Get recognition for your experience

Your skills and experience matter when it comes to furthering your education. Once you have decided on what course is right for you, take some time to see if you can get recognition for what you already know.

What is recognition?

Recognition is the process where you can demonstrate you already have the skills or competencies taught in a unit or qualification. It is the recognition of the skills, knowledge and experience you have gained through previous studies, work and life in general.

Put simply, it means if you can demonstrate you already have the skills and experience required, then you can complete part, or all, of a qualification without needing to attend classes.

The benefits of recognition include reducing your study time and lowering the cost of your course. It can also assist you to meet the entry requirements for higher level qualifications, as well as identifying gaps in your knowledge and skills.

A white jigsaw puzzle piece. The piece forms part of a dictionary definition for experience. The word experience is highlighted in green.

Things to do

Learn about the types of recognition

There are two types of recognition:

Credit Transfer – this allows you to receive credit for unit(s) of competency you have successfully completed in the past.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) – this process involves an assessment of your previous skills, knowledge and experience in relation to the requirements of the course you are enrolling in. Find out all you need to know about the RPL process by reading the Candidate Guide to Skills Recognition.

You may apply for recognition if you have:

  • completed previous training at TAFE NSW
  • qualifications from previous studies in Australia
  • qualifications from previous studies overseas
  • relevant work or life experience.

Apply for recognition

It is best to apply for recognition either when you enrol or before your course or unit begins.

Did you know if you are approved for recognition for a government subsidised course, your fees will be reduced? This is why it is important to process recognition at enrolment or as close to enrolment as possible.

For Credit Transfer:

Complete the Enrolment Adjustment Form (available from your local TAFE Illawarra campus) and submit it to your Teacher or Head Teacher for processing.

The evidence required to apply for credit transfer may include course transcripts or statement of results. Units previously completed at TAFE Illawarra may be able to be automatically applied to your current enrolment.

For Recognition of Prior Learning:

Step 1: Assess your eligibility with the Get Recognised! Online tool. Once you have answered the questions in the app, you will be contacted by TAFE Illawarra staff to give you more information about the recognition process and a self-assessment guide.

Step 2: Start the application process. Once you have reviewed and filled out the self-assessment guide and determined that you may be eligible to apply for RPL, our staff will contact you and guide you through the application process.

Step 3: Submit your evidence. You will need to support your application with evidence of your previous skills and experience. Our teachers will help you to identify the units you may be eligible to apply for RPL for. They will also explain the types of evidence (proof of your skills and knowledge) you will need to gather and present.

At this stage you may also be required to attend an interview to assist in the assessment of your eligibility.

Step 4: Your evidence is assessed.  The evidence you submit will be assessed by our qualified staff for the unit(s) you applied for. You may be contacted if further evidence is required.

Step 5: Your RPL application is finalised.  You will be advised if your application for RPL has been successful and for which unit(s).

Gather your evidence

The evidence you use in a recognition application can include anything that demonstrates you meet the learning outcomes of a unit. Evidence can include any combination of the following:

  • finished products you have produced
  • presentations you have put together
  • video and /or audio taped evidence
  • an interview with your assessor
  • answers to questions provided by your assessor
  • observation of you completing practical tasks in your workplace
  • third party reports
  • certificates or course transcripts
  • a portfolio.

Your assessor will let you know the specific types of evidence you should collect, the timelines for submission of your evidence and what form the submission should take. For more information refer to the Candidate Guide to Skills Recognition.

Currency of evidence – to receive RPL you must be able to demonstrate that your skills and knowledge are current. At the meeting with your assessor, you may be asked questions relating to the skills and knowledge you have previously acquired, to make sure you are still competent.

Verification of evidence – any copies of original qualifications, certificates or documents you submit must be certified by a Justice of the Peace (JP). Alternatively, the TAFE Illawarra assessor can view the original document and verify the copy.

For more information regarding recognition, speak with your teacher or call 1300 766 123.