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Recognition of Prior Learning


Recognition of Prior Learning is the generic term for systems such as Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) or Advanced Academic Standing which are used within Higher Education to describe the awarding of credits to applicants on the basis of demonstrated learning that has occurred prior to admission. The philosophy underlying RPL is to enable and encourage people to enter or re-enter formal education, leading to qualifications, by awarding exemptions or recognising credit for what they already know from the programme curriculum. The onus is on the applicant to demonstrate the prior learning, by preparing and submitting adequate evidence, under the guidance and advice of the institution.

There are two main categories within RPL:

  1. Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL): the awarding of exemptions for un- certificated learning gained from experience. It should be noted that exemptions can be awarded only for achievement of learning outcomes, not experience per se.
  2. Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL): the recognition of formal learning for which certification has been awarded through a bona-fide educational institution or other education/training provider. Under the principle that such credit should only be awarded once, such prior learning requires recognition rather than accreditation.

For further information please contact our Admissions Office.