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The RPL Policy and Assessor Roles: Amazing

The RPL Policy, Procedure and Assessor Roles Discussed. Organisations 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

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policies are required in education and training because they provide an opportunity for individuals to gain recognition for the knowledge and skills they have acquired through prior learning, regardless of where or how that learning was acquired.

RPL Policy Benefits

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

1. Encouraging lifelong learning:

RPL policies can encourage learners 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 can improve access to education and training by allowing learners to gain recognition for the knowledge and skills they have acquired through informal or non-traditional learning.

3. Enhancing workforce development:

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

4. Supporting economic growth:

RPL policies can support economic growth by enabling individuals to gain qualifications and certifications that are valued in the workforce, which can lead to increased employment opportunities and higher wages.

Generic RPL Assessor Responsibilities

  • Assesses and evaluates RPL Candidate evidence against the award standards.
  • Ensures evidence authenticity, currency, reliability and integrity
  • Ensures the evidence has met more than 70% of all the declared learning outcomes
  • Ensures the evidence presented has met the knowledge, skill and competency elements of the award.
  • Judges and allocates a score to the evidence presented in terms of achieving the standard on a scale of 0 – 100% full achievement.
  • Undertake a further assessment of the candidate as appropriate to ensure the candidate meets the standard.
  • Arrange the external authentication of the achievement of the standard by a moderator.
  • Process the results.
  • The assessor will score and grade the evidence in accordance with the scoring and grading mechanisms established for the award. If a qualification is described in unit standards and their specific outcomes, then the assessment criterion for those outcomes must be satisfied.

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 should be established, including the types of prior learning that will be recognized and the standards that will be used to assess that learning.

2. RPL Assessment procedures:

Procedures for the assessment of prior learning should be established, including the methods and tools that will be used to assess learning, as well as the qualifications and experience required of assessors.

3. RPL Evidence requirements:

Clear guidelines should be established regarding the evidence that is required to support a claim for prior learning, including the types of evidence that will be accepted and the level of detail that is required.

4. RPL Appeals and feedback:

Procedures for appeals and feedback should be established, including the process for reviewing decisions and providing feedback to learners.

5. RPL Quality assurance:

Quality assurance mechanisms should be established to ensure that the RPL policy is implemented effectively and consistently, including 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.
  • The following steps must be undertaken:
    • 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?
      • What direct evidence is applicable, 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 as a mentor will assist the Candidate to identify the range and types of evidence to be presented.
    • 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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