Recognition of Prior Learning

What is Recognition of Prior Learning?

Recognition of Prior Learning or RPL is an assessment process that matches the skills and knowledge that you have gained through study, work and life experience against the training that would be covered in specific units of the Community Pharmacy Training Package. The Pharmacy Guild’s National training course for Pharmacy Assistants is based on this Training Package.

As you move through life you learn and gain skills and knowledge in many different ways. You may have undertaken short courses, attended training sessions or have been trained on the job. Or you may have gained skills through your experiences in your pharmacy, in other jobs that you have held, or other businesses which you have worked in. You may also have done voluntary work or unpaid work in your community.

All of these experiences have given you skills and knowledge that can be matched to the units that make up the Community Pharmacy Training Package. Recognition of Prior Learning gives people a chance to have their skills, or knowledge, formally recognised no matter where, when or how, the learning was gained. This process is not an examination or, a test. It is a matching process that examines what you already know and what you can do.

How do I apply for Recognition of Prior Learning?

There are a number of steps that you must undertake to complete the Recognition of Prior Learning process.

Step 1: Seek Advice

Speak to a Guild assessor once you have received and read through this information. If you have any certificates from other courses or training, particularly Guild Training, you may be eligible for credit. Your assessor can advise you on your application, which elective units to claim for based on your experience, and what evidence to collect. This is an important step, which will ensure that you send in the best application that you can. It might also save you time in the long run.

Step 2: Complete an enrolment form

An enrolment form should have been sent to you with this information. Ensure that you have completed all sections and return it to The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, NT Branch, GPO Box 1554, Darwin NT 0801.

Step 3: Obtain an RPL Application Kit

You will be sent an RPL Application kit, which will guide you through the process of selecting which units to apply for and what type of evidence to provide. When you receive your kit you should take some time to read and understand it. It would be useful to write down any questions that you may have or any sections that you don’t understand. You will be contacted by your Guild Trainer within a week of receiving the RPL Kit. Your Guild Trainer will provide you with information on how to complete the RPL kit and give you examples of the information that you should supply.

You will also be provided with Unit Descriptors when deciding which units to claim for. Unit Descriptors describe what is involved in each unit, and the performance criteria that you will be required to demonstrate, in order to be deemed competent.

Remember your Guild assessor is there to advise you through this process.

Step 4: Gather Evidence

Providing evidence is one of the most important parts of the RPL process. If you provide us with evidence that is factual, complete and comprehensive the process is simplified.

Your assessor needs to confirm your competence against every element of every unit of competence. This will require a number of forms of evidence to be collected:

  • A Portfolio of Certificates, statements, references etc
  • A statement from your employer, verifying your claim
  • Completion of Written Assessment questions
  • Verbal validation with a Pharmacy Guild Assessor

Step 5: The assessment

Once your application and the evidence has been reviewed, your Guild Trainer will then contact you and make a time to visit your pharmacy, or book a time to conduct the assessment over the telephone.

Where possible the assessor may want to observe you performing work tasks. In distance assessment this is not possible, so we rely on an employer or supervisor to verify the evidence that you have provided.

The assessor will also want to speak to you personally to verify all the evidence you provide in your claims. They will judge whether the pieces of evidence you provide give a consistent and complete picture of your knowledge, skills and attitudes in the workplace.

Evidence that may assist your claim includes:

  • Guild Certificates (if appropriate)
  • Resume
  • Job Description/Statement of duties
  • QCPP Staff Member Certification Workbook
  • Other certificates
  • Contracts of employment
  • Photos and work samples
  • References

Step 6: Obtain results of your application.

Once the assessment has been completed you will receive a report from Guild Training. This report will outline the units that you have gained and a recommendation of further units that need to be studied or advise of the certificate to follow.

The Appeal Process

If you disagree or are dissatisfied with the RPL process or the level of recognition obtained you should first discuss these issues with your assessor at your state branch of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

All RPL applicants have the right to see the report of their assessment and to have their assessment reviewed. There are three steps in this process:

  1. Discuss your concerns with your Guild Assessor
  2. If you are still not satisfied with the RPL decision, talk to the Training Manager
  3. If the problem has not been resolved, your Training Manager will give you details on how to lodge a formal appeal in writing.

All RPL appeals must be in writing and lodged with the Director, Industrial Relations and Training, PO Box 310, Fyshwick, ACT 2609 within 21 days of the notification of the RPL assessment results being sent to the applicant. A fee of $50 will apply for all RPL appeals. Refer to the Guild Training Handbook for more information.

What are your Responsibilities?

During the RPL process you have a number of responsibilities:

  • Information in your RPL application must be true and correct to the best of your knowledge.
  • You must provide official documents and other evidence you have of any formal courses or work experience that you have undertaken.
  • If, through personal circumstances, you are unable to provide official documentation or evidence of courses or work experience previously undertaken, you must provide this information in the form of a statutory declaration.

What are Guild Training’s Responsibilities?

During the RPL process Guild Training has a number of responsibilities:
  • Your application will be assessed by a Guild Trainer who is specifically trained in the area of Recognition of Prior Learning, and has experience within the pharmacy industry.
  • Your application will be treated with confidentiality and all communication will remain private.

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Page last updated 23 February 2017