I want formal recognition of my existing skills

Trade or skills recognition is a process that assesses whether your existing skills and knowledge can count towards your apprenticeship or traineeship qualification. The process is also called Recognition of Prior Learning or RPL.

RPL can be given for a whole or part of a qualification.

Is this you?

I worked in my father’s car repair business for years during school holidays and at weekends. I learned a lot - does any of it count?

I've worked in 'the trade' for the last ten years and I know it inside and out. I think I am as good as any guy with a certificate. How do I get recognition?

I have worked in a nursing home in one capacity or another for years. I want to apply for a promotion so I want formal recognition of what I can do.

I started a course a couple of years ago but only finished one year. Can that year count towards a different qualification in the same industry?


How to apply for recognition

Gather evidence that supports your application for recognition:

  • qualification documents
  • references from employers
  • descriptions of jobs and tasks
  • samples of things you have done
  • try the Australian Government's Department of Education and Training - Trades Recognition Australia website for other suggestions.

For skills recognition for a traineeship apply through a registered training organisation (RTO). An RTO can give you advice and help gather evidence.

To have your trade skills recognised in NSW read the trades recognition information on this website and then contact the Vocational Training Tribunal in Training Services NSW on Phone 1300 772 104 or Intl +612 8267 7770.


Reduce your training time

You may be eligible to get ’credit’ for training, skills and knowledge and reduce the term of your training contract.

  • RPL does not automatically reduce the length of time of your training contract
  • With the support of your employer you can request RPL be granted by your RTO and use the credit to reduce the term of your training contract by either
    • recording credit on the training contract when it is initially established; or
    • applying for credit adjustment after the contract is approved by Training Services NSW
  • When applying for credit the length of time requested in your training contract must be sufficient for you to complete the remaining units of your formal training
  • Credit can reduce the term of your training contract and so advances you through the stages/years of your apprenticeship. Your employer should investigate the likely effects on your wages, because if 12 months credit is granted, you will commence on second year/stage 2 wages.

Another option - competency based (early) completion

It is possible to complete your training ahead of schedule. Competency based (early) completion refers to an assessment of your skills you have for an apprenticeship or traineeship at a point in time before the official (nominal) end date.

Page last updated: 30 July 2018