Recognition of Prior Learning

What does it mean to be recognised in Bicycle Repair?

What is RPL?

RPL is an assessment process which can assist a candidate’s progresstowards a national qualification. Recognition is a process to recognise candidates’skills and knowledge based on evidence of their past achievements or throughdemonstrating their abilities. This tool provides a framework to prepare candidatesfor this process and assist them to prepare themselves and their evidence. Itwill help candidate’s document skills and experiences and organise evidenceinto a logical format for assessors.  Thebenefit of RPL is to reduce unnecessary repetition of previous learning, toachieve qualifications in less time and to gain entry into a higher qualification.

Competencycan be achieved through one or more ways:

§    Formal or informal training

§    Work experience

§    General life experience

§    Any combination of the above

Credit/RPL is offered to all candidates who are seeking recognition against the competencystandards.  

100% recognition up-front assessment is possible.

This section will provide general information about theprocess of gathering evidence for credit/recognition of the units of competencywithin the qualification.  It provides information about:

·        The evidence candidates will be required tocollect (supporting evidence)

·        Characteristics of the evidence (valid,sufficient, authentic, current)

·        How the evidence will be assessed (method ofassessment).

Demonstrating competency

Competency standards are referred to as units of competencyand they can be found in a Training Package. Each unit of competency is in turn broken down into smaller parts,called elements and performance criteria. These are what assessors use when they are judging whether or notsomeone is competent.

Competency standards describe what the industry accepts aseffective performance in the workplace. This includes the skills and knowledge a worker needs to do a job.  Key competencies and employability skills areintegrated into the qualification and include collecting, analysing andorganising information, communicating ideas and information, planning andorganising activities, working with others and in teams, using mathematicalideas and techniques, solving problems, using technology and culturalunderstanding.

Being competent means:

§    Knowing how to do a job

§    Understanding why the job should be done that way

§    Being able to do different tasks at the same time

§    Dealing with everyday problems that occur in the job

§    Understanding workplace policies and procedures

§    Fitting in with others in the workplace

Assessors will want to be convinced that the candidate cando these things not just once, but all the time – even when things are notgoing smoothly.

What will the assessor belooking for?

The assessor willrequire all the supporting evidence a candidate submits to meet the followingcriteria. Evidence must be:

·          Valid

Is the evidence  sufficiently relevant to the competencies being assessed and current  workplace practices?

·          Sufficient

Is there enough  evidence to cover all components of the competency unit – task skills, task  management skills, contingency skills and job/role environment skills – as  well as provide evidence of competent performance over time?

There must be  sufficient quality and quantity to demonstrate to the assessor that a  candidate can consistently achieve the standard required.

·          Authentic

Can the assessor  be confident they are looking at the candidate’s own work?

Copies of workplace evidence must be verified  as their own work by their supervisor or clearly indicate their contribution.  Copies of formal evidence must be  verified as authentic against the originals by the assessor, Justice of the  Peace or recognised authority.

·          Current

Can the assessor  be confident the candidate can perform to the standard demonstrated by the  evidence, now? Currency of evidence will be determined by the nature of the  industry and competencies concerned, but up to 3-5 years previously is  indicative that evidence is current.

Supporting Evidence

A number of ways in which candidates might demonstrate theircompetence is identified in the column headed Suggested supporting evidence in Section 3 RPL Unit Guides.

Validated evidence could includebut is not limited to:

q  Body of work

q  Certificates/ transcripts from formal training

q  Portfolio

q  Workplace samples/products

q  Practical skills test

q  Skill demonstration

q  Journals/logbook

q  References/testimonials

q  Resumé / work history

q  Supervisor’s reports

q  Customer/client feedback

q  Position description

q  Training & Assessment documentation

q  Response to questions/interview

q  Awards

Using supporting evidence morethan once

As there are overlaps between units of competency one itemof supporting evidence may be able to be used for more than one unit ofcompetency. This is why we have clustered or packaged groups of similarcompetencies - to reduce overlaps and make the candidate’s task of providingsupporting evidence easier.

Method of assessment

A number of ways in which assessorsmay validate the evidence presented

Methods of assessing the evidence could include but are not limited to:

q  Professional Conversation

q  Direct observation

q  ChallengeTest

q  Third party feedback

q  Review of work products/samples

q Documentation


Competency conversationsprovide examples of questions that an assessor may ask in order to clarify orexpand on the evidence a candidatehas provided. Some examples are identified in Section 5. Assessors are alsoable to gather evidence or ask additional questions.

Reasonable adjustment

Reasonable adjustment is designed to ensurethat all people are treated equally in the assessment process. This means that,wherever possible, 'reasonable' adjustments are made to the assessment processto meet the individual needs of candidates.

When can I apply for RPL?

Students can apply forrecognition of prior learning in the course or qualification in which they areenrolled at any time.  It is, however itis preferred  that students apply forcredit as soon as possible after enrolment.

How do I apply for RPL?

§ You needto complete form : Recognition of Prior Leaning (RPL)

§ Identify the units for which you seek RPL

§ Identifywhat evidence is required for the unit/s (see RPL Unit Guides or for further information)

§ Decide what evidence you will gather (tick one or more boxes in the relevant RPL UnitGuides)

§ Discusswith teacher/assessor how the evidence can be gathered or created for theassessment (Method of Assessment)

§ Identify Skills Gap areas, plan actions to fill the gaps and gather additional evidence

§ Present the evidence to the assessor.

Here are some tips and hints for you:

  • Be prepared to talk about your job roles and your work history. Bring a resume or jot down a few points about where you have worked, either paid or unpaid, and what you did there.
  • Bring your position description and any performance appraisals you have from any bicycle repair shops or facilities you have worked in.
  • Consider the possibilities for workplace contact. Are you in a workplace that is supporting your goals to get qualified? Would you feel comfortable to have the assessor contact your workplace or previous workplaces so your skills can be validated?
  • Think about who can confirm your skill level. Think about current or recent supervisors who have seen you work in the past 18 months and will be able to confirm your skills. The assessor will need to contact them. You may also have community contacts or even clients themselves who can vouch for your skills level.
  • Collect any certificates from in-house training or formal training you have done in the past.
  • You can speak with your training organisation about other ways you can show your skills in the bicycle industry. These could be letters from employers, records of your professional development sessions, employers or clients in related industries or government agencies, acknowledgements, workplace forms (as long as they don’t show client details) or other relevant documents.