That’s where Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) comes in.
RPL stands for Recognition of Prior Learning. RPL is a process through which the experience, skills and knowledge that you already have can be converted to civilian qualifications that any employer can understand and respect.
Defence members are often surprised at the qualifications they’re eligible for through RPL. The training, skills and practical experience you’ve gained while serving in the Army, Navy or Air Force really adds up.
Getting qualifications through RPL means that you don’t have to sit in a classroom and learn about things that you already know. You can just show evidence that you’ve covered it in your job.
If you have a minimum of six months of relevant experience within the the last five years, and would like to know what you’re eligible for – fill in the form on this page and one of our Military RPL SMEs will be in touch. > > >
We’ve been helping military personnel transition since 2006. In that time we have assessed thousands of personnel and have helped our Defence RPL customers go on to build careers in government, training, mining and the private sector…
Based on our 12 years of experience, here are the top 4 qualifications for transitioning from Defence to civilian employment.
Military RPL Helped Ken Transition from Commando to WHS
Ken says gaining RPL qualifications was central to his smooth transition from Defence to private sector WHS employment.
RPL for Women in Defence
WO1 Allison converted a 30 year defence career into nationally recognised qualifications through RPL and walked into a civilian career quickly and easily.
Service, Recognition, and a Fair Go
Phillip says the Churchill RPL process made him feel ‘legitimised,’ ‘recognised,’ and ‘given a fair go,’ after being sidelined by injury and discovering his specialist trade skills and experience within Defence didn’t translate to the outside world.
RPL qualifications range from $995 – $3500.
Flexible payment plans are available to eligible students. More info here.
RPL clients are also welcome to pay Churchill Education directly.
Does Defence offer funding programs? Yes.
Many personnel aren’t aware of the different types of funding provided by the ADF for education purposes. Here’s a breakdown of the main types of funding and what they’re for.
Please note, we can’t give you any further advice about these funding programs or assess your eligibility for them, as they are internal and facilitated by Defence. This page is designed to give you information to use as a springboard for further research.
Career Transition Assistance Scheme (CTAS)
The purpose of the Career Transition Assistance Scheme (CTAS) is to support ADF members transitioning out of Defence to prepare for their civilian career.
Defence Assisted Study Scheme (DASS)
The purpose of the Defence Assisted Study Scheme (DASS) is to encourage ADF members to undertake professional training and education throughout their military career.
Partner Education & Employment Program (PEEP)
The Partner Education and Employment Program (PEEP) is a funding program provided by Defence to assist partners of ADF members with their education and employment. This includes vocational education and training. Eligibility criteria applies. More info here.
Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA)
Eligible members may qualify for assistance from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, or DVA for rehabilitation support services including Vocational Rehabilitation. This may involve vocational training, and/or Recognition of Prior Learning. More info here.
Army Relief Trust Fund
Members who have served in the ARA for a continuous period of 12 months or longer can apply for a loan with the Army Relief Trust Fund. General Loans can be used for the purposes of education. Loans are subject to approval. More info here.
Is there a Government subsidy available? Yes. Ask us for which qualifications.
People who live in Queensland may be eligible for subsidised RPL through Queensland Government subsidies programs. The qualifications that attract subsidies are those that the Queensland Government has designated as priorities, meaning that more skilled workers are needed in these areas.
Eligible individuals can complete Recognition of Prior Learning under the Higher Level Skills and Certificate 3 Guarantee Queensland Government subsidy programs.
As an example of how this works with Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), the cost for attaining a BSB30715 Certificate III in Work Health and Safety through RPL is $995.
But, if you are a Queensland resident and qualify for a subsidy through the Certificate 3 Guarantee Queensland Government subsidy program, you would pay a co-contribution fee of $80 (or $40 concession) to RPL in the qualification.
How does the RPL process work?
Let’s step this out a bit more:
Step 1. We conduct a free preliminary skills assessment and give you a report.
The RPL process begins with a conversation with one of our Skills Advisors.
This is cost-free and obligation-free.
Step 2. You tell us the qualifications you want and provide evidence.
You can make an informed decision about which qualifications are best for you and your career. Once this is confirmed, we can complete the process.
Step 3. You receive nationally recognised qualifications!
Congratulations! Your experience has been validated and translated into nationally recognised qualifications.
Are RPL qualifications nationally recognised? Yes.
Churchill Education is a registered training organisation, RTO:31430. This means that we are regulated by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), the Australian Government regulatory body for the VET sector.
The qualifications that we offer are nationally recognised, and issued under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). Accordingly, they’re exactly the same as those granted by other educational institutions such as TAFE.
Read commonly asked questions and answers here.
[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 … Continued
How Military RPL Helped Ken Transition From Commando to WHS After 30 years of service in the Military, Kenneth Carter was diagnosed with Late Onset Type 1 Diabetes and had to be medically discharged. Following … Continued
Gareth Rochester is an Infantry Major in the Australian Defence Force. In preparing to transition to the civilian world, Gareth approached Churchill Education about getting Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) to translate his Defence experience … Continued
Defence RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) is a vital strategy to assist military personnel exiting their careers in the army, navy or airforce, and helps to translate their years of experience into an asset in a civilian … Continued
As a brand-new transitioned ex-Defence and veteran, it is good to know that there are some organisations out there that take the extra step to cater for us.
Brett, Defence RPL Customer
John advised me on which were the most marketable qualifications. I didn’t feel pressured into going for bulk numbers [of qualifications], but for quality instead. I appreciated that and and people I’ve referred onto Churchill as well have been impressed by the advice given and the very professional manner in which they approach RPL.
Gareth, Defence RPL Customer
Through the whole process – the good liaison, the good communication, correspondence; it was most helpful. No question was ever too difficult. Not only did I feel valued, the whole process really increased my self-efficacy, my confidence.
Ken, Defence RPL Customer
ADF leavers may want to consider organisations such as Churchill Education to get their skills aligned to real qualifications so they have the tools compliment their experience in discipline, training and mentoring, etc. I used them in 2011 and came away with quals that complimented my military time (NZ) and have been very valuable in my employment opportunities. Military experience and skills unfortunately won’t cut the mustard by themselves in today’s employment arena. You need quals to compliment them.
Ed Te Tau, Defence RPL Customer
I went through Churchill to map across my competencies just before I got out. Was a WO 1 at the time and amazed at what we could get. Churchill were fantastic. In addition, everyone you refer may get you a reward bonus. Also, if discharging you may claim some of the costs as part of transition.
Jeff, Defence RPL Customer
Churchill Education helped me out.
I was able to get a job after being a grunt.
Daniel, Defence RPL Customer
‘…just want to say thanks for everything Churchill Education has done, not just for my RPL but for the Defence-dedicated program of RPL you guys have been running. As a brand-new transitioned ex-Defence and veteran, it is good to know that there are some organisations out there that take the extra step to cater for us!’
Brett, Defence RPL Customer
‘Agree here Churchill are amazing….. With their help I was able to use my military units and experience to obtain a Diploma of Management and a Cert IV WHS by simply completing a couple of minor units. These guys have the experience and can be trusted and relied on.’
Brendon, Defence RPL Customer
‘I used these guys for a Diploma of Logistics. Great assistance.’
Karl, Defence RPL Customer
‘Can personally vouch for Churchill Education!! Easy, affordable and they did everything for me.’
Ana, Defence RPL Customer
‘I have RPLd several qualifications through them and they were great.’
Kevin, Defence RPL Customer
‘I used Churchill education and just sent in my RTE file they sent back a list of quals I could get. I then paid for ones wanted. Very prompt service.’
Craig, Defence RPL Customer
‘Received my diploma in the mail today, great service…thank you.’
Peter, Defence RPL Customer
‘I RPL’d my diploma with Churchill and it was super easy. Definitely recommend going through them if you’re keen in getting some quals.’
Mel-Ann, Defence RPL Customer