How to Earn Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for Your Career?

Recognition of Prior Learning

The workforce is changing as more and more people change careers later in life. Unfortunately, those changes can often mean having to go back to school to learn new skills, which adds time and money to the process of reinventing yourself for a different career path. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could skip the time and tuition costs of acquiring new skills? You can. The method is called Recognition of Prior Learning or RPL. It’s a great way to prove that your relevant experience already qualifies you for a given role without re-doing all those pesky course assignments, term papers, and exams. If you’ve been stuck in a rut for a while and want to break out of it, here’s how RPL can help.

Understanding RPL and Why it is Important

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a way for you to get work experience or formal education recognized so that the Learning can be applied to a course or training program. It’s based on three principles: Prior Learning, Competencies, and Credit. Each of these words has a special meaning in the world of RPL.

Prior Learning means that you have knowledge and experience from previous Learning, training, or work. It’s what you already know, and it can be documented. Competencies are things that you’ve been assessed on but don’t necessarily have formal proof to show that you have them. In other words, your prior Learning meets the required learning outcomes for the job or course. Credit means that you’ve already met the requirements of a program or taken training before. You can get credit for it later if applicable to the RPL process.

It’s important to know that not all prior Learning is worth giving credit. The methods used to assess whether something is relevant are called Criteria for Credit. You can find out more about those criteria by checking the RPL policies of programs and courses you want to enter.

Evaluating Your Experience as Prior Learning

The goal of rpl is to recognize your experience as something that counts towards meeting qualifications or requirements for a job or course. Usually, it requires you to show that you have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to do something related to the subject you are trying to learn about. But, on the other hand, if it’s for a job, then perhaps your experience demonstrates that you’ve got “the right stuff.”

To get credit for Prior Learning, you have to prove that it’s relevant. So, for example, if you want to get credit for a technical course but never went through the training or assessment, your experience isn’t going to usually count towards a formal qualification. However, if you’ve been doing similar work in a different role and you hold that role or are seeking it, then your experience likely qualifies you for credit for the Learning.

One thing is for sure, though—not all work experience counts as prior Learning. The RPL policies of schools and programs have to be very specific to set out precisely what kinds of work experience may qualify you to get credit. For example, perhaps you want to get credit for a program, and all you know is that it’s related to marketing and sales. You might try listing everything you’ve done in your work history under those areas without success because the kinds of jobs and roles you held don’t meet the criteria required to qualify as having RPL.

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