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Recognition of Prior Learning Experience the Accreditation Process. What is RPL?. APL refers to certificated learning for which a general credit rating had been agreed e.g. RGN, RM, HNC, HND, degree courses,.

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Recognition of

Prior Learning

Experience the

Accreditation Process


What is RPL?

APL refers to certificated learning for which a general credit rating had been agreed e.g. RGN, RM, HNC, HND, degree courses,

APEL is learning which does not have a general credit rating but has been acquired through an individual’s experience

e.g. Work-based, community based learning

Choose UWS/2009


What is Academic Credit?

  • Two types of credit may be awarded, General Credit and Specific Credit.
  • General Credit is arrived at through agreements between awarding bodies and Higher Education Institutions. The amount of General Credit is determined by the qualification held.
  • Specific Credit is credit which the University awards towards a specific programme of study. This time it is determined by subject choice. It follows that General Credit cannot be applied on a blanket basis to individual study programmes, the amount of Specific Credit, depends on how closely prior learning ties in with a proposed programme of study.

Benefits of RPL

  • For the student
  • Gain credit and recognition for learning; boosting confidence, motivation and self esteem
  • Encourages further learning
  • Do not need to repeat learning experiences for things they already know and for which they can provide suitable evidence
  • Boost employment opportunities by gaining a recognised qualification more quickly saving time and money

Benefits of RPL

  • For the Employer
  • Work based learning and training can contribute to a recognised qualification saving time and money
  • More efficient use of the training budget avoiding duplication of learning and identifying the best way to meet skills gaps
  • Provides a framework for skills development and CPD enabling employers to:
  • Show a commitment to workforce development
  • Improve staff retention

Benefits to Learning Providers

  • Encourages participation on learning programmes as students are coming with recognition for learning they already have
  • Widens access to those who would/could otherwise not consider further study
  • Enhances retention of learners
  • Scotland’s largest modern university
  • 19,500 students
  • over 1500 modules offered
  • 4 regional campuses: Ayr, Dumfries,
  • Hamilton & Paisley
  • career focused, designed in partnership with business and industry
  • £160million investment programme underway to further improve ..our facilities.

Our time is now

We’re an ambitious university and our students are too.

Choose UWS/2010


BA Management Bridging Programme

  • Entry into Level 9
  • Students made RPL claim for 240 points
  • Combination of APL and APEL
  • Workshops/Supervision/Assessment

RPL Case Study


Principles of APEL

    • The student makes the claim to have acquired knowledge and skills.
    • The responsibility of supporting this claim with evidence rests with the student.
    • It is learning not experience that is important. Experience is only significant as a source of learning. If learning cannot be extracted from experience there is nothing to assess and a claim cannot be made.

Identification of Learning

  • 4 stages.
  • Experiences were looked at and those where significant learning had occurred were selected.
  • Clear statements in the form of learning outcomes were written making sure that:
    • Learning was at the right level.
    • There was a clear link between theoretical knowledge and practical application
    • Learning had been kept up to date.
  • Evidence in support of the claim to learning was collected and collated this took the form of a written report accompanied by a portfolio of evidence
  • Presentation and Assessment

The Students’ Experience

  • The “Lows”
  • Difficult to tease out learning from experience
  • Challenge of writing learning outcomes
  • Finding the time
  • Fear of failure

The Student’s Experience

  • The “Highs”
  • Made me reflect on my working practices and question why I did things.
  • Gave me the confidence to suggest different ways of working.
  • Made me appreciate what I had achieved within the workplace.
  • My degree is within my grasp.