Get credit for your experience
If you have learnt a lot through experience since you last studied, why donít you simply apply for the assessment? Under Government policy, ACAS can recognize your current abilities regardless of how they were acquired, and you can earn a recognized qualification or a Statement of Attainment.
You can be assessed for what you have learned through:
- experience on the job
- in-service training and professional development
- your own reading
- involvement in charity, church or other community organizations
- any other informal way of learning
- unaccredited schools, or,
- foreign schools.
ACAS does not refuse assessment because you didn't sit the classes. And if you pass the assessment, you are not differentiated in any way from those who sat through classes and the credentials are exactly the same. In fact, accreditation rules prohibit us from differentiating between them in any way.
This is called Recognition of Prior learning (RPL), and all units may be assessed this way. You must be able to show that your skills are current, and that you have the necessary knowledge and understanding. You are assessed according to the same criteria as students taking classes, and this will sometimes require written work.
Its advantages are:
- It saves you time and money
- It gives maximum recognition for what you have learned in an accredited credential or statement of attainment, or perhaps a big head start on a degree.
- It uses recognized standards that might stretch you at times.
- In some cases you may simply choose to take assessments as examinations.
How much credit will you get?
This will depend greatly on what you have done and whether it fits an existing qualification. It will also depend on the fields of study included with the ACAS's accredited scope and expertise. There is no limit to the amount of experience-based credit you can use for a qualification; it can be the whole qualification. If you do not meet all requirements, you will still receive a nationally recognized Statement of Attainment for all units in which you have been successful.
Ask and talk
Although the admitting officer should ask you about RPL, you should also take responsibility to ask for it. Tell us what you might have learnt so far, where you feel your career is going, and how you might get there.