Credit transfer and recognition of prior learning

  • Get recognition of prior learning (RPL) or a credit transfer
  • Obtain a qualification sooner
  • Acknowledge your existing skills

When enrolling in an accredited VET course, credit transfer and RPL are two ways you can gain credit for previous formal study and/or previous work experience. 

Credit transfer

Credit transfers are an official recognition of any formal study you’ve previously completed. If you’ve previously completed a unit(s) within the course you wish to enrol in, you may apply for a credit transfer so you don’t have to complete the unit again. You can also apply for a credit transfer for a unit that you’ve completed that is not listed in the course you are enrolling but is in the training package. 

Applying credit transfers to the qualification you’re currently studying depends on different factors, including: 

  • The training package requirements of the course, 
  • The currency of the unit you’ve completed, and
  • The authenticity of your previous study (the qualification and statement of attainment meet Australian Qualifications Framework guidelines and have been issued by a Registered Training Organisation).

CAL’s credit transfer process

Credit transfers can be a complicated process to navigate. That’s why we do all the hard work for you – cross-referencing your qualification’s training package requirements against any previous study you have completed – free of charge.

To begin the credit transfer process, you’ll need to either:

  • Provide CAL with third-party access to view your USI records and upload your transcript of completed unit(s) as per your USI account, or,
  • Upload a certified copy of your completed qualification(s) and transcript page(s).

Applications are made using the credit transfer submission link in the resource ‘Recognising your prior learning’ within Spark Learning Hub.

In most cases, the unit(s) you’ve previously completed can count towards your qualification without changing the course outline. If so, we’ll automatically update your individual learning plan (ILP) to reflect this. Sometimes we might suggest that you change the units in your course outline so we can apply the credits. If this is the case, we’ll reach out and discuss this with you before finalising the process.

If we’re unable to apply any credits to your qualification, we’ll detail the reason(s) why within the feedback of your credit transfer submission.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

What is RPL?

As an adult, you come with a wide range of skills, experience and knowledge. Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is a process that recognises these skills formally and applies them to your course of study. The idea behind RPL is to prevent ‘doubling up’ your education. Rather than teaching you concepts and skills you already have a firm grasp of, you can focus on covering the gaps in your knowledge instead. 

You can be granted RPL for part of or a whole unit of competency.

How much does RPL cost?

Unlike other RTOs, we don’t charge an application fee for RPL. This means the course’s overall cost will depend on your course’s fees and the outcome of your RPL evaluation. The cost of your RPL enrolment will be comparable to (and never more than) the cost for the same course undertaken via study.

Do I have the experience to qualify for RPL?

If you think you have the skills required to satisfy a unit of competency via RPL, consider the following questions:  

  • Is my prior learning relevant to the course?  
  • Is my knowledge and skill level current? (Some industries change so rapidly that existing skills may no longer be relevant or acceptable and evidence must be from the present or very recent past.)  
  • Is it transferable? A skill should apply to various settings and situations.  
  • Is it authentic? Do I have the evidence to demonstrate my knowledge and skill?
  • Is my knowledge and skill appropriate to the level of the unit or course? 
  • Do I have the underpinning and/or foundation skills that support my knowledge and skills?  

What is evidence?

Direct evidence is anything you’ve created yourself or been primarily responsible for (e.g., an operational plan you’ve written, verified as your work by a supervisor). Indirect evidence is information about you and relates to a performance criterion for the unit of competency (e.g. your position description or statements of results from training you’ve completed). You’ll need a combination of direct and indirect evidence to successfully attain RPL.

Important considerations when gathering evidence include:

  • Copies of formal evidence (e.g. existing qualifications) must be verified as authentic against the originals – see
  • Templates, surveys and process documents are not considered evidence unless you’ve clearly designed them (and you’ll need at least one third party to confirm this).
  • Any forms you submit must be relevant to you and the unit of competency ( e.g. performance review or project plans).
  • Consider video or audio recordings for evidence, but make sure that if there are other participants, you first ask their permission (on the recording).
  • Meeting minutes and emails to others are considered evidence.
  • Direct evidence allows us to observe you working. For example, in person or by using video.
  • Indirect evidence allows us to evaluate your current skill or knowledge level. For example, a finished product, created documents, communication, or a portfolio of your work. 
  • Supplementary evidence is any other evidence that isn’t an example of your work but supports the evidence you’ve submitted. For example, job descriptions, testimonials from employers, relevant references, or evidence of past training or education. 

Example | Eligibility for RPL


Ranjit has worked as a labourer on construction sites for the past six years. He’s decided he wants to progress in his career and plans to study a Certificate IV in Building & Construction (Site Management). 

Ranjit thinks he’ll be eligible for RPL for the units CPCCBC4001 Apply building codes and standards to the construction process for Class 1 and 10 Buildings and CPCCBC4053 Apply building codes and standards to the construction process for Class 2 to 9, Type C Buildings. 

He applies for RPL with his training provider and gives a combination of direct and indirect evidence, including emails with his foreman, work documents addressing building code compliance that he’s written (and his supervisor has verified), photos of him applying the codes on-site, plus other types of evidence. 

Ranjit is a good candidate for RPL. 



Deborah has been out of the workforce for the last eighteen years to focus on taking care of her aging parents and young kids. Now she’s ready for her next challenge and decides to undertake a Diploma of Human Resources Management. 

Deborah is hoping to get RPL for the unit BSBCMM511 Communicate with influence, given her experience negotiating with kids and family members. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have clear evidence to demonstrate these skills, as personal relationships are different than those an HR professional has with employees. 

Deborah is not a good candidate for RPL. 


CAL’s RPL process

  1. Enquiry. Once you’ve enrolled in your course, you’ll be provided with access to Spark Learning Hub. You can find instructions on how to apply for RPL and submit your RPL application within Spark Learning Hub.
  2. Assessment. A CAL assessor will be allocated to assess your RPL application. Contact your CAL assessor directly if you have questions or require assistance with the RPL process. 
  3. Outcome. It’s important to note that submitting an RPL application does not mean that RPL has or will be granted. The result of an application will be one of the following outcomes.
    1. Competent: RPL is granted based on evidence provided (this will also include a competency conversation between you and your assessor).
    2. Additional information request: The assessor requests additional evidence from you so they can make an assessment judgment.
    3. Not yet competent: The assessor deems you not competent as your provided evidence doesn’t meet the requirements of the unit(s) of competency.
  4. Resubmission (optional). You may have up to three RPL submission attempts per unit of competency. 

If you don’t qualify for RPL or credit transfer

If you don’t qualify for RPL or credit transfer but are confident in a unit, we can still help.

RPL can be tricky and often the required evidence isn’t available, but we want to help you demonstrate your competency in the most efficient way. The type of online and flexible learning we provide means you can be in control of your learning experience. Our student support and assessment team are here to guide you through this process.