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Recognition of Prior Learning – helping you prepare for the unexpected

Last week I spoke about the fear that some of us carry when we aren't officially and formally qualified to do a role. For me, I was lucky, in that when an opportunity to change roles came up with Churchill Education, my experience alone was enough to get me the job, but that's not always the case.

When up against stiff competition in a competitive job market, it obviously pays to have everything you can at your disposal. At least that's what one of our graduates, Matthew found. Matthew had made the wise decision to invest in completing a BSB51107 Diploma of Management (now superseded by BSB51918 Diploma of Leadership and Management) and a TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (now superseded by TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment)

using recognition of prior learning. He had gone and obtained these qualifications whilst he was still employed by his now, former employer. I say former, as Matthew's employer shortly fell on hard times, and made the choice to look at redundancies. Despite his experience and qualifications, Matthew's job was unfortunately one of the roles to be made redundant.

It wasn't the situation Matthew expected to find himself in, but when he sat down to update his resume, there was a sense of relief that he had both experience and formal qualifications to list and help him in his job search.

That relief was bolstered when Matthew found himself a new role in injury management relatively quickly. We spoke to Matthew shortly after he landed his new role and he shared with us that his qualifications that he obtained through recognition of prior learning were specifically mentioned as the reason his job application was successful.

So experience alone doesn't always get you the role you're after, and a qualification won't always save you from redundancy, but when you're faced with the prospect of applying for a new role, it's safe to say that experience paired with a qualification yields a much higher chance of success.

So then comes the question of what to do next if you think you will look for another role one day and at the moment, you're only equipped with your experience. Firstly, never underestimate your experience. Just because employers tend to value qualifications over experience, does not mean your experience isn't extremely valuable, and here's why:

Your experience can equal qualifications

This means your experience can be recognised and mapped across to qualifications through a process called Recognition of Prior Learning. Put simply, Recognition of Prior Learning is a process which involves taking evidence of your experience, which can be anything to do with your role like evidence of performance management conversations if you're a Team Leader. This evidence is then carefully assessed and at the end you can be awarded a formally recognised qualification!

So you have the best of both worlds, experience and that all-important piece of paper. Then you're in the best possible position when applying for roles. You're ahead of those with only a qualification and those who've only got the experience. And in our time working with graduates, it's often those with both who quickly see new job opportunities coming their way.

If you would like to learn more about the Recognition of Prior Learning process, give us a call on 1300 793 002.

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