Recognition of prior learning and completion ahead of time

An apprentice or trainee can complete his or her training earlier than the official end date if he or she:

  • has prior training and knowledge and has it assessed towards the qualification or
  • achieves competency quickly.

What is recognition of prior learning (RPL)?

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or skills recognition means that skills and knowledge your apprentice or trainee already has and may receive credit towards their qualification.

  • RPL may reduce the amount of time required to be spent in training in order to gain the apprenticeship/traineeship qualification.
  • Registered training organisations (RTOs) undertake RPL. Your RTO will gather evidence to determine whether your apprentice or trainee has relevant knowledge and skills that can be recognised.

RPL can shorten the training time

When applying for credit, the length of time requested for the training contract must be sufficient to allow completion of the remaining units of formal training.

You should consider the likely effects on your apprentice's or trainee's wages, because if 12 months credit is granted, they will commence on second year/stage 2 wages.

Complete a Request to Adjust Credit form and forward it Training Services NSW. Your Australian Apprenticeship Centre can help if needed.


Competency based completion

Competency based completion allows an apprentice or trainee to complete the term of their training before the scheduled end date of their training contract.

Requests for competency based completion can only be approved if:

  • the training organisation has assessed the aprentice/trainee as competent to industry standard and has advised them that they are eligible to be issued with the appropriate qualification
  • the request for an early completion date is supported by both the employer and the apprentice or trainee.

If you believe your apprentice or trainee is competent and support competency based completion before the end of the approved term of training, complete a Request for Competency Based Completion form and submit it, with a copy of the qualification or copy of a transcript issued by the registered training organisation to your local Training Services NSW office. If approved, the apprenticeship/traineeship will be completed on the agreed date and your apprentice or trainee will be awarded a Certificate of Proficiency by Training Services NSW.


The basic assessment standards

Formal training in vocational training is competency based which means your apprentice or trainee is assessed on:

  • skills demonstrated
  • tasks performed
  • the underpinning knowledge used to perform their work effectively.

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Page last updated: 07 April 2016