Recognition of Prior Learning


What is Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)?

RPL is ‘prior learning that is given a value, by having it affirmed, acknowledged, assessed or certified’ (National Qualifications Authority of Ireland – NQAI). By recognising the learning you have achieved in your work/life experiences or through previous certification you may have undertaken, your access to education and progression within the National Framework of Qualifications is made easier and more accessible. RPL can assist in gaining you entry to a training programmes, exemptions from sections of an award and even full awards. You should also realise that an application for RPL is a detailed process that may take considerable time and effort to achieve.

RPL Process

The CTEC Manager/Training Manager will meet with you to discuss your application for RPL and explain fully the necessary steps you need to take.

  1. Award Identification:

    The CTEC Manager/Training Manager meets with you to identify and agree the award and eligibility of the learner fro RPL.

  2. Matching of Experience to Standards:

    The CTEC Manager/Training Manager will explain the knowledge, skills and competences outlined in the award to you and ensure you receive help with regard to gathering evidence and matching prior experience to award KSC. A Mentor will be allocated to you who will help and guide you with this process.

  3. Gathering of Evidence:

    Your Mentor will help and advise you on how to collect appropriate evidence for RPL. Such evidences will vary from application to application but should include a selection of the following documents (please note that this list is not exhaustive):

    Examples of appropriate evidence will include:

    • Previous certificates and syllabus from same
    • Previous job descriptions, CV, employer references, company literature and testimonials
    • Interviews and feedback sheets
    • Examples of work completed for other courses or within the workplace
    • Examples or testimonials to verify relevant work experience carried out in a voluntary capacity
    • Membership of Professional Organisations

    Note that a minimum of 5 years prior work/life experience is recommended.

  4. Assessment of Evidence:
  5. All evidence gathered for the purpose of RPL is verified and assessed against the knowledge, skills and competences of the award to ensure that there is:

    • Sufficient evidence provided matching award KSC and that the evidence is at the national standard – minimum 70% of SLOs and that this evidence is sufficiently up to date in relation to current standards
    • That the evidence produced is reliable and authentic and is capable of being independently verified.

    All evidence will be scored and graded in accordance with those of the award.

    All evidence will undergo both Internal verification and External authentication.

  6. Recommendation for an Award:
  7. The CTEC Manager/Training Manager will meet again with you to discuss outcome of the RPL process and assessment.

    • If the learner has not been successful, detailed feedback will be provided
    • If the learner still requires additional evidence, feedback will be provided and the Mentor will continue to assist learner in completing Evidence Portfolio
    • If the learner is successful, a positive recommendation will be made

Documentation to be Used in RPL Applications

You will receive detailed feedback on all stages of your application and copies of all documentation.

QA6 – RPL Application Form

To be completed by the Learner and accompanied by outline of relevant evidence. All RPL applications are assessed by CTEC Manager/Training Manager and successful applicants will be assigned a Mentor.

QA7 – Learner Progress Report

It is essential that learners undertaking the RPL process are fully monitored and that progress or lack of is reported back to the CTEC Manager/Training Manager. Mentors should give regular feedback to the learner and submit regular Learner Progress Reports to CTEC Manager/Training Manager.

QA8 – RPL Evidence Portfolio Form

This is a detailed form which allows learners do document RPL applications and adopt a systematic approach to gathering and compiling the required evidence. Please ensure that you explain all aspects of the form to learners and check it on a regular basis to ensure all details are correct.

QA9 – Assessors Report

When RPL Evidence Portfolios are complete they must be assessed in line with the knowledge, skills and competences outlined in the award and in line with national standards. RPL Evidence Portfolios are marked in accordance with CTEC instructions and using the FETAC Requirements and Marking Sheets.