It’s not uncommon for people skilled in trades to not have the qualifications to back their knowledge up, and if this works for them, that’s totally fine. They might have their own business that they’ve worked in for decades, or have simply worked for a very long time in the industry. There are occasions, however, where having qualifications helps a great deal – having this knowledge on paper helps suitable candidates gain employment elsewhere or join industry bodies, but some also find obvious issue in studying what they already know. This is where recognition of prior learning comes in – in this article we take a look at what RPL is all about to give you some insight into this useful course. 

Who in building and construction is eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning?

You might think that gaining recognition of knowledge might be a difficult process, but one of the best things about RPL in building and construction is that it’s relatively easy to be recognised for the skills that you already possess. Basically, Recognition of Prior Learning helps builders with over 3 years of industry experience gain a nationally recognised qualification based on the skills, knowledge and experience that they already have. Why be recognised for prior learning you might ask? Once the relevant qualification has been obtained, builders are then able to apply for their Builders Licence. Although study can take years depending on how you take the course, the Recognition of Prior Learning process takes far less time than this, and can be completed in as little as 6 weeks. The first step will involve a free skills assessment to determine what available qualifications match your skills, and if you’re found to be a good match to a qualification you will then be asked to gather a portfolio of evidence. This portfolio will typically include samples of your work, any photos or videos you might have, prior certificates and reference letters. With this done, an assessor will go through your portfolio and follow up if there are any competencies that need to be double checked. If everything is all well and good, consider yourself qualified at a national level!

The qualifications available to builders

There are 2 main qualifications that builders can obtain through Recognition of Prior Learning: a Certificate IV in Building and Construction and a Diploma of Building and Construction. If you’ve had at least 3 years of experience in residential and commercial building, the Certificate IV in Building and Construction would be an ideal recognition for you to pursue. All you’ll need to do is gather a portfolio of evidence that includes at least two residential and two commercial projects that you have previously worked on and referee statements from builders you have previously worked with to back up your portfolio. If you’ve had over 4 years’ experience in residential and commercial building and have an excellent understanding of the building industry – perhaps you come from a construction managing, developing, architecture or engineering background – then you may very well qualify for a Diploma of Building and Construction. Getting recognised for any construction-related supervision, project management and building project coordination can be extremely useful through the opening of career pathways, so it’s something to keep in mind!

Get recognised today

If you have the skills, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have the qualifications to back them up – if you’ve not yet received Recognition of Prior Learning, get in touch with some recognised institutions today to get the ball rolling.