TAEASS401 Plan assessment activities and processes

What is RPL assessment and why do we use it?

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) facilitates the progression of students through qualifications by giving credit for learning outcomes they already have achieved. Credit outcomes may allow for entry into a qualification and/or provide credit towards the qualification. Credit given may reduce the time required for a student to achieve the qualification.

RPL is one of a number of processes for establishing credit or advanced standing. RPL broadens access into formal learning by enabling credit to be given for student achievement though other formal, non-formal or informal learning.

RPL involves issuing organisations undertaking an assessment of each individual who applies to determine the extent to which that individual’s previous learning is equivalent to the learning outcomes of the components of the destination qualification.

Applying RPL

Registered Training Organisations are responsible (under the RTO Standards 2015)  to offer RPL assessment options to students.Their RPL policies and practices must ensure that decisions regarding the granting of RPL take into account the students’ likelihood of successfully achieving a qualification’s outcomes and ensure that the integrity of qualification outcomes is maintained (i.e. the validity of the assessment).

To ensure reliability, fairness and transparency, RTOs  should establish a systematic, approach to RPL – including policies and procedures that govern its implementation.

The typical RPL process for providers consists of the following stages:

  1. identifying the evidence required to meet valid unit outcomes
  2. providing advice to students about the process
  3. providing students with sufficient information to enable them to prepare their evidence to meet the standard required for the RPL process
  4. conducting assessment using appropriate evidence-gathering methods and tools
  5. recording the outcome in accordance with the RTOs standard systems
  6. reporting the results to all key internal and external stakeholders.

RPL assessment:

  • as with all accredited VET assessment, RPL should be undertaken by assessors with expertise in the subject, content or skills area, as well as knowledge and expertise in the RPL assessment itself
  • should be up to the same standard as other assessments used for the qualification
  • should recognise learning regardless of how, when and where it was acquired, provided the learning is relevant to the learning outcomes stated in the qualification (currency must still be established)
  • must ensure that the evidence provided is valid, authentic, current and sufficient and that the process is valid, reliable, flexible and fair.