FAQ for applicants

Who can initiate or ask for the Skills Recognition process?

Skills Recognition can be initiated by an employer, an employee or potential employee or by an RTO.

Why apply for Skills Recognition?

If you apply for Skills Recognition and your application is successful you could:

  • reduce or eliminate the need for any training in skills and knowledge you already have
  • save time by not needing to complete unnecessary training
  • save money , if you would otherwise have to pay for full training
  • complete a qualification in a shorter time
  • possibly advance to a higher level qualification in a shorter time if desired
  • gain greater recognition of the skills and experience you already have, which could assist with transfer or promotion to a role that makes better use of your skills and interests

Can an applicant refuse an offer of Skills Recognition?

Yes, although you might be asked to explain why you do not want to do it.

What is competence?

Competence is the demonstration of skills and knowledge that you have gained through life and work experiences as well as any training that you have successfully completed and that can be matched against industry performance standards. These standards are called units of competency. Units can be grouped together to form specific industry qualifications.

Can I have someone assist me with the Skills Recognition process (e.g. interpreter, colleague)?

Yes. You can have someone with you to assist you with the Skills Recognition process (e.g. interpreter or colleague to advocate for you). Assessment techniques should also accommodate different literacy levels, cultural and educational backgrounds and experiences. If English is not your first language, or if you have had limited formal education, your assessor should consider the fact that you may not be familiar with local workplace jargon and some of the terms used in vocational education and training. The exception to this is assessment against units in the Training and Assessment Training Package for which knowledge of VET concepts and educational language is essential.

What is the assessor looking for in the evidence?

The assessor is looking for evidence that is authentic, genuine and current, and that matches the requirements of each unit of competency; essential skills and essential knowledge that can be mapped to the performance criteria.

Does everyone succeed in their Skills Recognition application?

Some applicants can provide sufficient evidence. Others may need to provide different forms of evidence or undergo additional training to cover any gaps.

Does Skills Recognition have the same requirements as other assessment?

Yes. The assessment process must be just as careful, or rigorous (but no more or no less rigorous) as any other form of assessment, although the type of evidence required may vary from that required of a student in a class.

How much can I have recognised through Skills Recognition?

If you have the evidence to show that you have the skills and knowledge needed, the minimum Skills Recognition is one unit of competence and the maximum is a full qualification. Some employers or training providers may have limits on the amount of skills recognition that they will offer.

What will it cost in time and money?

Preparing evidence for your Skills Recognition application takes time and the responsibility for gathering any documentary evidence you may have lies with you.

If you are already enrolled in the units leading to the qualification you are seeking, there may be no charge to have your skills recognition application assessed. If you are not enrolled, there is usually a fee. When you make your application, remember to ask if there is a fee and, if so, what it includes.

Does my documentary evidence need to be certified?

Some assessors will require you to provide certified copies of any documentary evidence that you provide (such as statements of results, transcripts of grades). A certified document/certified copy has been verified by an authorised person, such as a Justice of the Peace, medical practitioner or accountant (among others). Ask your assessor whether or not your documentary evidence needs to be certified.

How long will the assessment process take?

Your Skills Recognition assessor should try to complete the process as quickly as possible, but how soon they can make a decision on your application also depends on how well you have prepared any documentary evidence you have, and how well all of your evidence meets the requirements of the unit/s of competency.

Different training organisations will have different time frames, but about four to six weeks is probably a reasonable time to expect a decision after you have lodged your application with all your evidence for Skills Recognition. You can discuss the timeframe with your assessor.

What is the difference between Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) and Credit?

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) involves the assessment of previously unrecognised skills and knowledge a person has achieved outside formal education and training. RPL is an assessment process that assesses the individual's non formal and informal learning to determine the extent to which that individual has achieved the required competency.

Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) applies if someone has previously successfully completed the requirements for a unit of competency or module and is now required to be reassessed to ensure that the competence is being maintained. In this case no extra skill or competencies are recognised.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) 2013 definitions:

Credit is the value assigned for the recognition of equivalence in content and learning outcomes between different types of learning and/or qualifications. Credit reduces the amount of learning required to achieve a qualification and may be through credit transfer, articulation, recognition of prior learning or advanced standing

Credit arrangements are formal negotiated arrangements within and between issuing organisations and or accrediting authorities and are about student entitlement to credit. They may also be formal arrangements made between issuing organisations and students

Credit outcomes are the results of a process of determining a student’s application for credit or credit transfer

Credit transfer is a process that provides students with agreed and consistent credit outcomes for components of a qualification based on identified equivalence in content and learning outcomes between matched qualifications

What can I do if I have lost my student record/s?

From the ASQA website: 'If you are unable to locate the original certificate or statement of attainment you were issued with by your RTO, you can apply to ASQA for a certified copy of the record ASQA holds. If the provider that originally issued your qualification or statement of attainment has closed, ASQA may hold a copy of your student records.' - http://www.asqa.gov.au/

Where ASQA holds student records but not a record of the qualification or statement of attainment having been issued, ASQA will provide you with a verified copy of your records. This may include a record of your assessment results. You may then use this record to apply to an RTO for an assessment of your eligibility for recognition (that is, recognition in the form of the issuance of a statement of attainment or a qualification).

How do I apply for this record?

  • Fill out an 'Application for a copy of student records' form available on the website.
  • A 100-point ID check will be required as part of your application.

How can I find out information about the Australian Qualifications Framework?

Students wanting to understand qualifications available in Australia should refer to the Australian Qualifications Framework website — http://www.aqf.edu.au

How can I find out if a qualification is nationally recognised?

You can check with the relevant Industry Skills Council — http://www.isc.org.au/

If I live in New South Wales, and do not have formal qualifications, but I have been employed and have gained a lot of skills, is there somewhere that I can apply to have my skills recognised?

Yes, Trade Skills Recognition in NSW might be able to assist you, even if you have been self-employed.


Is there a general site which can give me information about Skills Recognition in Australia?

Yes, this Australian Government link provides very useful information


Is there somewhere that can give me information about if my licenses are recognised?

Yes, The Australian Government Licence Recognition site will give you some information about this http://www.licencerecognition.gov.au/