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General question about an ACS RPL

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I'm currently in the process of working toward a PR visa & part of this is completion of an Australian Computer Society (ACS) RPL..


Now, I've looked online & can see (for obvious & understood reasons) that people aren't keen to 'share' their work. I re-iterate, I understand the reasons around this...


That said, all I would really like (if at all possible) is if anyone who has been through this process could perhaps give me an idea of what layout of information they used as I really have no clue where to begin with this! Ironically, I suppose this is as I work in IT & not the writing industry ;)

i.e did you use bullet points for example?


I'm pretty sure I'll be ok with the project reports, but the remainder of detailing how I know about x y & z seems to have me at a writers block stage...


Appreciate any & all advice/tips anyone can give & thanks in advance

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I did my RPL a few months back and got a positive result.


A short while ago i was helping out another RPL person and spent quite a while emailing him about it.


I will post a transcript of our conversation below as I dont want to retype it all.


Best of luck, hard work ahead!

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Glad to hear that you have what you need to get started with the RPL. Let me know if you need anything else. If you wanted to do something in return you could make a self promise to help another RPL candidate out when you find them on the forum, just like I did with you.

I remember being in the exact same position when I made a start with my RPL and was a bit shocked to find so little in the way of assistance out there on the web. I suppose I should get round to putting up some information on PIO but I don't really feel like I'm an authority on the subject. I would hate to give out duff advice to lots of people who then subsequently found themselves in difficulties as a result.



Where are you from?


All the best







Sent: 12 October 2013 21:13

To: Edward

Subject: Re: RPL Application

Perfect, thanks Edward. Yes I have the required amount of points plus some. I require 60, I have 65.


Thanks for everything. Please keep me posted with your RPL Application. I wish you all the best and hopefully we'll speak one day in Aus. Rock 'n roll!




Take care.



On 12 Oct 2013, at 17:12, Edward wrote:


I guess the best way to describe to you how I wrote mine would be for me to make up a very short example of the way in which I wrote it. The example below is completely made up in my head as I go and is complete nonsense of its technical detail but it should give you an understanding of how to lay out the RPL:


TR1 Hardware Fundamentals

Topic 1 Hardware fundamentals

Central processing unit

Blah blah blah introduction to cpu


BLAH glahblah




The Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a method of connecting hardware devices and secondary memory (removable storage) to computers. USB uses the XYZ protocol and requires a connection based handshake in order to trasfer data at up to 900 zillion bits a second. Memory allocation from the main cpu allows the USB hub driver to manage the control protocol and transfer lossless data throughout the network. In the allocation of that memory data the cpu will reserve bits and bytes specifically for use by the USB hub driver.

In my day to day role as Network Administrator I will frequently be asked to reorder the data transfer in order to prioritise device allocation to users on the network. I have found that the USB technology is far superior to the now superceded ACME data protocol. I have found that by prioritising data transfer through the XYZ channel I can offer our users a fast and reliable transfer of network data throughput.

I originally learned the technology USB during my time at company X. This business had over 45 users that needed to use the USB protocol daily. As part of my weekly routine I would regularly check that throughput speed matched our service level agreements...


Obviously your version would be way longer (and hopefully make more sense) and would go into as much technical detail as you feel comfortable talking about. Remember to stay on subject and don't feel like you have to answer all the area's of knowledge.. Just the ones that you feel are really important to your role as Network Admin.


I must ask.. Have you done your points calculation and everything. Are you eligible to apply in the first place??


I can't help you in this area but the forum would be the place to go for this.










Sent: 12 October 2013 13:51

To: Edward

Subject: Re: RPL Application

Extremely useful Edward, I cannot thank you enough.


I just have one more burning question as I begin, it may be an obvious answer but I'm a little uncertain.


This technical essay, or whatever we will call it. How is it written, do I describe my work experience as if I were telling them my work history or do I write it as if it where a technical reference stating the problems, the research and the solutions?









On 12 October 2013 12:38


Good to hear from you off forum, much better way to communicate.


To answer your questions:


I think that the whole idea of the RPL is that ACS realise that there are some very talented people out there that didn't follow the traditional route and do degrees and whatnot. I did a degree but in an unrelated subject and so had to do the RPL route. I wouldn't get hung up on having to prove your skills to degree level. In my opinion this is like comparing apples and pears. The general format that others have suggested is absolutely spot on.

With regards to details you should go into as much depth as possible and use all the acronyms and technical jargon that you can, though you need to back this up with a solid demonstration of understanding the subject matter. I think it would be unreasonable for the ACS to expect that you've got every ounce of the required knowledge just stored up in your head, for this reason It might be prudent to do some reading around the subject matter, just to refresh your skills of course.


With regards to the structure. Use the acs report form and attach all of your evidence at the end of the document. For this reason you will need to get hold of a copy of acrobat pro or nitro pdf pro so that you can edit your pdf file at will. In the first (areas of knowledge) bit list all of your top level subjects such as TR, TR3 (important for an admin!) etc..


Do loads of prep work on which subjects and topics to answer and filter out the ones that you . I have included my pdf notes from when I was choosing my subjects (this is why a pdf editor is very handy!). I simply cut our all of the subjects that I knew I wasn't going to answer. Make sure you study the ANZCO description fully and then apply those expectations to the subjects that you are going to answer. Aim to write about 10k words on your main RPL body. The reason why there is no formal work limits is that some applicants will only be answering very specific topics, whilst us admins have to have a very broad knowledge base. This is why I think my rpl went up to 30k words. Also, dont be afraid to add to the topic lists as they are not exhaustive. Make sure that you fill in the two fundamentals, very important!


After this start writing, and the best of luck to you. For me It took about 4hrs per day, 5 days a week for two months. So it was a mamouth excercise for me. Please don't feel that you have to follow this as I get the impression that my RPL was quite weighty. Like I said aim for 10k and then go from there.


As for the format of the RPL. break it up with top level topics and sub level subjects. I would broadly stick to the order in the RPL guide but you will have to deviate away from it when you add your topics. Add them to the relevant topics. Remember to break each subject up with, what I know, how I learned it and how I apply that knowledge in my work place. So each topic will be further broken up into the subjects that you feel you have knowledge about. Some of the topics are given only as suggestions. Answer them where required but dont answer the sup topic if you feel it has no relevance to you. For example I left out the topic ' browser' becasue I wanted to add more important topics and i didn't feel it was wholly relevant to my application


Documents. I will give you a list of what I had to send them. Note that all these must be certified.

Passport copy

Birth Cert

Statutory Dec.

MCSE course certs


University Degree Cert

University course transcripts


To be honest you need to start getting your references together but don't blow your mind getting everything on day one. You have some writing to do.


I went with an agent and I'm glad. My work experience wasn't straight forward and I joined left then rejoined my company. I also did some contracting and then soetimes I was on the payroll. Then I took two years away. In other words the agent really helped me get my references perfick! I am sure that I would have had problems if I hadn't gone with an agent. So the answer to your question is that I would go with an agent unless you have a very straightforward work history. Bear in mind that the agent will only be able to give broad guidance on the RPL becasue they do not understand the technical aspects of the network admin.


I'm going on a 190 visa with SS to south australia (fingers crossed). However if I dont get this RPL then its game over for me. This is why I put everything into it.


So, good luck with your journey. I remember feeling very elated when I finished. Now I have been waiting nearly 3 months for the result. It's a vital part of my journey and so my advice to you is to put everything you have into it. Get it done as quickly as you can because you don't want them shutting down your code when you're half way through it.


Good luck and send me some of your work if you want. I can give you some pointers.


I'm sorry I cant send you my work. I cant do anything to jeopardise my application.


Kind Regards







Sent: 12 October 2013 09:57

To: Edward

Subject: RPL Application

Hi Edward,


Many thanks for taking the time to offer advice and guidance. I can say the RPL doesn't look overly complicated, especially the two reports which is something I do on a regular basis however one never knows exactly how these things should be presented. What documents to provide and just how detailed it needs to be.


Happy that you're completed yours, I can only imagine what a relief that must have been although I guess the stressful bit is the results! I wish you all the best in that regard.


I've been reading over some other forum posts and some people say I need to describe what I learnt, how I learnt it and how that was applied but equivalent to that of a Bachelor graduate in ICT. Which does worry me some, as I have no idea what people learn whilst doing their degrees. I can only describe what I know, in the best possible way I can. I just worry it may not be at the level of detail you would find with a bachelor's degree.


Another point was the formatting. I know it's an essay however what I'm questioning is the topics and subtopics. Do I write my essay broken up into these topics and subtopics or can it simply be an essay as a whole covering those topics in any order?


Documentation, I know to provide certified copies of all qualifications and certificates, professional references, passports etc however do I need to provide proof of projects/tasks/spreadsheets etc I've worked on since 1999? What about Statutory Declarations? I assume this is a verified copy of my CV stating that this is the truth and nothing but the truth. Was this something you had to provide?


Regarding the agent, I'm in two minds whether I actually need an agent. They are expensive and when you calculate the costs of the agent + the visa + all the others bits, it weighs in at a substantial amount of money. in your opinion, would you have been able to complete the RPL without an agent? I have an agent I'm about to sign up for in Australia but the timezone is a bit of a pain, who do you use and do they specialise in RPL applications?


I assume you were nominated by a state of territory to apply in the occupation Sys Admin 263112? That occupation is only found on the CSOL which requires nomination? What visa have you applied for and which area are you looking to reside in? I've got family in Melbourne, Victoria and as they are sponsoring my I'll need to live and work in that area which, in the great scheme of things, isn't all that bad really, considering that's where I was going to work and live on a 189 visa!

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Hi Edward,


I was very confused on how to proceed with my RPL, did multiple research on various forums but none had the level of details I was after. that is until I stumbled on this thread - the info you have shared is exactly what I was after and feeling confident that I can get through this. thank you very much for that.


In this thread, you have mentioned about your pdf notes, is it possible to share that as well? I believe that might given more ideas on how to address the units.


Also are we expected to cover all the topics under a unit or just the ones to which we have exposure one?


Would greatly appreciate if you can help with the above 2 if you can. Even without this, I think I have a fair idea on how to get the ball rolling, thank you once again for that.

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thank you for your help. I never saw actual RPL sample, seems impossible to find, so this was very helpful.

I got all the right key areas of knowledge and knowledge units that are relevant for me, but I am not sure how to put them to the form itself.

Could you just confirm or advice on following RPL question please.

There are 3 sections in RPL to fill, with following titles:

1) Only tick the Areas of Knowledge that apply to you and believe you have learned from your experience

2) A brief summary of how you have learnt the area of knowledge

3) Evidence of applying claimed knowledge to a working situation

What should be in each of those sections?



1) Just check those key areas of knowledge listed already or add more detailed entries/units relevant to me

2) I list detailed areas of knowledge and knowledge units, with my text, describing what I did in my carrier for this knowledge unit to learn it

3) Again, I list detailed key areas or knowledge relevant to me and units, and add text describing where and when in my carrier I did something relevant to the knowledge unit

Edited by aallenhr

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Hi All. Need to know experiences from you all after getting approval from ACS on base of RPL.

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