PEARL 2014: Red River College RPL Services

Left to right: Mavis Lewis-Webber (MPLAN), Lauren Waples and Deb Blower (Red River College RPL Services)

The MPLAN PEARL Award is given for the Pursuit of Excellence in the Assessment and Recognition of prior Learning. (More about the PEARL Award)

Background for this Award

Manitoba Prior Learning Assessment Network (MPLAN) is a not for profit organisation provincial association. It is made up of those who support the recognition of prior learning. Membership includes industry, workplace, education, government and community practitioners. MPLAN was established in 1994.

Since the early 1980’s, both within Manitoba and beyond, Red River College has been one of a very small group of true leaders in the field now referred to as the Recognition of Prior Learning/RPL. This is the second PEARL Award for Red River College.

Pursuit of Excellence

Red River College (RRC) was one of the first Colleges in this country to initiate RPL practices (in Nursing, Early Childhood Education and Dental Assistant Programs) in the early 1980’s. It has never looked back.

RPL has been the focus of two Strategic Plans 1999/04 and 2005/10 is an integral part of RRC services and programs for learners, faculty, staff, and the external community. As part of RRC’s commitment to the systemic integration of RPL, it has been embedded into course outlines, program calendars, newsletters as well as included in all student recruitment materials and presentations.

RRC has developed and implemented progressive RPL policies and practices based on national and international guidelines and standards. A college wide RPL Committee regularly monitors, evaluates and revises all policies and practices to ensure they reflect changing needs of students and evolution of the College’s mission and goals. The college uses its information systems to record, track, access and disseminate pertinent RPL information and to be accountable for results on an annual basis.

The College has developed a range of RPL professional development opportunities for regular RRC staff and faculty as well as the RPL Practitioner Certificate Program - one of only two such programs in the country.

Results Achieved

Examples are provided here of the extent and variety of RPL Services.

During the five year period (2008/13):

  • The college completed 4,896 RPL course assessments for 3096 learners with a 95% success rate.

During the period of July 1, 2012-June 30,2013, the college completed:

  • 878 assessments of informal learning from work and life experience using a variety of methods such as test, portfolios, evidence collection, interviews, projects, and skill demonstrations
  • 126 assessments of non formal learning from workplace training

Manitoba’s reputation as a leader in RPL in this country would not have been achievable without the example of RRC’s commitment to RPL as well as its countless contributions to learners, staff and external partners (such as MPLAN) made day in and day out by the staff and faculty working with RPL Services at Red River College.