Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
What is RPL?
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the generic term for learning assessment mechanisms such as Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) or Advanced Academic Standing, which are used within Higher Education to describe the awarding of credit / exemptions to learners on the basis of demonstrated learning that has occurred prior to admission.
RPL involves awarding the learner recognition in the form of admission to a programme, credits, exemptions or an award for the Prior Learning.
The Prior learning can be Certified or Experiential (non-certified).
1. Recognition for Prior Certified Learning (RPCL)
Prior Certified Learning is where an applicant has already been awarded a qualification for a formal programme taken at an institution or training organisation. This prior learning can be recognised on the National Framework of Qualifications and may entitle the applicant to:
- Admission to a programme or course of study.
- The award of advanced academic standing.
- The award of exemptions from some parts of a programme.
Where prior certificated learning is the basis for RPL, the applicant is required to provide the relevant syllabus and a transcript of results. The prior certified learning must be:
- Similar in nature to the module(s) the learner is seeking exemptions in.
- Achieved in a relatively recent time frame.
- At the same or higher level in the National Framework of qualifications to the module(s) the learner is seeking the exemption in.
2. Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL)
This involves the awarding of credit for learning from experience. In this case, the candidate must demonstrate that the learning outcomes have been achieved by producing a Portfolio of Evidence to support the claim for access, exemption or credit (in some instances the assessor may decide to use an alternative method of assessment, e.g. project or examination). As a general principle, credit is given for learning, not for experience per se. The portfolio of evidence must be written in such a way that the matching of the knowledge, skills and competencies of the module learning outcomes to the prior learning is clearly demonstrated.
As part of the assessment the learner may be interviewed by an appointed assessor.
Learners can receive support with developing their portfolio from the RPL Facilitator.
Letterkenny Institute of Technology
(t) 074 918 6707
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