RTOs are required to offer RPL to prospective students under Clause 1.12 in the SRTOs 2015 unless there is a regulatory or licensing reason prohibiting them from doing so. Many providers fail to resource RPL sufficiently and find it difficult to manage and organise. Here are some mistakes commonly made by RTOs that you should avoid if you want to save time and money and prevent non-compliances occurring in your RPL processes.
Not allocating sufficient resources to RPL:
A lot of RTOs see RPL as less of a priority than delivering training, relegating it to second best and not assigning dedicated and experienced RPL assessors. By allocating inexperienced assessors to RPL who lack confidence in their abilities to conduct this type of assessment it can impact negatively on your clients and RTO’s reputation. RTOs make the mistake of giving RPL to assessors who are already overloaded with excessive workloads and the expectation is they will do it in-between their other priorities or off the sides of their desks. The reality is assessors need to be given sufficient time to manage RPL caseloads. Assessors need to be adept at developing relationships with candidates and their employers. They need to be skilled at establishing rapport with their clients and supporting them throughout the process. A suitability qualified assessor will have expertise in understanding how to collect RPL evidence that meets the unit of competency requirements, principles of assessment and rules of evidence. RTOs can provide effective RPL services by having dedicated staff for this assessment process that provides consistent touch points for students so the experience is personalised for each individual candidate.
Ineffective and inefficient RPL systems:
Some providers fail to implement an effective process for assessment only pathways in their RTO and have insufficient frameworks in place to undertake RPL effectively. They don’t invest in RPL expertise and fail to provide adequate and on-going training for RPL assessors. RTO’s that don’t do RPL well don’t recognise it as a specialised skillset and neglect to allocate sufficient resources in managing it. Some even discourage students from seeking RPL as they don’t have appropriate mechanisms in place to provide the RPL pathway. They typically have not engaged industry in providing input into RPL resources and have lost many opportunities to upskill the workforces of industry clients. By not placing value on RPL as an assessment only pathway they have limited the services they can provide to employers and experienced student cohorts.
Inadequate RPL processes:
Some provider’s neglect to recognise that learner cohorts with existing knowledge and skills are ideal candidates for RPL and have not implemented processes in their organisation’s to identify these opportunities. When they receive enquiries about RPL they fail to provide sufficient information or advice to prospective students about their RPL processes. They may also not have clear instructions and resources that outline expectations for RPL candidates and their RPL assessment tools are dense or over complicated requiring students to interpret training package terminology. These providers may also lack systems for monitoring completion of RPL steps so as to keep the process moving and fail to track achievement of milestones of tasks and timeframes associated with RPL activity.
Poor client service:
Bad management of RPL services can result in slow responsiveness to client enquiries (or no response at all). RPL is done best when assessors engage with candidates from the beginning and throughout the process. RTOs need to understand that their RPL candidates are often working full-time in industry and need flexibility and support in the process, therefore, assessors need to accommodate candidates around their other commitments. RTOs should ensure contact with RPL candidates is maintained at regular intervals not just when the candidate initiates it due to lack of communication.
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