Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and Procedures

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Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a method of assessment (leading to the award of a qualification) that considers whether learners can demonstrate that they can meet the assessment requirements for a unit through knowledge, understanding or skills they already possess and do not need to develop through a course of learning.

This policy applies to all Safety Training Awards qualifications; however, qualifications that require an external or practical assessment will still require the learner to undertake the assessment to verify competency.

RPL enables recognition of achievement from a range of activities using any appropriate assessment methodology. Provided that the assessment requirements of a given unit or qualification have been met, the use of RPL is acceptable for accrediting a unit, units or a whole qualification. Partial unit completion is not acceptable.

Safety Training Awards encourages the use of RPL where it is of value to learners in facilitating assessment. The use and application of RPL enables learners to gain all or part of a qualification without having to undertake a formal learning programme. RPL focuses on assessment and awarding prior learning which may count as evidence towards:

  • A unit accumulated towards a full qualification
  • A full qualification.

Safety Training Awards when carrying out RPL will ensure that:

  • Identification of any achievement through RPL is prior to learners registering to taking a qualification
  • Records of assessment are maintained, as for any other unit/qualification
  • Certification and claims are made according to normal procedures
  • All relevant evidence is assessed before assessment decisions are confirmed
  • There are designated personnel with the appropriate expertise to support and assure the RPL process.

Evidence of Learning

All evidence must be evaluated using the stipulated learning outcomes and assessment criteria from the qualification or unit being claimed. In assessing a unit using RPL the assessor must be satisfied that the evidence produced by the learner meets the assessment standard established by the learning outcome and its related assessment criteria.

Example of evidence that may be submitted include:

  • Certificates—copies of previous qualifications
  • Qualification Specifications—in order to map the learning outcomes and assessment methods, the assessor must see qualification units and previous assessment methods
  • Witness Statements—signed by a reliable person such as a line manager as evidence of practical experience.

All evidence of learning must be:

Addresses the elements and performance criteria. Reflects the skills, knowledge and context described in the qualification specification.
The evidence being submitted is in its original format, can be verified as genuine and can be confirmed as the work of the learner.
The Assessor must see sufficient evidence to cover all aspects of the unit, units or qualification being claimed. The evidence must demonstrate competence over a period of time and that is able to be repeated.
The evidence must demonstrate the learner’s current skills and knowledge and must comply with current best practice guidance. For example, witness statements for practical experience must be within the last 5 years.
Evidence must be from a reliable source and in a reliable format, on organisation headed paper or certification. All translated documents must be translated by an official translator to ensure authenticity.

RPL Procedure

To apply for Safety Training Awards RPL, learners / ATCs must submit:

  • A completed RPL application form
  • Copies of all prior learning evidence including certificates, qualification specifications, witness statement where applicable; please note all evidence must be in English
  • Payment of the RPL assessment fee (£50).

To submit an application for RPL assessment, all of the above must be submitted to:

RPL Process

Step 1. Contact Safety Training Awards or Download RPL Application Form

RPL Application Form

Step 2. Submission

Submit completed RPL application form and all supporting evidence to:

Safety Training Awards will contact for payment, and assess evidence and notify the learner/centre within 28 days.

Step 3. Assessment of Evidence

The assessor will review and evaluate all evidence and map prior learning to qualification units. The assessment process will be subject to the standard quality assurance procedures to ensure the integrity of the qualification/units.

If the evidence is sufficient, STA will notify the learner/centre on the assessment requirement in order to gain the qualification/units.

If the RPL evidence is judged not to be sufficient to meet all the requirements of the relevant qualification/unit, then the learner will be required to complete the normal course of learning.

Last Updated: 15th June 2021