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What is RPL

What is RPL

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Your military and emergency services experience can be converted into national qualifications through the recognition of prior learning (RPL) process. RPL uses your service history, work experience and informal learnings to obtain a qualification based on your current skills and knowledge. You can receive a qualification in weeks, provided the correct criteria are met. The RPL process is made possible through the Australian Qualifications Framework, which acknowledges that skills and experience are equally valuable as formal training and education.


Training programs traditionally require students to complete a lengthy course of study to receive their certificate. A qualification through RPL replaces this process and allows those with considerable industry experience and knowledge to obtain their qualifications more quickly. As long as you provide relevant experience and evidence, you can expect to receive your qualification within a few weeks.

RPL is also much cheaper than traditional programs since you only pay for the assessment of your documentation rather than the entire course.


Anyone can apply for Recognition of Prior Learning. But to have the best chance of obtaining a qualification without study, you’ll want to look at qualifications that match your experience. The more experience you have in an area, the higher qualification you’ll be eligible for. For example, a business manager with 10 years of experience is more likely to receive a graduate diploma in leadership than someone who has been working as an office administrator for 3 years.

If you start our FREE RPL Assessment, we can list all the qualifications you’ll be eligible for based on your current skills and experience. We can also advise if any coursework is required to obtain higher qualifications.


We offer a FREE RPL assessment to determine whether you qualify for the qualifications:

  1. Complete and submit our FREE RPL assessment form along with as much evidence/documentation of your experience as possible
  2. Our team assesses your documentation to see if your experience meets the learning outcomes for our courses and unit of competency. 
  3. Select which qualifications you wish to receive based on the assessment outcome and supply the required fee.
  4. Your nationally recognised qualification is officially awarded! Electronic copies are sent to your email address, and hard copies are sent to your postal address.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are so many reasons to consider undertaking the process and applying for Recognition of Prior Learning. Not only can it significantly reduce your time spent studying a course but it can also allow you to become eligible for courses you may not have the previous formal qualifications needed to meet the criteria. As a general rule, if you’ve undertaken a formal course, the AQF has created a guide that Registered Training Organisations can use to decide how much of your RPL course credit can count towards a qualification

The sooner you apply, the better! While RPL is much quicker than traditional study, just how quick depends a lot on you. In order to gauge what qualifications you will be able to obtain, our assessors need an idea of your previous experience and skills. This requires evidence and the more you provide the easier and quicker the process is. Usually if you provide enough supporting documents or information, your RPL qualification can take around 4 weeks to complete. Luckily there are plenty of different ways you can supply evidence of your skills and knowledge, see our comprehensive list below!

We know that education should never be a barrier to obtaining any qualification and we work hard at 3CIR to ensure our students can access the funds they need. That’s why we offer three payment plan options: 

  • AfterPay
  • Payright
  • ZeeFi 

All offer manageable plans with easy-to understand instructions – you will find there is always an option for your budget!

Whether you’re studying online or obtaining your qualification through RPL, we provide a number of convenient options:

  • Direct Transfer
  • Credit
  • BPay
  • PayID
  • Paypal

To reduce the costs of tuition, many universities allow you to count your past education and work experiences towards a degree. If approved, learning credits can help you complete your degree quicker, saving you money along the way.  

Whether you’re looking to earn credit for your studies or find a career path, we can help!

If you have an Advanced Diploma, you can be eligible for:

50% credit awarded towards a three-year Bachelor Degree
37.5% credit awarded towards a four- year Bachelor Degree

If you have a Diploma, you can be eligible for:

33% credit awarded towards a three-year Bachelor Degree
24% credit awarded towards a three-year Bachelor Degree

Below is a list of documents you can provide as examples of your work history:

  • References from current or former employers
  • References from current or former supervisors/managers
  • Performance appraisals (PAR’s) current or former positions
  • Performance development reviews (PDR’s)
  • Current or former employment contracts
  • Current or former position descriptions
  • Any formal qualifications (Certificates, qualifications, diplomas, degrees)
  • Recent and up to date Resume / CV
  • Service history reports (Emergency services, Defence Force personnel)
  • Statutory declaration for evidence not able to be shown
  • Statutory declaration from a person who can attest to you having performed a certain role/task
  • Personal Identification documents (Driver’s license, passport, USI number)
  • Any licences
  • Tickets held, eg forklift, crane
  • Photographs of work undertaken
  • Diaries/task sheets/job sheets/logbooks
  • Site training records
  • Site competencies held record
  • Membership of relevant professional associations
  • Hobbies/interests/special skills outside work
  • Industry awards
  • Any other documentation that may demonstrate your trade or industry experience or support your claim.

Depending on where you have worked and what the work may have included, you may or may not have documentary evidence. Do not be put off if you do not have documentary evidence, we will work with you during the assessment process.

Since 2015, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) has been helping people gain nationally recognised qualifications for the knowledge and skills they’ve obtained outside the classroom. As we all know, a lot of learning happens in the real world and the RPL process is designed to formalise this experience through qualifications. It’s great for those who cannot afford to pursue full time study to verify the skills they already have!  

There is however strict criteria involved when receiving a qualification through RPL. This is to ensure the skills have match the same learning outcomes of those who have studied the course material. Your knowledge should be comparable and to ensure this is the case, an assessor needs to evaluate your knowledge through evidence you provide. See above for a full list.

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