Recognition of Prior Learning

RPL relates to an individual’s skills and knowledge, irrespective of how it has been acquired, this includes competencies gained through work experience, employment, formal and informal training (not accredited) and other life experiences.

There are two ways you may apply for an exemption from a subject:

1. Credit Transfer

Credit Transfer relates to formal qualifications or units of competencies that have been gained from the previous study at a recognised training organisation (RTO) or TAFE that are the same as the units delivered at ACES (see below). As part of this application, you need to supply a Certificate/Diploma of the qualification AND a ‘Statement of Attainment’ which has been certified by the appropriate authority. Fees do not apply for this application. Building biology students who have completed the ‘BSBSMB404 Undertake Small Business Planning’ OR ‘BSBESB401 Research and Develop Business Plans’ from a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) or TAFE will be granted a Credit Transfer for this unit.

Download: Credit Transfer Form

2. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognition of Prior Learning is the acknowledgment of skills and knowledge obtained through:

  • Formal training (conducted by industry or education)
  • Work experience (including informal training)
  • Life experience

RPL offers a number of potential advantages, in particular:

  • The completion of formal education studies in a shorter period of time
  • The elimination or reduction of duplication in learning already acquired
  • An efficient response to industry skill shortages
  • Increasing career and education options through mobility of training and credentials
  • Stronger links between industry and education
  • A cost reduction in education/training provision for industry, education and the individual

RPL enables student’s skills and knowledge that they have obtained through training, work experience and/or life experience to be formally recognized and validated within the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). RPL focuses on the outcomes and assessment requirements rather than the location, length and the process of learning previously undertaken. Receiving a qualification via RPL is not a ‘soft’ option as you will be expected to demonstrate the same level of competence as any candidate undertaking the course work for the qualification.

The Process

We encourage clients to contact ACES to discuss their intention to apply for RPL and/or assist in completing this application. The RPL process requires the applicant to demonstrate currency of skills and knowledge and to ‘map’ their skills and knowledge to the requirements of the national unit of competency (UOC) ie subject. Applying and receiving RPL through ACES is a simple, cost-effective process that involves four phases – Application, Collecting the Evidence, the Assessment and the Review.

Phase 1: Application

Complete and submit the ‘RPL Application Form’ available HERE and pay the RPL fee of $350 HERE (1300 889 845). The application will not be processed until the RPL fee has been paid. A separate application and RPL Fee must be completed for each UOC (subject) you wish to apply for. NOTE: the fee is not refundable regardless of the outcome.

Phase 2: Collecting the Evidence

Each subject within the Building Biology and Feng Shui course relates to a Unit of Competency (UOC). The UOC can be downloaded under the relevant COURSE on the ACES website. The ‘RPL Application Form’ will require you to complete an Assessment Matrix for each UOC for which you are seeking recognition. This involves providing the evidence of your experience and/or formal training and mapping it to the performance criteria, the performance evidence, knowledge evidence and the assessment conditions stipulated in the UOC. This is the evidence required to demonstrate competence. For an application to be successful, you must meet the requirements of the whole UOC. An example of an Assessment Matrix can be downloaded HERE.

What type of evidence do I need to provide?

Evidence may include, but is not limited to:

  • Certified transcripts of formal qualifications with details of the subjects completed, description of course outcomes and assessment requirements, and the name of the institution
  • Support letters from professionals confirming they have observed you demonstrating the skills and knowledge (preferably on more than one occasion and in different contexts)
  • Published works, client reports, media clippings
  • Business plan, profit and loss statement, balance sheet, market research conducted
  • Letters from employers (past, present) confirming skills undertaken in the job
  • Videos of performances or practical demonstrations by the applicant
  • Projects/portfolios
  • Questioning, interviewing, oral presentations

How should I present the evidence?

It is crucial that your evidence is presented in a clear and concise way, and that the authenticity can be established (contact details of employers, clients…). All copies of official documents should be certified by the appropriate authority (do not provide originals, as they will not be returned), and each item presented as evidence must be clearly marked.

The evidence provided should comply with the Rules of Evidence.

Validity The assessor is assured that the applicant has the skills, knowledge and attributes as described in the module or unit of competency and associated assessment requirements.
Sufficiency The assessor is assured that the quality, quantity and relevance of the evidence enables a judgement to be made of an applicant’s competency.
Authenticity The assessor is assured that the evidence presented for assessment is the applicant’s own work.
Currency The assessor is assured that the evidence demonstrates current competency ie present or the very recent past(preferably in the past 5 years).

What if I can’t prove some areas in the Assessment Matrix?

The ‘Assessment Matrix’ section of the ‘RPL Application Form’ outlines all the components of the unit of competency to enable you to determine how well your skills and knowledge satisfy the unit’s requirements. There will be some areas you simply don’t have evidence for, just leave them blank. The assessor will be using a ‘holistic’ assessment approach and may be able to identify linkages between your evidence and the requirements that you have not noticed.

What do I do once I’ve collected all the evidence?

Once you’ve completed the ‘RPL Application Form’, and paid the RPL fee, email your completed application with the relevant evidence to with the title “RPL Application’. All documentation is filed as evidence of competence and held at ACES. You should retain a copy of your RPL application and supporting evidence, for your own records.

Phase 3: The Assessment

On receipt of your documentation and RPL Fee, ACES will check your application for completeness and begin the process of assessment. Your application and evidence will be assessed by one or more qualified assessors with specialist industry skills in feng shui and/or building biology. Where an application is deemed to be incomplete, ACES will contact you to discuss what additional information is required before assessment can commence. The process of assessment can take four weeks from receipt of a completed application.

Phase 4: The Review

Where there have been difficulties in deciding whether to grant RPL, the applicant will receive an ‘RPL Assessment Report’ from ACES indicating where competencies still need to be completed and suggesting what forms of evidence are required to gain these competencies. There are opportunities for alternative assessment procedures such as phone interviews, panel interviews or industry specialists.

What if I would like to make a complaint or appeal the assessment decision?

Any grievances in relation to the RPL process will be dealt with in accordance with the college RTO Complaints & Appeals Policy. Any applicant wishing to lodge a grievance or an appeal should refer to the college ‘Complaints & Appeals Policy’ available HERE.

Download: RPL Application Form

Any Questions?

If you have any questions regarding any aspect of our training or courses please call us (1300 889 845) and we will be happy to help you with your query!