Store spatial data
If you are considering applying for RPL for CPPSIS4002A Store and retrieve spatial data, this section will provide you with all of the information you will need.
Please explore the information available here to help you prepare for the RPL assessment process.
Steps 1 and 2 will provide you with all of the general information you will need on RPL.
Steps 3, 4 and 5 will assist you to compile your evidence and prepare for submission to your RPL assessor.
The RPL process
Learn all about the process for gaining recognition of prior learning (RPL).
Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is a way for you to achieve competency in a whole or partial qualification through demonstration of your existing skills, knowledge and experience.
The following information gives you a detailed overview of each step in the RPL assessment process, and what's involved, so that you can gain an understanding of exactly what your RPL assessor will be looking for at each stage of the process.
Please note: this is only an example of an RPL assessment process, and it may not be exactly the same as the process you go through with your assessor. However, this example highlights the main steps in the process and what's involved with each one.
Application for RPL
You will be required to fill in some forms and provide information relating to your skills, knowledge and experience, as part of the RPL application process. It's important that you provide as much information of your previous experience in the surveying industry as possible, so that your assessor can ascertain whether you will be suitable for RPL.
The kinds of documentation you may be asked for at this stage may include:
- a brief CV or work history
- position description/s from your current and/or previous position/s
- examples of work you have completed
- certificates/results of assessment from training or courses you have completed
- details of in-house courses, workshops, seminars, orientation or induction sessions you have attended
- references and/or letters from previous employers, managers and/or clients.
You'll also be asked to provide contact details for one or two referees who can confirm your skills in context and over time in relation to required industry standards.
Initial meeting with your RPL assessor
Once your application for RPL has been appraised and approved, you will be invited to meet with your RPL assessor. This is an important stage in the process, and provides an opportunity for you to ask questions and clarify your understanding about what's required. Your assessor should provide you with details of the assessment process he/she will follow, and what timelines are involved.
Together with your assessor, you will begin to align your evidence, skills, knowledge and experience to the competencies in the surveying qualification. There may be instances where you have little, or no, documentary information of your existing skills, knowledge and experience. This is not a barrier to gaining RPL – it will just mean that your assessor will need to rely more heavily on the questioning, practical assessment and referee validation phases of the RPL assessment process.
Gather evidence as required
Following instructions from your RPL assessor, based on your initial meeting, you can now go about gathering further evidence for your portfolio. This time, because your assessor has already seen some of your evidence and learned about your previous experience, your evidence gathering will be more targeted to the unit/s of competency, and more specific to their individual assessment requirements.
Remember the rules and guidelines for evidence, and if you have any queries at all, check with your assessor. You should also keep a checklist of all the evidence you gather, so that you can provide your assessor with an evidence summary sheet that shows 'at a glance' what your portfolio contains.
If required, you can contact your assessor to assist the evidence gathering process. Your assessor can help to:
- interpret the units of competency
- advise on matching evidence to the competencies
- clarify ways to organise the portfolio
- clarify the underpinning knowledge and skills required
- identify ways to fill any gaps in your experience and learning.
Your assessor will now review the evidence you have gathered. They will be checking it against the rules of evidence, and ensuring that it represents a sufficient demonstration of competency for RPL. This is similar to the evidence review that took place in Step 2, however this time your evidence will be more specific and better aligned to the competencies in the surveying qualification.
The assessor will take an integrated and holistic approach to assessment and is looking for:
- evidence of the specific evidence requirements for each unit of competency
- evidence of valid, current evidence that aligns to the units of competency, the performance criteria and evidence guide
- authentication of the evidence, ie that it is your work
- demonstration of valid, current processes that align to each unit of competency, its performance criteria and evidence guide
- demonstration of required knowledge of the surveying industry and the surveyor
- demonstrated application of required skills and key competencies.
Interview (competency conversation)
The interview is the next phase in collecting evidence for your RPL and will be held at a time and place that is suitable and convenient for you. As this is a key part of your RPL assessment process, it is important that you are well prepared and as relaxed as possible for the interview.
During the interview, your assessor will ask you a list of questions aligned to the competencies. The questions your assessor asks will start with words like "describe a time when..." or "how have you..." They will be open questions designed to give you an opportunity to provide lots of information and detail so that your assessor can find further evidence of your skills, knowledge and experience in the competency areas. The questions asked will be similar to those listed in the Self-assessment and Third party report documents for each unit of competency.
The primary focus of the interview is for your assessor to get a full picture of your practical experience related to the competencies, because often that can be difficult to capture in documented evidence form. Each question has key points that your assessor will look for in your responses. Usually, the assessor will only ask enough questions as necessary to fill in the 'gaps' in evidence you have already provided thus far in the assessment process, ie the competencies your evidence has failed to fully address.
It is not a one-way conversation; you should ask questions during the interview to clarify anything you are not sure of.
Practical tasks / observation
Another assessment methodology used for RPL is practical tasks, also referred to as demonstration and/or observation. Through the combination of your gathered evidence, the interview (competency conversation) and your performance in the practical tasks, your assessor will be able to get a clear picture of the range of your skills, knowledge and experience.
This is the third phase in collecting evidence. Practical tasks may be conducted at your workplace or another suitable venue – your assessor will usually make all the arrangements for this, with your assistance as required.
Practical tasks are important, as they give you a further opportunity to demonstrate your competence. As with the question bank, the practical task/s will usually be conducted only for the competencies where you haven't been able to demonstrate the required level of skills, knowledge and experience after the initial evidence review and interview stages.
Your assessor will have pre-prepared practical tasks, and will usually show you these or brief you about them prior to the actual assessment event. It's natural to feel a little nervous about performing these practical tasks, but remember – it's a conversation/observation, not an exam, and your assessor will support and guide you to focus your responses toward the best outcomes for your RPL assessment.
NOTE: Even when your documented evidence and responses from the interview stage meets the RPL assessment requirement, your assessor may still require you to undertake at least one practical assessment tasks so that they can be confident in making a judgement of 'competent' through having personally observed you demonstrating your skills, knowledge and experience.
Once all the assessment processes are completed, your assessor will provide you with feedback on the results of your RPL application.
If there are gaps in evidence, or a question arising from the quality of the evidence, or its authenticity or currency, you will be contacted and given the opportunity to resubmit further evidence. There will be a set timeframe from when you enrolled in the RPL process in which you can complete all assessments with reasonable adjustments, depending on your circumstances. You can negotiate all of this with your RPL assessor and come up with a plan and schedule for completion.
Not everyone will receive RPL in all of the units within the surveying qualification. Remember, RPL is an assessment process designed to show areas of competence and to identify if you have gaps in skills and knowledge against a whole qualification. Not all RPL candidates have skill/knowledge gaps, but many do, and in those cases a pathway to complete training in the outstanding units can be negotiated.
You then have the option to get RPL in the unit/s or areas of competency in which you have been assessed as competent, and undertake training in those where you haven't, so that you can then gain the full qualification.
Issue qualification or statement of attainment
You made it! Your assessor will 'sign off' on the units of competency that have been achieved. If you haven't achieved the full qualification, you will be issued with a Statement of Attainment that details exactly which unit/s you have achieved competency in. This statement verifies your competency, and with that you won't need to do RPL again or any further training in those units.
RPL Assessment requirements
Find out what the RPL Assessor will be looking for.
If you are considering seeking RPL, you might find it helpful to get a bit of background understanding on what it is all about, and what will be involved.
Each of the sections below will expand to provide you with information about each topic listed.
About the Surveying qualification
The CPP40207 Certificate IV in Spatial Information Services and CPP40107 Certificate lV in Surveying are qualifications recognised by the surveying industry to cover various roles within the field.
This qualification will provide you with the basic practical skills and knowledge to assist in the collection of spatial data. You will learn about the operation of surveying equipment and software, including GPS, and the use of this equipment to carry out basic survey projects and the processing of survey data.
Holding a recognised qualification such as the Certificate IV demonstrates to employers and clients that you have the required skills, knowledge and abilities to undertake the surveying role.
To gain RPL, you need to be able to demonstrate that you have the required skills and knowledge to meet the competencies for these units. If you are doing these roles in your job, then don't write off your skills – consider getting them recognised.
What is RPL?
RPL (sometimes also referred to as 'skills recognition') is an assessment process through which the skills, knowledge and experience that you already have may count towards the achievement of a nationally recognised qualification.
RPL involves a formal assessment process, facilitated by a qualified RPL assessor. The assessment will focus on your ability to demonstrate that you have the required level of skills, knowledge and experience to meet the requirements for competency in the unit/s within the qualification.
What is evidence?
Evidence (for RPL) is information that provides proof of competency. The term 'evidence' applies to anything you produce to verify your skills, knowledge and experience and must be matched to the elements and performance criteria of a unit of competence. Your assessor at the RTO will be able to help you decide on the best evidence, but you need to be proactive in putting it together.
The purpose of evidence is to show your RPL assessor that you already have the skills and knowledge to meet competency requirements and industry standards. Evidence can take many forms, including things like:
- samples, photographs or videos of your work
- a practical on-the-job assessment
- certificates, qualifications etc from previous study
- a simulation of a work activity
- letters of validation from your employer and/or clients
- your performance management reports
- copies of documents you have completed at work
- a portfolio of workplace documents, for example policies and procedures that you work with.
There are four broad approaches that your assessor can take in gathering evidence. These are:
- real work/real time activities, including direct observation and third party reports
- structured activities, including simulation, demonstration and activity sheets
- questioning, including oral and written questions
- portfolios that include collections of evidence you compile.
Your assessor will choose from these approaches to develop an assessment method that best suits your situation.
What are the 'rules of evidence'?
The evidence used for your RPL assessment must comply with the 'rules of evidence' from the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). This means that your evidence must be:
- valid – it must cover all requirements of the unit of competency
- sufficient – you need to have sufficient evidence to demonstrate your competency
- current – your evidence must be reasonably recent, as a general guideline less than two years old
- authentic – you may be asked to verify that the evidence you present is your own work
- relevant – your evidence must be applicable to the qualification.
Your assessor may also apply the following principles.
- The evidence should be consistent – being representative of a period of time rather than one specific instance. For example, a number of client testimonials gathered over six months of surveying practice is better evidence than one single testimonial.
- The reliability of the evidence – has it come from a reliable and verifiable source? This is particularly relevant with testimonials and references from colleagues, clients and employers.
- The range of your evidence – does it come from different contexts, locations and times?
What are the different kinds of evidence?
There are four (4) types of evidence that you can collect and present:
- direct evidence
- indirect evidence
- personal statements
- supplementary evidence.
To be safe, you should try to supply all four types of evidence to ensure a successful RPL application, but check with your assessor first to find out exactly what he/she requires.
Here is a brief explanation of the four different kinds of evidence.
Direct evidence is anything that you have either produced yourself or for which you have been primarily responsible. You need to provide two (2) to four (4) examples of each type of evidence to show that you have done this type of work over a period of time.
It could include:
- correspondence (letters, memos, fax messages and emails) you have written
- diary notes you have made
- completed job cards for work that you have done during your normal work activities
- drawings/plans you have created
- surveying work you have completed.
This evidence can be supported by personal statements (see the section on personal statements that follows). Your employer should verify this type of evidence as your own work, and your assessor may contact your employer to confirm this.
This is information about you, and could include:
- formal certificates or results of relevant training you have completed
- minutes of meetings which contain information on your participation and performance in specific activities
- letters of appreciation from clients or work colleagues
- references from previous employers
- workplace awards, prizes and certificates
- witness testimony or third party reports
- video recordings/photographs of activities you have undertaken which can be verified by a third party.
Witness testimony or third party reports
This is indirect evidence about you, and could include statements from other people to support your claim for RPL. You might include managers, supervisors, previous employers, customers and colleagues. These are NOT references: the information contained in this type of statement must be relevant to the learning outcomes and assessment criteria for the units of competency.
Your witnesses may be contacted to verify their reports.
A personal statement should be included with every application, but they generally will only be considered as supporting evidence, not as primary evidence.
A personal statement plays two very important roles in helping you prove your competence.
- It gives you the opportunity to explain the evidence that is specific to your own organisation or industry so that the assessor can understand it and match it against the assessment criteria for the course.
- It helps you highlight the knowledge and understanding required to do your job.
It also gives you an opportunity to explain why you did what you did.
The personal statement is a concise description of your work activities and the functions you carry out, and should be related to the course and assessment criteria claimed. It reflects the actions you take, your knowledge and understanding.
Your personal report should include:
- a brief description of the context (situations and circumstances) in which you carried out the work
- details of the activities you undertook
- an explanation of the planning processes used
- an explanation as to why you made certain decisions, and the factors which influenced the outcome; for example, was it necessary to follow company policy or any specific legislation? What underlying principles were applied? Relate any applicable theories to your evidence
- the decisions regarding follow-up of the outcomes of your activities
- any other similar situations you handled.
In addition to providing evidence, you may be asked to provide answers to oral or written questions to ensure that you have the knowledge and understanding required to perform your work activities.
To be consistently effective, you need to understand the theories, models, principles, methods or techniques on which your work activities are based. People with this knowledge and understanding are able to decide and explain what and how things should be done. The knowledge required for the course is specified in the learning outcomes and assessment criteria.
Specific terms are used in the assessment criteria to indicate the knowledge you require. Look for terms such as:
When you have submitted your evidence, the RPL assessor may contact you and arrange for an interview in which you will be required to answer oral or written questions to demonstrate your understanding of the knowledge required.
Your complete collection of evidence should demonstrate that you are able to handle a range of tasks competently in a variety of situations. The quality of your evidence is more important than the quantity.irect evidence is usually more valid, but assessors will expect to see both direct and indirect evidence, for example, work plans plus witness testimony to authenticate them as your own work.
A single piece of evidence may be relevant to one or more learning outcomes of the unit or to more than one unit. In this case, you should link this evidence to the relevant learning outcomes (and relevant unit/s if applicable) to help the assessor evaluate your application.
How will your application be assessed?
Firstly, your evidence will be checked for validity to ensure that it meets the assessment criteria of the qualification, and that it’s sufficient to demonstrate that you have the skills and knowledge required. However, the quality of the evidence is more important that the quantity. It will also be checked against the other rules of evidence for currency and authenticity.
If the assessor requires further evidence to support your application, you will be contacted to provide additional information. This could be done by:
- face-to-face interview
- submission of additional evidence.
Remember that you may also be asked to provide evidence of your knowledge for the competencies through oral or written questioning.
When your application is assessed, the RPL assessor will contact you regarding the result. If your application is unsuccessful, your evidence will be returned to you and you can then decide whether you wish to try again, or enrol in training for the qualification rather than seek RPL. It’s very important at this point to get clear feedback from your assessor as to why your application was unsuccessful.
It is possible to appeal the decision on your RPL application, if you feel you have been assessed unfairly or incorrectly. Your assessor can provide you with details about the appeals process.
Find out what specific evidence you will need for this unit of competence.
The information in this section is specific to the unit of competence CPPSIS4002A – Store and retrieve spatial data.
This unit is taken from the CPP07 Property Services Training Package and describes the specific outcomes required to correctly store and retrieve spatial data collected by a variety of methods.
The sections below will provide you with a summary of the unit aims the critical evidence and third party evidence required for this unit.
The aim of this unit is to provide students with the skills and knowledge required to store and retrieve spatial data collected by a variety of methods. It requires the ability to identify, access, analyse and evaluate spatial information from a variety of sources.
The unit also covers the development of a risk management plan to deal with possible problems and contingencies. Existing skills involving the creation of data indexes are extended to include the implementation of data recovery plans. This includes the reading and interpreting of risk management plans to perform data recovery.
Assessments for this unit involve the creation of more extensive data indexes as follows:
- creation of folders on different drives on a computer or network to the appropriate standard
- storage of data into data indexes
- retrieval of data from data indexes in a timely manner
- evidence of ongoing data backups and recovery from problems defined in the risk management plan.
Students applying for RPL in this unit must be able to demonstrate competency in tasks similar to those outlined above. A practical test and portfolio of evidence of spatial data management best practice may be required to demonstrate competency to the assessor.
A person who demonstrates competency in this unit must be able to provide evidence of:
- applying data security and backup measures
- creating a workable index system
- managing contingencies
- retrieving spatial data.
The following evidence would help support your claim for RPL:
- data entry logs (digital)
- weekly data backup logs (digital)
- job description forms
- letters from employers regarding data management work you have undertaken and been directly responsible for, including basic project data management planning
- certificates of completed relevant data management courses such as database courses and GIS courses with an emphasis on data management
- practical demonstrations to your assessor
- formal interview with the RPL assessor.
For all work used as evidence, you must ensure that you can show that all drawings, checks and documentation are completed according to the organisations requirements.
Each application for recognition of prior learning will be assessed on a case by case basis. All presented evidence will be assessed based on currency and relevance. An interview with the assessor will be required.
All your evidence must be recent (completed in the past two years) and be signed off by the senior surveyor for the company for which you completed the work.
Third party report
To confirm your claims of competency, your assessor will require a third party or referee’s report. It is important that your assessor can confirm the following:
- You can demonstrate your skills and knowledge for this unit of competency.
- A recognised third party such as your supervisor or team leader can corroborate your claims of competency.
- You consistently perform the tasks and duties of this unit of competency in the workplace.
The questions in the third party report are similar to those in the self-assessment questionnaire and require sign off by your supervisor. Your assessor may also speak directly with your supervisor to obtain further corroboration of your skills and knowledge.
Check your readiness for RPL by completing a self-assessment questionnaire
Doing a self-assessment of your skills and knowledge may be the best way to determine your eligibility for RPL in some or all of the competencies within a unit of competence. For RPL, it is important to look at the full context of the unit and its assessment requirements. You should not only consider the elements and performance criteria for the unit, but also examine the skills and knowledge required, the range statement and the evidence guide.
The questions in the self-assessment questionnaire are designed to capture your current level of skills and knowledge as related to the competencies for this unit.
If you can answer ‘Yes’ to the questions listed, you must be able to provide evidence of this or substantiate your claim at a formal RPL interview.
Submitting your evidence
Find out how to apply for RPL
You will need to make an application for RPL with your training provider. Before you commence the application process, please ensure you have worked through Steps 1-4.
The documents in the Resources section may be used to submit your RPL application. If you are confident that you can meet the RPL requirements, you should contact your training provider to arrange an interview. Check with your training provider for any other specific requirements.