One of the objectives of the Association of Consultants in Access Australia (ACAA) is to advise members on the development of educational courses suitable for accreditation of members.

ACAA supports the development of appropriate training in Access Consultancy and will advise members on the development of nationally recognised courses suitable for members.

From 1st September 2013, in order to become an Associate Member of ACAA it is necessary for applicants to have successfully completed the nationally recognised qualification, Certificate IV in Access Consulting.

Once an applicant has been accepted as an Associate Member of ACAA, they will then be eligible to apply for ACAA Accredited Membership subject to the rules of Accredited Membership

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What is the Certificate IV in Access Consulting?

The Certificate IV in Access Consulting is the minimum level qualification available for Access Consultants. It is a requirement of the national training package that 20 units of competency are completed. These consist of both core units and elective units.

All of the Competency Standards for Access Consulting Courses can be found on the Australian Government, Department of Education and Training, My Skills website.

The Certificate IV in Access Consulting course that is currently being delivered incorporates the following 20 units of competency:

1. BSBMED301     - Interpret and apply medical terminology appropriately
2. CPPACC4001A - Apply disability awareness to assessing access situations
3. CPPACC4015A - Follow site occupational health and safety requirements
4. CPPACC4016A - Manage risk
5. CPPACC4002A - Apply building control legislation to assess small-scale buildings for access
6. CPPACC5005A - Interpret and apply building control legislation when assessing large scale buildings for access
7. CPPACC5004A - Apply building codes and standards to accessible large-scale buildings
8. CPPACC4003A - Read and interpret plans and specifications
9. CPPACC4003A - Assess construction plans
10. CHCPOL403C  - Undertake research activities
11. PSPREG004     - Promote client compliance
12. CPPACC4005A - Conduct a building access audit
13. CPPACC4009A - Conduct a transport premises access audit
14. CPPACC4010A - Conduct an aged care facility access audit
15. CPPACC4012A - Conduct an outdoor recreation area access audit
16. CPPACC4017A - Prepare access reports – Refer to Unit 10.
17. CHCDIV001    - Work with diverse people
18. BSBLDR403     - Lead team effectiveness
19. CPPACC4022A - Work effectively as an access consultant
20. CPPACC4004A - Communicate effectively as an access consultant

How can I complete the Certificate IV in Access Consulting?

Students can apply to complete the Certificate IV in Access Consulting through the following methods:

  1. Completion of the course work;
  2. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL);
  3. Credit Transfer;
  4. Combination of 1,2 and 3.

Who delivers the Certificate IV in Access Consulting?

The Certificate IV in Access Consulting is currently delivered by the Institute of Access Training Australia (IATA). Contact IATA at www.accessinstitute.com.au for further details regarding how to complete the course.

Two other training packages have been developed in relation to Access Consulting but are not currently being delivered.

The Diploma of Access Consulting course is now available for enrolment in 2015.

The Vocational Graduate Diploma in Access Consulting training package has also been developed but at this stage no course is being delivered.

Recognised Prior Learning and Credit Transfer

As with many qualifications, if you can provide evidence of Recognised Prior Learning (RPL), that meet the performance requirements of the units of competency in the course, you may be eligible to obtain the Certificate in Access Consulting without undertaking further study in some units. Information about what constitutes RPL and some examples of RPL that may be applicable in the Certificate IV in Access Consulting are provided below.

Applicants who have already successfully completed a unit of competency from the Certificate IV in Access Consulting (or the same unit that is within another qualification) can also be granted a Credit Transfer. This counts towards the successful completion of the Certificate IV in Access Consulting. See examples of Credit Transfer below.

What is RPL?

The Australian Qualifications Framework Council (AQF) defines RPL as:

Recognition of prior learning is an assessment process that involves assessment of an individual’s relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning) to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit.

This is underpinned by the AQF definition of credit as follows:

Credit is the value assigned for the recognition of equivalence in content and learning outcomes between different types of learning and/or qualifications. Credit reduces the amount of learning required to achieve a qualification and may be through credit transfer, articulation, recognition of prior learning or advanced standing.

Who undertakes RPL Assessment?

RPL involves the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) that delivers the relevant course, undertaking an assessment of each individual who applies, to determine the extent to which that individual’s previous learning is equivalent to the learning outcomes of the components of the destination qualification.

How is RPL applied?

It is the responsibility of the RTO to offer RPL assessment to students. RTO policies and practices regarding RPL, must ensure that decisions about granting RPL take into account students’ likelihood of successfully achieving qualification outcomes and ensure that integrity of qualification outcomes is maintained.

To ensure consistency, fairness and transparency, issuing organisations must establish a systematic, organisation-wide approach to RPL including policies and procedures that govern implementation.

What does the RPL process consists of?

The typical RPL process consists of the following:

  • identifying the evidence required;
  • providing advice to students about the process;
  • providing students with sufficient information to enable them to prepare their evidence to meet the standard required for the RPL assessment process;
  • assessing using appropriate evidence-gathering methods and tools;
  • recording the outcome, and
  • reporting to key internal and external stakeholders.

Who undertakes the RPL assessment?

As with all assessment, RPL assessment must be undertaken by academic or teaching staff with expertise in the subject, content or skills area, as well as knowledge of and expertise in RPL assessment.

What is the RPL criteria?

RPL:

  • should be the same standard as other assessment for the qualification;
  • should recognise learning regardless of how, when and where it was acquired, provided the learning is relevant to the learning outcomes in the qualification;
  • must ensure that evidence provided is valid, authentic, current and sufficient and that the process is fair, flexible reliable and valid.

What are the RPL assessment methods?

RPL assessment methods should:

  • include reasonable adjustment for the literacy levels, cultural background and experiences of students, and it should not be a proxy for the assessment of skills such as literacy except where these are intrinsic to the learning outcomes of the qualification component
  • address the specific evidence required to demonstrate prior achievement of the learning outcomes and assessment requirements of the particular qualification components for which credit is sought
  • provide a range of ways for individuals to demonstrate that they have met the required outcomes and can be granted credit. These might include:
    • mapping of learning outcomes from prior formal or non-formal learning to the relevant qualification components
    • questioning (oral or written)
    • observation of performance in work based and/or simulated environments
    • challenge examinations/assessments
    • consideration of third party reports and/or other documentation such as articles, reports, project material, papers, testimonials or other products prepared by the RPL applicant that relate to the learning outcomes of the relevant qualification component
    • consideration of a portfolio and review of contents, and
    • participation in structured assessment activities that individuals normally would be required to undertake if they were enrolled in the qualification components.

The assessment outcomes may enable the student to meet the entry requirements and/or components of the qualification. This may reduce the duration of the qualification.

The agreed credit outcomes of the assessment of previous learning through RPL are specific to the individual. They may establish a precedent which can be used for other RPL assessments and potentially form the basis for future credit transfer agreements.

What are some examples of RPL for the Certificate IV in Access Consulting?

The following are some examples of RPL and the evidence required for different units of competency in the Certificate IV in Access Consulting.

Unit name: Read and interpret plans and specifications

An Architect would be a likely candidate for RPL for this unit as it requires the student to demonstrate competency in the generic skills required to read architectural drawings or schematics. The evidence required could include a copy of a Registration Certificate from the relevant Architects Board in their state, or a copy of an appropriate qualification certificate.

Unit name: Assess construction plans

A person would be required to provide evidence that they have assessed plans to determine compliance with access requirements. In this case, they may be required to explain their experience and provide evidence in the form of reports they have written that demonstrate the work they have undertaken. In this unit there are also other requirements relating to the management of clients. Evidence for this could include both reports and a history of relevant experience dealing with clients. In this situation, a statement from a third party detailing the students’ experience could also be used as evidence.

Unit name: Apply disability awareness to assessing access situations

An Occupational Therapist working in the area of home modifications would be a likely candidate. They may need to provide copies of reports they have prepared in relation to meeting the needs of clients with disabilities. However, they would also need to demonstrate knowledge of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, the Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010 and relevant anti-discrimination legislation. The evidence required could include their registration as an Occupational Therapist and an explanation (and perhaps, reports) of their experience in dealing with situations arising out of anti discrimination legislation.

Unit name: Promote client compliance

A Building Certifier would be a likely candidate as promoting client compliance is part of the core role they perform on a day to day basis in assessing compliance and acting on non-compliance. The evidence required could include their employment history and job description.

All units:

A student can also be granted RPL for part of a unit and be excused from completing some (but not all) assessment tasks for a particular unit. Students who are successful in being granted RPL for an entire unit, will be excused from submitting assessment tasks, and may be excused from attending class for the duration of that unit. However, some units may be taught in conjunction with others (e.g. four access auditing units). A student who successfully demonstrated skills in auditing buildings may be granted RPL for Conduct a building access audit, but absence from class sessions is not permissible as the material being covered in class will include streetscape and outdoor recreation auditing. The student, however, may not be required to submit assessment tasks for the unit for which they'd been granted RPL.

Due to the wide range of units of competency required to be successfully completed in the Certificate IV in Access Consulting, most students are only eligible for some units of competency via RPL or Credit Transfer not the whole course.

What are examples of Credit Transfer for the Certificate IV in Access Consulting?

If a student has completed a unit of competency previously, that is the same as the unit of competency from the Certificate IV in Access Consulting. i.e. course codes are the same, they can apply for Credit Transfer. Similarly, if a student has completed a qualification based on identified equivalence in content and learning outcomes between matched qualifications, they will be eligible for credit transfer.

How do I apply for RPL or Credit Transfer?

If you wish to apply for either RPL or Credit Transfer or require further information you will need to contact the Institute of Access Training Australia (IATA) to discuss your particular requirements at info@accessinstitute.com.au or phone 03 9988 1979.

ACAA is not a Registered Training Organisation and does not deliver the Certificate IV in Access Consulting and therefore does not administer the RPL process.

ACAA only requires that you provide a Certificate from the RTO that you have been deemed ‘competent’ in the Certificate IV in Access Consulting through:

  1. Completion of the course work;
  2. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL);
  3. Credit Transfer;
  4. Combination of 1,2 and 3.

What does RPL cost?

The fee for assessment of RPL is set by the RTO. ACAA is not able to advise on the likely fee to obtain RPL. The fees may vary according to what RPL is being claimed and what is involved in assessing evidence. It is up to training providers to establish their own fee structures.

Applicants to make direct enquiries with the relevant training provider.

Interpret and apply medical terminology appropriately