The concept of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) has been around for several decades, with its origins traced back to the 1970s in the United Kingdom. The idea of RPL emerged as a response to the need for a more flexible and inclusive approach to recognizing individuals’ learning and experiences, beyond traditional education and training settings.
The formalization of RPL as a process and practice began to gain momentum in the 1980s and 1990s, as more institutions and organizations recognized the importance of acknowledging individuals’ prior learning and experience. During this time, RPL was adopted in various countries, including Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, among others.
In Australia, RPL was first introduced in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector in the late 1980s and has since been widely adopted across various industries and professions. Today, RPL is recognized as an important tool for promoting lifelong learning, enhancing workforce development, and providing recognition for individuals’ diverse learning pathways and experiences.