Symbols representing recognition of prior learning in fire protection industry courses
Recognising your experience

Recognition of Prior Learning

For an employer, experience can be more valuable than a qualification. However, if you want to back up your experience with a qualification, you can. And thanks to Recognition of Prior Learning, or RPL as it’s called in the industry, your previous education, training, skills, experience, and working knowledge could shorten the time it takes you to complete a course and get you the career you want in the shortest possible timeframe.

What is RPL?

RPL is a process that pulls together any prior study you’ve done, any on-the-job training you’ve had, and the day-to-day experience you’ve built up either working or volunteering. Most Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), like Firefox Training, offer RPL, which is an assessment process to pull together evidence of:

  • any formal education you’ve completed
  • any qualification you’ve achieved previously
  • work experience related to the course or industry you’re interested in
  • any on-the-job training you’ve had that’s related to the course or industry you’re interested in.
Who can get it

Am I Eligible for RPL?

Under the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) which regulates education in Australia, all students are entitled to have their previous skills, experience and training recognised to enhance their progression into and between qualifications.

If you can provide evidence related to the dot points above, then it is possible, through the RPL assessment process, to gain credit for some, if not all the subjects in the course you’re interested in. The following types of documentation can be used in the assessment process:

  • Any formal qualifications you’ve already achieved e.g. a Certificate I, II or III, Traineeship, an Apprenticeship, or Internship
  • A written summary of your work history, and description of the tasks and responsibilities you undertook in each job or volunteering position you’ve had
  • Certificates of Attainment e.g. First Aid or CPR
  • Training Course Certificates for workshops you’ve completed with your current or previous employers
  • Any written performance appraisals you’ve received from employers or volunteer positions
  • Detailed references from employers or volunteer organisations
  • Any current licences you have e.g. Truck, Forklift, Welding
  • Any mandatory work requirement documents e.g. Police Check, Working with Children (Blue) Card
  • Any membership documents you have e.g. Trade Union, professional associations, and
  • Any other documentation you have that showcases your knowledge and experience.
How does it work

The RPL Process

If you are interested in applying for RPL to get recognition for what you’ve already achieved to date and credit for some or all subjects listed in the qualification you’re interested in, then an Assessor from Firefox Training will ask you to supply as much of the above documentation as you can (either online or via email). The Assessor will review all your documentation and then organise an interview with you to get as much information from you as possible to determine your eligibility for credit towards your qualification. The Australian Qualification Framework provides RTO assessors with a guide on how much credit individuals are entitled to dependent on their validated experience and documentation. Once the Assessor has reached a decision you will be notified of the subjects you have received credit for and what you need to do to complete your qualification.

There are fees associated with the RPL process, and these are usually listed against each course offered by Firefox Training.

Flame on dark background on a fire training rpl page

Frequently Asked Questions

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is a way to use your existing skills and knowledge to get a formal qualification. It involves getting your current experience and knowledge assessed and considering other qualifications you may already have. It means you don’t have to waste time learning things you already know how to do.

Yes. Anyone can apply for RPL. What you need to pay will depend on your circumstances.

RPL is generally faster than completing a qualification from scratch and provides you with the opportunity to get:

  • a promotion or more money
  • entry into a different career or job
  • entry to or credit in another course, and
  • satisfaction from having your skills formally recognised.

The qualification you get is the same that you would get if you completed a full training qualification but with the bonus that you won’t spend time going over things you already know, making it faster.

This will depend on how much RPL you are applying for. Your Firefox Training assessor will be able to advise you on the timeframe to complete your RPL process.

Your Firefox Training assessor is here to help you. Contact your assessor at any time if you are not sure what to do or if you need help.

Yes, you can demonstrate your skills and knowledge without having to present your qualifications.