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Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) at International Paramedic College


While it is possible to apply for RPL, it is hardly practical for a short course like first aid/CPR etc. The application time spent, and the costs associated would be several times the cost of the course. RPL for short courses is possible, but not be practical.

The RPL Process: Information for Candidates

In accordance with the requirements of the NVR Standards and NSW Recognition Framework, International Paramedic College, provides the opportunity for students to apply for recognition of prior learning or RPL as it is commonly called.

IPC recognises the AQF definition of RPL:

Recognition of prior learning is a process that involves assessment of an individual’s relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning) to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit.

What is Recognition of Prior Learning?

  1. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL involves the assessment of previously unrecognised skills and knowledge an individual has achieved outside the formal education and training system. This unrecognised learning is assessed against the requirements of a unit of competence.

  1. Credit Transfer

Credit Transfer Recognition is the acceptance of a current Certificate or Statement of Attainment from a Registered Training Organisation for completion of a unit of competence.

RPL guidelines

The following guidelines are to be followed during the preparation and application for recognition:

  • Any student is entitled to apply for recognition in a course or qualification in which they are currently enrolled.
  • Students may not apply for recognition for units of competence or qualification which are not included in International Paramedic College’s scope of registration.
  • Whilst students may apply for recognition at any time, they are encouraged to apply before commencing a training program. This will reduce unnecessary training and guide the student down a more efficient path to competence.
  • Students who are currently enrolled in a training program are eligible to apply for recognition in that program at any time, additional charges may apply.
  • Recognition may only be awarded for whole units of competence.

Commencing the RPL Process

Before an RPL process commencing, you will be asked to complete a self-assessment initial application form against the units in which you feel you have relevant previous experience or learning. This will give both you and us the opportunity to see if you are likely to achieve recognition.

If the self-assessment indicates you should proceed with an RPL application, the enrolment process will commence and the relevant fee must be paid. At this stage, you will need to submit or obtain online a USI (Unique Student Identifier)

Forms of evidence

Recognition acknowledges that workplace skills and knowledge may be gained through a variety of ways, including both formal and informal learning and through work-based or life experience.

In evaluating assessment evidence, International Paramedic College applies the following rules of evidence:

  • Sufficient,
  • Valid,
  • Authentic, and
  • Current

Like assessment, recognition is a process whereby evidence is collected, and a judgement is made by an assessor or assessment team. The judgement is made on evidence provided by candidates of the skills and knowledge that they have previously learnt through work, study, life and other experiences, and that they are currently using.

It also includes evidence to confirm a candidate’s ability to adapt prior learning or current competence to the context of the intended workplace or industry.

Forms of evidence may include:

  • Work records and work resume;
  • Records of workplace training;
  • Records of previous formal training
  • Assessments of current skills through observation;
  • Assessments of current knowledge through questioning;
  • Third-party reports from current and previous supervisors or managers;
  • Evidence of relevant unpaid or volunteer experience;
  • Examples of work products;
  • Portfolio of design products;
  • Photos and clippings
  • Videos or internet examples
  • Observation by an assessor in the workplace
  • Performance appraisal
  • Duty statements.

Many of these forms of evidence would not be sufficient evidence on their own. When combined with several evidence items, the candidate will start to provide a strong case for competence. If there is insufficient evidence we may ask candidates to complete additional assessment activities, your assessor will notify you of what is required.

Appealing recognition outcomes

If the student is not satisfied with the outcomes of a recognition application, they may appeal the outcome, like other assessment decisions. Further information on the appeals process is available within the Student Information Booklet and International Paramedic College policy and procedure manual.

Cost of RPL

Costs are dependent on if you are applying for single or multiple units.

Contact us to discuss costs of RPL for the program you are interested in before proceeding

Recognition Procedure

The following steps will be applied by International Paramedic College for handling RPL applications:

Step 1: Providing information of your skills and experience

Complete and submit the initial application form, which asks you to evaluate how much previous experience you have against the requirements of the unit of competency. You will also be required to indicate if you can supply evidence of your experience. We will have a look at the results of your self-assessment and get back to you with options for proceeding, these include:

  • A full RPL pathway
  • A blend of RPL and completion of assessment task pathway
  • Assessment only pathway
  • Training and Assessment pathway
  • Any costs or fees associated with RPL

We may ask you to complete a self assessment at this stage.

 Step 2: 

Providing information – A conversation with the assessor

If you are to proceed with RPL, an IPC Assessor will contact you and discuss the following:

  • That you understand the RPL process, i.e. a formal assessment process leading to a qualification
  • That you know where to access the RPL process
  • Whether there are any special support needs
  • You understand and can identify appropriate forms of evidence
  • If not ready for RPL, what training may be required
  • Any possible initial gaps identified
  • Any costs associated with RPL or credit transfer

Step 3:

Candidates compile and submit evidence of prior learning and practical application of skills and knowledge

Step 4:

The Assessors will review your submitted documentation and any practical assessments against the requirements of the Training Package. If there are gaps in the evidence, the Assessor will indicate which theory and/or practical assessment questions you should complete to meet the gaps.

Step 5:

On evaluation of all the evidence submitted, the Assessor will decide regarding competency and inform you of their decision.   If it is found that there are gaps in your prior learning, suitable training options will be discussed, and you will be informed of the additional fee.

If you have been awarded RPL, you will be issued with a Statement of Attainment or a Certificate.

An overview and application is available here

International Paramedic College understands it has a responsibility to offer Recognition to students  and is  committed to providing up-to-date and relevant information regarding Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer (CT) to all students before enrolment and whilst enrolled. To this end, staff will provide support and guidance regarding Recognition enquiries in a timely manner.

We provide students with information about RPL and Credit Transfer pre-enrolment on our website, in our Course Brochures and in our Student Handbooks. Students are also reminded of the opportunity for RPL during the training program in our Assessment Tools and by our trainers and assessors.

Further Information on RPL and Credit Transfer

To be awarded RPL, the candidate must provide evidence of when and how their competency was acquired.

To ensure consistency, fairness and transparency, IPC has established  a systematic, organisational approach to RPL as follows.

  1. Assessment Tools for gathering RPL evidence have been designed to:
  • Collect evidence to demonstrate prior achievement of the learning outcomes and assessment requirements for each Training Product on our scope of registration.
  • Provide a range of methods against which the student can  provide evidence
  • Be at the same standard as other assessment for the qualification
  • Recognise learning regardless of how, when and where it was acquired, providing  it is relevant to the learning outcomes in the Training Product.
  • Meet the requirements of valid, authentic, current and sufficient assessment
  • Provide a process that is fair, flexible, reliable, and valid.
  • Include reasonable adjustment for the literacy levels, cultural background and experiences of students
  • Meet the needs of students from different background and contexts.
  1. The Student will indicate that they wish to apply for RPL by completing the Application for RPL form available on our website and from our office. On receipt of the form the student will be contacted and informed of the fees and put in contact with the assessor.
  2. The student and the assessor will meet to consider the RPL application and ensure that the student:
  • Understands the RPL process, i.e., a formal assessment process leading to a competency decision
  • Has access to copies of the relevant units
  • Understands the requirements of collecting and matching evidence to the requirements of the units.
  • Understands the time frames and costs.
  1. Further meetings will be scheduled with the assessor to assess the evidence provided. Assessors will record the evidence received on the RPL form.
  2. If the assessor finds the student competent, assessment outcomes are recorded on the Assessment Outcomes Form and a Statement of Attainment or Certificate is issued. If the student is NYC, a meeting will be arranged with the assessor to explain areas requiring further evidence or training.
  3. All relevant documentation including results and evidence of the RPL will be filed in as per the Record Keeping Policy.
  4. The Unit Outcome code recorded in the Student Management System will be 51 (RPL)

Credit Transfer

IPC recognises the AQF definition of 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.

Credit Transfer Procedures

  1. Any student is entitled to apply for credit transfer in a course or qualification in which they are currently enrolled.
  2. An applicant will be required to complete the Application for Credit Transfer Form and present their Statement of Attainment or Qualification for examination. These documents will provide the detail of what units of competence the applicant has been previously issued.
  3. Applicants must provide satisfactory evidence that the statement of attainment or qualification is theirs and that it has been issued by an RTO (RTO ID’s and details will be checked on The applicant is required to submit originals for copying and endorsement by RTO staff or copies which are certified as true copies of the original by a Justice of the Peace (or equivalent).
  4. If Credit Transfer is being sought for a unit of competence which has a different title or code, then the equivalence between the unit held and the unit being sought will be researched and verified. In numerous instances, this information can be found in mapping documents published in the relevant Training Package or by registering authorities who provide purchasing guidelines or mapping guides and in the AQF Qualifications Pathways Policy.
  5. Whilst students may apply for Credit Transfer at any time, they are encouraged to apply before commencing a training program; this will reduce unnecessary training.
  6. Credit Transfer may only be awarded for whole units of competence that meet the packaging rules of the Qualification they are enrolled in. Where a mapping guide identifies a partial credit, this will not be considered for credit transfer and the applicant will be advised to seek RPL.
  7. Credit Transfer will only be issued when the student’s enrolment includes at least one other unit of competence; a student may not enrol only for Credit Transfer.
  8. All relevant documentation including certified copies of all Testators or Statements of Attainment will be filed in as per the Record keeping Policy
  9. The Unit Outcome code recorded in the Student Management System will be 60 (CT)
  10. Any fees and charges for services will be outlined and updated on our website


The following will be retained as evidence of compliance with Standard 1, Clause 1.13

  • Completed Credit Transfer and RPL Applications and associated evidence


Credit Transfer: An Explanation (AQF)

Recognition of Prior Learning: An Explanation (AQF)

RTO’s delivering in NSW:

NSW Recognition Framework

NSW Quality Framework

 Student should note that while credit transfer and RPL for short courses is available, it may not be a time or cost-effective option given the nature of any short courses.

 An overview and application is available here