What is Recognition of Prior Learning?

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process that allows you admission to a programme of study or gain exemptions/credits from parts of a programme based on learning achieved through previous educational programmes or through life outside of formal education and training (i.e work experiences, involvement in social and community activities, voluntary activities or other learning experiences).

RPL recognises that skills and knowledge can be acquire from both formal (Certified learning) and non-formal (Uncertified learning).

The RPL Process

The RPL process requires the applicant to provide evidence of the relevant prior learning and the types and nature of experiences and knowledge/learnings gained. In the case of uncertified learning (see below) where applicants believe to have equal value and will be assessed on the learning acquired from the experience as opposed to the experience itself.

Recognition of Prior Learning — Certified Learning

There are two scenarios of prior certified learning:

Scenario 1: The learning is certified by an awarding body in the form of a major award (e.g. a higher certificate or bachelor’s degree) or is included as part of such an award.

Scenario 2: The learning is certified by an awarding body in the form of a minor, special purpose, or supplemental award or it is certified in respect of a period of study, and the relevant credit has not already been used to meet the credit requirements for a major award. In this case of prior certified learning can be handled in the same way as prior uncertified learning (see below) with one exception: the provider should not require the learner to undergo assessment provided that the attainment of the minimum intended module learning outcomes can be demonstrated.

For learners who demonstrate the required learning but are not graded, the result should be returned as Exemption Granted.

Recognition of Prior Learning — Uncertified Learning

A learner may be exempted from participating in a module if he/she has already attained the minimum intended module learning outcomes. The prior learning should be a sufficiently good match to the minimum intended module learning outcomes to justify an exemption from the module.

Where the relevant prior learning is uncertified (e.g. prior experiential learning), we will assess the learner using the regular module assessment instruments and/or by an alternative assessment arrangement. Learners who have demonstrated the required learning are granted the available credit for the module and are exempt from the module.

If the module is one that contributes to the award classification, prior learning achievement must be graded in order for the award to be classified. Otherwise, an unclassified award should be made. Where the module does not contribute to the award classification, the prior learning achievement does not need to be graded.

Colleges Policy and Procedure on RPL

For full details on the Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning please click here.

For full details on the Procedures associated with Recognition of Prior Learning please click here.

RPL Applications

RPL applications can be made via our website

If you have any questions or require any further information please contact info@ichas.ie