Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is defined as the process by which prior learning is given a value. It is a means by which prior learning is formally identified, assessed and acknowledged (NQAI, 2005).

RPL involves the assessment of knowledge, skills and competence previously acquired. Learning occurs in many contexts which include work, involvement in social and community activities, or learning through life experience generally. RPL does not give credit for experience as such; rather it considers the learning that was acquired as a result of the experience.

RPL may be used to gain:

  • Admission to courses/programmes where a person may not have obtained the standard entry requirements
  • Exemptions from course modules which duplicate the learning outcomes an individual has already demonstrably acquired through prior learning
  • Advanced entry into a programme of study (i.e. into Year 2 or Year 3)/between programmes where normal entry would duplicate the learning outcomes an individual has already demonstrably acquired through prior learning.

If you believe that you qualify for RPL, you must first contact the programme director to discuss why you believe you qualify. If the programme director agrees, you will need to submit an online application for your chosen programme.

RCSI RPL Policy PDF | 921.8 KB