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VET Skills Recognition Procedure

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Section 1 - Summary

(1) The Polytechnic is committed to recognising the existing skills and experience of its students through a well-structured and streamlined Skills Recognition Process.

(2) This Procedure sets out the process by which the Polytechnic will provide Skills Recognition to students or prospective students.

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Section 2 - Accountability

Accountable/Responsible Officer

Role

Accountable Officer Vice-President: Vocational Education
Responsible Officer Vice-President: Vocational Education
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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Procedure applies to all Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs offered by the Polytechnic, except those undertaken through the Skilled Migrant Assessment Service (SMAS).

(4) This Procedure applies to domestic and overseas students whether offshore or onshore.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(5) Skills Recognition is the process by which the existing knowledge, skills and experience of students and prospective students are given formal recognition. Skills Recognition includes Credit Transfer (CT), Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Recognition of Current Competency (RCC).

(6)  Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process that assesses the competency/ies of an individual that may have been acquired through formal, non-formal and informal learning to determine the extent to which that individual meets the requirements specified in the training package or VET accredited courses.

  1. formal learning refers to learning that takes place through a structured program of instruction and is linked to the attainment of an AQF qualification or statement of attainment (for example, a certificate, diploma or university degree);
  2. non-formal learning refers to learning that takes place through a structured program of instruction, but does not lead to the attainment of an AQF qualification or statement of attainment (for example, in-house professional development programs conducted by a business); and
  3. informal learning refers to learning that results through experience of work-related, social, family, hobby or leisure activities (for example the acquisition of interpersonal skills developed through several years as a sales representative).

(7) Credit Transfer (CT) is credit given based only on documentary evidence such as statement of attainment/qualifications.

(8) Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) is a specific form of Skills Recognition. It applies only where an individual has previously successfully completed the requirements for a unit of competency and is required to be reassessed to ensure that competence is being maintained, e.g. for licensing or regulatory requirements. Assessment is conducted under a full fee arrangement only.

(9) Candidate is the person seeking Skills Recognition.

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Section 5 - Policy/Regulation

(10) Nil

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Section 6 - Procedures

Part A - Roles and Responsibilities

Role Responsibilities
Marketing 1. Ensure that there is appropriate and clear information on the website to explain the Skills Recognition Process, including fees and charges to prospective students/candidates.
2. Ensure there is reference to Skills Recognition options on each VET course program on the website.
3. Ensure that marketing materials developed for any course include information on Skills Recognition.
Senior Manager, Administration and Governance 1. Identify enrolment initiatives where Skills Recognition is not available or limited under the terms of the Victorian State Government VET Funding Contract.
Director 1. Approve the use of an appropriately validated external Skills Recognition tool where appropriate.
Managers 1. Ensure that applicants seeking admission to courses are given the opportunity to apply for Skills Recognition prior to enrolment.
2. Approve applications for RPL and RCC based upon assessment of evidence and skills by appropriately qualified skills recognition assessors.
3. Review and approve applications for CT.
4. Provide finalised applications to teaching department administration for forwarding to Student Administration.
Managers and/or Course Coordinators 1. Review Pre-Training Reviews and forward details of prospective Skills Recognition candidates to the relevant skills recognition assessor.
2. Amend Training Plans to reflect successful Skills Recognition assessments.
3. Ensure that the relevant Skills Recognition materials are prepared for the course.
Skills recognition assessor 1. Contact students who declare existing skills or experience prior to enrolment through the Pre-Training Review.
2. Contact prospective candidates in response to direct enquiries about Skills Recognition.
3. Conduct initial interview and self-assessment, prior to enrolment if possible.
4. Prepare enrolment documentation for candidates deciding to proceed with Skills Recognition Process. 
5. Conduct the Skills Recognition process according to guidelines provided in this procedure and in the Skills Recognition Assessor Kit, within one month of the finalisation of the candidate's enrolment.
6. Place Skills Recognition evidence in the student’s file.
7. Submit P005-F02 Application for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Recognition of Current Competency (RCC), to Manager for approval.
Teaching department administration officer 1. Forward Skills Recognition applications and enrolment documentation to Student Administration for enrolment and/or results processing.
Student Administration 1. Develop and maintain an internal procedure for the processing of applications for RPL, RCC and CT for VET courses.
2. Process results of Skills Recognition assessment according to the documentation provided and issue letter confirming outcomes to domestic candidate.
3. Process any requests for Qualifications or Statements of Attainment.
Victoria University International (VUI) 1. Provide Skills Recognition information to overseas students.
2. Collect Skills Recognition applications from overseas students and forward them to the appropriate teaching department.
3. Following the confirmation of enrolment, formally notify overseas students of reductions in course length as a result of RPL and/or CT.
4. Ensure the confirmation of enrolment is issued for the reduced duration of the course.
5. Report course duration changes in PRISMS if Skills Recognition is granted after the overseas student’s visa has been approved.
6. Provide written record of Skills Recognition decision to overseas students for acceptance.

Part B - Overview

(11) RPL, RCC and CT will only apply to those qualifications/skill sets and units of competency on Victoria University’s current scope of registration for enrolling students. CT is only available to students who are enrolled to undertake training in the relevant qualification. 

(12) For internal VU staff, Skills Recognition is available for assessment by a separate delivery area to that in which the staff member is employed. Where practicable, reciprocal agreements with another VET provider should be arranged to ensure the integrity of the assessment.

(13) Skills Recognition assessments must be conducted by assessors who have the required vocational currency and competency; and meet the requirements for assessors as documented in the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015

(14) Skills Recognition assessments must comply with the principles of assessment and rules of evidence. 

(15) Evidence to support applications for RPL and RCC must relate to work, study or qualifications attained within the preceding three years.

Part C - Preparing for Skills Recognition

(16) The Manager is responsible for ensuring the development, maintenance and ongoing validation of the master copies of the skills recognition tools. The tools must be in the form of the Polytechnic’s:

  1. Skills Recognition Candidate Kit ;
  2. Online Skills Recognition Toolkit;
or an alternative approved Skills Recognition tool.

(17) For every skills recognition application, managers must identify a skills recognition assessor who has relevant vocational competency and industry currency as well as competency and currency in vocational education and learning.

(18) The skills recognition assessor will conduct the skills recognition assessment only for those units for which they are vocationally competent and current. The skills recognition assessor will complete all required documentation to support the Skills Recognition assessment.

Part D - Information to Students

(19) As part of the Pre-Training Review conducted with all prospective domestic students prior to enrolment, any relevant prior skills or learning are identified and information about Skills Recognition is provided. Prospective students who wish to apply for Skills Recognition are provided with the relevant application forms (P005-F02 Application for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) and/or P005-F01 Application for Credit Transfer (CT)).

(20) Overseas students are provided with information about Skills Recognition by VUI as part of the admissions process. They are also advised of the potential implications for study load requirements associated with the granting of RPL, RCC or CT.

(21) Current information on fees and charges for Skills Recognition for domestic students is published on VU's website. Fees and charges information for overseas students is provided by VUI.

(22) Candidates applying for RPL in a course that is supported by VET Student Loans are informed about this scheme, and advised about later repayment obligations.

Part E - Credit Transfer

(23) CT applications should be processed at the time of enrolment.

  1. Students seeking CT are provided with access to a copy of the P005-F01 Application for Credit Transfer (CT) and assisted in completing this form if required.
  2. Students are advised to provide certified copies of prior qualifications and/or statements of attainment or official transcripts of results to the relevant course coordinator or manager, with their completed application. 
  3. Documents in languages other than English must be accompanied by an English translation. The translator must be accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI), or an equivalent body for offshore students. Candidates are responsible for costs associated with the provision of required evidence.
  4. The application is assessed by the course coordinator or manager and approved if the evidence supplied clearly supports a CT. A copy of all documentation is made and retained on the student file.
  5. The approved form and attachments are forwarded to Student Administration by the teaching department administration officer, together with the course enrolment documentation as appropriate.
  6. If, for any reason, CT applications are processed after enrolment, the course coordinator is responsible for ensuring the required documentation is submitted to Student Administration.
  7. The student’s training plan is amended to reflect the outcome of the CT application.

Part F - Conducting Skills Assessment

(24) All applications and enquiries for RPL and RCC (either direct or via the Pre-training Review (PTR)) are directed to the teaching area manager. The manager identifies an appropriately qualified skills recognition assessor to conduct the assessment.

  1. The skills recognition assessor contacts potential candidates immediately and invites them to participate in an initial meeting. The candidate is provided with the self-assessment tool from the relevant Skills Recognition Candidate Tool Kit or relevant approved Skills Recognition tool. Candidates are advised to provide a current resume and other evidence that supports the skills and experience they have identified in their application/PTR. Where possible, this meeting should be prior to enrolment and within one week of the pre-training review or initial enquiry.
  2. At the initial meeting, the Skills Recognition process, options for completion if the Skills recognition assessment is unsuccessful and applicable fees are discussed with the candidate to ensure they fully understand the process and their obligations. The assessor provides assistance to the candidate in completing the self-assessment if required.
  3. The skills recognition assessor documents any specific candidate needs that must be accommodated in the assessment process, or where reasonable adjustments to assessment may be required. 
  4. At, or immediately after, the interview a decision on whether or not to proceed with RPL for appropriate units is made. This decision is documented and signed by both the skills recognition assessor and the candidate in the Candidate Kit or relevant section of the approved Skills Recognition tool.
  5. Where the candidate elects not to proceed with the Skills Recognition process, the documentation gathered to date is collated and placed on the student file.
  6. Where the candidate elects to proceed with the Skills Recognition process, the P005-F02 Application for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Recognition of Current Competency (RCC), is completed and forwarded to Student Administration for processing. (A copy of the form is kept in the student file to be finalised and submitted for final processing at the completion of the Skills Recognition assessment.)
  7. The start dates for each unit listed on the P005-F02 Application for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Recognition of Current Competency (RCC), should be set to the date on which the candidate first provides evidence that will be used to contribute to assessment of that unit. If such evidence has already been provided at the time of enrolment, then the unit start date can be set to the date of enrolment. 
  8. Enrolment documentation is also submitted at this point if applicable. 
  9. The Skills Recognition assessment is conducted as per the Skills Recognition Assessor’s Guide or the Assessor’s Guide for the relevant approved Skills Recognition tool.
  10. The student’s training plan is amended to reflect the outcome of the Skills Recognition application.

Part G - Onshore Overseas Students

(25) After the Manager has verified that the decision to assess RPL maintains the integrity of the qualification and complies with the requirements of the educational framework of the course, the initial Skills Recognition meeting can take place. The student is advised to contact VUI to check whether the granting of RPL or CT has any implications for their study load requirements. If the student decides to proceed with their application following advice from VUI, and their study load falls below the standard full time study load, the student is advised to complete an Application for Reduced Study Load and submit this with their RPL and/or CT application. 

(26) Steps in the RPL process are followed as per Clause (24) a-j above.

Part H - Appeals

(27) The candidate has the opportunity to request a review of their assessment if they believe the process or assessment judgment has not been fair. The review process described in the VET Assessment and Resulting Procedure is followed in this circumstance.

Part I - Finalisation of Skills Recognition Process

(28) A copy of the completed Skills Assessment Candidate Kit is provided to the candidate for their records, and the original is retained by the assessor to place on the student file. The Application for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) is finalised and sent to Student Administration, together with:

  1. A request for qualification (only if this candidate has completed sufficient units to meet the packaging rules of the qualification).
  2. A request for a Statement of Attainment (only if the candidate has included a selection of units in their application, and is not planning to complete the remainder of the qualification).

(29) Student Administration process the Application for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) according to the internal operating procedure.

(30) Student Administration issue a letter to domestic candidates advising them of the outcome of the RPL and/or RCC assessment.

(31) The full documentation associated with the Skills Recognition Process is retained on the student's file for a period of at least three years from the end date of the relevant Victorian State Government VET Funding Contract.

(32) For overseas students, VUI provides a written record of the decision to the overseas student for their acceptance and retain the written record of acceptance for two years after the student ceases to be an accepted student.

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Section 7 - Guidelines

(33) Nil