WHAT IS RPL ? RPL IS Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL – previously known as 'APL') is a process whereby students can
be exempt from some parts of their chosen programme of academic study by recognition of their learning from previous
experiences or achievements as part of the admissions process.
RPL is a very simple and straightforward process of assessing someone's skills or knowledge, regardless of where and how these were learned. Unlike other forms of assessment it doesn't judge someone's evidence of competence solely by the credentials or qualifications they have achieved, although this can form part of their claim. Nor does it consider where a person worked, their age, gender or physical attributes.
What RPL does is allow people to demonstrate that they are capable of undertaking specific tasks or working in certain industries based on evidence of skills and knowledge gained throughout their life.
RPL is similar to criterion-referenced assessment – assessment of skills and knowledge against certain criteria. However, while such criteria is generally less descriptive than that used in competency standards, it is outcomes-based (i.e., the outcome of somebody doing something, such as the outcome of writing is a letter, or the outcome of making something which results in an end product), not process-based such as learning.
In teaching or traditional training, the criteria against which formative and summative assessments are conducted is known as teaching or training objectives. (Sometimes these are also referred to as learning objectives but these are really the outcome the learners seeks to achieve, not the teacher or trainer.) They may be written in different ways but in all cases they include the behaviour to be observed, the conditions under which such behaviour is to be performed, and the standards or criteria which the performance must meet. These are the standards to be achieved as a result of the learning or training activity.
The essential element of RPAL is that it is an assessment of evidence provided by an individual to support their for competence against a given set of standards or learning outcomes.
RPAL is sometimes confused with Credit Transfer, assessments conducted in order to recognize advanced standing or for assigning academic credit. RPAL is a very simple and straightforward process of assessing someone's skills or knowledge, regardless of where and how these were learned. RPAL allow people to demonstrate that they are capable of undertaking specific tasks or working in certain industries based on evidence of skills and knowledge gained throughout their life.