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Transition is a word you hear a lot during your military career. You go to the career transition seminars, you talk to your mates about it. But the thought of 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 converts your experience to qualifications civilian employers can understand and appreciate. But you need to make sure you have qualifications on your resume that mean the most to employers.

We have been helping military personnel transition since 2006, which means we understand the value of your experience and what employers are looking for.

The #1 trend for 2019 will be evidence of a well-rounded range of skills. Ideally employers want to see that you have a spread of business, technical and specialist skills (relevant to the role you are applying for).

Following are the top 4 qualifications that are helping our Defence RPL customers to build careers in the private, government, mining and training sectors…

Top 4 Qualifications for Defence

1. BSB51915 Diploma of Leadership and Management

The BSB51915 Diploma of Leadership and Management shows employers that you have business skills.

It demonstrates that you can combine the two vital aspects of management: effective team leadership and organisational planning for success. Employers are looking for the strengths in their organisations that come from your skills in order and leadership.

This leadership/management qualification focuses on your ability to head up a team. It demonstrates that you have skills and knowledge in both human resources and management operations and can balance the need for business growth with the tasks of managing employees and their performance. It is also a qualification that has credibility in both the public and private sectors.

Possible career outcomes:

  • Project Manager / Supervisor
  • Operations Manager
  • Business Manager
  • Production Supervisor
  • Health and Safety Manager

2. BSB51315 Diploma of Work Health and Safety

Workplace health and safety (WHS) is a fundamental consideration in modern organisations and shows employers that you have technical skills.

Professionals in this field are always required because. Workplaces must comply to relevant legislation – in both the private and public sector. Pay scale trends show that WHS roles are often at the higher end of the pay spectrum. This qualification assures employers for jobs that require the coordination and maintenance of WHS programs in their organisation, that you are already experienced and knowledgeable in these areas, with a comprehensive understanding of WHS and its applications.

You can see by the sorts of roles that lead to WHS positions that there is often a link to managing WHS outcomes, so combining a work health safety qualification with leadership/management makes sense.

Possible career outcomes:

  • Work Health and Safety / OHS Officer (WHSO)
  • WHS/HSE Advisor
  • Work Health and Safety Manager
  • Maintenance Coordinator

3. CPP50611 Diploma of Security and Risk Management

The CPP50611 Diploma of Security and Risk Management is the highest qualification in this sector and gives employers evidence of specialist skills.

With this one under your belt, you can demonstrate to employers that you have substantial experience acting at a leadership level in higher risk security environments, conducting comprehensive security assessments and developing high level emergency management response planning.

This is an ideal qualification for those personnel who want to transfer their experience into a security and risk management focused role. At the Diploma level, you have experience in leading a team in this environment and you’ll be looking at jobs that have leadership responsibilities.

Possible career outcomes:

  • International High-Risk Security Consultant
  • Offshore and Domestic Security and Risk Advisor
  • Personal Security Detail (PSD) Team Leader
  • Protective Services Officer

4. PSP40116 Certificate IV in Government

The PSP40116 Certificate IV in Government is another specialist skills qualification.

It is an ideal qualification for those looking to secure a sought-after entry-level position in government or the public sector. (And remember, you may have the skills to justify the award of a Diploma qualification.) The Certificate IV qualification is often listed on job advertisements for AO5 positions in government.

Getting a good balance on your resume of qualifications to speak to the private sector and public sector also keeps your options open as you make decisions about your next career step. This Government qualification validates your advanced communication strategies, capacity to work within an established framework, your ability to maintain effective workplace relationships, skill in autonomous self-management and monitoring and improving service delivery to clients. It tells public sector employees looking at your application that you know how to work effectively within the government sector.

At this level, you may have some supervisor responsibilities of a handful of employees and you will be expected to manage your own work responsibilities with limited supervision yourself.

Possible career outcomes:

  • Protective Services Officer
  • Local Laws Officer
  • Field Officer
  • Compliance Officer
  • Regulatory Team Leader
  • Administrative Services Officer
  • Senior Records Officer

Other useful specialist skills qualifications include TLI50415 Diploma of Logistics, and BSB51415 – Diploma of Project Management.

Find out what your service is worth…

Keep in mind that the level of the qualification you will be eligible for may depend on your rank and length of service. Our qualifications range from Certificate II, all the way up to Post Graduate level (above a Bachelor’s degree). The smart money is on choosing the right level that reflects the career you have achieved so far, and the qualification(s) that will take you on to your next career move.

If you are thinking about which qualifications will best fit your situation, reach out to the team here at Churchill and have a chat. Our Military RPL experts are ready to talk to you about your transition, and guide you through the best options for your individual situation. > Give us a call on 1300 793 002 or fill out the form at the top of this page if you are interested in making the most of your Defence service.

Defence Case Studies

Kenneth CarterWondering how others have used their defence service to get qualified and transition careers? Kenneth Carter recently shared his story about how gaining RPL qualifications was central to his smooth transition from Defence to private sector WHS employment. You can read his story here. 



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.
Military RPL Subject Matter Expert SME

Talk shop with one of our resident Military RPL SMEs who understand the value of your experience and will help you translate that into mainstream civilian qualifications.  

Book your RPL Assessment

“As someone who thought they wouldn’t be able to get anything and then being given the opportunity to get these quals, I wanted to say thank you so, so much.” Josh

“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 

“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

“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

“We calculated equivalent experience from a different country, in a different time zone.Their communication was great, and it was a success!” Anna

A Skills Assessment is a conversation you have with one of our Skills Advisors to discuss how Recognition of Prior Learning could work for you. In this conversation, they will talk with you about your work history, training and experience, and where you want to go in your career. Based on what you say, they will make recommendations about which qualifications would be most suitable for your specific situation. After this conversation, you’ll be sent a report within 48 hours which details the qualifications you would be eligible for, and which ones you could be eligible for with a little more online training to fill in any gaps in your knowledge. Then, you decide how you’d like to proceed. This assessment is all cost-free and obligation-free. We find that it’s helpful to have the information about your potential so you can make informed decisions, in any case.

Once you receive the report and decide which qualifications are the best fit with your goals, we can help you with gathering the evidence you need to submit. We do the mapping for you – this means that we do all the fiddly and complicated work of matching evidence to units of competency within the qualifications. The whole process takes 14 days, although we do offer a 7-day Fast-Track Service if you need to get a job application in quickly! You receive both paper and electronic copies of your qualifications for your records. Then, you can go ahead and seek out your dream job, secure in the knowledge that your Defence work has been validated and translated into the nationally recognised qualifications that civilian employers can respect and value.

Since January 2006, we have helped Defence personnel exiting the ADF to translate their service into qualifications that build their careers on Civvy Street. Our team has spent decades in the ADF themselves with active deployments and proud military careers, including the SAS. Churchill’s other point of difference from other providers of RPL is our customer service. When you work with Churchill, you deal with real people, not robots or automated phone menus. These real people are trained and experienced Skills Advisors who are motivated by getting the best possible outcomes for you, outcomes that align with where you want to go in your career.

  • We begin by discussing what you want, not what we want to give you.
  • We won’t try and sell you unnecessary training.
  • You can find out what you’re eligible for before you pay a cent and there’s no obligation to proceed.
  • If we can’t help you, we’ll point you in the direction of another organisation that can.
  • We are transparent, honest, and upfront.
  • We communicate reliably with you at all times, and tell you exactly what we need from you. We don’t leave you hanging with unanswered questions.
  • We do the complicated mapping part of the RPL process for you, so that you can direct your attention elsewhere.
  • We have subject matter experts and ex-Defence personnel on our team, so we speak your language and understand your work.
  • We are efficient and fast. We know it’s important to get your quals in hand as soon as possible to take advantage of the opportunities they can afford you.
  • We’ve been doing this for over ten years. In this time, we’ve developed a streamlined and efficient process for RPL and gained a reputation for high-quality service delivery that we’re pretty proud of and work hard to maintain.

Are the qualifications I receive nationally recognised qualifications? Yes. Churchill Education is a registered training organisation, RTO:31430. This means that we are regulated by ASQA, the Australian Skills Quality Authority, 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.

Churchill Education has teamed up with zipMoney to give you the opportunity to pay for your qualifications on a flexible weekly, fortnightly or monthly payment plan, with up to 12 months interest free. To find out more about zipMoney, ask us! RPL customers are also welcome to pay directly to Churchill Education.