Queensland couple, Kylie and Stuart Brown, used Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) to graduate with a range of Diploma qualifications and spoke to the team at Churchill about how to stay competitive in today’s job market.
With a Diploma of Business Administration, Kylie brought together 14 years of business experience. With a Diploma of Business Administration, Diploma of Quality Auditing, Diploma of Leadership and Management, and the Diploma of Work Health and Safety, Stuart reflected his 22 years in the mining industry.
It only takes a few minutes talking to this couple to see that they are the type of people you would want on your team. They’re bright, positive and clearly have vast amounts of knowledge. Even better, they’re not just managers. They’re leaders.
Stuart has spent over two decades working in the mining industry and he’s very clear that it’s not the machinery or the technology that make the biggest difference to a company. It’s the people who operate the machinery that make the real difference.
Even so, both Kylie and Stuart recognised that being good team players and having the best of knowledge was not enough in this competitive job market. Employers were looking for qualifications that set the benchmark for skills and knowledge.
As Kylie said, “I think a lot of people do have that as a criteria box for some roles nowadays. And it’s getting harder and harder out there in the workplace, so you’ve got to keep up with the market and keep self-improving.”
It was Kylie who first used Churchill’s Recognition of Prior Learning free preliminary assessment to measure her experience against a range of qualifications. Having worked in the mining, public and education sectors, Kylie had administration skills that supported project management and work health and safety responsibilities.
When Kylie’s assessment came back, her experience pointed to a number of qualifications, and she was able to make a choice about which qualification best suited her career. Even knowing what qualifications her knowledge and skills amounted to made Kylie feel proud: “It’s great to be able to have that documentation and it’s a bit of self-satisfaction as well.”
With Kylie’s RPL assessment being processed, Stuart started to think about his own career and experience, and what that could be worth against qualifications. The recognition of prior learning process was new to Stuart and he had a list of questions: “What if there’s a gap? What do I then need to do and how am I going to squeeze it in to my work life and family time?”
“It was super easy”
Churchill’s RPL process was simple to follow, and Kylie and Stuart both put their business skills to good use in gathering the evidence of their skills and knowledge. As so many of Churchill’s graduates find out, Stuart quickly realised how much evidence he had built up over his career.
“I’ve got a number of hard drives with all of my work, massive amounts of work data on it. Kylie actually gave me a hand in developing a folder structure where I just had to drag and drop my documentation. And that made it so easy for me. … (with) all my documentation I had for my work history, which is electronic, it was super-easy just to drag and drop into each of the criteria believing have I met or exceeded the requirement.”
He quickly found that his 22 years’ of on the job experience had more than qualified him through recognition of prior learning. His concerns about having to return to study in the traditional sense were unfounded. The results left him smiling.
“When I received the results I was absolutely blown away. I got 4 Diplomas. I’ve done formal training and certification in auditing and the like, but then being able to be recognised in a Diploma is fantastic. It’s more than I could’ve asked for.”
“I’ve got the edge”
With 4 of the most current business qualifications to his name, Stuart has realised that the absence of qualifications had actually been holding back his career.
“I’ve been disadvantaged because I haven’t had them. I’ve seen colleagues that I’ve worked with progress and I haven’t. Those guys have opportunities to move into other roles because they do have the qualification. And they’re recognised for that qualification. So, now, yes, I’ve got the advantage, I’ve got the edge.”
Both Kylie and Stuart agree that graduating has given them greater confidence, both in their careers and in continuing down the path of further learning. Their qualifications have not only enabled Kylie and Stuart to see themselves differently, but have also drawn the positive attention from employers.
Kylie and Stuart now both see getting qualified as an important career tool and an external validation of their careers that will serve them well as they continue to climb their career ladders. And we’ll be cheering them all the way!
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