Recognition of Prior Learning

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Recognition of Prior Learning

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1. Recognition of Prior Learning European Experiences, Perspective and Models

3. Member of the following bodies, in the area of Vocational Qualifications: National Qualifications Authority of Ireland Further Education & Training Awards Council (Ireland) Operations & Quality Committee, City & Guilds of London Institute Chairperson: European Vocational Training Associations Certification Committee

4. Introduction Increased focus on standards and on qualification frameworks over last decade has lead to greater interest in Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) European Training and Awarding bodies have participated in EU funded projects using common RPL Model: Could a common model apply? Positive results so far

5. FS Perspectives on RPL RPL is a process that enables people of all ages, backgrounds and attitudes to gain recognition for experience, skills and knowledge they already possess

6. FS Perspectives on RPL RPL puts a value on learning through open and transparent assessment. The process: Identifying: what the person knows Matching: their knowledge/skills to specific occupational/qualification standards Assessing: person against those standards Crediting: person for skills, knowledge & experience Recording: future training needs

7. FS Perspectives on RPL The process can then be used for: award or credit access to education and training at the appropriate point diagnoses of gaps and the need for specific education/training

8. FS Perspectives on RPL FSs Certification Framework is designed to accommodate RPL as its focus is: Certification of skills not courses Modular - full/part credits Competence based - skill/vocational focus Industry based, criterion referenced standards - provide links to labour market

9. FS Perspectives on RPL RPL in FS stems from a policy of widening access to certification Refer to RPL as Taking Credit Same certificate irrespective of where skills achieved RPL used to gain exemptions/credits or to access education & training

10. FS Activities in RPL: Construction Sector Provided RPL for construction sector In partnership with employer bodies and unions Offer certification in 4 areas: (1) Plant operator -Tower Crane Drivers, Telescopic Mobile Handlers, Digger/Loader (2) Roofers (3) Scaffolders (Basic & Advanced) (4) Construction Operators - Pipe & Drain laying, paving & kerbing, steel fixing & concreting Standards inserted into Irish Building Regulations Health & Safety now require qualifications

11. FS Activities in RPL: ESB Accreditation Major project to accredit Linespersons of Electricity Supply Board to craft Electrician status (1997-2003) 60 received National Craft Certificate to date - 60-80 more in 2002 (out of 300-400 in total) Combines accreditation of prior experience & distance learning and formal training

12. FS RPL Projects in South Africa : Bloemfontein Pilot RPL project for Construction Sector (June-Dec 1995) FS & BITB - Irish Govt. funding Bricklaying and Carpentry trades selected 315 people screened from unemployed and construction sector - 202 selected & registered 161 awarded skill certificates 19 awarded full craft qualification

13. RPL in South Africa Certification model with 2 levels: completion of full trade test = Artisan status = full trade certificate from BITB/Dept. of Labour employable skill certification awarded to those who completed one of more skill test Certified training programmes for RPL Advisors and Assessors - endorsed by BITD motivated and certified RPL practitioners

14. RPL in South Africa Pilot successful in meeting objectives Pilot foundation for expansion of RPL nationally Steering Committee under chair of NTB key in assuring quality and credibility Joint Certification Agreement between FS and BITB (Dec 1995)

15. RPL for Construction Education & Training Authority

16. Key Result Areas for Project RPL locations in 9 provinces Training & registering of approved RPL practitioners Development of RPL guidelines & procedures RPL based certification for 6000 candidates NQF based unit standards developed NQF based training materials developed Recognition of RPL certification for employment and remuneration RPL database

17. Sustainability Outcomes Registered & Qualified Advisor, Assessor & Verifier/Moderator practitioners RPL system, policy & documents adopted by Dept of Labour, CETA, SAQA Funding for RPL legislated for by Dept of Labour RPL/CETA database linked to others RPL qualified persons obtaining employment/ progressing learning Trade Unions, Employers, Employees participating in RPL process

18. European Projects: CEDEFOP CEDEFOP (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training) project: Identification, Validation & Accreditation of Prior & Informal Learning Ireland, Scotland, Germany, France Formed basis for model on RPL for Europe-wide study

19. European Projects: Agora Participant in CEDEFOP Agora on: Identification, Assessment & Recognition of non-formal learning Representative of trade unions, employers, government bodies Papers available on - final report soon

20. European Projects: CEDEFOP/ Norwegian Conference May 2000 Competence reform and non-formal learning Examined methodologies for assessment and recognition of non formal learning Q of acceptance & legitimacy of RPL in different political/institutional frameworks Impact of labour relations Summary paper Making Learning Visible by Jen Bjornvold available from CEDEFOP

21. European Projects: EVTA European Vocational Training Association Chairman of Certification Committee Project: Development of a Common Model for the Recognition and/or certification of acquired skills Agreed model virtually identical to model used in FS-Ireland and FS International-South Africa

22. European Projects: EVTA Project Report 3 principles of methodology: individual approach of candidates application of RPL procedures in context of national qualification systems an approach wide enough to cover different sectors of activities & professions

23. European Projects: EVTA Project Report Experimentation in 3 areas: electricity automobile catering

24. European Projects: EVTA Project Report Model carried out in 3 stages: advising & assessing candidates drawing up portfolio and /or organisation tests to gauge skill assessment, accreditation and /or certification

25. European Projects: EVTA Project Report Project progressed as follows: training of teams of counsellors and evaluators experimental phase national and transnational evaluation revision of model final report Expert Group established to progress RPL

26. European Projects: Multi-Apel Multi-sector, Multi-method & Multi-country project on accreditation of prior experience & learning in several sectors and countries Instruments and procedures developed for Care and Electrotechnology Sector Conclusion: is possible to use same RPL model despite differences This Model provides good overview of methods and procedures of RPL

27. International Projects: OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development initiated the project: The Role of National Qualifications Systems in Promoting Lifelong Learning Recognition of prior & informal learning will be key element in this as will the qualifications impact on the process of learning, teaching and training

28. Comments on an RPL System in South Africa Credit awarded for achievement of learning outcomes, not experience alone A learning outcome is what a learner should know/be able to do as a result of being involved in a learning process Learning should imply a conceptual and practical grasp of knowledge or competence Learning should be applicable outside the environment in which it was learned

29. RPL in South Africa Need to equate informally achieved learning outcomes with those listed for objectives on an approved course Evaluation of these may lead to credits, exemptions or lead to certification Learning not experience being evaluated To facilitate RPL existing syllabi need to be amended to re-state learning in terms of learning outcomes

30. Criteria for RPL Criteria used of paramount importance as they ensure adequacy & consistency of standards maintained across South Africa Decisions on assessment methods required Need procedures and instruments in place to identify and accredit learning

31. Criteria for RPL A system must: Be transparent to potential applicants, employers, education & training providers Be transparent, equitable & accessible across occupations & education & training institutions Be credible to academia, applicants, employers, public & education and training providers Have assessors, advisors and administrators that are qualified in theory and procedures of RPL Have certified practical training for assessors & advisors - this is essential

32. An RPL system must: Give consistent & reproducible results regardless of applicant, assessor or education/training institution Be monitored to conform to national standards Be administered with clear, simple structures Have user-friendly documentation & record keeping procedures Be cost effective

33. Key Role of RPL Advisor The Advisor is critical to RPL process Provide candidates with an understanding of RPL process and assist on the construction of their claim Their role is to: assist candidates to identify qualification most suited to their needs assist candidates to understand learning outcomes & identify areas where claims might be made

34. Key Role of RPL Advisor assist candidates to understand the assessment procedures assist candidates to reflect on the identity of learning outcomes associated with their experience advise on gathering evidence, the authentication required & format of claims help candidates draw up an action plan for further development

35. Role of Assessor The Assessor is a crucial role Need nationally agreed procedures detail must suit South African conditions RPL Policy occupational standards qualification system education & training structures

36. An RPL Focus Requires change in attitude of many staff as it challenges dominant input of third level education by: emphasising outcomes and evidences which depend on the applicant rather than inputs which are controlled by lecturer/trainer RPL is candidate centred Delivery systems should reflect this

37. Quality Assurance RPL system - simple & easily understood Only meaningful if underpinned by quality standards and processes Quality Assurance key in ensuring credibility of RPL process and resulting qualifications FS plays lead role in external quality assurance & links with assessment/learning providers to ensure required standards are maintained

38. Conclusion Belief the learning is/should be confined to formal education or training no longer tenable Belief that learning confined to early years of life is outdated Must give recognition/currency to skills learned outside formal education Must provide second chance to those without qualifications

39. Conclusion Demand for new qualifications growing rapidly Life Long Learning and informally acquired skills require certification to be of value FS experience has shown the Recognition of Prior Learning, with right conditions, can work across all occupations

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