Five Big Problems with RPL? Part 4 of 5

In Part 3 we discussed the inherent lack of confidence that staff have with RPL and how this can be systematically addressed. Perhaps an on-demand help centre or professional development mentoring will be part of the solution but most importantly, confidence will emerge alongside iterative processes with intuitive, structured work-flows that provide embedded guidance. Have you considered this for your RPL assessments?

five problem 4

RPL Problem #4: Maintaining compliant RPL assessment tools and practices.

We know that RPL is an assessment process that assesses competencies acquired by an individual through formal, non-formal and informal learning in relation to the established criteria and requirements of a given qualification or standard.

The Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 require all RTOs to implement an assessment system including Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) that complies with the assessment requirements of training packages, and that is conducted in accordance with the principles of assessment (Fair, Flexible, Valid and Reliable) and rules of evidence (Valid, Sufficient, Authentic and Current).

In recent times we have seen qualification after qualification update being released. Subsequently, one of the many challenges faced by RTOs is the ongoing maintenance of learning and assessment resources, including RPL assessment tools. However, this time we are all faced with a significant additional adjustment to accommodate the new training package templates.

The introduction of “Assessment Requirements” attempts to more clearly define the minimum performance and knowledge evidence that is needed to determine competency under certain conditions. This may be quite distressing for those who previously did not look beyond the competency elements and performance criteria. For some this may provide some welcome relief. It will certainly unsettle the tickers and flickers. Whatever happened before, it now appears that we will be more directly exposed to compliance risks based on training package content alone. Time will tell…

The appropriate interpretation of training package content, electronic portfolio management and the generation of reports which clearly outline how RPL evidence maps to performance and knowledge evidence requirements will assist in showing how assessment requirements are being met. An understanding about both direct and indirect RPL evidence and how that evidence relates to the assessment requirements will also be essential to providing a “compliant assessment” outcome.

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. You may never want to see a paper-based RPL kit again!

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