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 relative safety of the Defence Force. This may seem a contradiction – given that 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 is unpredictable, especially for those people who only know the structured life within the defence forces.
When the time comes to think seriously about leaving the ADF, when it’s time to update that resume and prepare for job search, the truth can hit home – has enough been done to prepare for transition into ‘civvy street’.
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 necessay to upgrade those qualifications.
The thing is, defence personnel have great skills, excellent work ethic along with mature organisational and supervision skills, they just don’t have a piece of paper that certifies that experience and those achievements.
Now, they may find a prospective employer who says formally recognised qualifications aren’t that important, that experience in work and life is what they’re looking for… Wrong!
Most employers want to see formal qualifications before they assess work and life experience. It’s just a fact of business life.
But don’t sweat. 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.
You may have heard of RPL before, and you might have heard it’s a pretty complicated and time-consuming process. And it can be… but it doesn’t have to be.
The first step in gaining those industry recognisable qualifications is to find the righ 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 369 935 to discuss your RPL options.