Why should employers use RPL?
Employees undertake a lot of learning in the workplace. Most of this happens informally as part of the work process and it is not usually assessed or certificated.
In most cases this kind of learning meets the immediate needs of the employee to help them in their job but in many cases the lack of formal certification or recognition can lead to issues for individuals in the workplace such as slow or no career progression, lack of progression in their learning and duplication of learning.
RPL can support employers by:
- helping to identify employees’ skills effectively
- helping to identify skills gaps in organisations
- helping to identify appropriate training opportunities
- reducing employee training time by minimising duplication of learning
- increasing motivation and interest in workplace activities on the part of the employee/learner
- generating new ideas and developments for the organisation as a result of the employee/learner reflecting on work activities.
As a result, employers may find that RPL can lead to increased employee retention and reduced recruitment and training costs.
How can RPL be used in the workplace?
Employers can use RPL to support all aspects of workforce development:
- Recruitment: By using an RPL process in interviews, applicants can be helped to reflect on their achievements, prior work and life experiences and leisure pursuits to identify and demonstrate the strengths, skills and values that they will need to successfully undertake the post they are applying for.
- Induction: Using RPL within induction processes can mean new employees can be supported in building on what they have already gained in terms of core and other skills relevant to the job.
- Supervision and appraisal: Used as part of supervision and appraisal, RPL can encourage the reflective process to help an individual review their performance, identify particular areas for further personal and professional development and challenge poor work practice.
- Performance interviewing: RPL can be useful when applying for promoted posts, by helping individuals to reflect on particular instances, where, for example, they have challenged poor work practices, considered the outcomes of their own or another’s action or thought about how they might have dealt with a situation differently.
- Gaining qualifications: RPL can be used to support workers to recognise their learning, including those who lack confidence and/or who are reluctant to engage in formal learning. It can also mean workers gain qualifications more quickly through the recognition and award of SCQF credit points for their prior learning.
The SCQF Partnership offers free workshops on RPL. These workshops are aimed at staff supporting learners through the RPL process and staff in colleges and universities who receive and assess RPL claims from learners. They focus on setting up internal systems to process claims for RPL and the support that may be needed for learners within that system.
The RPL Tool
Your staff can use RPL to demonstrate previous learning. The RPL tool provides you with information and guidance on how to help them through the process.