RPL & your trade qualification

Trade qualifications as (RPL) evidence

Planning on using your electrical trade background in your evidence for an RPL application for the Certificate IV in Electrical – Rail Signalling?

Here you can find out how to use an ‘old’ electrical trade qualification or your trade background in an RPL towards the UEE41211 Certificate IV in Electrical – Rail Signalling.

Firstly, to enrol in the UEE41211 Certificate IV, OR to be awarded the Certificate IV by RPL, you need to show evidence of holding the UEE30811 Certificate III in Electrotechnology (Electrician) or its equivalent.

A recognised trade qualification is a mandatory pre-requisite that allows you to be enrolled in the UEE41211 qualification or just in the UEE30811 rail signalling specialisation electives (Install and wire rail signals equipment – the ‘wiring units’). The ‘wiring units’ of competency can be used by workers who only want to work in a signals installation role.

What evidence do I need?

For many people it’s a challenge to know what evidence to present and what’s relevant.

Here are some points to consider:

  • Do you have a recent (2000—) electrical/electrician qualification that aligns to the current Certificate III trade qualification?
  • Did you do your electrical trade training or get your trade qualification before 1990? What evidence of employment as an electrician can you provide? (Remember, showing continuity of skill use is important.)
  • Do you hold an ‘A Class’ electrician’s licence?
  • Do you just need the ‘install and wire’ industry specialisation units to work in an installation role?
If you have a pre–2011 electrical trade qualification

If you have a trade qualification gained before 2011 (ie pre-UEE11 Training Package) and you’d like to count it towards a Certificate IV in Rail Signalling there are some conditions you need to be aware of.

1 Qualifications

There’s a difference in the way qualifications issued before and after 1999 are treated for RPL purposes. Establishing equivalence between recent qualifications is easier than determining how pre-1999 qualifications align to current qualifications. The following is a guide.

Qualification issued 1999–2007

If you hold one of the following qualifications you can use it to enrol in the Certificate IV in Electrical – Rail Signalling or into just the ‘wiring units’:

  • UTE31199 Certificate III Electrotechnology Systems Electrician
  • UEE30806 Certificate III Electrotechnology Systems Electrician
  • UEE30807 Certificate III in Electrotechnology (Electrician)

If you’re seeking RPL for the Certificate IV in Electrical – Rail Signalling you’ll receive part-equivalence for the Certificate III – you still need to show that you’re competent in the Certificate III rail signalling specialisation electives (the ‘wiring units’) and meet the Certificate IV core and elective requirements.

Be aware that the composition of qualifications can change over time, so there may be additional units you need address before your RPL can be approved.

Qualifications issued before 1999

If you hold a certificate or other qualification that was obtained before 1999 (ie before the time when training packages as we know them were first introduced), it will need to be determined whether and how this older qualification aligns to the existing training package qualification. HRD will make enquiries with a training package expert to establish alignment.

What documents will I need?

You’ll need to present either an original document (HRD will make a copy) or the certified copy of an original of any of the following:

  • testamur/certificate
  • Statement of Results (watermarked and/or letterhead; only if testamur not available).

In most cases the testamur will need to be accompanied by the statement of results so that the content of your qualification is clear.

Do not send original documents in the mail. Scanned and emailed copies are not acceptable.

If your qualification is incomplete, it will need to be mapped unit-by-unit to the current UEE41211 qualification. The cost for this process can be significant.

2 Trade qualifications – indenture

If you gained your trade as an indentured Electrical Mechanic apprentice you can be eligible for a Certificate III in Electrotechnology (Electrician), provided you can produce your Certificate of Proficiency and your Indenture of Apprenticeship certificate (or a Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship) AND evidence of recent work history. An Indenture of Apprenticeship certificate by itself is not sufficient evidence.

Remember that your trade background only gives you access to the Certificate III component, not the rail signal ‘install and wire’ specialisation.

Tradespeople apprenticed as Electrical Fitters may not meet the full requirements for recognition and will need to seek advice from HRD on what’s required.

What evidence of recent work history is required?

You need to be able to show that you have continuous, verifiable recent employment in your trade. Ways you might do this may include (but are not limited to):

  • contract of employment, project contract or similar that identifies your role and responsibilities
  • work instructions that identify you and your work requirements
  • position description
  • log book.
What if I’ve lost my trade papers?

You can seek re-issue of your Certificate of Completion or Certificate of Proficiency by contacting the apprenticeships administration unit at the State Training Authority in your state.

In Victoria this is the Apprenticeships Administration Unit, VRQA (www.vrqa.vic.gov.au).

3 ‘A class’ electrician’s licence (or equivalent)

A person holding a current ‘A class’ electrician’s licence (or interstate equivalent) is deemed to have the equivalent of the current trade qualification, a Certificate III in Electrotechnology (Electrician).

4 Rail signalling specialisation elective units

Some people who work in rail construction and installation only need to hold the four rail signalling elective units.

If you’re seeking to make your existing electrical trade qualification or experience count towards the rail signalling specialisation electives, (commonly called the ‘wiring units’), be aware that an electrical trade qualification and/or an ‘A Class’ licence by itself doesn’t automatically award the holder the wiring units.

These are the specialised rail signalling elective units:

  • UEENEEN102A Assemble and wire internal electrical rail signalling equipment
  • UEENEEN103A Install and maintain track circuit leads and bonds
  • UEENEEN104A Test copper rail signalling cables
  • UEENEEN121A Repair rail signalling power and control cables.

Evidence of an electrical trade qualification is a mandatory pre-requisite for UEENEEN102A. You’ll also need to demonstrate competence in each of these units separately. Each unit has its own pre-requisites that you need to meet.

If you’re already employed in a construction installation role and doing a wiring job, talk to HRD about the evidence requirements.

A successful RPL application leads to a Statement of Attainment being issued for these units.

How long does RPL take?

The time it takes to carry out RPL depends on the quality and complexity of your evidence, and also how easily it can be mapped to the existing qualification.

Just remember that examining the evidence you provide and conducting any demonstration of skill assessments can be time consuming and costly.