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Accreditation of Prior Learning

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is a process through which an individual may be awarded credit for informal and formal learning experiences.

Benefits for individuals

  • Recognition of learning from experiences, existing strengths, which would not normally be included in a CV. e.g. a person who has a Down’s Syndrome child gains learning from relevant life experience from caring for that child, which would otherwise be unrecognised;
  • A person who has worked as a mental health worker for ten years may be deemed to have a first qualification.
  • To enable access to courses when you have no formal training.
  • To gain credit for equivalent formal training either to a first qualification or to aspects of a Metanoia course so that they can enter the course at a relevant point, other than a Foundation Year (e.g. MSc Year 1).
  • Helps prevent repetition of learning.

What does APL involve?

  • Identifying what someone already knows and can do.
  • Equating what that person knows and can do against standards e.g. learning outcomes of a course semester (determining equivalence).
  • Assessment of that person’s learning against course learning outcomes.
  • Awarding of academic credit points based on the person’s learning.

Key features of APL

Enables individuals to identify and build on existing strengths, through an exploration of experience and prior learning, rather than ask them to undergo repetition of learning experience.

The underlying principle of APL is that all learning which can be judged to be at a higher education level can be quantified in terms of academic credit. Sources of learning might include professional qualifications, short courses and prior experience (particularly experience gained at work).

Before starting the APL process

Before considering whether the APL process is of use to a student, s/he should first have an assessment interview with an assessing tutor on the course s/he is interested in, in order to confirm acceptance for training. The tutor will recommend which aspects of the course may be creditable by APL.