge and skills, where sufficient evidence couldn’t be provided.

What is RPL?

There is more than one way of getting into the career of your choice despite not having the formal qualifications required. Your skills and knowledge that you have attained through informal learning such as life experience, work and training can all count towards Realistic Training Options RPL’s skills recognition assessment, or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL.)

These skills that you have developed may count towards a nationally recognised qualification or statement of attainment. Realistic Training Options RPL provides skills recognition Australia-wide and Overseas, and is able to shorten your length of time for additional studies. In some cases your skills can be recognised in a way that you will not have to do any further study.

carpentry rpl

Got More Questions About

Recognition of Prior Learning?

Visit our FAQ page or Enquire now for more
information about RPL.


How much evidence is needed?

Although there are cases of specific training packages/units of competency where required evidence is prescribed, generally there are no rules for quantity. Rather than focusing on the quantity of evidence, assessors need to ensure that assessment decisions are based on quality evidence that demonstrates the learner is competent against the criteria for the unit of competency.

Evaluation and recording of evidence?

If the assessment process has been valid, reliable, fair, and flexible and the evidence is sufficient then the professional decision on a candidate’s competency should be a straightforward appraisal of the evidence.

How much RPL can I get?

If you have the evidence to show that you can demonstrate the skills and knowledge needed, the minimum RPL is one unit of competence and the maximum is a full qualification.

Do training providers have to offer RPL services?

Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s) are required to demonstrate that RPL services have been offered to enrolling students and that the appropriate information and advice has been made available.

How long will the process take?

Your RPL assessor will try to complete the process as quickly as possible for you, but how soon they make a decision on your RPL application depends mainly on how well you have prepared your evidence and how well your evidence meets the requirements of the unit/s of competency. Your RPL assessment time frame is approximately 60 days after you have lodged your application with all your suitable evidence. Note: You will have 3 months in which to submit ALL relevant RPL evidence to our assessors.

What does the training package mean by 'quality evidence'?

For evidence to have ‘quality’ it must cover the scope listed below. The collection of quality evidence requires that:

  • Assessment must address the scope of this unit and reflect all components of the unit, that is, the Elements, the Performance Critera, Range Statement, Evidence Requirements and Key Competences
  • A range of appropriate assessment methods and evidence gathering techniques is used to determine competency
  • Evidence must be gathered in the workplace wherever possible. Where no workplace is available, a simulated workplace must be provided
  • The evidence collected must relate to a number of performances assessed at different points in time and in a learning and assessment pathway, these must be separated by further learning and practice
  • Assessment meets the rules of evidence
  • A judgement of competency should only be made when the assessor is confident that the required outcomes of the unit/s have been achieved and that consistent performance has been demonstrated.

What is a portfolio of evidence, and how do I collect evidence?

A portfolio is a collection of evidence that you have obtained during your learning, your career experience and your personal and professional development. You evidence can be collected from a range of sources including the following:

  • samples of your work that demonstrate your competence
  • employment history which can include voluntary and work experience
  • a validation letter that confirms the authenticity of your information
  • skills demonstration
  • life experience
  • industry representative from your place of employment.

It is advised that you are methodical with your collection. Ensure that your cross-reference evidence clearly so that your RPL assessor can see how it relates to the performance criteria.

Remember, the clearer and better organised your portfolio of evidence is, the easier your RPL assessor will find it to work with.

What do I do if I do not have enough evidence?

If you do not have enough evidence to apply for RPL, you should consider undertaking further training to broaden your range of knowledge and skills in the specific competency area.

Would it be easier just to study?

Good Question! In some cases, yes, it would be. Some people think that RPL is the ‘easy way out’ of study, but actually, it can take a lot of time and effort to put together a successful RPL application.

What is an Interview Question Bank?

The interview question bank is the second stage of the process, in which the Assessor and the candidate confirm the knowledge by discussing a series of questions. Each of these questions includes a series of Key Points which may assist the Assessor in guiding the discussions.

What is Practical Tasks and on site observation?

These are processes required to guide the Assessor and candidate through a workplace observation, proving the candidate’s ability to conduct the specific tasks and skills required for recognition of competency in the particular area.

What is Candidate’s Information and Self-Evaluation Forms?

These documents are for the candidate to assess their suitability for RPL process, by asking them to consider each of the points and assessing their ability against the task. It has been broken into smaller skill groups, clustering like activities together to enable ease of completion. It is then reinforced by the candidate’s supervisor’s comments, both against tasks and as a summary for each group. This serves as third party validation of the candidate’s claims.

What is a Third Party Report?

The third party verification report is provided by referees, for example the supervisor, to confirm the candidate’s skills and experience in the qualification or occupation. This is particularly useful in addressing Skill requirements.

Could you supply a list of suggested supporting documentation for my RPL?

A list of suggested industry specific evidence or supporting documentation (in addition to the generic documentation) is provided to assist the candidate in collecting evidence to support their application.

Here is a list of the type of evidence that will have to be collected:

  • any licences
  • brief CV or work history
  • certificates/results of assessment
  • Tickets held e.g. forklift, crane, etc.
  • photographs of work undertaken
  • diaries/task sheets/job sheets/log books
  • site training records
  • site competencies held record
  • membership of relevant professional associations
  • hobbies/interests/special skills outside work
  • references/letters from previous employers/supervisors
  • industry awards

Note any other documentation that may demonstrate industry experience.

Depending on the industry they have worked in, they may or may not have documentary evidence available. This should not deter them from seeking RPL as the Assessor will work with you during the RPL process to obtain the information required.

You will also need to supply contact details of two work referees who can confirm their skills in the industry.