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What is RPL?

RPL Tool webpage showing on a mobile phone

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process where learners can be recognised for the work or experience they have gained in a variety of settings.

Here are just a few:

• Learners can gain formal credit for their learning for credit transfer or admission to a programme

• Learners can benchmark their skills, knowledge and experience to update their CV

• Learners can reflect upon their experience, from life, work and education and training to build confidence

• Employers can identify training needs for their employees

• Employers can recognise learning to map knowledge and skills to jobs within their organisation


Our RPL tool can be used as a guide for learners, employers and learning providers to help them start the process.

Sometimes the exercise is seen as time consuming and labour-intensive and organisations are nervous about undertaking the process, however the benefits do outweigh the work!

Here are a few topical examples of good practice from a variety of settings.

Support for Veterans

We have bench-marked a number of qualification for our armed forces and here is the link to the work we have undertaken with the MOD which showcases how our veterans can use their learning into civilian work roles.

RPL for Advanced Entry

We also have a number of inspirational videos on our website that show how RPL has successfully shortened a learner’s journey. Morag describes how RPL shortened her journey and was offered advanced entry to her degree.


RPL for Employers and Employees

Our NHS is currently undertaking an aspirational RPL journey for its staff called “Transforming Lives through Lifelong Learning” and recently presented at our Sharing Good Practice event to an enthusiastic audience. They are helping staff recognise employees’ learning using SCQF principles and have developed their own guiding principles. They hope to be able to encourage further learning when needed and develop a confident 21st century workforce to meet the changing needs of our NHS. Download here

RPL for Credit Transfer and Inspiration

And finally this short video is an inspirational journey about how RPL and education can change a person’s life and demonstrates how all learning and life experience really do matter.

We hope that this inspires you to start recognising your own skills and potential and if you are an employer or a training provider to take this forward. Please visit our RPL Tool for information and guidance about how the SCQF Partnership can help you or your organisation.

About the author

Fiona Garry

Lead: Recognition of Prior Learning, SCQF Partnership

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