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Are you looking at transitioning out of Defence? Or maybe you’ve recently left? Leaving Defence and building a new career as a civilian can be pretty daunting.
  • How will a new employer understand your service?
  • How do you express it in terms of civilian awards?
  • Which qualifications are best on your resume?

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.

Top 4 Defence RPL Qualifications




Find out how others have used their defence service to get qualified and transition careers.


Kenneth CarterMilitary 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 DefenceRPL 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.



Defence RPL

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.




How can we help?

Speak with a Military RPL specialist today and find out how you can make the most of your defence experience.

Find out what you’re eligible for:

  • Want us to get started on your assessment? Upload your CV.
    Drop files here or

Transition Career Resources

Download - 5 Biggest Mistakes Made When Transitioning out of Defence



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.

More info on CTAS and DAAS here.

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.

More info here.

How does the RPL process work?

  1. We conduct a free preliminary skills assessment and give you a report
  2. You tell us the qualifications you want and provide evidence
  3. You receive nationally recognised qualifications!

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.

  • You tell us what you’re looking for and where you want to go
  • You provide a few easily accessible documents
  • You’ll be sent a report within 48 hours. This will include a breakdown of costs involved and lists the qualifications:
    • You could be eligible for right now
    • You could be eligible for with a little more online gap training.

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.

  • We tell you exactly what evidence we need to establish your competency in the units that make up a qualification
  • You provide your evidence, then you can sit back and relax!
  • We match the evidence to the units. This is called mapping. Other providers may get you to do this yourself.

Step 3. You receive nationally recognised qualifications!
Congratulations! Your experience has been validated and translated into nationally recognised qualifications.

  • To save you time, we submit all the paperwork to the government for you. This formalises your qualifications.
  • You receive your qualifications though both email and post, within 14 days. Or, with our VIP Fast-Track Service, you can have them in just 7 days.

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.



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In the following client case study you will find out how Churchill Education client – Derek Keir landed his dream job thanks to the qualifications he achieved through RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning).

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Be Flexible, Chase Your Dreams, Never Underestimate Yourself

From protecting ambassadors in the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan, to managing security for the Australian Cricket Team, Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and global celebrities, Glenn Upson is a great example of the opportunities available in the Security Risk Management Industry.

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Kenneth Carter

[Client Case Study] How Military RPL Helped Ken Transition From Commando to WHS

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

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Joshua Egan, Defence RPL customer

[Client Case Study] ‘Josh’ – Defence RPL

A little while ago, we received some feedback from one of our Defence RPL customers who had just transitioned out of the ADF. Joshua Egan received a CPP40707 Certificate IV in Security and Risk Management, … Continued

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What our Defence RPL customers are saying

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