‘Recognition of Prior Learning’ (RPL), is the process of identifying, assessing and recognising previous learning wherever it was acquired, whether formal (at a recognised institution of training), informal (work place training programmes) or non-formal (workplace experience), i.e. having attended previous course with the same subjects, what you have learnt over the years with experience, or non-accredited training done within the work place.

The RPL programme compares the previous learning and experience of a leaner against Exit Level Outcome (ELO) Exit Level Outcomes, the learning outcomes of Unit Standard, or a qualification.

There are two ways in which a qualification can presently be earned, namely:

  • the traditional way where a person attends structured training and is thereafter assessed for competence based on a unit standard; or
  • the non-traditional way where a person who already possesses the required skills and knowledge simply needs to be assessed for competence against a unit standard.

Recognition of Prior Learning, therefore represents that assessment process. It will up to each individual to select an RPL provider for this purpose (the provider needs to be registered with the relevant SETA, ETQA offering the training in which the learner wishes to RPL.

The following check list should be of assistance to learner in this regard:

  • Is the chosen provider accredited as an RPL Centre with the relevant SETA, ETQA?
  • Can the provider RPL you against the FULL qualification? (If providers only offer RPL against certain unit standards you might then find that you need to source another provider to complete the RPL assessment).
  • Can the provider tell you about other RPL projects that they have successfully managed?
  • Will the RPL provider also assess and moderate you and upload your results to the relevant SETA, ETQA?
  • What is the cost of the RPL assessment?
  • What is expected for the RPL, what evidence does the provider require for the process.

Enrolment with an RPL provider of your choice (which is accredited with the qualification / unit standard that you wish to RPL on) which will take you through a support process outlining the qualification against which you wish to be RPL’d.

Have the provider explain the complete process of the RPL and explain how to interpret and understand unit standards and how to prepare evidence to show competency in those unit standards;

Allow yourself sufficient time to enable you to compile the necessary evidence in what is known as a Portfolio of Evidence. Evidence can be naturally occurring or evidence that you already have in your possession that can be linked to the qualification to show that you are competent.

Evidence can take the form of Historical things you have done in the past, testimonials, references, feedback superiors and any document proving that you are capable of doing the functions which you wish to RPL on.

Once your Portfolio of Evidence has been submitted it will be assessed by a registered assessor who has the relevant subject matter expertise in the field which you wish to be RPL’d in. You may be found to be competent or not yet competent, in either case, will get written feedback from the assessor.

Should you be found not yet competent, the provider may give you a further chance to submit additional evidence at no cost while others may charge a fee for this. Confirm this at the first meeting.

Once you have submitted all your evidence and it has been assessed the accredited RPL provider will arrange for the findings to be internally moderated by an accredited moderator to check that assessment procedures were properly followed. After this those findings will be externally moderated by the relevant SETA, ETQA.

The RPL process is designed to accommodate learner’s who have the necessary knowledge and experience in the field to obtain a qualification without attending the days in a classroom environment. This is cost effect and far less time consuming.

To read more click on the link http://www.saqa.org.za/show.php?id=5688


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