Updating ‘civvy’ qualifications

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RECOGNISING THE EQUIVALENCY OF DEFENCE TRAINING

No one wants to willingly come out and say it: “I’m not actually qualified to do this.”  This is a natural reservation, comtemplating your future away from the security and familiarity of the Defence Force, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Military service is potentially a very dangerous, even life threatening profession, but military life is clearly predictable, with mature support structures in place for personnel and their families. On the other hand, life outside the military can be regarded as unpredictable, especially for those people who only know the structured life within the defence forces.

Many defence personnel build their life around their military career but put aside the real need to acquire equivalent civilian qualfications, have those qualifications recognised, and undergo training where necessary to upgrade those qualifications.

Defence personnel have great skills, excellent work ethic along with mature organisational and supervision skills; for many, they just don’t have a piece of paper that certifies that experience and those achievements.

Most prospective employers want to see formal qualifications before they assess an applicant’s work and life experience. It’s just a fact of life.

But don’t worry. Defence personnel are in the fortunate position of having years of experience behind them and skills learnt over time. Getting that recognised qualification might not actually mean going back to the classroom… because there’s something called RPL, which stands for Recognition of Prior Learning.

Anyone who has previous knowledge, experience or skills relevant to the course of study that they want to complete can apply for RPL, regardless of whether your training or experience was in Australia or abroad.

RPL is important in many ways:

* It means that your previous work experience, knowledge and skills are formally recognised.
* It prevents you having to undergo training or instruction in areas in which you are already competent.
* It can reduce the amount of time it takes you to secure a full qualification.

The first step in gaining industry recognisable qualifications is to find the right career ‘coach’. Someone who can provide the guidance necessary to get that ‘piece of paper’.

Check with your TAFE, college or registered training organisation (RTO) before you enrol. All RTOs are required to offer RPL assessment.

You can also contact  the Department of Education and Training on 1300 566 046 to discuss your RPL options.

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