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How Long Does RPL Take? The Time to RPL

How Long does RPL Take? The RPL process duration will depend on a range of factors and is determined on a case-by-case basis.

How Long Does RPL Take to Complete the Process?

how long does rpl take to complete

First Let’s Get Into How RPL Fits In: Start the RPL Story

Because of Apartheid, many aspects of our social and labor systems are still unjust. For example, plenty of Black people dropped out of school early during Apartheid. Then they mostly went to work in jobs that totally sucked. For various reasons, some got lucky and became managers. However, they were typically considered low-level or middle managers as they lacked Matric or Post matric qualifications. As a result, we see the emergence of Management qualifications as low as NQF Level 3. (This is an example of what I love about my country, by the way!) Now those management qualifications are supposed to facilitate the managers who are stuck without suitable qualifications.

The RPL Time to Qualify: Be Bliksem Fast

I think everyone hoped that having management qualifications that begin on NQF level 3 would result in more of those managers obtaining qualifications via Recognition of Prior Learning. Share your thoughts below!

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a popular option if you want to gain formal recognition for the skills and knowledge acquired through work experience, previous education, or training. But RPL is not just a pop option, it’s a rational response to your career development because it saves time and money according to your knowledge and experience. The less you know, the more the process will cost you and the longer it will take.

RPL assessors are a very nice group of people. Part of their service is to coach you through the process, but again, the more coaching you require, the more you pay. Some people like to turn a learning experience into an attention-seeking process, don’t do that.

So before you even read on, I just want to emphasize the fact that to save time and money, you must be organized. If you are a scattered unorganized person who can’t sort through your shit alone, you are going to be charged more. And that’s fair.

Why the Question of How Long RPL Takes is Important

People interested in RPL often wonder how long the process takes and here’s why it’s a fair question:

  1. You already know and practice the qualification exit level outcomes.
  2. You have evidence that proves you successfully performed the tasks required at the qualification level.

If these two points are met, then you require these services:

  1. Assessment guidance.
  2. Assessment and remediation services.
  3. Certification.

Therefore, if you can perform tasks and provide evidence to meet the qualification exit-level outcomes, you do not need to add training time. That’s why I say that RPL is about how well-organized you are to present what you know and do. If you’re a poor organizer, you won’t be able to persuade the assessor quickly and will need more time. You’ll probably exhaust the remediation process and drag the RPL process out unnecessarily. Ugh!

assessment and rpl

How Long Does RPL Take to Complete?

In this post, we explore this question in more detail. Remember that time and duration are complex in education settings, particularly for RPL. Humans aren’t robots! Therefore the time it takes each of us to meet qualification expectations can be very different.

10 Answers to How Long Does RPL Take?

Save Time and Money: Get Organised for RPL

Listed below are 10 types of questions related to the time it takes to complete Recognition of Prior Learning:

1. What is RPL Processing Time: Assessment and Remediation

The RPL processing time is the duration it takes for the accredited provider to process your application.

Recognition of Prior Learning assesses your past learning and experience to determine if you fulfill a particular qualification or unit of competency. The exact processing time once you have submitted your Portfolio can vary depending on:

Expect the Recognition of Prior Learning processing time to take between four to six weeks, although this can be longer or shorter depending on the factors mentioned above. If your Portfolio was small then you could be processed quickly, but possibly with a negative outcome. Make your first submission as detailed and brilliant as possible to save time.

The RPL Assessment Process is Learner-centered: Revolving Around You Baby!

The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) emphasizes that the assessment process should be focused on the learner and should take into account their individual needs, circumstances, and capabilities.

According to SAQA, the RPL assessment process should be flexible and recognize the diverse range of skills, knowledge, and experience that learners bring to the process. SAQA also emphasizes the importance of ensuring that the RPL process is fair, transparent, and consistent with the principles of assessment. The process requires time to be of benefit to you. RPL is not an overnight process! (But for the record, I believe it’s possible to automate and turn RPL into a much faster process.)

2. What is the Recognition of Prior Learning Timeline?

The Recognition of Prior Learning timeline refers to the overall timeline for completing the entire process. This takes us from initial application to the final qualification. The timeline depends on factors such as:

  • the complexity of the qualification being assessed,
  • the applicant’s prior learning and experience,
  • and the availability of assessors.

On average, you can expect the RPL timeline to take between two to six months, although this can vary depending on the factors mentioned.

3. What is the Recognition of Prior Learning Assessment Duration?

The RPL assessment duration can range from a few days to several weeks, depending on the complexity of the application.

The Recognition of Prior Learning assessment duration refers to the length of time it takes for an individual to complete the assessment process. This can vary depending on:

  • the qualification being assessed,
  • the number of units being assessed,
  • and the applicant’s prior learning and experience.

RPL Assessment Process Duration

One should complete the assessment process within a reasonable timeframe. However, the process can vary depending on:

  • such as the complexity of the qualification being assessed,
  • the number of units being assessed,
  • and the learner’s prior learning and experience.
rpl motivation letter

4. How Long Does RPL Take For a Full Qualification?

The RPL qualification process is likely to take between three to six months, although this can vary depending on:

  • the complexity of the qualification,
  • the applicant’s prior learning and experience,
  • and the assessment process.

The Recognition of Prior Learning process must be efficient and cost-effective.

This means the assessment should minimize time and cost. The assessment must ensure accuracy and reliability.

5. The RPL Evaluation Period: How Long RPL Takes

The Recognition of Prior Learning evaluation period refers to the time it takes for the assessing authority to evaluate an application and make a decision. The assessing organisation must determine if the applicant fulfills the requirements of the assessed qualification.

This can vary depending on the complexity of the application and the workload of the assessing authority. Generally, you can expect the evaluation period to take between two to four weeks.

6. How Long Does RPL Take to Complete

Recognition of Prior Learning completion time refers to the time it takes you to complete the process and receive your qualification. This varies depending on:

  • the complexity of the qualification,
  • the number of units being assessed,
  • and the RPL assessment process.

The RPL completion time usually takes between three to six months, although this can vary depending on the factors mentioned above.

7. How Long Does RPL Take to Turnaround?

The assessor provides feedback and results to the applicant after completing an RPL assessment within the turnaround time. This varies according to the complexity of the application and the workload of the assessor. Generally, you can expect the RPL turnaround time to take between two to four weeks.

8. How Long Does RPL Take?: Duration and Process

The RPL duration and process refer to the overall duration and process for completing the assessment and gaining a qualification. Generally, the RPL duration and process take between three to six months, although this can vary depending on factors such as:

  • the complexity of the qualification being assessed,
  • the number of units being assessed,
  • and the applicant’s prior learning and experience.

9. RPL Assessment Timeframe

During the RPL assessment timeframe, the assessing authority evaluates an applicant’s prior learning and experience against the requirements of a specific qualification.

The assessment timeframe can vary depending on the complexity of the application and the workload of the assessing authority. Expect the assessment timeframe to take between two to six weeks.

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10. Recognition of Prior Learning Processing Period

During the RPL processing period, the assessor will review the application and decide if you have met the requirements of the qualification.

The processing period can vary depending on the complexity of the application and the assessor workload. Generally, you can expect the processing period to take between two to four weeks. The duration of the RPL process ultimately depends on various factors and assesses each case differently.


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FAQ: How Long Does RPL Take? How Long RPL Takes

Q: What is RPL?

A: RPL stands for Recognition of Prior Learning. It is a process that allows individuals to gain recognition for the skills, knowledge, and experience they have acquired through informal or non-formal learning, and match them to the requirements of a formal qualification.

Q: What is involved in the RPL process?

A: The RPL process involves several steps, including an initial assessment of your eligibility, gathering evidence to support your claim for recognition, submitting your evidence to the assessing organization, and undergoing a competency assessment if required. The assessing organization will then evaluate your evidence and decide on the recognition of your prior learning.

Q: Can I complete the RPL process faster than the average time?

A: The duration of the RPL process is influenced by various factors, some of which may be beyond your control. However, you can expedite the process by ensuring that you provide comprehensive and well-documented evidence, responding promptly to any requests or queries from the assessing organization, and following their guidelines and requirements diligently.

Q: Are there any shortcuts to speed up the RPL process?

A: While there are no shortcuts to the RPL process, thorough preparation and organization can help streamline the process. Taking the time to gather and organize your evidence, ensuring its relevance to the qualification you’re seeking recognition for, can significantly speed up the assessment.

I hope this helps understand the time taken for RPL! 🙂

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Leonie Hall

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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