So, you have a wealth of workplace learning but no qualification? And you really need to get one soon because the economy is right and your boss is dropping hints about the importance of qualifications for corporate advancement. One option is to attend classes and write exams.
But you don’t have time for that. Another option is recognition of prior learning (RPL) which is an assessment only process (no training – but you do need to be formally assessed in the same way that a training candidate would be assessed). RPL sounds like a plan. Here are 12 principles that you can follow to ensure a successful RPL experience:
- Be realistic – choose a qualification and level that really matches your workplace experience.
- Seek advice and meet with an RPL adviser before you start. They will save you time (but make sure the provider is accredited for the qualification you want to be RPL-ed against.
- Know your time constraints – although there is no training you still need time to complete the assessments so don’t try and complete it in one sitting.
- Read the questions – answer only the questions asked.
- Understand what ‘questioning’ word means – ‘discuss’ is different to ‘describe’ and ‘explain’. If you are unsure look it up or ask.
- Give the assessor enough evidence to find you competent. Too little and you will have to submit more work. Too much and it will take you longer than necessary.
- Do your research. You can look up terms and models that are unfamiliar to you. But use reputable web sites.
- Don’t ‘cut and paste’ your answers. This is plagiarism. If you can find it so can your assessor.
- Give the assessor valid evidence. This is evidence that matches the question (refer to rule 4!).
- Brag. Give the assessor examples of your work that is relevant. But make sure it is current.
- Proof read your answers before submitting them. (You are assessed on grammar and spelling too).
- Use academic writing style. You are being assessed against a formal qualification so you can’t use slang. Use headings, numbering, paragraphs and complete sentences.