Recognition of Prior Learning is a process that compares the knowledge and skills that you have previously obtained through non-formal study, paid/unpaid work or community and organisational involvement in a particular field; against the learning and skills outcomes required by a qualification as outlined on the NQF.

The process enables you to gain admission to a formal qualification or course using the knowledge and skills that you have previously acquired.

For example: Mike has been working as a Project Manager for 11 years but now wishes to enrol at the University of Johannesburg to get a formal higher education qualification in Project Management. He can apply to UJ for access to the Project Management programme through RPL but will have to prove that he has acquired the required skills and knowledge through his work experience to be admitted into his programme of choice.

Who can apply for RPL?

  • You need to be 23 years of age or older and have at least 3-10 years current work experience.

  • Acquired prior learning either through workplace learning, through informal study for recreational or personal interest, company/industry-based training, and working with experts in the field or life experience that meets the prescribed requirements of the course you wish to study.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer

The process of Credit Accumulation and Transfer (CAT) is designed to assist with ensuring mobility (easy transfer from one institution of course to another). CAT is a process where any and all credits that you previously obtained for an incomplete qualification may be recognised by the same or different institution as meeting part of the requirements for a different or the same qualification.

For example: Dudu was studying a Marketing Degree at Walter Sisulu University. In her second year, her family is forced to move to Bloemfontein and she has to transfer to the University of the Free State. In her application to UFS , Dudu will have to apply for credit exemption form which will allow her to transfer the credits she has achieved at WSU to UFS so that she can complete her qualification rather than starting the qualification from scratch.

NB! The application process for programmes applied for through RPL is long, as your skills and knowledge will have to be assessed to see if you qualify for the level of study that you have applied for. Please contact your institution of choice or access their website to find out more information on the RPL application process.