Understanding Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Often, the road to a higher qualification is shorter than you’d think.  With more and more professionals looking to upskill, we’ve assembled a rough guide to RPL to help you discover your potential for fast-tracked study.  

Under NZQA guidelines, Recognition of Prior Learning is where your existing skills and knowledge, usually gained through work, independent study, informal learning and/or life experiences, are recognised as being equivalent to those taught in a formal education setting for the purposes of awarding credit toward a qualification. 

As the world adjusts to an increasingly volatile jobscape, one thing is becoming clear – there’s never been a better time to hit the books.  Maybe you’re ready for a brand new career, or looking to expand your current skillset, or perhaps you’re just after a formal qualification to enrich your CV.  

In light of all the challenges that Covid-19 has posed for our community, arming ourselves with future-proof skills is the best way we can prepare to navigate a post-Covid world. We want to make those pathways as easily accessible as possible, by offering a free RPL service for the remainder of the year.

Even if you haven’t worked through the ranks of traditional academia, you could be eligible to enter a programme of study and a higher level than you realise.   In fact, there are two formal methods of assessing a student’s prior learning. One is Credit Recognition and Transfer, which involves credit from your previous study being applied to a new programme of study where applicable, meaning you may not have to start that course from the very beginning.  

The other is Recognition of Prior Learning, which 
involves a formal assessment of a your relevant and current knowledge and skills (gained through prior learning) to determine whether it can count as credit towards a new qualification.  In this case, ‘Prior Learning’ can include existing skills, knowledge, and attributes acquired without regard for the length, place or method of learning (e.g. workplace, life experience, hobbies, self-directed study).

Of course, it’s not a one-size-fits-all process, but our expert team are here to guide you through your options and help you to find the right pathway for you.  You never know until you ask, so book in a chat to find out more.  Email to get started.  

MDS learning environment