Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

recognition of prior learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

What is RPL?

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process of identifying your knowledge and skills against a qualification or part thereof. The process involves the identification, mediation, assessment and acknowledgement of knowledge and skills obtained through informal, non-formal and/ or formal learning.

Recognition of Prior Learning provides an opportunity for you to identify your learning, have it assessed and formally acknowledged. At CTU, RPL can only be done against qualifications offered by CTU.

Download RPL Application FormView Qualifications

Gaining access

If you have considerable work experience, but you don’t meet the entry requirements of your chosen course, you may want to apply for entry into a qualification. This is referred to as “access”. The RPL application is evaluated against the entry requirements of the qualification. If access is granted, the qualification on the lower level is not awarded.

Advanced standing or credits

As an individual you might have gained knowledge in specific areas. When compared to outcomes against a CTU qualification, your knowledge might cover some subjects. You may apply for recognition of these subjects and this called “advanced standing” or “credits”.

Once the assessment is done, the University might give recognition for specific subjects, but not for the entire qualification. You will be required to complete the outstanding subjects, before the qualification is awarded.

The RPL process

Thinking about applying for RPL?

Before you submit your application for RPL, take a moment and answer the questions below for yourself:

  • “What is my work all about?”
  • “What can I do?”
  • “What have I learnt in the workplace?”
  • “What experience/s do I have?”
  • “What competencies can I demonstrate?”
  • “What relevant short courses have I attended?”

Compare the above answers to the qualifications offered by CTU. You, the applicant have to decide on the qualification or part thereof for which you want recognition. Write a letter of motivation to the College, using the answers to the above questions to explain why you are applying for RPL.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Submitting an application

Follow these steps:

  • Complete the CTU RPL application form
  • Provide as much detail and information as possible
  • Attach the letter of motivation to the application and sign it.
  • Attach a CV if applicable.
  • Make sure you attach the addition information required as specified by the academic department. Please note that if you don’t submit all the required information, Admissions will return your application to you.
  • Submit it to the relevant Admissions Office at [email protected]

Proceed with the RPL application or not

Upon receiving your RPL application the academic department will determine, based on the information that you have submitted, whether your RPL application is feasible. You have to submit as detailed, focused and relevant information about yourself as possible.

Feasibility depends on the nature of your work, experience and knowledge developed in the workplace, in relation to the qualification you are applying for. If the department is of the opinion that this is not the case, you will be notified and an alternative will be suggested by the College.

If the department is of the opinion that your RPL application is feasible, you will be invited to participate in the rest of the RPL process.

Once you have been given the go-ahead to continue with the RPL assessment, the RPL unit will provide you with the account details.


When you are informed that you can go ahead with the RPL assessment, you are required to pay the RPL fee:

  • R 8663.20 for access into a qualification and for advanced standing per subject in a National Diploma

Preparing for assessment/ mediation

The preparation for the assessment is programme specific and you will receive instructions and guidelines from the department. It might involve the development of a portfolio of evidence and/or a test. You might be asked to submit examples of your work, do a demonstration or make a presentation. It could also be a combination.

Submission of evidence

The submission of evidence is also programme specific and you will be given deadlines. Generally speaking the following will apply:

Submission of portfolios
End of September
End of September/ beginning of October
In September – on a Saturday

Decision made by CTU

The decision to grant a person RPL is an academic decision made by the College. The decision is primary made by the academic department, and confirmed (or not) by the Academic Director of the College.

You, as an applicant, have a right to appeal if you are not satisfied at any stage of the RPL process. You are required to contact the Academic department if you want to appeal.

Download RPL Application FormView Qualifications

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