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The RPL Policy & Procedure

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.

Reference Points

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

Reference Document Examples
Legislation & Policy Frameworks SAQA 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

Policy Headings


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

  •  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 of 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 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?

How to Audit Knowledge, Skills and Competence

  1. List the specific outcomes for the award.
  2. For each learning outcome consider in terms of: can do / cannot do / have experience of / know and have applied.
  3. Practitioner to allow for discussion, reflection and self-analysis
  4. Record the learning outcomes as Competent / Not Yet Competent
  5. Identify for each learning outcome precisely how, where and when this learning took place.
  6. Candidate to review all learning outcomes for the identified award.

Generic Assessor Responsibilities

  • Assesses and evaluates 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 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.

Read More

What Are Training Provider Responsibilities During POE Assessment?

RPL is the Recognition of Prior Learning

Building a Portfolio of Evidence (POE) for Assessment

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