hiya, I am here to distrub everyone again
theoritically, only when student recognise rigpa, he or she can really start practicing Dzogchen, otherwise he or she doesn't know what is to be practiced.
however, in dzogchen tradition, there are still many levels and steps to make the recognition really clear, which might take long time.
Base on Karma Chamed, the first time recognition for him is like the shell of the rice seed, and kind of useless.
Useless is in sense that it won't help you when you face problems like negative thoughts or the final challenge: death.
Only through deligent meditation and 'keeping' (see, it's interesting here, deligently keeping and staying), the real rice will appear, then you can really 'rest and stay'.
So, the easiest and the most relevant way to check your status is still this:
see if you have more compassion, less negative thoughts, more peaceful in mind, less desire and attachment. If yes, it's good. Otherwise it might be not that good, no matter you think yourself recognise it or not, even no matter your master told you that you got it or not. 'Got it' is not important, it's if it's usable important.
Also, in Chinese Zen tradition there's a saying: 'seek it longer, recognise it later, the better.' Because those who 'recognise' it quicker, usually lose it quicker. Those who got it later already have a firm base of mind control, so they can stay and rest easier.
I am sure most of people have heard this famous story. Nyushu Longdor is the best student of Dza Paltrul Rinpoche; he studied from Paltrul for more than ten years, and never really recognised rigpa. One night Paltrul rinpoche lied down with him on the grass together and showed him the stars in the sky, only then he got it. And after he got it, he became the most important Dzogchen master at that time.