Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) means an assessment process that assesses the competency/s of an individual that may have been acquired through formal, non-formal and informal learning to determine the extent to which that individual meets the requirements specified in the training package or VET accredited courses.

  • Formal learning refers to learning that takes place through a structured program of instruction and is linked to the attainment of an AQF qualification or statement of attainment (for example, a certificate, diploma or university degree);
  • Non-formal learning refers to learning that takes place through a structured program of instruction, but does not lead to the attainment of an AQF qualification or statement of attainment (for example, in-house professional development programs conducted by a business); and
  • Informal learning refers to learning that results through experience of work-related, social, family, hobby or leisure activities (for example the acquisition of interpersonal skills developed through several years as a sales representative).

RPL assesses this prior learning against the requirements of a qualification, in respect of both entry requirements and outcomes to be achieved. RPL encourages an individual to continue upgrading their skills and knowledge through structured education and training towards formal qualifications and improved employment outcomes. RPL keeps the system of qualifications open to recognition of the value of learning achieved outside the formal system, as part of everyday living in a continuum of learning throughout one's life.

Pearsons School of Floristry (aka PSF) is committed to and has implemented an effective skills recognition process in line with the requirements of the NSW Recognition Framework:                                                                                                  

In order to recognise prior learning it is necessary to:

  • Compare the informal or non-formal learning the individual has achieved against the learning outcomes or performance criteria of the course or qualification for which the student is using as a basis for seeking entry or the award of credit; and
  • Determine appropriate evidence to support the claim of prior learning.

The methods used to assess RPL applications may take several (not mutually exclusive) forms, for example:

  • Participation in exactly the same or modified versions of the assessment the student would be required to complete as part of the full course;
  • Assessment based on a portfolio of evidence;
  • Direct observation of demonstration of skill or competence;
  • Reflective papers, journals or portfolios that relate past learning to the learning or competency outcomes of the current course or qualification;
  • Provision of examples of the student’s work drawn from the workplace, social, community or other setting in which the student applies their learning, skill or competence;
  • Testimonials of learning, skill or competence; and
  • Combinations of any of the above.

PSF ensures that trainers and assessors remain current in their professional development and in their knowledge and understanding of issues related to recognition.

RPL Procedure

As a component of the student recruitment and enrolment process, PSF implements a robust RPL process to ensure that:

  • The uptake of RPL is encouraged and RPL processes are reviewed to streamline the RPL application process;
  • Where possible, the student is able to complete the qualification in less time;
  • RPL information is provided to students prior to enrolment and prior to commencement of formal training delivery in a course program;
  • RPL processes offered provide adequate information, support and opportunities for students to engage in the RPL process;
  • Where ever possible, RPL decisions are made prior to the commencement of the course, subject or unit for which the RPL is being claimed; and
  • RPL assessment processes and procedures meet the same delivery and quality assurance requirements as all other assessment
  • The RPL Process adopted by PSF is illustrated In the RPL Process Flowchart.

RPL Requirements

To achieve RPL, students must:

  • Apply for RPL;
  • Provide appropriate RPL evidence (including documents, demonstrations and interviews as may be relevant)
  • Have this evidence assessed as meeting all of the requirements of the entire Unit of Competency.

Where students have gaps, or require additional mentoring and support, RPL is not applicable. In these cases learning is occurring, and a ‘Competent’ result is achieved on completion of assessment.

RPL Applications

It is mandatory that students wishing to achieve RPL with PSF complete a n Form and provide this form with their evidence submission for assessment. This application form ensures:

  • The Application for RPL is recorded effectively;
  • The start date for each Unit of Competency is correctly identified
  • The appropriate declarations of authenticity of prior work are recorded.

Start Dates

The official start date for a Unit of Competency through RPL is determined as the date that the student submitted their evidence portfolio for assessment. This is the start date that all PSF personnel are to record on the student’s training and assessment plan (actual start date section for each unit).

This date is critical for compliance in cases where financial subsidies are being received for the student’s course.

End Dates

The RPL result date is the final date that the student provided all evidence required and was deemed to have achieved the unit RPL-Granted’ result.

Financial / Regulatory Implications

All PSF personnel must ensure they are aware of RPL implications with regard to financial / regulatory impacts in their region and projects. RPL in some jurisdictions is:

  • Fully subsidised
  • Partially subsidised
  • Not subsidised

Depending on the region, when students are applying for RPL, it is critical that PSF personnel understand any financial implications that may apply and discuss correct fees and charges with the student concerned.

Student Information

Students can find out more about Recognition of Prior Learning in the Candidate Guide to Skills Recognition:

Credit Transfer

Students who have completed units of competency in the qualification at other institutions will be given Credit Transfer for these units on presentation of a verified Statement of attainment and transcript.

Implications on fees

Where you are granted RPL or Credit Transfer for one or more units of competency, the qualification price is adjusted and a new student fee is determined.

For further information about RPL, Credit Transfer and your student fee please refer to our Fees, Charges and Refunds Policy and if you have any questions then call or email us.

The RPL Process Flowchart