I want formal recognition of my existing skills

Trade or skills recognition is a process that assesses whether your existing skills and knowledge can count towards your apprenticeship or traineeship qualification.

The process is also called Recognition of Prior Learning or RPL and it can be given for a whole or part of a qualification.

Reduce your training time

You may be eligible to get ’credit’ for training, skills and knowledge and reduce the term of your training contract.

  • RPL does not automatically reduce the length of time of your training contract.
  • With the support of your employer you can request RPL be granted by your RTO and use the credit to reduce the term of your training contract by either:
    • recording credit on the training contract when it is initially established; or
    • applying for credit adjustment after the contract is approved by Training Services NSW.
  • When applying for credit the length of time requested in your training contract must be sufficient for you to complete the remaining units of your formal training.
  • Credit can reduce the term of your training contract and so advances you through the stages/years of your apprenticeship. Your employer should investigate the likely effects on your wages, because if 12 months credit is granted, you will commence on second year/stage 2 wages.

How to apply for recognition

Gather evidence that supports your application for recognition:

  • qualification documents
  • references from employers
  • descriptions of jobs and tasks
  • samples of things you have done
  • try the Commonwealth Trades Recognition Australia website for other suggestions.

For skills recognition for a traineeship apply through a registered training organisation (RTO) such as TAFE NSW or a private provider. An RTO can give you advice and help gather evidence.

For trade skills recognition in NSW, read our information pages on trades recognition and then contact the Vocational Training Tribunal in Training Services NSW on by calling 1300 772 104.

Competency based (early) completion

Another option is to complete your training ahead of schedule with a Competency based (early) completion. This involves an assessment of the skills you have for an apprenticeship or traineeship at a point in time before the official (nominal) end date.


  • Skills
  • VET


  • VET

Business Unit:

  • Training Services NSW
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