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  2. Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the identification, assessment and formal acknowledgement of learning and achievement that occurred at some time in the past which is taken into account when admitting a student to a course of study.

RPL has many benefits for students, the University, the workplace and wider society. For students it encourages the pursuit of higher education, facilitates access at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, eliminates duplication of study and can reduce cost and the time needed to complete a qualification. Through recognising learning wherever it is acquired, RPL can increase self-esteem and self-confidence and help with career development and planning.

For the University, RPL is a means of supporting the OU mission to “be open to people, places, methods and ideas” and the core values of inclusion and responsiveness. Effective RPL processes support the university strategies in Widening Access and Success and Learning and Teaching. There are also clear benefits in increasing student recruitment, retention and completion rates, through supported transition and informed student choice.

RPL has real value in recognising and promoting lifelong learning and society’s needs for an appropriately skilled and capable workforce. It also encourages and fosters workplace and employer partnerships with the University. Employers benefit from increased motivation of employees and enhanced workplace practice and contribution to workforce development planning.

RPL is generally made up of two types: recognition of certificated learning (RPCL) and recognition of experiential, or work based learning (RPEL).