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1. Introduction

KPA is regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulations (Ofqual), and this policy is aligned to Condition E10, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) of the General Conditions of Recognition (GCR).

Within Ofqual’s Handbook on GCR, the term ‘Recognition of Prior Learning’ is defined as:

“The –

  1. identification by an awarding organisation of any learning undertaken, and/or attainment, by a Learner –
    1. prior to that Learner taking a qualification which the awarding organisation makes available or proposes to make available, and
    2. which is relevant to the knowledge, skills and understanding which will be assessed as part of that qualification, and
  2. recognition by an awarding organisation of that learning and/or attainment through amendment to the requirements which a Learner must have satisfied before the Learner will be assessed or that qualification will be awarded.”

This policy provides guidance on KPA’s approach to RPL and outlines how and when RPL can be used as a method of assessment towards attaining a KPA qualification. This policy is designed to complement any information given within qualification specifications and is not intended to supersede any qualification specific guidance.

1.1 Purpose and scope

The purpose of this policy is to:

  1. establish an overall approach towards RPL and the process used by KPA to determine whether submitted evidence is acceptable
  2. ensure centres, candidates and interested parties understand what does and does not constitute as acceptable RPL

This policy and/or procedure is aimed at our recognised centres, candidates and all interested parties if you wish to apply for RPL against any of our qualifications.

1.2 Confidentiality

Information provided by candidates or stakeholders under this policy will be treated as confidential, and only be shared with the persons necessary when considering the claim/request.

1.3 Review of this policy

This policy will be monitored by KPA and any necessary amendments will be made and implemented at the earliest opportunity. As a minimum, KPA will review this and all associated policies every 2 years as part of its ongoing quality assurance procedures.

2. Quality of Evidence for RPL

RPL is a process through which a candidate’s previous learning or achievement may be used towards accrediting their current qualification. RPL empowers candidates by acknowledging their existing knowledge and skills, facilitating quicker progress, enhancing motivation, and promoting a personalised learning journey, ultimately leading to increased employability and career opportunities.

Candidates may apply for RPL against a whole unit or module of learning within a qualification. Candidates may not apply for RPL against a whole qualification. Information on the maximum amount of RPL that may be claimed against a qualification can be found in the specific qualification specification.

Evidence submitted for RPL must follow the same quality measures used for evidence submitted against the prescribed assessment methods for the qualification. Assessors and quality assurers must ensure that evidence meets all of the following criteria:

2.1 valid

Does the evidence accurately and appropriately measure the specific learning outcomes or competencies it is intended to assess?

2.2 reliable

Does the evidence allow for a consistent result to be produced when evaluating the learning outcomes or competencies?

2.3 current

Is the evidence up-to-date and does it reflect the most recent and relevant performance related to the assessed learning outcomes or competencies?

2.4 authentic

Does the evidence accurately represent genuine, real-world knowledge, skills, or performance, providing a true reflection of the candidate's abilities and competencies?

2.5 sufficient

Is the evidence of an ample amount to effectively demonstrate the candidate's attainment of the learning outcomes or competencies against a whole unit?

3. RPL Process

Stage 1: initial enquiry

After expressing an interest in RPL, the candidate must receive verbal or written information from their centre explaining the RPL process, eligibility criteria, and potential benefits.

If the candidate wishes to make an application for RPL, candidates express their intent to pursue RPL with the centre and request an assessment.

Stage 2: pre-assessment

A suitable member of centre staff assesses whether the candidate meets the eligibility criteria within the qualification specification, such as prior learning relevance to the program or course.

They provide guidance on the RPL process, helping candidates to understand the evidence requirements and the assessment process.

Stage 3: evidence submission

The candidate collects relevant evidence, which may include evidence of recent prior study, work samples, certifications, job descriptions, references, and testimonies.

The candidate organises the evidence into a submission that is clear and well-structured.

Stage 4: assessment

The centre must inform the External Quality Assurer (EQA) of the intention for any candidates to submit RPL against any units. The EQA may request a sample of RPL evidence submissions and evaluations as part of an EQA inspection.

The internal assessor should assess the candidate’s evidence against the quality criteria, the learning outcomes and assessment criteria of the unit.

Evaluation of the evidence must be documented following the centre’s usual process and must also go through the same internal quality assurance checks as the other assessment methods.

Stage 5: RPL outcome

There are 3 outcomes following the assessment of candidate evidence:

  1. if the evidence meets the quality criteria and shows that the candidate has demonstrated competency against the learning outcomes for the unit, their record will be updated to reflect achievement against the unit
  2. if the evidence does not meet all of the required learning outcomes for the unit, the candidate will be asked to provide more evidence or sit the required assessment
  3. if the evidence does not meet the quality criteria, the candidate will not be awarded RPL against the unit

Regardless of the outcome, the candidate must be promptly informed of the decision and any feedback given. The candidate should be informed of next steps, if any.

Stage 6: appeals

If a candidate wishes to make an appeal against a decision made in relation to their assessment, they must follow the centre’s policies and procedures in the first instance. If it is then deemed appropriate, an appeal can be submitted to KPA following our Appeals Policy.