Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

About RPL

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is a process that assesses your competency—acquired through formal and informal learning—to determine if you meet the requirements for a unit of competency. 

Each qualification is made up of one (1) Auslan unit and two (2) or three (3) theory units of competency. 

It is sometimes possible to receive RPL for the Auslan unit because many people people learn Auslan from family, friends and the community.  

However, the theory components are almost always new and most people will need to dedicate some time to study the theory units.  

To have your existing Auslan knowledge and skills assessed, you will need to apply for RPL for Certificate II in Auslan as a starting point. This is because you cannot apply for RPL at a higher level without completing Certificate II, followed by Certificate III, Certificate IV and then Diploma of Auslan. 

If you are a suitable RPL candidate, you will need to gather specific evidence and complete specific tasks in order to be awarded RPL for a language unit of competency. 

RPL applications can be submitted on each qualification in Auslan page under the ‘Recognition of Prior Learning’ tab. 

You can access the Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy here or in the Student Handbook. 


How much Auslan experience do I need?

As a general guide, those who are suitable for RPL are people who have spent several hundreds of hours using Auslan, with a significant number of those hours being within the last few years, as per below: 

  • Certificate II level: 276 hours,  
  • Certificate III level: 300 hours,  
  • Certificate IV level: 300 hours,  
  • Diploma level: 400 hours. 

If you have just completed a few community courses (e.g. Sign Online, Sign Language 1, Sign Language 2), then you have only completed about 30 hours of signing.  

This is NOT sufficient to be considered for RPL and be successful in the RPL process.  


What is the process?

Submit an online RPL Application Form.
Links to the application forms can be found under the ‘Recognition of Prior Learning’ tab on each qualification page.

Complete your Self-Assessment - this enables us to determine what level you are at.
You will be provided access to Moodle to complete this. Moodle is our online platform where our training material is kept.
You should set aside a couple of hours to complete this step, as it involves:

  • An 'About you' quiz, where we will ask you some questions about your experience with Auslan.

  • comprehension task, where you can try different levels of difficulty to find which qualification may be best suited for you.

  • signing task, where you need to upload a video of yourself signing.

Please note: once you have completed the above steps, you will need to notify us at [email protected] in order to have your Self-Assessment reviewed by an assessor.

We will then give you Our Recommendation about whether you can formally enrol in an RPL course and which qualification level you are at.

Our Recommendation can take up to two (2) weeks from your Self-Assessment notification to
[email protected].

At this time, you may decide whether to formally enrol in an RPL course as per Our Recommendation or you may be advised to enrol in a regular course offering instead.

Please note:

  • If you are a suitable RPL candidate, you will need to complete the qualifications one level at
    a time, starting with PSP20218 - Certificate II in Auslan.

  • If you are not a suitable RPL candidate, you will be given information on when to enrol in a
    suitable course.

If you advise us that you wish to proceed with Our Recommendation, we will use the data collected on your RPL Application Form to formally enrol you in the relevant qualification.

Part of the enrolment process involves having your LLN (Language, Literacy and Numeracy) skills assessed. For students in SA, this will be a supervised face-to-face test. For students in all the other states, this will be an online quiz that will be emailed to you. We will organise this for you at the time of processing your enrolment.

Once your enrolment is finalised, we will also give you access to your Moodle course containing
instructions on what evidence you need to submit for your RPL, as well as access to your theory units and associated assessment tasks to be completed.

Please note: Your Formal Enrolment in an RPL course does not guarantee that you will be
successful and awarded RPL for a unit of competency.

Evidence Collection for Auslan Unit

We will work with you to collect the evidence you need to provide for the Auslan unit.

This will include, as a minimum:

  • An Online Meeting with one of our deaf trainers. This goes for one (1) to two (2) hours and
    you will be required to:
       a. Participate in two (2) spontaneous Auslan conversations,
       b. Give two (2) short informal Auslan presentations and answer questions (we will give
    you the topics and you will need to prepare beforehand),
       c. Watch two (2) live Auslan conversations and answer questions.

  • Two (2) online Recorded Comprehension tasks.

  • One (1) online Knowledge Quiz.

  • One (1) Third Party Statement (e.g. information from your employer or a member of the Deaf Community about you).

Assessment Tasks for Theory Units

You will need to successfully complete all the assessment tasks associated with the theory units as per your Assessment Schedule.

Each task will be marked by an assessor and you will be provided feedback.

Assessment conditions are outlined in the Course Guide relevant to the qualification you are enrolled in.

Once all the above is completed, you will be awarded your qualification making you eligible to enrol in the next level if you wish to.


How long does RPL take?

RPL can take up to the same length of time as completing the regular course.

As a guide, each theory unit takes around 20-60 hours of study, depending on previous knowledge and experience. Some may take longer for students who are not used to academic study.

Some theory units also require some in-person assessment tasks, which are only offered once per semester. This is why it is critical you are aware of when these tasks are due.

Depending on the date of your Formal Enrolment in RPL Course, you MUST complete your RPL course within the dates of the relevant Assessment Schedule.

We appreciate that some students may work faster than their Assessment Schedule. Whilst we may be able to facilitate earlier submissions, there is no guarantee that we will be able to organise resources outside the designated Assessment Schedule.

Please contact [email protected] to find out whether this can be done for you. 

* Assessment Schedules can be found on each qualification in Auslan page under the ‘Recognition of Prior Learning’ tab and in the relevant qualification Course Guide.


How much does RPL cost?

RPL fees vary depending on the subsidy available and your eligibility for funding in the state you live in.

You can view the RPL fee that applies to you on each qualification in Auslan page under the ‘Fees‘ tab for your state.




RPL applications will only be accepted twice per year:

   - From 1 May to 1 July for Semester 2 applications (Certificate III and Diploma of Auslan), and

   - From 1 November to 1 January for Semester 1 applications (Certificate II and Certificate IV in Auslan).

RPL applications for Semester 1, 2024 are now closed.

RPL applications for Semester 2, 2024 will open in May 2024.


Contact us

Phone: 1800 893 855

Email: [email protected]