Recognition of Prior Learning

What is Recognition of Prior Learning?

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is a process that recognises experience, independent study, or credit obtained at the same or other teaching institutions. RPL is granted to students who demonstrate that they have met the required learning outcomes established for a course.

The benefits to a student in undertaking RPL include:

  • Professional assessment and evaluation of prior learning and/or experience
  • Provides a fast track to completion of further study and training through recognition of past achievements
  • There are potential time and money savings by full or partial exemptions.

Students requesting assessment of relevant past training and/or qualifications are eligible for RPL. RPL will be considered for all New Zealand Certificates and Diplomas; and year two of the Diploma in Naturopathy.

Applications for Recognition of Prior Learning

The application form for RPL can be found on the Enrolment Forms page. The RPL form, supporting documentation and application fees (see below) should be submitted into the College within 7 days of completing the online enrolment form and no later than two weeks following intake start date.

Students can only apply for assessment of prior learning for the academic year they are currently applying to enrol in. Each case is individually assessed covering all aspects of previous study and/or experience and its relevance to the current course enrolment. Once applications are processed, applicants will receive written confirmation of what credits have been approved.

Applicants are required to provide academic transcripts, along with detailed information outlining the level of previous study and the topics covered. This must include course objectives and learning outcomes. Details of evidential requirements are provided on the application form. It is important to include all relevant information at the time of enrolment. Incomplete applications are not able to be processed until all information is received.

The full RPL policy I as follow:

1.1 RPL is accessible to anyone with skills, knowledge and attitudes that can be validated.

1.2 Students may apply for RPL based on experience, independent study, or credit obtained at the same or other teaching institutions.

1.3 RPL will be granted only to students who demonstrate that they have met the required learning outcomes established for the course.

1.4 Students should apply to the Programme Coordinator for RPL prior to course commencement; however, applications may be accepted up to two weeks following course commencement depending on the duration of the course.

1.5 The scope of the RPL application will be determined in an initial discussion between the applicant and the programme coordinator.

1.6 In assessing the evidence supplied to support an application for RPL the assessor will take cognisance of the currency of the evidence.

1.7 The Operations Manager will review the application to ensure all learning outcomes have been satisfactorily evidenced.

1.8 If appropriate, assessment methods may be used to determine prior learning (i.e. challenge tests). Assessments will be prepared and administered by a staff member authorised by the relevant Programme Coordinator. Any challenge assessment will be subject to moderation.

1.9 A successful application for RPL may result in:

  • The award of credits for specified courses or units
  • The award of unspecified credits
  • Exemptions from one or more courses
  • Admission to a course or programme/qualification

1.10 The awarding of RPL will be approved by the Chief Executive or nominee.

1.11 The availability of RPL toward any qualification will not exceed 50% of the credits required for the award of the NCNZ qualification except where specified in the Programme Regulations or with the approval of the Academic Committee.

1.12 There is no limit on the availability of credits towards any qualification gained by cross credits (i.e. those awarded by NCNZ for another qualification).

1.13 RPL will not be awarded for Level 7 courses unless specifically approved by the Academic Committee.

1.14 A successful application for RPL will result in an entry in the student’s academic transcript as APL (Assessment of Prior Learning)CT (Credit Transfer from another education provider), or CC (Cross Credits from one NCNZ qualification to another) against the course for which credit has been awarded, or EXP against the course if an exemption is granted.

1.15 Approved fees for RPL are as per the schedule below:

  • Assessment of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer
    • The non-refundable application fee is $500.00 or 10 %.
    • Plus 15% of course fees for each course approved, to a maximum of $400 per 120 credit academic year. The 15% fee can be paid for by student loan.
  • Cross Credit/ AAP - No fee (AAP – Achieved at Another Provider)

1.16 The decision will be based on a fair assessment of all supporting documentation. However:

  • Any student dissatisfied with the initial decision may apply once to have the decision reviewed
  • Their concerns should be directed to the staff member that made the assessment within one month of receiving notification of the outcome of their application. Note that, this may result in a deferment of their enrolment to the next available intake
  • Where the outcome of the initial review is still deemed unsatisfactory by the applicant they must contact the Chief Executive in writing to have the decision reviewed. The decision of the Chief Executive is final.


Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL refers to the practice of receiving applications for credit towards qualifications offered by NCNZ for formal or informal learning obtained elsewhere, and determining the suitability of the evidence received to warrant the award of credit towards a qualification awarded by NCNZ. RPL may take the following forms:

  • Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) - Formally acknowledges the value of a student’s prior learning, whether formal or informal, by assessing that prior learning for the purpose of considering the granting of credit towards a unit of learning, course or programme in which a student wishes to enrol.
  • Credit Transfer (CT) – including Achieved at Another Provider (AAP) - Credit for a course where the exact same course has been completed at another provider. The course may be a local course or a NQF standard. Formal evidence must be provided by the student to indicate that they hold the relevant result. NB: If the other provider’s course outcomes do not exactly match the NCNZ course learning outcomes, the application is to be treated as an Assessment of Prior Learning. In the case of Credit Transfer for an NQF standard, no result is sent to NZQA as they must already have it. A result of AAP will be awarded. Refer Policy and Procedure Reporting and Certification.
  • Cross Credit (CC) - Application towards one qualification of credit gained for another qualification at the same institution.
  • Exemption (EXP) - Exempted from a compulsory course on the basis of previous credit, but required to substitute with another course.

Evidence of Prior Learning

Evidence procedure to support the application for APL. This evidence may include but is not exclusive to:

  • Official Transcripts
  • Course Documents
  • Assessed Work
  • Challenge Test set by the faculty (i.e. demonstration of skill or examination of knowledge
  • Evidence of current competency.