Skills Recognition – Information
The term Skills Recognition is used to describe a variety of processes that recognise the competencies that a person has acquired through formal or informal training, work or life experience.
The concept of competency covers the five dimensions of:
- Task skills — carrying out individual tasks
- Task management skills — dealing with several tasks at the same time
- Contingency management skills — dealing with things when they go wrong
- Job/role environment skills — fitting in with the workplace environment
- Transfer skills — being able to transfer skills to new situations.
Skills Recognition provides people with formal recognition of the competencies that they have already achieved and hence can save valuable time and shorten the length of study.
Skills Recognition places an emphasis on assessment rather than teaching. Skills Recognition processes focus on the competencies held by an individual regardless of how, when or where these competencies were gained. You may know these processes as:
- Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
- Recognition of Current Competencies (RCC)
- Credit Transfer
What’s the difference?
Recognition of Prior Learning — this term is used widely in training and education bodies where you can be given recognition for your knowledge as well as your practical skills. RPL recognises that people learn things in many different ways — through formal training either in an education setting or at work, through informal training, through work or life experiences.
Recognition of Current Competencies — this term is used widely in industry and means much the same as RPL but the emphasis is on current practical skills and knowledge. These are often best demonstrated in the workplace.
Credit Transfer — this refers to the process whereby you have credit for successfully completing a unit of competency/module in one qualification/course transferred to your current training program.
Exemption — if you have completed a similar unit of competency in another course you will be able to apply for an exemption.
A successful application for Skills Recognition may give you Advanced Standing in the qualification or course in which you are enrolled.
What if I want my overseas qualification recognised?
Contact the Overseas Qualifications Unit of the Department of Training and Employment if you wish to have your overseas qualification recognised.
Who can apply for Skills Recognition?
You should apply for Skills Recognition if you:
- Want to have your existing competencies recognised to save time and shorten the length of study required to obtain a qualification
- Have evidence for your existing competencies readily available
- Feel confident that you could pass the assessments for some units without having to undertake workplace training.
What is evidence?
Evidence is the “proof’ you submit to justify your claim that you have certain skills or competencies.
Evidence for Skills Recognition can take a number of forms. The following guidelines provide you with examples of the types of evidence you may choose to provide.
If you have other suggestions for the type of evidence you would like to submit you can discuss this with an assessor.
1. Work experience
This can be paid or unpaid work experience and may be current or in the past. Recent or current work experience tends to have greater validity. Evidence could be written details of your work experience and/or samples of your work, together with validation.
Validation is carried out by someone who can confirm and support your claims of competency. This may be your employer (past or present), a supervisor (past or present), a client, industry person or other person. A validator may choose to be interviewed or to write a validation letter.
3. Validation letter
A validation letter must be written on official stationery (if appropriate) and provide details of your duties, experience and responsibilities relevant to the competencies or skills for which you are seeking recognition.
It should be written by someone who knows you and can verify your skills and knowledge. The position of the person writing the letter must be clearly indicated. The purpose of a validation letter is to confirm that you have certain competencies. It should not be confused with a reference.
4. Samples of work
You can provide examples of work that demonstrate your competence against the performance or assessment criteria. You must be able to verify that the work is in fact your own.
5. Formal training
- Any qualifications gained from school, college or university which is relevant to the unit of competency for which you are applying for Skills Recognition
- Courses you have attended which you feel might be relevant eg short courses, workshops or specific industry training.
Include a verified photocopy of your qualifications and documentation on the content and duration of the course.
6. Life experience
Relevant experience that you have gained through day-to-day activities may be applicable. Activities such as the following may be appropriate:
- Community involvement
- Family activities and associated responsibilities (eg taking action notes at P & C meetings may have relevancy for Applicable Training units).
- Committee membership
- Leisure activities
- Organising events
You will need to show how your involvement in these activities demonstrates competence against the requirements of a unit of competency or module.
It may be possible to prove your competence by demonstrating your skills to ensure your skills are current and authentic.
8. Challenge Test or Task
You may negotiate with your Assessor to demonstrate your competence by completing a challenge test or task. Challenge testing and/or demonstration are often used when you do not have evidence of your competencies readily available.
9. Personal interview
You may choose to demonstrate your competence by relating relevant experiences directly to your Assessor during a formal interview. You would need to have supporting documents or other materials prepared for the interview and ensure that your responses directly relate to the competencies for which you are being assessed.
It is possible to present evidence in a variety of ways. You may use several different types of evidence to support your claim for Skills Recognition.
Presenting Your Evidence
To ensure that your application for Skills Recognition is successful you need to submit evidence that is:
- Current — you must show that your skills and knowledge are up-to-date and that you can use them now if required.
- Relevant — the skills you are claiming to have should relate directly to the performance or assessment criteria for the relevant unit and be at a comparable level.
- Authentic – you need to be able to show that your claims are genuine. Letters from employers and so forth will help to verify the authenticity of your claims.
- Transferable — skills learned in one situation must be capable of being applied to other situations with no retraining or a minimum of retraining.
A combination of different types of evidence will provide your Assessor with the best possible chance of processing your Skills Recognition application successfully.
Use the unit of competency/module details and the Self-Assessment Evidence sheets to match your evidence against the elements and performance criteria (for units of competency) or the learning outcomes and assessment criteria (for modules).
You must supply evidence against each element or learning outcome.
Make sure your evidence is well organised and clearly referenced to the unit competencies or module outcomes.