What is a RPL Practitioner?

What is a RPL Practitioner?

A RPL Practitioner is an individual who utilizes learner-focused activities to formatively or summatively assess an individual's prior learning, for recognition of competence, academic access or credit, or job entry or promotion, using sound principles and accepted methods.

In Canada the work may be carried out by any or all of the following roles as part, or all, of their job:

  • a RPL Adviser (one who guides and/or advises candidates/learners in the PLAR/RPL process)
  • a RPL Assessor (who is often but not exclusively, a subject matter expert from faculty)
  • a RPL Coordinator/Facilitator (a person who coordinates systems and resources, supports others involved in PLAR/RPL processes, and may also conduct research at larger facilities and institutions)

The range of a practitioner’s activities may include:

  • Preparation of professionals for qualification recognition
  • Assessment of individuals for academic credit
  • Assisting individuals with their personal growth and development
  • Human resource development

Are there standards of practice for RPL?

In 2015, the Canadian Association for Prior Learning Assessment (CAPLA) published Quality Assurance for the Recognitions of Prior Learning (RPL) in Canada: THE MANUAL.

Quality Assurance practice for RPL in Canada was originally based on the 14 minimum standards for the PLAR process published by the Canadian Labour Force Development Board (CLFDB) in 1997. These standards were further detailed in 1999 by the Centre for Curriculum Transfer and Technology when they published their own PLAR Guidelines.

Standards to assess learning for academic credit were developed by Whittaker (1989) for the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). The CAEL standards primarily address organizational issues.

In the UK, occupational standards for assessment were developed by the Training and Development Lead Body (TDLB, 1995) to prepare National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) Assessors for their role in workplace and PLAR assessment.