RPL Case Studies:
Gareth Rochester and Anna Buxton

Real-life stories about getting qualified through RPL.

Recognition of Prior Learning is a way of gaining qualifications for the skills and experience you’ve built up throughout your working life, without the hassle of undertaking a course of study. RPL acknowledges the fact that a lot of learning happens on the job, not just in a classroom. That learning is just as important, and deserves to be recognised – hence the name ‘Recognition of Prior Learning.’

Many people get RPL when they want to progress in their jobs, but there are also many people who get RPL to facilitate a change of careers. Whatever the circumstances, RPL takes the experience, training and knowledge that you have and converts it to nationally recognised qualifications that can be applied in any industry. A lot of people are surprised to find out just how many transferrable skills they have.

Here are a couple of case studies to give you an idea of how RPL can help people who are making a change in their working life:

Name: Gareth Rochester

Former role: Infantry Major, Australian Army

Why RPL?

Gareth wanted to quantify his experience in preparation for transitioning out of Defence into the civilian workforce. Gareth also used his qualifications to give him credit towards tertiary study, a Master of Policing, Intelligence and Counterterrorism from Macquarie University.

Current role:

Senior Consultant with a company that provides management consultancy, research and project management services to public and private sector clients in Australia.


Having his Defence experience and qualifications packaged into nationally recognised civilian qualifications was useful when it came to communicating to potential employers what he could actually do, Gareth says. ‘There’s still not a full understanding by many in the public sector of what Defence does and how much of a modern organisation they are…Quite a few of the jobs I was applying for actually required these qualifications, so it certainly helped.’

On Churchill:

The point of difference with Churchill was the customer service, Gareth says, and the integrity of the organisation. He also appreciated the ease of the process, saying that ‘it was completely painless.’

Name: Anna Buxton

Former role: Human Resources Development Consultant, Canada

Why RPL?

When she decided to return to Australia after a ten-year stint in Canada, Anna started to look for Australian jobs online and realised that she was missing something that every employer was asking for: nationally recognised qualifications. ‘I knew I could do those jobs,’ she says, ‘but in the ten years that I’d been gone, the industry in Australia had moved on. I really needed that piece of paper.’

Qualifications attained through RPL:

  • TAA40107 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
  • BSB51107 Diploma of Management

Current role:

Work Health and Safety and Human Resources Manager in an aged care organisation


Anna’s qualifications helped to get her over the line in a competitive job-seeking climate. ‘Other people had experience too, but I had the qualifications to back it up,’ she says. Anna is now at a pay level equivalent to her Canadian salary, and works just five minutes from her home.

On Churchill:

‘Calculating equivalent experience from a different country, in a different time zone, meant that we did a lot over email. But their communication was great, and it was a success!’

Are you considering a change in your working life?

Qualifications might be just what you’re looking for to help bridge the gap between different roles or different industries. We can do a preliminary assessment of your eligibility for quals – and it’s both cost and obligation-free.

Find out what you could get by emailing info@churchilleducation.edu.au or calling 1300 793 002.

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