Throughout your life, you have learnt in various ways such as in your job, your hobbies or by attending courses that interested you. In the process you have gained knowledge, skills and competencies in a number of fields of study or subject areas, in both formal and informal learning settings.
RPL is a process to recognise the skills and knowledge you have as a result of your learning through:
- Work experience
- Life experience
- Informal study
- Short courses
- Formal study
When you apply for RPL you compare the things you have already learned from your current experience, education and life experience with the things that a study programme would teach you. These things are called learning outcomes of a qualification or study programme.
Following your school career, you may have completed short courses offered by various institutions or you may have received in-service training. On the other hand, you may never have obtained any qualifications at all – but you may have many years of learning which makes you a valued employee. You may have done voluntary or paid work in your community or perhaps you have had practical learning experiences in a particular industry or occupation. Perhaps you have read widely in a field which interests you, or have done research as a hobby.
For all of the above, RPL is a way of assessing your knowledge, skills and competencies against the outcomes (what the student should be able to know and do) for study programmes, qualifications or subjects/modules. If, through the process of RPL, you are found to be competent, you may qualify for admission into a qualification or you may be awarded credits for subjects/modules within a qualification.
How can RPL help you?
We use RPL to help you gain admission to an institution and/or earn credits in a programme of study.
For example : Nthabiseng obtained a grade 12 (Matric) certificate 5 years ago but not with very good marks and without the correct subject choices to allow her to study further.
As a result, she started working as a clerk where she has gained valuable experience, skills, knowledge and competencies over a period of years. Her employer sent her on various short courses through which she grew and developed into a valuable employee.
She is now at a point in her life where she feels that she is mature and has enough motivation, skills and competencies to study further towards a degree or a diploma in the field in which she has been working. She would like to enroll for a degree in Office Administration but sadly her formal qualifications will not allow for that.
RPL may be her answer as it may be a way for her to gain admission and/or credits for further studies that she so desperately wants.
What should you do if you are in a similar situation as Nthabiseng?
- Decide whether you would like to enroll for the Diploma in Nursing Science [General, Psychiatry] and Midwifery at the Free State School of Nursing.
- Decide for which study programme you would like to enroll at the University of the Free State.
- To guide you in this decision contact any information centre at the institution of your choice and obtain information on the programme of study that you are interested in.
- If you think you currently possess the skills and knowledge and you have evidence to support this, you may apply for RPL
- Arrange an appointment at the RPL Centre of The Free State Higher Education Consortium (FSHEC) and we will guide you through the process of RPL
More information on RPL