Evidence for RPL: Understanding the Types and Rules of Submission


Evidence for RPL: Understanding the Types and Rules of Submission

If you’ve been doing your research when it comes to qualifying your work experience, Recognition Prior Learning (RPL) is a common process that acknowledges the value of learning, wherever and however it occurs. This progressive approach allows individuals to receive formal recognition for skills, knowledge, and experience acquired through a myriad of channels, including work and life experiences, formal and informal training, and education. 

By recognising that learning extends beyond the conventional classroom setting, RPL empowers individuals to further their education or career paths without the redundancy of repeating known content.  

RPL supports a diverse workforce, acknowledging the richness of experiences that individuals bring to their roles and studies. This inclusivity promotes a more skilled and adaptable workforce ready to meet the dynamic demands of the modern world.

Delving into the details of the types of evidence for RPL offers a deeper understanding of how diverse experiences and achievements can be systematically evaluated and recognised. This comprehensive approach facilitated by Gimbal Training underscores the value of learning outside traditional academic settings, emphasising the importance of knowledge and skills individuals acquire.   

What Will You Need to Acquire Your RPL?

Formal Evidence

Formal evidence refers to documents that certify an individual’s participation in formal education and training programs.


  • Diplomas and Degrees: Certificates from recognised educational institutions that signify completion of study programs.
  • Transcripts: Official records detailing the courses taken and grades earned, providing a clear outline of the subjects and competencies covered.
  • Accredited Training Certificates: Recognitions from formal training programs, including online courses, that meet industry standards.

Informal and Non-Formal Evidence

Informal evidence refers to work experiences that relate to the qualification that you will apply for.


  • Job Descriptions and Roles: Detailed accounts of job responsibilities that illustrate specific skills and competencies.
  • Performance Appraisals: Evaluations from supervisors or managers that highlight achievements, skills, and areas of expertise.
  • Work Samples or Portfolios: Collections of work that demonstrate expertise and accomplishments in a particular field, such as design, writing, or project management.


Evidence from workshops, seminars, or in-house training programs that, while not formally accredited, offer valuable learning experiences.


  • Professional Development Workshops: Documentation of participation in workshops aimed at skill enhancement relevant to one’s field.
  • Community Service: Descriptions and documentation of volunteer roles, projects, or initiatives that showcase leadership, teamwork, and other transferable skills.
  • Organisational Involvement: Evidence of active participation or leadership in clubs, societies, or community organisations, reflecting interpersonal skills, project management, and initiative.

Self-Directed Learning

Records of personal projects or hobbies that required learning new skills, such as coding websites, crafting, or self-taught language proficiency.

  • Online Course Completion: Evidence from self-initiated online courses, even if non-accredited, that show a commitment to learning.

Testimonials and References

Written attestations that confirm an individual’s skills, work ethic, and contributions to projects or roles. These endorsements will speak to an individual’s character, leadership, and voluntary contributions to community efforts.

Evaluating Evidence for RPL

The process of evaluating evidence for RPL involves assessing the relevance, authenticity, currency, and sufficiency of the documentation provided. It’s crucial that the evidence directly correlates with the competencies or learning outcomes required for the RPL claim. Each piece of evidence should be:

  • Authentic: Verifiably created by or related directly to the applicant.
  • Current: Reflecting competencies that are up-to-date and applicable to current standards.
  • Sufficient: Comprehensive enough to cover the breadth and depth of the required competencies.

What Are The Primary Challenges Faced by RPL Applicants?

With every process, there can be hurdles. Here are the common one’s faced by RPL applicants: 

Complex Application Process 

Applicants often find the RPL process daunting due to its complexity. Understanding specific requirements, such as valid evidence types and presentation standards to meet assessment criteria, can be challenging.

Documenting and Articulating Learning  

A significant hurdle is the difficulty in identifying relevant learning experiences and articulating them in a way that aligns with formal qualifications or competency standards. This challenge includes translating informal and non-formal learning experiences into structured evidence that can be assessed and recognised.

Navigating the RPL Process  

The overall navigation of the RPL process, from initial inquiry to final submission, poses a challenge for many applicants. This includes understanding the steps involved, meeting deadlines, and knowing whom to contact for support or clarification throughout the process.

How Gimbal Training Can Help Overcome These Challenges

Gimbal Training offers comprehensive solutions to these challenges, ensuring applicants can successfully navigate the RPL process:

Simplifying the Application Process

Gimbal Training demystifies the RPL application process through structured support, including clear guidelines, checklists, and step-by-step instructions. This approach helps applicants understand exactly what is required, significantly reducing the complexity of the process.

Assistance in Documenting and Articulating Learning

Through workshops, one-on-one support, and resources such as templates and examples, Gimbal Training guides applicants in effectively gathering, documenting, and articulating their learning experiences. This assistance is crucial in translating informal and non-formal learning into structured evidence that meets the RPL criteria.

Facilitating Navigation of the RPL Process

Gimbal Training plays a pivotal role in helping applicants navigate the RPL process. By offering clear directions on each step, providing timelines, and making resources available for support and clarification, Gimbal Training ensures that applicants can move through the process with confidence and efficiency.

Integrating Gimbal Training’s Structured Processes in RPL

Organisations like Gimbal Training play a pivotal role in streamlining the RPL process through well-defined, structured processes to help you get a job. Gimbal Training recognises the importance of a systematic approach to RPL, ensuring that individuals can navigate the process with clarity and confidence. Their structured processes are designed to guide applicants through every step of the RPL journey, from initial consultation to the final assessment and recognition of skills.

Gimbal Training’s Methodology Typically Involves

Initial Assessment  

A comprehensive review of an individual’s skills, experiences, and qualifications to determine the potential for RPL credits.

Evidence Collection Guidance  

Providing clear instructions and support on how to gather and compile relevant evidence that demonstrates competencies against the required standards.

Verification and Validation  

Ensuring that all submitted evidence is authentic, relevant, and current through rigorous checks and assessments.

Gap Training  

Identifying and addressing any learning gaps through targeted training, thereby ensuring candidates meet all competency standards.

Final Assessment and Recognition  

A conclusive evaluation leads to the formal acknowledgment of skills and knowledge, culminating in the awarding of credits or qualifications.

By leveraging structured processes, Gimbal Training facilitates a seamless and efficient RPL experience, minimising obstacles and maximising the 

recognition of an individual’s prior learning. Call our experts today to learn how you can get started with your RPL certificate process.


Who Qualifies for RPL?

Anyone with a minimum of 4 years of relevant work experience, informal learning, or non-formal training that aligns with the outcomes of a qualification can apply for RPL. This includes employees, volunteers, and self-taught individuals who can demonstrate their skills and knowledge to meet the standards required for formal qualifications.

How Does RPL Differ From Other Forms of Assessment?

RPL recognises learning that has occurred outside of formal education and training environments, whereas traditional assessments evaluate learning within a structured program. RPL focuses on outcomes and competencies gained through experience rather than how, where, or when the learning occurred.

What Does RPL Mean?

RPL stands for Recognition of Prior Learning. It’s a process that assesses an individual’s existing skills and knowledge gained through life experiences, work, or informal learning to grant formal recognition and qualifications.

How Does RPL Work?

The RPL process involves collecting evidence of an individual’s skills and knowledge and comparing this against the criteria for a specific qualification. If the evidence meets the required standards, the individual can receive a formal qualification or credit towards a qualification without undergoing traditional coursework.

How to Apply for RPL in Australia?

To apply for RPL in Australia, you should first contact an RTO (Registered Training Organisation) that offers the qualification you’re interested in. They will provide you with an RPL kit or guidelines on how to compile and submit your evidence of prior learning. The RTO will then assess your application against the qualification criteria.

Are Nominal Hours Necessary in RPL?

Nominal hours refer to the estimated time a learner would typically spend to achieve the learning outcomes of a unit of competency. In the context of RPL, nominal hours are not directly necessary because the assessment focuses on whether you already possess the competencies, regardless of the time taken to acquire them.

Can I Apply for RPL if I’m Overseas?

Yes, you can apply for RPL in Australia even if you’re an overseas applicant, as long as you can provide sufficient evidence that your skills and knowledge meet Australian standards for the qualification you seek.

Can a CERT IV Be Used for RPL on a Diploma?

Yes, a Certificate IV can be used as part of an RPL application for a Diploma. If the skills and competencies you’ve gained through a CERT IV align with those required for the Diploma, you can apply for credit or recognition towards the higher qualification.

Is RPL Worth It?

RPL can be incredibly worthwhile, especially for individuals with extensive work experience or informal learning that aligns with a formal qualification. It can fast-track the attainment of qualifications, improve career prospects, and recognise the value of experiential learning.

Is RPL Legal in Australia?

Yes, RPL is a legal and recognised process in Australia, supported by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and administered by RTOs across the country. It ensures that individuals can gain formal recognition for their skills and knowledge, irrespective of how they were acquired.

Can You RPL a Degree?

RPL is more commonly applied to vocational education and training (VET) qualifications, such as certificates and diplomas. Some universities may offer credit for prior learning towards a degree, but this is typically referred to as credit transfer or recognition of prior learning in an academic context. It’s best to consult with the specific institution for their policies.

How Much Does RPL Cost?

The cost of RPL varies depending on the RTO and the qualification sought. Generally, fees are charged to assess your application, which can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. To learn more about how much it will cost, get in touch with one of our specialists today.