Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) means that you can get recognition for learning you have done in a work-based environment and from learning from life experiences to support your personal and career development. 

If you have no formal qualifications, RPL can help you to value and build on your learning no matter where that learning has taken place. 

Using a process of RPL learners can move onto further study or training and provide evidence of learning that can lead to a formal qualification or gaining SCQF credit points. 

RPL helps learners to:

  • think about the learning they have already achieved and plan how to build on this learning to meet their personal and career goals
  • get a place on a programme at a college or university or another learning and training provider, if they don’t have the normal entry qualifications but can show that they have the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding
  • gain credit towards a qualification to shorten the normal period of learning by evidencing that they already have the knowledge, skills and understanding needed for particular parts of the programme or qualification (e.g. units or modules)
  • increase their self-esteem by recognising their achievements in learning
  • plan their career development and educational path and identify areas of competence and areas requiring further study.


By using RPL learners can benefit in the following ways:

  •  having the opportunity to reflect on what they have achieved so far through their experiences in terms of their learning and skills
  •  thinking about their goals and what they need to do in order to achieve them: e.g. do a training course, pursue a vocational award, join an educational programme at college or university or other learning and training provider, apply for, or change, jobs
  •  build confidence enabling them to identify the learning they have gained through experience, recognise their strengths and value their achievements.

The RPL Tool

You can use the RPL tool for information and guidance on getting credit for your learning.

Watch Brians (RPL) Learning Journey

Brian found not having a degree a serious hurdle even with his professional experience. He used RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) to gain entry into second year of University.

Watch Brian's Story

Watch Morag's (RPL) Learning Journey

After 18 years in Banking, Morag decided to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a secondary school Teacher. Using the SCQF and RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) she secured her University place.

Watch Morag's Story

Try our RPL Tool

Support for your personal and career development.

Get recognition for learning you have done in a work-based environment and from learning from life experiences.

RPL Tool