There is an increasing recognition of records and information management as a professional career. In the progression of that career, both vertically, and in relation to technology and corporate demands, skill development is necessary. The Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) provides access to tertiary education for people entering the industry, or currently employed in the industry. But there are multiple levels of qualification, so how do you make the decision regarding the appropriate level to start your records management qualification pathway?
There are four qualifications specific to records and information management in the AQTF[i]:
- Certificate III in Recordkeeping
- Certificate IV in Recordkeeping
- Diploma of Recordkeeping
- Advanced Diploma of Recordkeeping
Within these qualifications the necessary skills, knowledge and attitude are contained to be a competent operator in a wide range of position levels. Naturally it seems sensible to commence a career path by completing a Certificate III.
Embedded in the AQTF is the principle of vocational training; the majority of skill development occurs through application in the workplace. With guidance on best practice and support in gaining new knowledge, either through peers and manager or formal training, we learn.
This principle is supported by Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Through the RPL process people with evidence of competence in Units of Competency within a qualification are accredited without undertaking formal training. Where sufficient evidence is available to meet all of the Units of Competence for a qualification, the complete qualification may be achieved by RPL.
This principle extends to recognise it is not necessary to be accredited at Certificate III level in order to undertake a Certificate IV in Recordkeeping. It is necessary you have gained Certificate III competency in the workplace as this will provide the underpinning skills to progress to the next level.
Without having completed a formal RPL accreditation, which has a monetary and time cost, it can be challenging for you to assess the correct entry level for you. Thankfully the AQTF provides guidance[ii]. Table 1 provides a summary of Entry Level Criteria:
For example, if you are a Records Officer who has been in your current records role for over 12 months performing basic registration and retrieval tasks AND have experience in basic general administration tasks, you should consider commencing formal education at the Certificate IV level.
Your RTO of choice (private or TAFE) will assist in final determination to ensure this is the appropriate level for you.