Recognition of Prior Learning


Learning occurs everywhere, not only in formal educational environments, but also in the workplace, through volunteering in community development projects, animal rescue and care, youth mentoring programmes, soup kitchens and so forth. Skills Junction supports and promotes the principles of lifelong learning and the role that Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) plays in the development of professional growth, and career advancement.

What is RPL

“Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the formal acknowledgement of the knowledge, skills, competence, expertise and abilities that individuals possess as a result of prior learning that may have occurred through formal, informal or non-formal means, such as self-study, work or other life experiences.”

The RPL Purpose

  • To acknowledge and, where applicable, award recognition for the expertise obtained by skilled individuals in non-academic contexts
  • Contribute to the overall evaluation and assessment of learners embarking on a learning pathway
  • Enhance the curriculum by facilitating dialogue across mediums of knowledge and practice
  • Boost access to higher education to make amends for historical injustices
  • Encourage and foster lifelong learning

The RPL Process

The RPL approach applies to applicants who have minimum or no formal education, but prior work experience that they wish to enhance with a formal occupational qualification or higher education certification. The process of RPL is as follows:

  • The process involves the evaluation, assessment, and acknowledgement of skills obtained through informal, non-formal and /or formal learning.
  • Matching an applicant’s knowledge, abilities, and experience to precise standards and the assessment criteria of the applicable qualification.

Skills Junction employs RPL to assist prospective learners achieve:

  • Entry to a learnership programme or occupational qualification – All SAQA programmes have entry criteria aligned with the National Qualification Framework. RPL may be used as an alternative means to meet this entry standard.
  • Module exemption – A fundamental principle of RPL is that prior learning should not be repeated. A registered learner may be eligible to request an exemption for a module/s based on prior certification or experiential learning.

RPL for Employees

Are you an Employer looking to provide formal qualifications to long-term employees who do not meet the minimal educational requirements and are 23 years of age or older with at least three years relevant work experience? Look no further Contact Us today!

Sources: SAQA National RPL Policy; QCTO RPL Brochure;

Quick Fact!

Skills Junction is a QCTO and SETA accredited training provider and a Level 1 EME with 100% B-BBEE compliance and 135% procurement recognition.

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