Fiona Bryant and Randall Smith have both served time in the justice system in Queensland. Fiona did twenty-eight years, and Randall did sixteen.
Fortunately, they were both on the right side of the bars!
Fiona worked as a Sentence Planning Advisor with the Department of Corrective Services in Queensland and Randall progressed through the ranks to become a Detective Sergeant with the Queensland Police Service. Both Randall and Fiona now have nationally recognised qualifications in Government, but neither set foot in a classroom to get them.
Here’s what happened:
For Fiona Bryant, it was starting to get a little annoying being overlooked for promotions, even with her years of experience in her department.
‘I had nothing to show for it,’ she says. ‘New staffs were coming in and they were all fresh out of university with degrees under their belts and here I was, in a position where I’d been around, I knew how things worked, but I didn’t have a degree like they did. That was really frustrating.’
Knowing how things operate in government workplaces is an essential part of her job, Fiona says. ‘I’ve had a lot of experience with bureaucracy. Dealing with all the red tape, the chains of command, the checks and double-checks, getting different people to sign off on things- it’s all stuff you learn on the job. It’s important.’
But, in the race for promotion, a formal qualification trumped those years of on-the-job learning every time. Until last year, when a colleague told Fiona there might be a solution to her problem.
Working with Churchill Education, Fiona found that her experience did indeed count. Through RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) and a bit of extra coursework done in her own time, she was able to make her years of service translate to a PSP50116 Diploma of Government and a BSB51107 Diploma of Management (now superseded by the BSB51918 Diploma of Leadership and Management).
Now, Fiona can hold her head up high amongst her colleagues when it comes to formal qualifications, and she’s hung them on her wall at work to prove it.
‘Everyone in the office is now aware that I have these qualifications. I like that. It feels really good.’
Randall Smith is familiar with that feeling of pride that comes with seeing your career experience converted to qualifications, and it was a feeling he definitely needed at that time.
After sixteen years, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder had ended Randall’s career with the police. When that happened, everything got left behind: his role, responsibilities, career progress, badge and the identity that came with it. Randall knew that his skills and experience were substantial, but he had no qualifications that meant anything to anyone outside the police.
Randall set about obtaining business management qualifications through RPL and was surprised at how frustrating, complicated and time-consuming the process was. Randall got the first of his many qualifications, but it was the process itself that became the foundation of his next career- helping others through the RPL procedure to get their nationally recognised qualifications.
Randall began Churchill Education from a desk in the corner of the bedroom he shared with his wife Tricia. Now, more than ten years later, Randall has moved into the position of Executive Chairman of the Board, while Tricia has taken up the reins as CEO.
Both Tricia and Randall remain committed to their original vision of providing an RPL process that is accurate, efficient and streamlined for students. They understand from Randall’s own journey how it feels to have experience but nothing to back it up, and they know how to remedy that.
Are you interested in finding out if you’re eligible for a Diploma of Government too?
Do you want that feeling of pride that Fiona and Randall got when they saw their years of work converted to nationally recognised qualifications?