Recognition of current competence

The recognition of current competence (RCC) process involves recognising a person’s existing knowledge and skills and assessing them against nationally recognised unit standards.

What is recognition of current competence?

Recognition of current competence is a way to get credit for skills and knowledge you already have. You provide evidence to an assessor of your skills and knowledge, and show how these meet unit standards. 

  • Most industry training organisations (ITOs) offer some form of RCC but the process can vary.
  • If you can demonstrate competency you can be awarded the unit standard on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).
  • RCC means that you if you already have skills and knowledge in a specific area, you don't have to relearn or resit this part of your qualification -  so you'll you get your qualification faster.
  • Check the individual policy for RCC with your ITO or training adviser before beginning your application.

What evidence do I need to prove current competence?

You'll need to talk to the industry training organisation (ITO) that covers the industry you want to work in, because evidence requirements will vary.

Examples of evidence could be:

  • documents or products you have produced
  • written attestations
  • verifications or testimonies from supervisors, managers or clients.

You may also need to sit a test or practical demonstration, answer some interview questions or provide evidence of your study achievements.

Some ITOS require the evidence to be within the past two years, others within the past five years.

How do I know what unit standards relate to my skills and knowledge?

You'll need to identify the unit standards that your skills and knowledge relate to by looking at what standards your national certificate or diploma covers.

You can find out what unit standards are covered by searching on the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) website.

How do I get my competencies assessed?

  • The competency assessment will normally be arranged by your employer with a registered workplace assessor or an external expert, such as a teacher or tutor. Who the assessor is will depend on your ITO.
  • The assessor will check that you meet the requirements of the unit standard for that particular skill by assessing your evidence.
  • It is your responsibility to provide evidence that clearly shows that you can currently meet the standard consistently.
  • Your ITO will advise you more specifically on what kind of evidence it may be relevant to provide.
  • You may need to pay a fee for the assessment.

What happens after the assessment?

  • The assessor reports the results of your assessment to the ITO. Credits are reported by the ITO to NZQA using standard credit reporting processes and no distinction is made as to whether the credit was gained through RCC. Results are then credited to your NZQA record of learning.
  • If the RCC process shows gaps in your skills and/or knowledge, you and the assessor will develop a training plan to fill these gaps. This will help you to meet the unit standard(s).
  • As your training progresses, you or your employer may observe other competencies that you have. Only some ITOs will allow you to be assessed again partway through your qualifications, so you'll need to check.

If you are unhappy with the result of your assessment, you can appeal the decision. Ask your ITO about how to do this.

Updated 20 Dec 2018