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Recognition of Prior Learning

If you wish to have your prior learning credited towards your study you can download and print the Recognition of Prior Learning Form (RPL) to fill in and send to UCOL.

We are constantly learning. Some learning takes place in a formal setting such as a school or college and we may have a certificate to show what we have achieved. Some learning takes place through our work and life experiences but for this we do not usually have certificates or proof of what we can do.

At UCOL we may recognise both types of learning towards the qualification you are enrolled in. If UCOL at its sole discretion recognises your prior learning then you may finish your qualification earlier. If your application for Recognition of Prior Learning is successful it may affect your student loan or allowance so please check with your Programme Leader. It is highly recommended you continue attending classes until the outcome of any RPL application is confirmed.


3 different processes that may be used when you apply

1. Credit Transfer
This is where you have completed the same course as part of another programme at UCOL (internal credit transfer) or at another New Zealand accredited education provider or awarding authority (external credit transfer). No fee is incurred in applying for Credit Transfer.
For the avoidance of doubt Credit Transfer learning has already been assessed and credit received for a specific unit standard or paper either from a UCOL programme or by another New Zealand accredited education provider.

2. Cross Credit
This is the process used when you can produce evidence of having been awarded credit for what may be regarded as equivalent courses/papers from another New Zealand accredited education provider e.g. you may have completed the first year of a degree at another provider and want to have this transferred to a UCOL degree.

Documents required to support your application for Cross Credit includes School Records; NZQA Record of Learning; Academic Records or award or confirmation from another tertiary provider. UCOL staff compare learning outcomes of the external courses to learning outcomes of the UCOL course(s) you are seeking to credit. Where in UCOL's sole opinion there is a match of learning outcomes you will be awarded credit. Please note there are no partial credits granted, e.g. one piece of assessment in a unit standard or course/paper. There is an administration fee of $45 (GST inclusive) and you must also pay academic staff time at $50 per hour (GST inclusive) for the comparative analysis of learning outcomes.

3. Assessment of Prior Learning
This process is to be used when you think you can meet the learning outcomes of courses/papers but have no formal academic record or transcript to support this. In this case you will be required to present evidence that you can meet the course aim by one of four methods as selected by UCOL:

  • Portfolio - where you provide a collection of information assembled in an approved format providing evidence of your knowledge and skills.
  • Challenge Assessment - where we allow you to demonstrate your knowledge or skills. It commonly involves taking a written, oral or practical assessment task(s).
  • Attestation - where your earlier life and work experiences are formally confirmed by someone else and matched against specific learning outcomes.
  • Interview - this involves a meeting between you and the assessor and which may include attestation. Charges for the Assessment of Prior Learning are the same as for Cross Credit i.e. an administration fee of $45 (GST inclusive) and you must also pay academic staff time at $50 per hour (GST inclusive) for comparative analysis of learning outcomes.


When Do I apply for Recognition of Prior Learning?

You should apply for RPL no later than two weeks from the First Date Teaching Starts and after UCOL has confirmed your enrolment. Late applications for RPL will mean that you may not get a refund of fees for the courses/papers credited if RPL is granted by UCOL. Equally, if you apply on time, but you do not supply information required or undertake any assessment required within the time reasonably specified by UCOL then you may not be eligible for a refund of tuition fees if your application is granted. Late applications may not be considered. UCOL uses all reasonable efforts to process applications within two weeks from receiving them. UCOL staff will be able to assist you in putting together the required information ready for your assessment.


How Do I Apply for Recognition of Prior Learning?

Talk to the staff in the Information Centre or make a time to speak with your Programme Leader. You agree UCOL has no liability whatsoever for any oral statements by UCOL staff concerning availability of RPL to you. Please note that until UCOL informs you in writing of the outcome of your application for RPL, UCOL's staff verbal indications of the outcome of your application for RPL are not binding on UCOL. Before you apply you must provisionally enrol and UCOL must confirm your enrolment in the course you are seeking to have credited.