CLET TRAINING - Where Experience is Acknowledged!

From the desk of Allen Williams.

RPL or Recognition of Prior Learning has been offered in Australia as a formal assessment pathway within the Vocational Education and Training (VET) and higher education for a long time now. As an example, I received my first qualification via RPL in 1999, a Certificate IV in Investigations Methods, the first step in recognising my investigations experience as an Australian Federal Police Officer. At that time, the amount of RTO's with the expertise to offer RPL was minimal.

What is RPL?

Today, RPL is a highly regarded and regulated assessment process designed to recognise employment and life experience that can be converted into Nationally Recognised Qualifications. This can include jobs held, roles achieved, ranks/positions earned, volunteer work, travel, courses formal and informal that all contribute to your collective knowledge and skills accomplished over a period of time. At CLET, we have a dedicated RPL team who understand how to 'connect the dots' between your experience and relevant qualification criteria. We understand that employees in some cultures and economies stay with one organisation during their career and can work in multiple areas within the same organisation, while others change jobs and employers more frequently. We know how to assess and acknowledge both scenarios.

If you decide to submit an obligation free RPL application with CLET, our RPL team will work with you individually to recognise and acknowledge not only your achievements, but to map this experience towards relevant Nationally Recognised Qualifications that if successful, will formally consolidate your competency and currency in fields mapped to your career.

To support this, our government regulator, the Australian Government Regulator, Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) states:

'RTOs must develop and implement strategies for training and assessment that consider the characteristics, skill and experiences of each individual learner. The Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015 require RTOs to offer RPL to learners. RPL is an assessment-only process that assesses the competency of an individual—competency which may have been acquired through formal, non-formal and/or informal learning. This assessment seeks to determine the extent to which an individual meets the requirements specified in training packages or VET accredited courses.'

What does this mean? It means that having your knowledge and skills formally recognised via RPL and achieving a Nationally Recognised Certificate provides the opportunity to elevate you ability to achieve new employment if you choose to take it, some of which may be new and exciting.

Holding a Nationally Recognised Qualification shifts the power in your favour where your knowledge, skills and experience are transformed and packaged, where they become transportable between industries.

CLET's RPL Assessment Process in Australia

CLET's RPL Assessment Design encompasses the following:

  1. We focus on each individual and their knowledge, skills and experience
  2. We do not take workplace learning for granted, all knowledge and skills are acknowledged
  3. We understand that workplace learning does not have to be formal classroom based learning to be acknowledged
  4. We acknowledge the power of social, organisational and cultural factors in workplace learning and performance
  5. We understand that individuals learn informally and incidentally (by chance) - this is found under the Human Capital Theory
  6. We understand the workplace is now accepted as legitimate sites for rich, situated learning
  7. We understand that workers learn in the context of everyday work
  8. We have studied and researched numerous learning theories that we consider throughout the RPL process. Our findings have provided us with the expertise and the knowledge that workers learn in the context of their practice
  9. We understand that not all workplace documentation can be provided due to confidentiality reasons, so when necessary, we conduct our own industry consultation and research on your reported roles and responsibilities to further support your application
  10. We consider not only the evidence you provide, but our RPL assessors have access to and consult with our own extensive 'secure and protected' online 'industry vault' of evidence we have collected since 2006 conducting RPL assessments. This vault holds thousands of current industry documents relevant to all industries we specialise in - Australia's essential services

The Workplace is a Learning Environment

During the RPL assessment process, CLET's RPL assessors examine how learning is contextualised inside the particular workplace/s of our clients and establish where and when learning takes place. We know there is no real separation between participation in work and learning. Why? Because workers learn while working and work while learning throughout their normal working day. If you asked a worker if that is what is happening, they would probably so 'NO', or 'never thought about'! Our research indicates they are not consciously thinking about learning, as their main focus is on the daily work tasks and carrying out their duties, role and responsibilities for any particular day. Their daily goal is to remain productive and provide the necessary services required. Keeping this in mind, learning in the workplace is actually the remaking of practice, by performing tasks that contribute to and repeat their workplace routines.  Through this practice, workers learn to perform tasks faster and more efficiently. Our RPL process acknowledges this.

The knowledge and skills workers achieve are said to be product's of their organisations history, workplace culture and situation (training, roles, equipment, policies and procedures, stakeholders) and what is learnt and known is produced overtime. It is shaped and reshaped by the workplace culture, situation and change in workplace practice. The richness of learning depends on the kinds of interactions, activities and work tasks that individuals participate in. There are many opportunities available to workers to learn, such as social arrangements, rules and regulations, affordances (how they interact with something) and the possible change of role and responsibilities (promotion). From this information, we can see that workplace learning does not only occur in educational institutions. However for learning to take place in the workplace, the level of engagement by individuals must show commitment to be effective.

At CLET, we understand that not all learning is achieved by attending courses, in fact around about 10% of our workplace learning is done by completing formal learning, where 70% is achieved through experiential learning and 20% from social interaction. This is called the 70:20:10 learning model. The vast majority of workplace learning is based on what they call 'memesis', which is the observation and imitation of others performing tasks and then, as part of the learning process, practicing those tasks until they are competent. Some of the learning theories that support such learning, include the Transmission, Acquisition, Social Learning, competency based, Activity Learning and 3P (Presage, Process, Product) Models.

RPL Recognises Learning Through Practice

Practice based learning in the workplace is very much based on a learning process and not so much a teaching practice or course, even though many organisations do provide formal learning as workers progress to higher roles and/or ranks. Individuals engage in learning through everyday work activities and through guidance from other workers and experts. Workplace research data shows that around 41.2% of Australian workers learn by doing job tasks everyday, where other countries is said to be a lot less. 


The CLET RPL assessment team is lead by CLET's Director Dr Kate Martin whose grandfather was a firefighter and father and husband police officers, with many family members serving in the Australian Army, Navy, and Airforce. Kate has also interviewed and worked with over 20 000 clients from the military, police, fire and rescue, paramedics, emergency services volunteers, corrections, mining, health, and government at all levels since 2006.

To further support Kate's dedication to her clients, she has spent the last nine years completing her Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), where she has presented part of her research called: ‘Moving forward – identity work post service for Australian uniformed professionals in the Defence Force, Police and Emergency Services at the:

  • 2022 Frontline Mental Health Conference (Gold Coast)
  • 2021 Queensland Police Service Health and Wellbeing Tour (Roma)
  • 2021 Frontline Mental Health Conference (Gold Coast)
  • 2019 Frontline Mental Health Conference (Townsville)
  • 2018 Australian & New Zealand Disaster & Emergency Management Conference (Gold Coast)
  • 2018 Macquarie University Gender, Work and Organisation Conference (Sydney)
  • 2018 Australian Warrior Expo (Brisbane)

In addition, Kate has a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Psychological Sciences and holds eight Master’s Degrees in Social Science (Criminology), Business Administration (MBA), International Security Studies, Policing, Intelligence and Counter terrorism, Disaster and Emergency Response, Project Management, Marketing and most recently the Master of Investigations providing her with unprecedented knowledge and skills in how our clients learn in their individual workplaces.

Due to the high level of expertise in our CLET's RPL Team, when our clients receive their RPL assessment report, they can be confident that ALL of their workplace knowledge, skills and experience were identified, understood and acknowledged in the final outcome.

Amazing dedication towards our clients!

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Why CLET Training?


  • RPL team leader is Dr Kate Martin
  • Assessing service personnel since 2006
  • RPL assessors understand civilian requirements 
  • RPL assessors degree and industry qualified
  • Modern interactive online RPL application process
  • Apply online 365 days a year
  • Securely upload your workplace evidence online
  • RPL assessment is obligation free
  • Nationally Recognised Qualifications
  • Low fees and flexible payment plans

Why study with CLET?

  • Offering online gap training for experienced workers
  • Nationally Recognised Courses
  • Study 365 days a year
  • CLET's online system is called Study Cloud
  • Interactive online study and Assessments
  • Study resources available 24/7
  • No assessment due dates - study at your pace
  • Flexible payment plans
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
  • Online/Phone and ZOOM Student Support