For discussion of: Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), access and Articulation – moving between the sub-frameworks of Umalusi, Higher Education (CHE), and the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO).
Assessement versus recognition
28th May 2012 at 4:56 pm #6802
At a meeting last week one of the speakers told us that she was informed that ‘recognition of prior learning’ (RPL) was replaced with ‘assessment of prior learning’ (APL).
If it is true, it is a positive change. Many people misunderstood the concept of RPL. There was a perception that you could go to a training provider and your years of experience will allow you to be RPL’ed and then receive a certificate. Some people could not understand that there should be evidence and that the evidence needs to be assessed.
Replacing ‘recognition’ with ‘assessment’ immediately inform one that assessment must first take place before recognition can be given.
31st May 2012 at 9:36 am #6826
I don’t know where this speaker is getting her information from. The Minister has appointed a Ministerial Task Team on RPL. I sit on this committee. SAQA’s responsibility is the development of policy on RPL. There is simply no talk about the changing the term!
31st May 2012 at 6:02 pm #6825
I am trying to find out the source of the information. It seems as if it is coming from the universities. As soon as I know I will post a comment here.
As I’ve said, I actually think that it will be a good idea to change it to ASSESSMENT. People do not realize that assessment has to take place and that evidence need to be provided.
Is there maybe a Skills Universe member that is attached to an university that knows any thing about this?
I am involved in assessor training and want to be up to date with assessment-related matters.
1st Jun 2012 at 8:51 am #6824sylvia hammondKeymaster
Hi Wilma, Following Joe’s comment, I would agree that there is no reason to change the use of the term RPL. My concern is that we keep changing things rather than putting our efforts into implementing what we’ve laid out. I understand that not everyone is clear on what RPL means in practice, but that could be remedied by making clear what is involved, and how it is achieved. I wonder whether simply adding “by assessment” after the use of RPL might not help. So it would always be RPL by assessment. Do you think that would make a difference?
2nd Jun 2012 at 3:51 am #6823
2nd Jun 2012 at 4:38 pm #6822sylvia hammondKeymaster
Hi Joe, thanks for that response. Personally, I’ve never been made aware of different forms of RPL – I was trained & registered as an Assessor at some stage. I’d be very interested to assist you in promoting awareness and broader understanding of RPL.
In addition to posting articles on the SAQA site, we are happy to assist you in your advocacy role. For example, if you provide the skills portal with an article on the subject, Alan would definitely feature it in the weekly newsletter and on the site, with links to SAQA. Then we can create a discussion on the skills-universe to assist in raising interest and comment to broaden the understanding and encourage promotion of RPL.
2nd Jun 2012 at 5:32 pm #6821
Sylvia, I support what you are saying. RPL was always a challenge for me. It is very time consuming to measure a person’s evidence (prior learning) against the assessment criteria. In some instances it is easy, but still time consuming. Time has a cost implication.
The transfer of credits to a qualification makes the process easier.
RPL is an interesting topic and it will be interesting to hear different views about it, especially from training providers that have implemented this with success.
2nd Jun 2012 at 11:06 pm #6820
3rd Jun 2012 at 6:39 pm #6819
6th Jun 2012 at 12:35 pm #6818
I support Joe’s position here, and I am speaking wearing a multitude of hats: as an RPL practitioner, RPL researcher and board member for the Chartered Institute for the management of assessment practice (CIMAP)
Generally we speak of 5 ‘types’ of RPL based (SAQA, 2002) largely on the reason why RPL is taking place. The more common (I think) ‘type’ of RPL in the unit standard/SETA space is RPL for credit (for full or partial qualifications) but the universities tend to do RPL for access (no credits usually). Then RPL can be done for advanced standing (usually in a professional body – where successful candidates are granted membership at a level higher than their formal qualifications would usually allow them to be registered). Two remaining ‘types’ of RPL are RPL to prove job competence/promotion and RPL for workseekers (these are mainly skills based and internal and often don’t result in a national credits. It is really just the first RPL (for credits/full qualifications) that uses registered assessors (although the others may do) and involves assessment in the way that we as skills providers/RPL providers know it. This is a largely technicist form of assessment – matching what the learners knows to the outcomes of a qualification (and ignoring all that they know that does not match a qualification!). the other types of RPL are more developmental in that they consider all the person knows and can do (not only that which matches a specific outcome of an unit standard.
The term APL is an international term – coined in the UK initially i think – and i also feel it is too narrow as it ‘cuts out’ the other ‘types’ of RPL here in South Africa. The newly established Chartered Institute for the management of assessment practice (CIMAP) could run a CPD workshop on this if there is interest (I did my doctoral thesis on the delivery of RPL in SA and included a section on the various uses for RPL, as well as on the various models of RPL (there is not a single model that will work for all types of candidates, all sectors, all levels of qualifications and all disciplines). I would be happy to share this, via CIMAP for CPD points if anyone was interested.
7th Jun 2012 at 10:50 am #6817
Thanks everyone for the insights and clarification. I have seen the acronym APL, more commonly abroad, but also as a “brand” or “in-house” term in some SA providers – not to replace RPL. In my opinion SAQA has remained clear and consistent on RPL but some (re) education can do no harm.
I am glad that CIMAP, for which I am the Cape representative currently, can offer the input and also potentially the CPD.
In this, or another conversation perhaps including QCTO, I would be grateful to have confirmation on how future assessment centres and/or agencies are intended to support new qualifications going forward. Perhaps CIMAP (and skills portal) could draw (and re-draw) the evolving picture for us all, as events unfold.
20th Jul 2012 at 9:42 am #6816
That sounds very interesting. I am currently finishing my Master’s program in Adult Education and Global Change; and will start working on my Research Report. The topic is focussing on the way RPL is implemented in the workplace. I would really like to have further discussion(s) with you. If you have some resources dealing with this, kindly assist.
25th Jul 2012 at 8:37 am #6815
25th Jul 2012 at 8:52 am #6814
25th Jul 2012 at 12:44 pm #6813
Hi Zacharia and Victoria
thanks for your interest – as it happens my doctoral thesis is on the CIMAP web site – under the legislation tab. right at the bottom are a few recent research theses. Victoria – the best place to get infor about CIMAP is this same web site (http://www.cimap.co.za) – basically a professional and self regulatory body for assessors and moderators. we are making nice in roads with the SETAs and SAQA, etc. and starting to get noticed! please join us and add your voice to the call that assessment needs to be standardised and professionalized to make the results more credible in the (private) sector. I say private because state providers don’t need to be registered assessors, although many are.
26th Jul 2012 at 5:56 am #6812Des SquireParticipant
I find it quite interresting that there can be such confusion on the issue of RPL. Thanks Joe for all the comments and effort to clarify.
What is of concern to me is what message have the SETAS been getting out to their constituents?
Where has the confusion come from?
Wht will be done going forward to ensure SAQA, the SETAS and QCTO are all talking the same language. Quality control is called for ??????
26th Jul 2012 at 1:47 pm #6811
Des, I totally agree with you.
There is a lack of quality control. We have too many ‘bosses’ when it comes to education.
RPL is something that I find challenging. I spoke to a lady that is very involved in RPL at an university. She said that they have found that it can take up to a year for the learner to put all the evidence together and then the learner is not yet competent in many areas. It can then take another year to collect the outstanding evidence. The full qualification, if you do it right form the start, takes 18 months.
It will be interesting if other members can share their experiences in and with RPL.
26th Jul 2012 at 6:21 pm #6810
26th Jul 2012 at 6:36 pm #6809
When referring to ‘different bosses’ I was thinking of Des’s comment: “What will be done going forward to ensure SAQA, the SETAS and QCTO are all talking the same language. Quality control is called for ??????”
The ‘bosses’ of education is bodies like SAQA and Higher Education.
I must admit: My knowledge about RPL is very limited. I am aware of the policies,etc., but would like to discuss this in person with somebody that has experience in this field. I have made contact with somebody at UWC and will discuss matters with her. I am not sure if everybody is following the same policy/ criteria.
The discussions around these issues on Skills Universe is very helpful
27th Jul 2012 at 4:12 am #6808
27th Jul 2012 at 5:17 am #6807Des SquireParticipant
To say nothing of the variety of requirements from the various SETAS. Each SETA has its own set of requirments related to RPL, registration of Assessors, registration as an assessment centre and so on.
Can I respectfully suggest Joe that you set up a fictitious provider company and try to apply to register as an assessment centre or as a provider or for that matter just correspond wiht the SETAS.
Someone needs to set out a set of common standards applicable to all.
27th Jul 2012 at 7:07 am #6806
as you may know, i recently sold the largest (i think) private RPL centre in SA – Prior Learning Centre. we had built up many years of experience implementing RPL in SA (over 10 years) and i did my doctoral thesis on RPL. this afforded us a good ‘place’ with the SETAs and i must say i did not experience much of the kind of thing Des is referring to. It was frustrating at times but i found more SETA staff asking for our advise and input into their policies rather than throwing up lots of red tape, (But, there was a lot of aggravation still – i cant pretend there wasn’t, but i think that is what the QCTO should address in the future). as to specifics from Wilma – we typically conducted RPL over 6 months in the SETA sector, with about a 80% full competency rate at a cost of around R6500 – R8500 pp (factors such as level of qualification, number of assessors and SETA played a part here). CIMAP Is planning a workshop on RPL to discuss some of the implementation issues in the SETA sector (to enable RPL) using my experiences – would this be helpful to Skills Portal members?
27th Jul 2012 at 1:29 pm #6805
5th Aug 2012 at 11:53 am #6804
6th Aug 2012 at 10:17 am #6803
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