Teacher Helping Mature Student With Studies In LibraryThe Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the process for recognising learning that has come from experience and/or previous formal, non-formal and informal learning.

This could include knowledge and skills gained within school, college and university and outside formal learning situations such as through life and work experiences or even through a hobby.

RPL can be used by a wide range of people either to help them re-enter learning or to contribute towards a programme of learning or simply to identify their skills in order to progress in their career. Through RPL it may be possible to make a claim for SCQF Credit Points which can reduce the amount of time needed to achieve the required learning programme or qualification.

Those who might benefit include:

  • people who have been out of the education system for a long time and/or who may lack formal qualifications and/or confidence as learners
  • adults returning to education
  • unemployed people looking for a way to demonstrate their learning to prospective employers
  • people wanting to improve upon existing qualifications
  • those wanting to re-train or change careers
  • students at colleges, higher education institutions (HEIs) and other learning and training providers
  • people who have taken non-formal learning or training in the workplace or through community-based learning
  • people who have gained a range of skills and knowledge through volunteering
  • or through activities or projects within their community
  • school students who have been involved in extra-curricular activities

People wishing to claim RPL may not have a strong academic education – but they do need to be keen to learn from and about their own experiences and about themselves. It is important to stress that recognition is given for what has been learned from experience and not for the experience itself.

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