Five Big Problems with RPL? Part 1 of 5

The vocational education and training (VET) community has a diversity of experience when it comes to Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Despite the multiple positive benefits that RPL provides to candidates and RTOs, the mandatory requirement to offer RPL has presented prickly problems for RTOs over many years. Have you not heard at least one inconvenient truth about RPL avoidance tactics or questionable professional practices?

five problem 1

From our recent discussions with RTOs around Australia, it appears that the problems with a traditional approach to RPL are not going away in a hurry. Many RTOs continue to do what they have always done and still wonder why RPL poses a problem. In this series, we explore and discuss five big problems that RTOs have with RPL. They are, in no particular order:

1: Inconsistency and incompatibility with contemporary online or blended delivery models.
2: Inadequate RPL candidate engagement.
3: Challenges arising from staff confidence.
4: Maintaining compliant RPL assessment tools and practices.
5: Reducing RPL delivery and productivity costs.

RPL Problem #1:
Inconsistency and incompatibility with contemporary online or blended delivery models.

We are rapidly adopting cloud-based IT solutions across all aspects of our daily lives. Likewise RTOs are blending eLearning technologies and using Learning Management Systems in search of enhanced vocational education, training and assessment services. Having an online presence and delivery capability reduces geographical barriers and enables 24/7 real time services for students (and RPL candidates using RPL123®).

So how many pages is the RPL document kit and RPL assessment tools that are offered to your RPL candidates? No doubt it is scary! For many RTOs this represents an inconsistency and incompatibility with contemporary online or blended delivery models.

The use of document management software or repositories such as Dropbox or Google Drive has helped us gain some ground against this problem. However this approach is still essentially a heavily manual, resource hungry administrative process made electronic. The only difference is in the amount of paper cuts.

You know that simply transitioning from paper-based processes to electronic processes does not enhance learning and assessment pathways, so why will it be any different with an RPL assessment-only pathway?

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.

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