Recognition of prior learning


RPL is a method of assessment that considers whether a learner can demonstrate that they can meet the assessment requirements for a unit through knowledge, experience, understanding or skills that they already possess and do not need to develop through a course of learning.  In other words they can proceed directly to assessment.



RPL relates to assessment leading to the award of credit of units.  Assessment is conducted against the learning outcomes and assessment criteria.  

All evidence provided must be valid, current (generally up to 3 years, sufficient (covers all criteria) and authentic.


NB: Learners must still undertake all the stipulated amount of practical assessments associated with the unit and cover all of the range.


Learners will be encouraged to take responsibility for making and supporting any claims for RPL.  Learners will be advised and encouraged from the start of their learning experience to assess their prior achievements and experiences and to record these appropriately.  Support for action planning, recording of achievement, appropriate evidence will begin at the initial interview, induction or early in the programme and continue through the learning process (as appropriate).


The centre recognises that there may be a need to offer RPL to learners prior to enrolment onto a course.  Claims for RPL will be discussed on an individual basis (interview) where the assessor must be satisfied that the learner has the necessary underpinning knowledge and skills to proceed straight to assessment.  The assessor will agree an action plan with the learner for their individual training and assessment pathway to the specific unit or qualification they wish to obtain. Learners will be charged a fee as appropriate to the tutor time involved.  This is generally 50% of the cost of the module fee for which they are claiming RPL.





The facility for a learner to claim exemption from some of the achievement requirements of a QCF qualification, using evidence of certificated, non-QCF achievement deemed to be of equivalent value.  


This means that a learner could achieve a qualification through a combination of credits awarded for units with the QCF, and exemption from the requirement to achieve credits for a unit of units based on certificated achievements outside the QCF.  

All cases of exemption will be discussed on an individual basis with the assessor.  


NB:  Learners will not be awarded credit for exemptions as they have come from outside of the QCF. This means that they do not have a credit value to bank.



A learner can count credits awarded for another qualification or by another awarding body towards a qualification if equivalent unit. Equivalence, unlike exemption, uses units that sit within the QCF, whereas exemption uses units that sit outside of the QCF.  


NB: RPL and Exemption are not necessarily a way of saving time or money.  There can be a lot of time and work required to gather evidence, present it and assess it. Often it may be simpler, easier and cheaper to follow the traditional training and assessment route.  


Those responsible within the centre are: Tony Sewell