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What is Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)?

RPL is a process to gain recognition for prior studies.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is defined in the AQF as follows:

"an assessment process that involves assessment of an individual’s relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning) to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit."

The credit given after completing the RPL process reduces the amount of learning required to achieve a qualification. This may be through credit transfer, articulation, recognition of prior learning or advanced standing.

Recognition of prior learning explained

The AQF facilitates the progression of students through qualifications by giving credit for learning outcomes they already have achieved. Credit outcomes may allow for entry into a qualification and/or provide credit towards the qualification. Credit given may reduce the time required for a student to achieve the qualification.

RPL broadens the way to enter into formal learning by enabling credit to be given for student achievement through other formal, non-formal or informal learning. It lets organisations undertake an assessment of each individual who applies to determine how much of the individual’s previous learning is equivalent to the learning outcomes of the components of the qualification they are applying for.

Recognition of prior learning applied

It is the responsibility of issuing organisations to offer RPL assessment to students. Issuing organisations’ RPL policies and practices must ensure that decisions about granting RPL take into account students’ likelihood of successfully achieving qualification outcomes and ensure that integrity of qualification outcomes is maintained (AQF Qualifications Pathways Policy section 2.1.6).

To ensure consistency, fairness and transparency, issuing organisations should establish a systematic, organisation-wide approach to RPL including policies and procedures that govern implementation.

The typical RPL process for providers consists of the following stages:

  • identifying the evidence required
  • providing advice to students about the process
  • providing students with sufficient information to enable them to prepare their evidence to meet the standard required for the RPL assessment process
  • assessing using appropriate evidence-gathering methods and tools
  • recording the outcome, and
  • reporting to key internal and external stakeholders.

The outcome of the RPL process may enable the student to meet the entry requirements and/or multiple components of the qualification. This may reduce the duration of the qualification.

The agreed credit outcomes of the assessment of previous learning through RPL are specific to the individual. They may establish a guide which can be used for other RPL assessments and potentially form the basis for future credit transfer agreements.

Enable College provides the opportunity to apply for Recognition of Prior learning.

If you have existing knowledge or skills relating to the requirements of our courses, you can apply for recognition of prior learning (RPL). RPL may be granted for knowledge or skills obtained through prior education, training, work and life experiences.

If granted, you may be eligible for credit towards our courses, allowing you to finish your study sooner. So contact us now and see what credit you might be eligible for!


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