Recognition of Prior Learning

Valuing learning achieved outside of formal education and training

There is increased interest in ways of recognising and valuing learning achieved outside of formal education and training programmes (for example from workplace and life experience or voluntary activities).

This process, described nationally as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), can be be used for the purpose of

  • access to programmes, or
  • to seek exemptions from parts of programmes or awards.

In some cases it can lead directly to certification for partial and full awards.

It is important to note that practice in this field is at an early stage nationally and is unevenly available, and can be time-consuming and challenging for applicants.

If you have questions about having your own learning and achievements recognised through an RPL process, it may be useful to talk to your local adult education guidance service or education and training provider. 

You can find more advice, information and resources on the following webpages: