How to Design the RPL Policy and Procedure

We love the RPL Policy! The Recognition of Prior Learning policy helps learners understand how to compile and submit a portfolio for assessment.

Design a successful RPL Policy. Organizations must submit a Recognition of Prior Learning policy and procedure as part of their accreditation application.

What does the RPL Policy & Procedure Contain?

We outline what the RPL policy should contain below:

1. RPL Policy & Procedure Reference Points

Education and training policies and procedures should reference existing legislation and policy documents provided by the DoL, SAQA, DHET, QCTO and SETAs. This reference is placed at the top of your policy or at the end. I often drop a table at the beginning of the policy and also add a listing of all the legislation the QMS refers to in an attachment.

Reference Document Examples
Legislation & Policy FrameworksSAQA National policy for the Implementation of the Recognition of Prior Learning
NQF Act (Act 58 of 1995)
National Skills Development Strategy
HRD Strategy
Internal DocumentsDocuments (policies and procedures) that the RPL policy is usually linked to.Appeals policy
RPL Application and Self-evaluation Application
rpl policy for accreditation consultation

2. Policy Headings

Give your headings a logical structure and remember the saying, “the devil is in the details!”

  •  Why is this policy in place?
  • What are the guiding principles?
  •  Explain the processes and activities this procedure covers.
  •  Describe the policy intention.
  •  Who is the policy custodian? This person is responsible for managing actual processes.
  • RPL Practitioner responsibility
    • How are they appointed?
    • What is their function/role?
18.1 and 18.2 learnerships


Outline the RPL process and describe each step that must be embarked upon. Include the following details:

  • Steps for creating an assessment plan and program of delivery for Candidates.
  • The following steps must be undertaken:
    • How to Identify the award (i.e. which qualification will the candidate be RPL’d for
    • How to determine Candidate eligibility
    • Analysis of knowledge, skills, and competence
    • Process and rules followed for gathering evidence
      • What must the Portfolio of Evidence contain?
      • What direct evidence is applicable, examples:
        • Project or work-based assignments
        • Evidence of work-based assessment – on-the-job assessment for work skills
        • Job specifications
        • Company organization charts
        • Personnel records of in-house training and development
        • Accounts of personal experiences
        • Employer endorsement and / testimonials
        • Prior qualifications, Certificates of Education & Training etc
        • Training, assessment and test results
        • Curricula /course descriptions/outcomes
        • Staff training records / personal records
        • Products of work, samples of documentation/work undertaken, photographs
      • What indirect evidence is allowed, examples:
        • Membership in related organizations and societies
        • General references
        • Newspaper cuttings
        • Other evidence – accounts of overseas experience, voluntary work etc.
        • All relevant evidence and documents relating to the prior learning of the candidate must be identified by the candidate. Some evidence will be readily available, some require further research through contact with present and former employers, personnel departments, trainers, personal contacts, and other supportive sources.
        • As part of candidate support the RPL Practitioner as mentor will assist the Candidate to identify the range and types of evidence to be presented.
    • How is the evidence assessed?
    • How do you make a recommendation?
    • What is the Appeals or Dispute process?
    • What are the RPL Candidates’ responsibilities?
    • How are assessments recorded?
rpl application letter

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