Are you an adrenaline junky looking for your next fix? Are you a nature enthusiast skilled in the art of bushcraft and survival techniques? Do you love participating in adventure sports like surfing, abseiling, mountain climbing, trail riding, white water rafting, snowboarding or skiing?
Let me guess, are you an outdoor instructor? If not, then perhaps you should consider it as a full-time career option. I mean, if you had a choice between working outside in the fresh air doing something that you enjoy, or being chained to a desk all day, then it’s a no brainer, right?
RPL is perfect for the outdoorsy type. Whether you’ve been working in the outdoor education industry for a while, or have used your spare time to develop skills and knowledge independently, you could be cashing in on your experience by gaining a nationally recognised qualification without any classroom study.
What is RPL?
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an alternative pathway to qualifying in a particular discipline. Endorsed by the Australian government, it allows you to convert what you have previously learned from formal education, training courses, work experience and informal study, such as volunteer work and self-led learning, into an accredited qualification issued by an Australian Registered Training Organisation (RTO).
RPL and Gap Training
RPL can also be used to identify any gaps in knowledge, which could be filled through an online e-learning portal at your own pace, in your own time, or directly through an RTO. The arrangement of gap training depends on what type of training would be needed in the first place and whether it’s practical or theory-based.
For instance, one of the essential units that must be completed for a Certificate II, III and IV in Outdoor Recreation is the provision of first aid. This would be something that couldn’t really be tested satisfactorily in a virtual environment. In a life or death situation, you certainly won’t want to risk not having had any prior hands-on practice in first aid procedures. Wherever possible though, online self-paced study will be recommended if and when it’s required.
RPL and Credit Exemptions
In addition, credit exemptions on higher degree courses may be achieved via RPL. If you get a Diploma of Outdoor Recreation through RPL, for example, you may then be eligible for an exemption of up to one year from a Bachelor of Outdoor and Environmental Education course that would normally take three years to finish.
How does RPL work?
The RPL process is very simple, especially with Get Qualified Australia, the nation’s leading RPL experts.
1. Free Skills Review
Once you’ve conducted a 2-3 minute free skills review online, an RPL Specialist will be in touch to discuss your eligibility for one or more qualifications.
If you’re deemed eligible, you can decide which qualification you want to pursue. You’ll then be teamed up with an appropriate RPL Assessor who will have a high level of expertise and industry specific knowledge in your chosen field, as well as a real insight into the expected learning outcomes and criteria that need to be fulfilled.
3. Submit Evidence
Every qualification on offer through the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) has a selection of non-elective (core) course units that must be completed. Usually, a fixed number of optional electives must be chosen too and these determine what areas you intend to specialise in.
On the Certificate IV course in Outdoor Education, 31 units have to be achieved to qualify, including 15 core units and 16 electives. The elective units consist of activities like:
abseiling, bushwalking, canoeing, canyoning, caving, climbing, cycle touring, fishing, four wheel driving, horse handling, horse riding, kayaking, mountain biking, rafting, scuba diving, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, snorkelling, trail bike riding, yachting, vertical rescue, white water rescue, tour guiding, tour management, natural resource planning, interpretation of native plant and animal species and interpretation of landscapes and marine environments.
Because RPL is an evidence-based assessment, rather than involving active study, course participation and end of term exams, it is imperative that you can demonstrate your prior learning. In other words, you’ll have to be able to prove you already possess all of the required skills and competencies, so that you can gain an exemption from having to actually take the course. The RPL Assessor will work with you to help gather all of the supporting documentation that may be necessary to tick off all of those prescribed units. This could include employer references, self-made videos of your skills in action, qualifications, training certificates, etc.
4. Evidence Assessment
The RPL Assessor will take care of all the formalities so that your evidence is compiled in a way that satisfies the demands for each unit in order to get a qualification from an RTO.
5. Get Qualified
If you don’t need gap training, a nationally recognised qualification is yours and will be issued within a few weeks!
Hundreds of Qualifications from RTOs across Australia, what will YOU choose?
Don’t delay, start the process today and you could be qualified in a very short time. If you live and breathe adventure, why not make a permanent career out of it?
Qualifications via RPL include the:
Become a supervised team member of a camp, recreation centre or facility working as an outdoor activity assistant, where you could be traversing a wide range of terrains and using various types of equipment.
Already got your certificate II and previous industry experience? Get a qualification upgrade and put your technical skills to good use by working as an outdoor adventure guide in a controlled environment, either on your own, or as part of a team.
Have you already got a certificate III along with proven work experience? Become an outdoor guide or instructor and you’ll have an opportunity to impart some of your wisdom to the next generation of thrill seekers.
Do you have a certificate IV, a current first aid certificate and experience working in outdoor recreation? This diploma would enable you to work as a facilitator, operations manager, outdoor guide, instructor or program manager, where you could be designing and implementing exciting outdoor adventure courses, programs and activities.
If you want to learn more about RPL, click here.