RPL Computer Network & System Engineer

ACS RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING (RPL) FORM - 2018

This document is required to be completed for all Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) applications and uploaded as a PDF to the application form.

IMPORTANT NOTICE:

Misleading and false information is viewed as a major breach of ethical behaviour and will seriously jeopardise your migration prospects.

It is your responsibility to indicate when you have drawn on the work of others. Other people’s original ideas and methods should be clearly distinguished, and other people’s words, illustrations and diagrams should be clearly indicated regardless of whether they are copied exactly, paraphrased, or adapted.

Failure to acknowledge your source by clear citation and referencing constitutes plagiarism. All plagiarism will be assessed as not suitable and reported to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

The ACS reserves the right to use software applications to screen your submitted work for matches either to published sources or to other submitted applications. In some cases, you may be asked to submit project reports and other written work submitted with the application for screening by plagiarism detection services.

If at any stage in the assessment process plagiarism is detected, the information may be provided to other Australian Government agencies. The assessment will be terminated and the outcome recorded as unsuitable. A refund of the application fee cannot be provided for cases assessed as containing false information or plagiarism.

Please complete the following 2 sections:

  1. The Key Areas of Knowledge – Section 1
  2. The Project Report Forms – Section 2

RPL applications are for those applicants who do not hold a recognised tertiary ICT qualification and who have a minimum of 6 years of closely related experience.

This document provides the opportunity for applicants to demonstrate the knowledge learnt throughout their professional experience.

Applicant Name
Applicant Email Address
Applicant Date of Birth DD/MM/YY

SECTION 1 – KEY AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE

Section 1 is based and will be assessed on the following document. Please ensure you read and understand - The ACS Core Body of Knowledge for ICT Professionals (CBOK).

You must clearly explain how your experience and qualifications meet the selected Areas of Knowledge and specifically how and where you acquired the knowledge.

You are required to select one topic from the Essential Core ICT Knowledge (Topic 1 or Topic 2) and one topic from the General ICT Knowledge (Topic 3, Topic 4 or Topic 5).

Please ensure you address at least 2 subtopics from each of the topics chosen.

The ICT Key Areas of Knowledge:

Essential Core ICT Knowledge

ICT Professional Knowledge

Sub Topics are -

  1. Ethics
  2. Professional Expectations
  3. Teamwork Concepts and Issues
  4. Communication
  5. Societal Issues

ICT Problem Solving

Sub Topics are -

  1. Modelling Methods
  2. Processes to understand problems
  3. Methods and tools for handling abstraction

General ICT Knowledge

Technology Resources

Sub Topics are -

  1. Hardware and Software Fundamentals
  2. Data and Information Management
  3. Data Communications and Networking

Technology Building

Sub Topics are -

  1. Human Factors
  2. Programming
  3. Information Systems Development and Acquisition

ICT Management

Sub Topics are -

  1. IT Governance and Organisational Issues
  2. IT Project Management
  3. ICT Service Management
  4. Security Management

Important:

  • Identify the Area of Knowledge topic that you have chosen to explain by entering the name of the Area of Knowledge topic in the box.
  • Explain, in the expandable typing area, how you have acquired the knowledge and illustrate the depth of that knowledge.
  • You should NOT address all sub topics included in the Area of Knowledge in your explanation. Address at least TWO of the sub topics. Enter the sub topic name(s) in the box.
  • Be clear and concise in your explanation.
  • Limit each explanation to no more than one to one and a half pages.

In the following expandable typing areas, explain how you have acquired your in-depth knowledge in these topic areas through your professional experience.

Essential Core ICT Area of Knowledge:

ICT Professional Knowledge (PK)

Teamwork Concepts and Issues

Communication

How have you acquired this knowledge in your working environment? Illustrate your depth of knowledge.

Teamwork Concepts and Issues

History shows us that humanity has through the ages attained much more by working together as a collective, achieving more than what one person would be able to do on his/her own. This is also replicated in nature where members of the same species will stand together when facing a threat or danger, proving that team work has better results.

The working environment has grown in the last 20 to 30 years to become an environment where one person alone cannot create a real noticeable impact. People who know this have achieved unbelievable feats, examples like the late Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and sir Richard Branston to name a few, were/are great team leaders, being able to motivate members of a team to accomplish so much more working together as one unit.

I have been fortunate enough to be part of many different types of project teams, even different areas outside of IT during the past 19 years. With each team member bringing with them a very different set of skills and beliefs, also a diverse way of looking and thinking about a given task or project requirement. This sometimes create conflict, either due to personal ego and the unwillingness to see others point of view, or through a total misunderstanding due to the lack of proper and clear communication.

There were cases where we had to reallocate team member responsibilities, and in one extreme case, move a member to a different department to allow the remaining team to connect and become a unit.

I was fortunate enough to receive personal coaching in a team setup and in my personal capacity throughout the years, and one of the most interesting topic I learned about was the 5 stages of team formation. Something we were really struggling with at the time after merging two very different performing teams into one. The five stages, Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and then ultimately Adjourning, assisted me and other team leaders in identifying where a team needs to address the issues during these phases.

I participated where simple ideas were being thrown around, turning into brainstorming and finally delivering a solution to requests that seemed impossible to begin with. Where team members motivated each other to push through tough times when they thought they reached the limit of their abilities and setting a new personal benchmark in what they are capable of doing.

With every project team, whether the project itself was successful or not, I tried to learn a bit more from the team’s diversity and way of thinking. A way to acquire a new skill and perspective. Learning something new, allowing me to grow and become a little bit better than before, either as a person or in what and how I do things, sometimes, in both.

Communication

Communication is one of the first starting points of mankind I believe, with pictures being drawn to first record and later rely as to what is required, changing into letters, numbers and language. So we have evolved into beings communicating with each other on consistent basis, relaying information amid each other.

Within IT, technology is constantly changing, evolving and becoming more complex, day after day. Without proper communication between the team of people developing the technology, the product would not be able to complete it development. So, when the team is deploying and supporting the technology, if there is no proper communication between them and the consumers of that technology, especially when issues/problems arise with the product, the product would not be used and ultimately fail.

IT technologies have grown into a presence currently in our lives as never seen before. This would not have been possible if IT technology companies did not properly communicate with each other and their consumers.

In my current field, with different IT technologies implemented to serve, most of them are dependent on each other, and with various support personnel administering these systems. If there were no clear communication between our team members on each system and its requirements, these systems would stop working at a certain point in time due to failure in the eco system. Either due to network congestion or no connection at all. A lack in storage space or IO required, or the limitation of performance due to systems competing for resources.

When I started, systems were mostly standalone, performing a set task and if it failed or performed badly, that service alone would be affected, with one person taking the responsibility. Virtualisation has changed the scope of things and has tied so many different systems onto one that there is a great dependence on each other. That is why we know it is so important for system owners to constantly communicate with each other and to keep each other in the loop of planned system changes.

Communication among various teams in IT, including ours, needs to be clear, and all requirements correctly stipulated, with the priority of these requirements noted. It has happened where I was involved in a project where the full scope of requirements where not fully defined, and we ended up doing work that was never requested. On other project the priority was never stated, and due dates were already missed in the planning phase alone.

Awareness and constant feedback as a means of communication can be an ally. A big internal project we did ran behind schedule due to circumstances out of our control, but due to constant communication with all stake holders involved, including the userbase, we were able to complete the project behind schedule, with no losses. Due to the awareness/communication all parties involved took necessary steps to absorb or work around the delay.

General ICT Area of Knowledge:

Topic 1. ICT Management (IM)

Sub Topics are -

  1. IT Project Management
  2. Security Management

How have you acquired this knowledge in your working environment? Illustrate your depth of knowledge.

IT Project Management

Project Management is also something that developed and changed a lot over the past few years and especially in IT. Unfortunately, one of the biggest things I believe that make IT Project Management difficult is the uncertainty of timelines and risk when taking on something that has no baseline to be measured on.

I and some of my colleagues, still run into scenarios were something needs to be done or implemented that was not done before and time lines need to be established. The problem is systems do not always play nice and could either work 100% the first time or make you work every minute to the end.

Where possible I would first request we run a proof of concept or small pilot project to determine the total effort required for the actual project. This helps in better planning of the project and allow more accurate times and costs for the actual project. We have had external parties give through timelines on projects that they implemented and then missing the deadlines due to unforeseen or untested events.

Every member of our IT team gets a chance to run with his/her project and use the rest of the team as resources. This helps all in understanding the importance and requirements when working with projects.

Security Management

My philosophy was and still is to only allow the bare minimum. This is not always the easy road and sometimes takes a lot more planning, testing and getting frustrated but worth it in the end. Even if you must stand your ground forcing 3rd parties developing software to make their solutions work the way you know is most secure.

I headed the IT section of the group company’s governance guideline enforcement for a year, giving training and awareness on what was required for us and affiliate companies.

From there I moved on as team leader in our Microsoft environment, assisting with system security planning and enforcement. I also headed and was responsible for security changes on our Active Directory and Group Policies. Finding ways to get systems to work when locking them down and reducing user support calls due to limited rights on desktop/mobile systems. Security discussions has become a natural part of every topic discussion or project that we undertake.

SECTION 2 - RPL PROJECT REPORTS

A project report is a clear written description of a project or engagement that provides you with the opportunity to show how you perform as an ICT Professional.

Each report is to relate to a significant project or work episode undertaken by you during your professional ICT career.

The purpose of these reports is to enable you to demonstrate your command and implementation of the Areas of Knowledge described in Section 1 of this application.

Please Note: You are required to provide two project reports.

Of the two reports, one must apply to a project undertaken within the last three years, and the other for a project within the last five years.

Projects over two years long may be used for both reports under either of the following conditions:

  • The project has clearly-defined work efforts which took place in parallel, each with their own solution development and design activities and their own deliverables.
  • The project had clearly-defined phases that were executed in succession, each with its own solution development and design activities and deliverables. Note that a second project phase that constructs and implements the solution developed by the first phase does not meet this requirement.

Depending on the nature of your role in each project, the Project Report should cover an appropriate selection of factors.

Appropriate factors will be determined based on the type of ICT project selected. Possible factors include:

  • System Analysis and Design and Software Engineering methodologies used;
  • Contribution to the processes involved in the design and implementation of enterprise-wide computing systems;
  • Programming languages, design paradigms and implementation procedures adopted;
  • Database and/or file design and management techniques employed;
  • Network topologies, including size, distribution and security facilities installed;
  • Project Management and quality assurance techniques followed;
  • Internet application design, including database interactivity and security measures implemented;
  • ICT managerial activities, demonstrating the nature and extent of responsibilities

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