Recognition of prior learning is a process whereby people have the skills and knowledge they have developed outside the formal education system assessed and valued against qualifications frameworks. This publication gives an overview of recent research into recognition of prior learning within the Australian vocational education and training system.
About the research
Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is a process whereby people are provided with an opportunity to have the skills and knowledge they have developed outside the formal education system assessed and valued against qualifications frameworks. This publication gives an overview of recent research into RPL within the Australian vocational education and training (VET) system.
- Recognition of prior learning is a widely supported concept, although the available statistics suggest that the level of participation in RPL in vocational education and training has not been as great as had been anticipated.
- Recent research has found, however, that RPL may be a much more pervasive characteristic of the VET system and within enterprises than is suggested in official statistics and earlier research. This is because RPL can be defined in a number of ways, some of which are not recorded in official statistics. In addition, neither industry nor individuals consider that RPL is always the best option, even when the person is eligible for RPL.
No single significant barrier has been identified to effective implementation of RPL. Instead there are several factors which, in some contexts, act as deterrents. More and effective RPL requires:
- greater promotion, using clear, concise and jargon-free language
- recognition that RPL is a valuable learning experience in its own right
- improved support and approaches to assist students to gather evidence
- experienced professional assessors
- continued efforts to achieve cost-efficient RPL
- promotion of the numerous practical case studies and strategies that now exist, a guide to which is provided in this At a glance.