Click here to download the RPL APPLICATION FORM

Instructors who hold overseas qualifications, or have considerable previous instructing experience and/or training within Australia , may choose one of the following two paths with regards to obtaining qualifications from the ACIA: Equivalency or Recognition of Prior Learning.

1. Equivalency: Instructor with overseas qualification.

People holding an overseas qualification who wish to become members of the ACIA, and perhaps undertake further training with the ACIA may receive from the ACIA a "letter of equivalency". This states that the qualification the person now holds is equivalent to whichever level of ACIA qualification is deemed appropriate by the National Committee.

In order to receive this, the instructor must:

  • Apply for full membership of the ACIA with $85 annual membership fee, which will cover the usual membership benefits.
  • Pay a non-refundable administration fee of $50.
  • State to which of the ACIA levels you believe your previous qualification to be equivalent, and provide supporting documentation for this (copy of certificate(s), details of assessment criteria, curriculum, recent log of experience and instruction etc.).

The committee will then review the application and a letter of equivalency (for the relevant level) and membership card will be issued. No certificate will be issued, as no level of ACIA qualification has been gained. This equivalency recognition would allow the instructor to choose to complete the next level of training and assessment with the ACIA.

2. Recognition of Prior Learning: Instructors with previous qualifications (within Australia or overseas) or people with significant previous rock climbing guiding or instruction experience.

People with previous qualifications and training, or significant experience, who do wish to gain an ACIA level of qualification may apply for exemption from certain parts of the training program, and if successful, will be provided fast track entry at the appropriate level for assessment and advanced training.

RPL within the ACIA will be based on:

•  Recognition of qualifications awarded by other organizations

•  Recognition of training delivered by other organizations

•  Recognition of current competency through prior experience

An applicant with no previous qualifications or formal training will need to demonstrate breadth and depth of climbing and instruction experience. This should include:

•  Greater than 5 years climbing experience, with frequency of experience equivalent to or greater than ACIA instructor currency requirements (1000m lead climbing and 10 instructional days every two years).

•  Climbing experience at a variety of locations, including different styles of climbing on different rock types (ie: granite, sandstone, limestone; less frequented and remote cliffs; long multi-pitch routes).

•  Extensive guiding or instruction experience at the level of RPL request.

•  More technical ropework experience (aid-climbing, alpine climbing/glacier travel, or high-access work) would be considered favorably.

•  Recognition of recommendation from referees

In order to gain RPL exemption, the applicant must:

  • Become a full member (not-associate) of the Association and pay the $85 annual fee.
  • Fill out an RPL application form and return it to the ACIA with the non-refundable application fee. The $50 application fee can be applied to a future course if the application for RPL is unsuccessful.
  • Suitable applications will be passed onto the National Committee for consideration.

After the Committee has reviewed the RPL application, the applicant will be notified in writing of one of these possible outcomes:

•  Exemption granted from 1, 2, or 3 levels of training, including exemption from all interim requirements (direct entry into assessment).

•  Exemption granted from 1, 2, or 3 levels of training, but interim requirements must be completed before entering assessment.

•  Training must be completed, but exemption from interim requirements granted (Fast Track entry).

•  No exemption granted.

-The result may be a combination of any of these. Most commonly, an experienced instructor or someone with equivalent training will be approved to bypass training and go straight to SPG assessment. Some applicants will also qualify to go directly to MPG assessment. More rarely an exemption is given for CI training.

-Each application is determined by the committee on a case-by-case basis. The process of getting the national committee to review each applicant will take approximately a month.

-Decisions will be based on information provided to the National Office by the applicant. Insufficient or incomplete applications will likely result in exemptions being denied.

-No exemptions will be granted from assessments at any level.