The PMA is a UK provider of leadership, management and practice management training all recognised by ILM and other ILM qualifications. PMA offers an education and workshop training programme focussed on Excellence in Practice Management.

This policy applies to The PMA as an ILM Centre offering ILM qualifications. It provides a definition and process for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and useful information for learners.

All learners are entitled to apply for RPL credit providing they meet the specific requirements of the validating or awarding organisation governing the chosen qualification.

RPL (Recognised Prior Learning) is the preferred term used and is adopted by the ILM, it can also be referred to under a different name

e.g. APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning). Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is ‘a method of assessment that considers whether a learner can demonstrate that they can meet the assessment requirements for a unit through knowledge, understanding or skills that they already possess and do not need to develop through a course of learning’.

In the context of the qualification the definition of RPL is quite specific and relates to assessment leading to the award of credit. Assessment for RPL is conducted against the learning outcomes and assessment criteria of a unit and is subject to exactly the same internal and external quality assurance requirements as any other kind of assessment within the standards

There is no difference between achievement of the required standards by RPL and achievement through a formal programme of learning.

RPL enables recognition of achievement from a range of activities using any appropriate assessment methodology. Provided that the assessment requirements of a given unit or qualification have been met, the use of RPL is acceptable for accrediting a unit, units or a whole qualification.

The knowledge, understanding and/or skills in question may have been acquired in a variety of contexts including work experience, education and training or community or voluntary activities.

As long as all the composite learning outcomes have been met, an individual can claim credit for units where RPL has been used to generate all or some of the evidence required. Although RPL is an available option for all learners it should not be regarded as an easier, quicker or cheaper route to qualification.

To ensure RPL can be used to accredit a unit, or units towards the whole qualification the evidence must be:

  • Valid – does the evidence genuinely demonstrate that the demands of the learning outcome has been met.
  • Authentic – is the evidence being examined genuinely the work by the learner.
  • Reliable – the evidence obtained through RPL should be such that an assessor would arrive at the same assessment decision, were the assessment to be repeated.
  • Sufficient – there must be enough evidence to fully meet the requirements of the learning outcome /outcomes being considered. If there is insufficient evidence to fully meet the requirements, then additional complimentary evidence must be gained through a suitable assessment method before requirements/ outcomes can be signed off as met

With regard to specific PMA workshops and RPL any attendance will be mapped through RPL to meet the appropriate, Learning Outcomes:
There are two contexts to RPL:

  1. where a portfolio of evidence is put together by the learner showing the prior learning undertaken. The learner would then need to complete the ILM assessment in order to gain the qualification.
  2. where the learner has evidence of their learning which also shows they have completed an assessment (non-ILM) which can be 100% mapped to the ILM assessment criteria. This assessment would have been assessed and internally quality assured by the provider.

Stages of RPL

  • Stage 1: Information and guidance about claiming RPL credit.
    PMA will provide support and advice to learners about:

    • The process of claiming credit through RPL.
    • The sources of Centre and external support and guidance available to learners.  The administrative processes for RPL applications.
    • The submission requirements to evidence RPL.
    • Timelines, appeals processes and any fees and subsidies.

All learners who express an interest in RPL should be given timely and appropriate guidance about the principles, rules and processes involved in this type of accreditation.

  • Stage 2: Pre-assessment – evidence gathering checked at Initial assessment and recorded as part of the skills scan.
    During this stage the learner will carry out the evidence collection and develop an action plan. The evidence required for the award of credit will depend on the purpose, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for the relevant unit(s).
  • Stage 3: Documentation of evidence and assessment.
    Assessment as part of RPL is a structured process for gathering and reviewing evidence and making judgments about a learner’s prior learning and experience in relation to unit standards.Assessment must be valid and reliable to ensure the integrity of units and qualifications and the RPL system as a whole. The assessment process for RPL must be subject to the same quality assurance processes of awarding organisations as any other part of the assessment process.
  • Stage 4: RPL Decision
    The ILM will be responsible for the RPL decision and where applicable awarding credit and issuing certificates.

If individuals can produce relevant evidence, that meets learning outcome requirements then, recognition can be given for their existing knowledge, understanding or skills.

If an individual can meet all the learning outcomes and assessment criteria in a unit, then they can claim credit for that unit solely on the basis of their RPL achievement.

If however, evidence from RPL is only sufficient to cover one or more learning outcomes, or to partly meet the need of a learning outcome then additional work must be undertaken by the learner. All assessment criteria must be met in order for an assessment decision to be reached. Since evidence from RPL is similar to that derived via any other acceptable assessment method, where the standard of a unit is met by evidence obtained from, or partly from RPL, credit can be claimed.

Continuous Improvement
The PMA aims to continuously improve our processes and procedures and incorporate any feedback or learning we receive in relation to this policy, the mapping of our workshops and the currency of our stakeholder demands.

The PMA RPL RECOGNISED PRIOR LEARNING POLICY will be formally reviewed in October 2018.

Emergency notification contacts

Name Email address Phone number Mobile number
Ian Jones
01606 44945 07880 788985
Austin Ambrose
07726 921685
Cathryn Lyon
07964 705839

Revisions control

Date Summary of changes made Changes made by (Name)
19th Nov 2017 PMA RPL RECOGNISED PRIOR LEARNING POLICY reviewed and formatted Ian Jones
20th Nov 2017 PMA RPL RECOGNISED PRIOR LEARNING POLICY agreed with PMA Directors & ILM PMA Directors