RPL enables a student to stand a fair chance for higher education by recognizing his / her prior learning achieved through formal and informal training, work experience or other life experiences which are internally approved and recognized. UET is determined to providing quality education to all who deserve it either through formal classroom training or in terms of experience or other means of learnings.
The basic guidelines for determining the prior learning of a student are specified as being internationally recognized. The following Principles outline those things necessary to ensure a thorough examination of qualifications necessary to verify valid prior learning:
- The RPL assessment process provides for the academic recognition of current competencies regardless of where these may have been acquired
- Recognition of prior learning specifically refers to the identification of industry and/or enterprise currently held competencies which are the result formal and informal training, regardless of how, when or where the learning occurred.
- Prior learning strengthens the foundation of experience based training and learning. It is essential that Institutions of Higher Education have a demonstrable commitment to the recognition prior learning of individuals may possess.
- The acceptance of prior learning shall be available to all potential applicants without exclusion based on how, when or where the learning occurred.
- All portions of a prior learning process shall involve assessment steps that are fair to all involved parties.
- Individuals seeking prior learning recognition shall be entitled to adequate support from representatives during the RPL process.
OBJECTIVES OF RPL
Based on the principles stated in the previous section, the primary objectives of the RPL Policy are intended to fulfill the following:
- To actively seek the increase of access to RPL by individuals with an interest in participating in degree program study.
- To ensure that each separate and independent portion of an RPL assessment is fair and focused on clearly determining an individual’s eligibility for the receipt of credit for prior learning.
- To encourage the implement of RPL policies which are consistent with international standards and principles commonly held by Institutions of Higher Education worldwide.
- To ensure that each of the procedures within the RPL process incorporate a range of valid and reliable techniques designed to accurately assess any competencies held.
- To promote value in ‘non-traditional’ (other than classroom/onsite based) learning as a significantly valid pathway to competency achievement and recognized training outcomes.
PROCESSES OF ASSESSMENT FOR RPL
The RPL assessment process of the university is bound to the specified protocol items listed as follows:
- The RPL assessment process shall be valid, reliable, flexible and fair.
- The RPL assessment process is designed to cover a broad range of skills and knowledge needed to demonstrate competency within a given area of knowledge.
- The RPL assessment of an individual’s competencies is a formal process, which integrates knowledge and skills with the practical applications focused on the content area for which the individual seeks recognition.
- Throughout the RPL assessment, judgments made with regard to determining an individual’s competency , wherever possible, are made based on evidence gathered through the examination of relevant experience in a variety of contexts or situations.
- The RPL assessment process is regularly monitored and reviewed by the appropriate Institutional body to ensure that there is consistency in the interpretation of evidence.
- The RPL assessment is comprehensive, e.g. it provides examination of both on and off the job components of training or experience demonstrated by the individual.
- The RPL assessment process should in principle and practice support the recognition of competencies regardless of how, where or when they have been acquired.
- The RPL assessment process is available to individuals so they can proceed readily from one competency standard to another.
- The RPL assessment process is equitable to all individuals.
- The RPL assessment procedures as well as any criteria for determining performance is made clear to all individuals seeking assessment.
- The RPL assessment process is a participatory approach to assessment. The process of assessment is jointly developed and agreed upon by both the assessor and the individual.
- At the conclusion of an RPL assessment, individuals are given the opportunity to challenge assessments and provision must be made for reassessment.
PRINCIPLES OF RPL ASSESSMENT
The RPL assessment processes and procedures are required to demonstrate compliance with four fundamental principles:
Legitimacy, Reliability, Flexibility and Impartiality
- The assessment is measured against the units of competency contained within the guidelines for determining prior learning,
- The assessment is covered a broad range of skills and knowledge, regardless of how, when or where prior learning occurred,
- The assessment of individual competenciesand experience based on the guiding principles, standards should integrate knowledge and skills with their practical application.
- The assessment are not necessarily based on a judgment made about competencies for which there is insufficient evidence.
- All evidence collected during an RPL assessment are gathered, reflecting experiences and knowledge in a number of contexts or situations and using different methods.
(Note: RPL Assessments are valid only when they assess what they claim to assess)
- All criteria being used in the PRL process leading to a judgment of competence are clearly stated and adhered to.
- RPL assessment practices regarding the training, experience and assessment of individuals with assessment responsibilities given by the School must be regularly monitored and reviewedtoensure consistency of judgment.
- As a minimum requirement, individuals assessing new assessors must demonstrate competency in both thecurrent assessment standards.
(Note: Without consistent assessment there can be no validation of credentials.)
- RPL assessment procedures cover both on and off the job components of the knowledge and experiences being evaluated and assessed.
- Specific processes are available for individuals to seek recognition of current competencies.
- The determination of competency based on the RPL assessment should provide for a specific range of included prior knowledge and experience related to a given content or contextual area.
(Note: Without flexibility of an assessment protocol there can be no consistency.)
- The University shall provide for reasonable adjustments to assessment procedures forpeople with special needs.
- RPL assessment procedures and the evidence(whether product or process) are made clear. Individuals being assessedagainst the current standards for assessment must have the opportunity for areview and have an opportunity to appeal an assessment decision.
RPL RISK MANAGEMENT AND QUALITY ASSURANCE
Individuals seeking recognition of prior learning are ensured to have the opportunity for a transparent evaluation of knowledge, skills and experience. While it is recognized that a higher risk associated with providing any degree of recognition to individuals, the University works with the interest of the applicant in mind. The total burden of risk during the RPL process is directly related to the amount of evidence which is collected; the degree of thoroughness required; the number of evaluators to be used; and the costs of implementing RPL processes. The general principle to be observed is as follows:
- Because the RPL is designed competency at a high level of understanding and knowledge, as the level of risk increases there should be a corresponding increase in the consistency of the processes. Increased consistency is achieved through the requirement of additional evidence of higher quality as well as the involvement of more evaluators to review the evidence and make the final assessment and decision.
CHARGES FOR RPL SERVICES
The associated fees and/or charges for Recognition of Prior Learning services from the School follow the basic principles of access and fairness under the scope of the Institution.
The RPL process includes the following steps: Information Gathering, Individual Support and Counselling, Application Process, Formal Evaluation and Assessment,
Post-Assessment Assistance, and Certification.
(Note: RPL services are not available for students enrolling into Research based Degree programs where no formal coursework is completed. Also, Students enrolling in Master’s and Doctoral Programs are allowed up to 15 RPL credits which can be applied towards their degree.)