Recognition of Prior Learning gives credit for competencies gained through previous learning, other training, work or life experience as part of skill assessment. It formally recognizes the skills and knowledge that a person already possesses against competencies in the National Training and Vocational Qualifications Framework (NTVQF). There are three pathways to assessment in the National Competency Assessment and Certification System (CACS) and RPL is involved in two of them:
- Training and assessment pathway (participating in an accredited training course delivered by a Registered Training Organization)
- Assessment-only pathway (RPL)
- Combination pathway (Training and assessment for some units of competencyand RPL for other units of competency)
The result of an RPL process can be credit for all the competencies in a qualification or just some of them. Credit given can allow for entry into a qualification and/or provide credit towards achieving the qualification, thereby possibly reducing the training time required for a learner to achieve a qualification. Assessment can only be conducted by Registered Assessors who have completed training on RPL, familiarisation with common types of evidence and assessment plans.For example, Amin is a skilled welder working in the informal sector that wants to get a job in the formal sector but needs a Level 2 National Certificate in Welding. He has no paperwork to prove his skills and has trouble reading. He comes into the BTEB, gets an application form and submits it with photos of him welding and a letter from his employer. He is asked to do a skill test and is given credit for all units except for two specific literacy units, which he completes through a night class. He is given his Level 2 Certificate.