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The RPL Policy and Assessor Roles: Assessment

The RPL Policy, Procedure and Assessor Roles Discussed. Organizations must submit a Recognition of Prior Learning policy as part of their accreditation application. The following is an outline of what this policy should contain.

The RPL Policy and Procedure Requirements

assessment and rpl formative and summative poe: rpl policy

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policies are used in education and training. This is because they provide an opportunity for individuals to gain recognition for the knowledge and skills they have acquired through prior learning.

RPL Policy Benefits

RPL policies can benefit learners, employers, and education and training providers by:

1. Encouraging lifelong learning:

RPL policies encourage adults to engage in lifelong learning by recognizing the value of their prior learning and providing a pathway to further education and training.

2. Improving access to education and training:

RPL policies improve access to education and training. This is because they allow learners to gain recognition for the knowledge and skills they have acquired through informal or non-traditional learning.

3. Enhancing workforce development:

RPL policies help employers to identify and develop the skills and competencies of their employees. Therefore RPL can lead to improved productivity and performance.

4. Supporting economic growth:

RPL policies support economic growth because they help you gain qualifications and certifications that are valued in the workforce. This then leads to increased employment opportunities and higher wages.

nqf level 6 qualifications

Generic RPL Assessor Responsibilities

What does an RPL Policy contain?

A comprehensive RPL policy contains the following elements:

1. Recognition criteria:

Clear criteria for the recognition of prior learning are established. For example the types of prior learning to be recognized and the standards used to assess that learning.

2. RPL Policy Assessment Procedures:

Procedures for the assessment of prior learning are then established. For example, the methods and tools used to assess learning, as well as the qualifications and experience required of assessors.

3. RPL Evidence requirements:

Clear guidelines are provided regarding the evidence required to support a claim for prior learning. For example, acceptable types of evidence and the level of detail required.

4. RPL Appeals and feedback:

Establish procedures for appeals and feedback, including the process for reviewing decisions and providing feedback to learners.

5. RPL Quality assurance:

Establishing quality assurance mechanisms ensures that the RPL policy is implemented effectively and consistently. For example, include regular monitoring and evaluation of the policy and its outcomes.

Draft Your RPL Policy

RPL Policy Reference Points

Education and training policies and procedures must reference existing legislation and policy documents provided by the DoL, SAQA, DHET, QCTO and SETAs.

Document FieldReference Document Examples
Legislation & Policy FrameworksSAQA National policy for the Implementation of the Recognition of Prior Learning
NQF Act (Act 58 of 1995)
National Skills Development Strategy
HRD Strategy
Internal Documents  
Documents (policies and procedures) that the RPL policy is usually linked to.
Appeals policy
RPL Application and Self-evaluation Application

RPL Policy Headings


  •  Why is this policy in place?
  • What are the guiding principles?


  •  What processes and activities will this procedure cover?


  •  What is the policy intention?


  •  Who is the policy custodian? This person is responsible for managing actual processes.
  • RPL Practitioner responsibility
    • How are they appointed?
    • What is their function/role?


Outline the RPL process and describe each step that must be embarked upon. Include the following details:

Steps for creating an assessment plan and program of delivery for Candidates.

  • How to Identify the award (i.e. which qualification will the candidate be RPL’d for
  • How to determine Candidate eligibility
  • Analysis of knowledge, skills and competence
  • Process and rules followed for gathering evidence

What must the Portfolio of Evidence contain?

Direct evidence examples:

  • Project or work-based assignments
  • Evidence of work-based assessment – on-the-job assessment for work skills
  • Job specifications
  • Company organisation charts
  • Personnel records of in-house training and development
  • Accounts of personal experiences
  • Employer endorsement and / testimonials
  • Prior qualifications, Certificates of Education & Training etc
  • Training, assessment and test results
  • Curricula /course descriptions/outcomes
  • Staff training records / personal records
  • Products of work, samples of documentation/work undertaken, photographs

What indirect evidence is allowed? Examples:

  • Membership in related organisations and societies
  • General references
  • Newspaper cuttings
  • Other evidence – accounts of overseas experience, voluntary work etc
  • All relevant evidence and documents relating to the prior learning of the candidate must be identified by the candidate. Some evidence will be readily available, some require further research through contact with present and former employers, personnel departments, trainers, personal contacts and other supportive sources.
  • As part of candidate support, the RPL Practitioner mentors and assists the Candidate in identifying the range and types of evidence to be presented.

The RPL Assessment Process

  • How is the evidence assessed?
  • How do you make a recommendation?
  • What is the Appeals or Dispute process?
  • What are the RPL Candidates’ responsibilities?
  • How are assessments recorded?

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Leonie Hall, disruptive thinker and dynamic strategist, is an expert in education, development, quality management and innovation. She has spoken at local and international conferences; and currently works as an independent consultant and content developer. Contact Leonie for a consultation.

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