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[Case Study] How Maurie Got a Diploma with RPL for Police

In the following case study you will find out how Maurie was able to make the most of his policing experience to gain a Diploma of Work, Health and Safety (WHS) through RPL (recognition of prior learning). But it wasn’t a straightforward journey, and Maurie wishes he’d known about Police RPL back when he was first thinking of transitioning…

Police RPLAfter 20 years in the Police, Maurice (Maurie) Fatnowna left his position as Detective Sergeant in the Child Protective Investigation Unit, to work in the private sector.

After many years in the Force, and with a family to look after, he says his priorities had changed.

However he says it wasn’t an easy transition, “The qualifications I’d racked up over my 20 years weren’t really translating the way that I would’ve thought.”

At the time Maurie thought the only way he could get the qualifications he needed to work in the private sector was to study. So he put his head down and studied for a Diploma of Management, which he says, “Took a lot of time and effort”. Not an easy thing – especially for shift workers.

Of completing the diploma he says:

“It made me realise that it’s important not to rest on your laurels and just sit back and think that everything’s going to be fine. Then one day when you go, ‘Oh, Jeez, I wouldn’t mind being promoted’ or ‘I wouldn’t mind being outside of the job,’ you look at your qualifications and you realise they don’t really translate”.

With his Police experience and diploma Maurie secured a lucrative position with Shell Australia.

Having been through the long (and costly) process of studying for his diploma, Maurie says he vowed never again to put himself in the situation where –

“Hard work for an employer didn’t benefit me on paper”.

“So this time, now in the private sector, I really took note of all the things that I was doing, and made a little diary note of whatever I might be doing that I thought was important to further studies.”

Because, he says:

“I really felt it was important, once again, not to sit back and go ‘Oh, well, I’ve got the job now so everything’s good, I don’t need to continue with my study’. I thought, it’s not necessarily about this job that I’ve got now, it’s making yourself available for the next one.”

So this time around, rather than studying for a new qualification, he made sure he capitalised on his skills, knowledge and experience accumulated on the job.

“I approached Churchill to look to translate all the extra stuff I was doing on a day-to-day basis into some sort of tertiary qualification.”

Maurie was eligible for a Diploma in Work, Health and Safety through RPL. No further study required. Saving him a lot of time and expense and opening doors to new opportunities.

Of receiving his qualification through RPL, Maurie says,

“Getting this Diploma means a lot to me because it shows my kids that you always move forward, you never stand still and you make an effort to educate yourself, and don’t wait for an employer to do it.”

Reflecting back to when he first left the Police, Maurie says:

“If I’d known that Churchill was available back then, my transition into the private sector would have been a lot easier, because I would have done all that hard work before leaving, as far as collating all of my police work into real diplomas.”

To currently serving Police officers, thinking about transitioning, Maurie says:

“There would be a percentage of police officers and people in the military sitting there right now, at work, and they don’t like their jobs. But they’re there because they don’t believe there are other opportunities, because they look at their qualifications and they go, ‘it doesn’t translate’.”

“Don’t keep the job and be unhappy. Don’t sit there and look at colleagues getting promoted, or don’t sit there and think to yourself, ‘I can’t do anything else,’ and therefore stay in an unhappy job, which affects you and your family.”

He says that many of the skills learnt in the Police are highly valued by private sector employers:

“These so-called soft skills that employers are now looking for, an employee’s ability to handle crisis, handle employees that aren’t doing really well, give advice, whether it be easy or tough conversations, and be good communicators; they’re difficult things. And you don’t necessarily get them after a six-year degree, but I tell you, you get them after being in the police for six years. I guarantee you.”

He’s right. In the course of your Police work, you have gathered many extremely valuable skills that are highly sought after outside the Force.

But you need to translate your skills into qualifications an employer can value and understand.

If you’re wondering what qualifications your policing experience may qualify you for, and the types of roles these can lead to, have a look at our Top 5 Police RPL Qualifications.

Churchill Education began when one of our co-founders, Randall Smith, had to leave a 16 year career with Queensland Police and his position of senior detective due to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This lead him on to discover RPL, and since 2006 we have been helping other Police officers to receive the recognition they deserve through RPL.

So rest assured that we understand the value of your experience, and we understand what employers are looking for.



Would you like to know what RPL qualifications you might be eligible for? 

You can either fill in the form below… Or call us direct on: 1300 793 002

Got questions, but not ready for a skills assessment?

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