The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) procedure, also known as Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) or Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), is a formal process used in education and training systems to assess and give credit for the knowledge, skills, and experience that individuals have acquired through non-formal and informal learning experiences. This procedure is often employed in vocational education and training, as well as in higher education settings.
Here’s how the RPL procedure typically works:
Initial Assessment #
The process begins with an initial assessment or interview in which the individual interested in RPL discusses their background, experiences, and learning goals with an assessor or evaluator. This helps determine whether the RPL process is suitable for them.
Portfolio Submission #
If it’s determined that the individual has relevant prior learning, they are usually required to compile a portfolio that documents their skills and knowledge. This portfolio may include evidence such as work samples, certifications, references, and other documentation.
An assessor or a panel of assessors then reviews the portfolio and evaluates the evidence provided to assess whether the individual’s prior learning is equivalent to the learning outcomes of a particular course, program, or qualification. They may also conduct interviews or practical assessments, depending on the context.
Credit Award #
Based on the assessment, the individual may receive credit for part or all of the course or qualification. This credit can reduce the amount of time and resources needed to complete the program. In some cases, individuals may receive exemptions from certain courses or modules.
Feedback and Appeals #
Individuals have the right to receive feedback on the assessment process and can appeal if they disagree with the assessment outcome.
The purpose of the RPL procedure is to recognize and validate the skills and knowledge that individuals have acquired through work experience, self-study, informal training, or other non-traditional means. It is a way to promote lifelong learning and enable individuals to gain formal recognition for their existing competencies, which can be particularly valuable for career advancement, obtaining certifications, or pursuing higher education.
The specific details of the RPL procedure can vary by institution, program, or country, so it’s important for individuals interested in pursuing RPL to consult with the relevant educational or training provider to understand their specific requirements and processes.