Five Big Problems with RPL? Part 3 of 5

In Part 2 we discussed how we can improve the RPL candidate experience throughout the entire assessment-only RPL process. This involves the same contemporary student engagement practices that are used for learning and assessment pathways. Why not consider this for your RPL assessments tools too? You will never want to see a paper-based RPL kit again, but it will require some changes!

five problem 3

RPL Problem #3: Challenges arising from staff confidence.

According to the NCVER 2015 Total VET Activity Report, around 4% of all subject enrolments in Australia are granted through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Does this mean that, on average, assessors spend less than 1-2 hours per week doing RPL assessments or that less than 1 in 20 assessors are doing RPL assessments? Probably neither…

“With an increasingly casualised workforce across the VET sector, opportunities for professional development and peer to peer mentoring for VET practitioners appear to be diminishing. The minimum qualification requirement for aspiring VET practitioners remains the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. However, one would struggle to find any recent graduate of this course who could undertake an RPL assessment with any real confidence.” This is an excerpt from “Recognition of Prior Learning: A Practitioner’s Guide”, a free RPL resource available for TAE trainers and students that can be downloaded from our website

Although we now have a TAE Training Package that requires significant evidence of competency in performing RPL assessments, it would probably be fair to say that the vast majority of RTO managers, administrators, trainers and assessors have had very little or no experience with RPL. This lack of familiarity with an RPL assessment-only pathway is entirely understandable, since more than 95% of resources are focused on training and assessment pathways.

How long should an assessment take? What steps need to be followed? How much evidence is sufficient? What if I can’t verify or corroborate evidence? How do I ensure that all the performance and knowledge evidence requirements are satisfied?

For a number of years we have explored ways of “doing RPL better” that tackle these big problems… and more. If you are looking for easier, better and smarter ways to manage and conduct RPL for your RTO, contact us for further information or to arrange a free, no obligation consultation.

1 August 2016
© Russell Savage, WWW RPL Solutions founder, RPL123® architect and co-author of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL): A Practitioner’s Guide