DHET RPL Implementation Framework in PSET - comment invited

By sylviahammond, 2 June, 2024

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) has invited comments on the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Implementation Framework for the Post-school Education and Training (PSET) system.

Please see attached document for comments to be emailed to Mr. Ditupa Fothane at [email protected] 

by no later than 12h00 on Saturday, 22 June 2024.

PSET was created in the White Paper for Post-School Education and Training, creating a comprehensive view of all post-school education and training, with the view, amongst others,  to promoting and advancing progression and articulation within the areas of education and training. 

Policies on RPL predate the PSET White Paper. RPL, defined as part of a South African system, where: "... learning, redress, progresion along learning pathways, and the integration of education and training are key" (Bolton, et al (2017) see copy of paper included in conference addition - Duvekot et al (eds.) (2017).  

Bolton and co-authors provide a comprehensive summary of the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) policies and progress on the advocacy for RPL.  In 2008, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reported that South Africa had islands of good practice. Subsequent conferences attended by research academics and practitioners in 2010, 2011, and 2014, establishment of a Ministerial Task Team, and an RPL Reference Group for revision of national RPL policy followed.  In 2016, the Policy for National Coordination and Funding was published.     

This 2024 Policy - version 2 - sets out the implementation framework: the policy includes the background to, and purpose of, RPL policy; provides international, regional, and South African context; sets out the objectives within the PSET system - including funding; and the roles and responsibilities for implementation.

The Bolton et al paper presented at an international conference on RPL  in 2017 is highly recommended reading for practitioners interested in RPL. The paper provides a detailed historical context, and also a good picture of the uneven progress of implementation, which does provide a context for consideration of this latest PSET policy framework. 

RPL is absolutely fundamental to redress of the historical exclusion from quality education, which was part of our colonial and apartheid history, and after 30 years we would have hoped to make more progress.  



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