RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING POLICY (RPL)

The College acknowledges that all learners bring an element of relevance to knowledge, skills, attitudes, and beliefs to the learning environment. As an ethical institution BeeZee College of Management & Aesthetics recognise the importance of considering prior learning, and will not force candidates to go through a course of learning when they already have the knowledge, understanding and competence to meet the assessment criteria.

BeeZee College will formally recognise and acknowledge where this is educationally appropriate to appreciate that recognition of prior learning is an important tool to supporting those who have returned to learning or who intend to do so. This policy relates to all learners regardless or stage of learning or mode of learning.

The recognition of prior learning (RPL) is where learners demonstrate that they can meet the assessment criteria within a unit through knowledge, understanding or skills they already possess without undertaking an additional course of learning. It is an acknowledged assessment activity within nationally regulated qualifications.

RPL as an overall process embraces two subsets:

  • Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) – the process for an applicant to seek formal recognition of prior learning they have achieved through experience, such as professional or voluntary work, and/or self-directed
  • Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) – the process for an applicant to seek formal recognition of prior learning from qualifications they hold that are not recognised within the rules of combination of the proposed qualification.

It is usual that RPL may be claimed against one or more units but not against part of a unit, and the learner is responsible for making relevant staff aware of their wish to make an RPL application.

This document is designed to underpin the process of students’ assessments and the recognition of prior learning, approval and dissemination of documentation that set out the quality framework of the college community, students, staff and partners. In doing so it takes reference from the Quality Code expectation B6

Higher education providers operate equitably, valid and reliable processes of assessment, including for the recognition of prior learning, which enable every student to demonstrate the extent to which they have achieved the intended learning outcomes for the credit or qualification being sought.B6

This policy is underpinned by several key principles:

  • Students who access BeeZee College must be free from
  • Students must be supported to enable them to achieve their potential while at the College, in an environment which removes or minimises disadvantage, takes steps to meet their needs and which encourage
  • The wellbeing of students is central, so they feel good about themselves and respect
  • While at College students will develop the skills, they need to enable them to progress successfully throughout their
  • A commitment to restorative approaches to ensure that the College foster good relations by tackling prejudice and promoting

 

In order to fulfil its responsibilities under this policy, the College will:

  • Train staff in RPL
  • Offer professional support and guidance from staff with appropriate expertise for learners considering using
  • Make learners aware of the purpose and availability of RPL at interview, as well as the specific timescales.
  • Maintain the integrity of units and qualifications by ensuring all assessment decisions, including RPL, are consistent and meet awarding body requirements – a fundamental responsibility of the
  • Give feedback to the learner on the RPL mapping activity, discussing outcomes and offering support and guidance on later learning options if
  • Always follow awarding body procedure in relation to RPL

The remainder of this statement will relate to the receipt and evaluation of prior learning for assessment purposes. Assessment of fresh academic evidence would be dealt with in line with the Assessment & Quality Assurance Policy. BeeZee College recommends that this statement is understood in the context of the wider Teaching, Learning and Assessment activity, and particularly in relation to the following policies:

  • Equality Opportunity Charter
  • Student Support Policy
  • Admissions Policy
  • Data Protection Policy
  • Assessments & Quality Assurance Policy
  • Appeals Policy

The process of RPL activity may be triggered by the student at the point of admissions, enrolment, induction or provision of the assignment brief. It is the student’s responsibility to make an RPL request (annex A) within the semester of the teaching of the relevant unit. Where an RPL request is made for the purposes of alternative entry requirements, then an Academic Admissions Assessment (AAA) is undertaken by the individual. A AAA is developed by individual programme teams as a review test of the essential knowledge elements of the subject. A prospective student should have this essential knowledge based on their prior experience, enabling them to progress and succeed on the HND, relative to students entering with traditional entry results. The AAA is administered by the admissions team and graded according to the marking script prepared by the programme team. BeeZee College reserves the right to invite a prospective student to an interview with the programme leader or nominee following a AAA to fully assess the individuals suitability for the relevant programme.

 

BeeZee College may accept late RPL request submissions up to 6 months after the submission deadline of the summative assignment of the relevant module. However this will be subject to receipt of a satisfactory mitigating circumstances request with adequate evidence. It would be unusual for a learner to be able to offer prior achievement that completely matches every aspect of a qualification’s assessment requirements.

The following points outline the stages and BeeZee College officers that contribute to the success of this assessment method.

  1. Discuss RPL enquiry between student, Programme Leader and Assessor highlighting consequences and limitations – Admissions officer, Assessor/Programme Leader
  2. Receipt of RPL request – Admissions Officer/ Programme Leader
  3. Evaluation of RPL request and evidence – Admissions Officer/ Programme Leader
  4. Assessment of RPL evidence/Academic Admissions Assessment – Assessor
  5. Feedback (completed Annex A) to student with decision to – Programme Leader/IQA/Admissions Officer
    1. Grant full RPL
    2. Grant partial RPL – requesting further evidence
    3. Decline RPL request
  6. Set out RPL next steps and timeframe for student – Programme Leader
  7. Capture, annotate and store RPL evidence for IQA activity – Programme Leader/Academic officer
  8. Update Student Records and IQA records – Programme Leader/IQA
  9. Update Awarding body records where relevant – Quality Nominee
  10. Annual monitoring of RPL usage is undertaken by the Academic Support department and reported to the Academic Standards and Quality Committee via the Assessment and Standards Boards for each subject. – Academic Officer/IQA Officer
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