Develop and be recognised for advanced RPL skills

The CatoHR Advanced RPL Credentials offered via Skills Education provide highly specialised learning programs to support advanced professional practice the design and development of assessment Toolkits for use in Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

These credentials offer professionals the opportunity to progress their knowledge and skills in RPL processes, benefits, and application through self-paced online courses with mentor support.

RPL Program Options

Advanced RPL Assessor - learn about candidate-centred approaches to RPL Toolkit, clustered RPL tools and system process development


Looking for clustering program options? Click here

Want to know what past participants have to say about the program?


Already, we've had a number of cohorts complete their Advanced RPL Assessor program. This is what they had to say about the course:

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

"...one of the best learnings I had from the program was why the assessor needs to take charge of the RPL process"

"...I've learnt a lot from this course. I've  gained new direction and confidence to proceed with more clarity about RPL and how we can make improvements at our RTO"

"...learning clustering as part of the course was a game changer"

"...I've gained new strategies. My boss is pleased I can offer insight on how to improve our current RPL offering"

"...the program was fantastic. I learned that not having documents doesn't necessarily mean 'no RPL for you!'..."

"...we have been used to telling candidates to go away and find their evidence. Some people don't have paperwork but that doesn't mean they don't have skills. Now I understand how to support this type of cohort"

"...the program was fantastic - it goes into depth about things I had not learned before"

"...I had Wendy as my personalised mentor during the course. Wendy is a wealth of knowledge on RPL and having her review and comment on our process was well worth doing the course to gain that overview"

Why these programs?:

  • We know the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment is an entry-level qualification and it prepares graduates well to facilitate training and assessment. And, although elements of clustering as a technique and RPL as an assessment pathway are included, the Cert IV does not specialise in either of these areas - both of which address advanced practice servicing real-world demands

  • We also know through direct anecdotal feedback, a high percentage of trainer/assessors do not feel confident assessing an RPL application - let alone developing the tools

  • RPL candidates are often left frustrated at the barriers within processes that make it difficult to have their existing skills and knowledge recognised. Many times, via processes that rely on a mountain of paperwork without needing to

  • There is a shortage of qualified, skilled workers - many workers are skilled, but unrecognised. RPL, done well, is a meaningful way to effectively address this national issue

  • ASQA have listed RPL as one of their regulatory risk priority themes for the 2023-24 period. ASQA are concerned about current non-rigorous RPL practices of awarding qualifications to people without the requisite skills and competencies. Our programs address these issues


The credentials include:

  • Advanced RPL Assessor Certification Program: Verifies skills to develop RPL Toolkits and cluster units of competency for assessment through a learn-and-assess or assessment-only pathway. Results in a digital badge and microcredential.

  • Advanced Practice - Clustering Certification Program: Verifies skills in clustering units of competency for assessment. Complements the Advanced RPL Assessor program. Results in a digital badge and microcredential. 

  • Learning Programs: Provides training in RPL and clustering concepts (no assessment - mentored PD only)


Benefits of these programs include:

  • Support to progress your RPL tool design and development capabilities to an advanced level

  • Get recognised for your professional practice through the credentials - on successful completion be awarded a microcredential and digital badge 

  • Undertake self-paced flexible learning

  • One-on-one mentor support - you are not left to navigate on your own!

  • Aligns to industry frameworks like the VET Practitioner Capability Framework


These advanced credentials are important for VET professionals looking to confirm and develop specialised skills in RPL processes and Toolkit development. The credentialing element provides credible recognition of abilities that can advance careers - yours and that of the candidates.

Courses open for registration 


The Advanced RPL Assessor programs are for people looking to progress their knowledge and skill in relation to Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):

  • Systems and processes to support effective RPL

  • Benefits of applying a candidate-centred philosophy to RPL

  • Different circumstances of RPL candidates; how to recognise and support these variables

  • How to design and develop VET assessment tools suitable for RPL candidates in various circumstances


As a microcredential, the Certification Programs (Learn and Assess, and Assessment Only) are for people looking to have their professional practice recognised. The Certification Programs include an assessment which will be reviewed and verified by experts in the field of skills recognition.

To verify their certification, course registrants will be eligible for a digital badge and personalised PDF certificate on successful completion of the assessment and course components.

Registrants from the Learning Program are eligible for a credential as a record of having undertaken the training. Note that Learning Programs do not result in a microcredential certification.

Clustering of assessment is embedded in the Advanced RPL Assessor credentials so successful completion entitles registrants to recognition for the Advanced RPL Assessor course and the Advanced Practice - Clustering course.


I want to do the...

Advanced RPL Assessor microcredential via learn and assess

Advanced RPL Assessor microcredential via assessment only

Advanced RPL Assessor Learning Program - PD only

Clustering Skills Program Options

Discover and hone advanced assessment developer skills for how to create clustered assessment tools


The Advanced Practice - Clustering programs are for people who want to know more about:

  • Clustering units of competency for assessment

  • How to go about this process, including when to, and when not to, cluster 


Clustering is a component of the Advanced RPL Assessor course too, so if you're looking for how to use clustering as a part of RPL Toolkit development, you might consider the Advanced RPL Assessor programs.

Registrants from the Learning Program are eligible for a credential as a record of having undertaken the training. Note that Learning Programs do not result in a microcredential certification.


I want to do the...

Advanced Practice - Clustering microcredential via learn and assess

Advanced Practice - Clustering microcredential via assessment only

Advanced Practice - Clustering Learning Program - PD only

About microcredentials and digital badges

The National Microcredentials Framework defines microcredentials as "... a certification of assessed learning or competency, with a minimum volume of learning of one hour and less than an AQF award qualification, that is additional, alternate, complementary to or a component part of an AQF award qualification."

It also says that microcredentials should be:

ü  Outcome-based

ü  Responsive to industry-need

ü  Tailored to support lifelong learning

ü  Transparent and accessible


In Australia, a microcredential must also:

1. Clearly state learning outcomes

2. Consider descriptors in the Australian Core Skills Framework when describing foundation / general capabilities

3. Require assessment/s that assess the attainment of stated learning outcomes

4. Be more than one (1) hour of learning but less than that required for an AQF award qualification (which is min. 600 hours)

5. Consider signifying mastery level achieved

6. Where applicable, stipulate industry-recognition where the microcredential is recognised by a professional body, satisfies or aligns to an industry standard or professional development requirement, or constitutes recognition towards an industry or vendor certification 

7. Where applicable, clearly stipulate credit-recognition, where the microcredential is recognised by an education institution for the provision of specified or unspecified credit or advanced standing

8. Provide a statement of assurance of quality

(more in the Framework document)


A digital badge and microcredential are not the same thing. You can earn digital badges without them being a microcredential. And you can earn a microcredential without it being issued as a digital badge.

For 'certification programs', Skills Education will issue the microcredential - the certification - as a digital badge and as a personalised PDF certificate.  

For 'learning programs', Skills Education will issue a digital badge and personalised PDF certificate as recognition of participation in the program. This is not a microcredential as there is no assessment undertaken.

Which Advanced RPL program is for me?

Any of the programs will be suitable for a VET Practitioner looking to confirm or develop advanced practice. 

If you want to be recognised for your skills to undertake the development of RPL Toolkits and/or for clustering units of competency for assessment, the microcredential professional certification courses will verify - via an assessment - your knowledge and skills in these areas. These programs are suitable for people who already have substantial experience in this area (assessment-only pathway) and well as people who will undertake learning in this area and be tested on their performance (learn and assess pathway).

If you simply want to undertake some advanced PD training, the Learning Programs will suit.

All courses are self-paced online courses will full mentoring support.



What is the difference between a learning program and the certification program?

A learning program will take you through the advanced concepts and practices related to the area. To assist your learning, you will have videos to watch, formative activities to complete and materials to read. On successful completion of the learning program you will be issued a personalised PDF credential which you can use as evidence of ongoing professional development

A certification program (the microcredential) verifies your learning and acquired skills by assessing your performance against set learning outcomes. If successful, you will be awarded a digital badge and personalised PDF credential to acknolwedge your professional practice. 

The certification programs can be undertaken two ways; via:

  1. A learn-and-assess option whereby you work through the provided material in the learning program and complete the assessment tasks

  2. An assessment-only option whereby you bring your existing current knowledge and skills in the topic area and undertake the assessment tasks


Assessments in the certification programs have been designed to verify skills outcomes and have been developed to support overall program alignment with the VET Practitioner Capability Framework (2013), National Micro-credentials Framework (2021) and various relevant competency standards.

Each program will give a detailed overview of mapping alignment.



How long will an Advanced RPL program take?

Each program is open for six (6) months, during which time you'll have full access to the resources within your program. As a guide, the hours to complete each are detailed in the diagram below. How long it actually takes you will depend on:

  • Your own investment in time to complete the course activities

  • The pathway you choose




What do I have to do / What's the process?

Full information, instructions and support is provided within each course.  The diagram above gives an outline of what you can expect.

The courses are fully self-paced so you can enrol anytime (no need to wait for an intake!).  Register and pay and your enrolment is automatically processed and a dashboard set up for you. 

All materials are housed within your dashboard and you'll also be given access to the Advanced RPL forum where you can interact with others as much or as little as you prefer. 

Every registrant will have access to a mentor and people undertaking certification programs will be assigned an experienced, fully qualified RPL assessor.



What's the difference in cost between a learning program and a certification program?

Certification programs require the involvement of an expert assessor. 

The costs to review your submissions to verify your materials meet the course requirements make up the difference in pricing between a learning program and a certification program. 

The diagram below shows the inclusions for the flagship course - The Advanced RPL Assessor Certification Program:

Something new to consider

All alumni of the Advanced RPL Assessor programs are automatically included in the new Australian Community of Learning and RPL - RPL Matters

RPL Matters is open for separate individual enrolment too. See the Community of Learning page for more information and to subscribe

Want more information?

See the participant pre-enrolment information packs for each program stream: Advanced RPL Assessor and Advanced Practice - Clustering.

Info session: Tuesday 19 March 12pm AEST (Qld time)

Register for the free 30-minute information session where course content creator Wendy Cato will share:

  • What the Advanced RPL Credentials are about
  • Why the programs have been developed
  • What's involved when you undertake a program
  • Why we're interested in supporting the development of skilled, confident RPL assessors


Already, the courses are attracting a lot of attention both here in Australia and from overseas, and this session is a perfect opportunity to know more about the development investment they represent. 

Register for the info session here


Need to know about group registrations?

Yes, you can purchase registrations for multiple people at once using our new checkout function

Yes, we offer a sliding discount scale for multiple registrations from the same organisation into the same course at the same time. Please email for more information: [email protected]

Can I just buy the resources?

The short answer is, YES.

Included in the registration fee for each program where there's a learning component are eBooks, video content, formative quiz activities, community of practice peer forums, and one-on-one mentoring.

However the eBooks and original webinars are available for separate purchase (eBook links open in new site)

The course videos are based on webinar content from the Master RPL series. The original complete bundle or select individual sessions can be purchased through the links below.