A lifetime of learning and years helping in the classroom has helped Christie Howden earn a qualification by getting credit for her previous study and industry experience through Recognition of Prior Learning.

With all of her children grown and a background in childcare, Christie enrolled in a Certificate III in Education Support (CHC30213) in 2013.

Within months of starting the course she secured casual employment in the classroom, which quickly led to an exciting full time position but left little time for Christie to complete her studies.

Fast forward to 2020 and Christie is the proud recipient of a Certificate III in Education Support (CHC30213) after successfully undertaking Recognition of Prior Learning.

“I jumped at the chance to RPL as the qualification was always something I intended to achieve,” Christie said.

“After submitting all my paperwork, evidence and references, and having three professional conversations exactly seven years after I started my qualification, I finally gained my official qualification.”

“It's been a long time coming and achieving my qualification validates all the hard work I've put in over the years. I'm very proud and I'm very grateful for the opportunity. It's a lesson to always keep that goal in sight and never give up because one day you can achieve what you set out to.”

RPL is a way to fast track your way to a formal qualification by receiving recognition for the study you've completed or for skills you've gained in the workplace.

Christie dubbed RPL as a “wonderful experience” and encourages anyone with industry experience to consider RPL to shave time off their studies or gain credit for their experience.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the professional conversations with TAFE Queensland. The help, guidance and conversations was a wonderful experience,” she said.

“If you're looking to upskill or wanting to formalise your skills with a qualification, I cannot recommend the RPL process enough.”

As part of the Queensland Department of Education’s Standing Offer Arrangement (SOA QED101115), TAFE Queensland is providing the Certificate III in Education Support (CHC30213) through a recognition of prior learning (RPL) process.

Experienced teacher aides (TA2 level 4) employed in state schools can access the arrangement to gain a full qualification. There’s no cost to teacher aides—schools will fund the cost of the RPL program.





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