Why rail organisations should consider Skills Recognition

Skills Recognition is the process of gaining formal recognition for skills and knowledge that have been obtained through work history, previous study and life experience.

Skills Recognition is an assessment-only process - there needn’t be any formal training involved, although a applicant may choose to complete further training as a result of the assessment process.

Skills Recognition can inform the rail industry about the standards that employees should meet for any particular task, and provide the tools to assess whether the employee is meeting those standards.

Currently, rail organisations differ in the extent to which they accept Skills Recognition as an assessment method, particularly for Rail Safety Workers. Provided Skills Recognition is done with the appropriate level of rigour as other assessment methods (i.e. that it meets the Principles of Assessment and the Rules of Evidence outlined under the Australian Skills Quality Authority, and the Australian Quality Framework then there is no inherent reason that Skills Recognition should be regarded as a useful option.

Rail organisations face the challenges of attracting, engaging and retaining a skilled workforce.  Skills Recognition can assist by making better use of what people already know and can do.

The Skills Recognition framework focuses on how the prior knowledge, skills and experience of rail employees can be identified, gathered and put to good use within rail organisations. Skills Recognition can reduce the cost of training, enabling new employees to become work-ready in less time.

Skills Recognition enables learning and development to focus on areas of greatest need. In an increasingly mobile workplace, rail employees move between organisations, regions and countries. Skills Recognition can recognise the unidentified skills of current employees, and hence increasing employee motivation to remain with their current rail employer; this is particularly relevant for the rail industry which the Australian mining sector is currently competing for skilled workers.  For these reasons, it makes sense to use a consistent approach to Skills Recognition where possible.