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Learning outcomes: Recognising Prior Learning

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1 Learning outcomes: Recognising Prior Learning
Ruth Whittaker Caledonian Academy Glasgow Caledonian University I’m going to be giving you an insight into how recognition of prior learning involves and how it can work within the context of programme delivery and achievement of qualifications. There is of course a strong likelihood that I raise more questions than I answer, but I’ll be happy to clarify and discuss anything at the end.

2 Outline Different types of prior learning. SCQF and prior learning
What do we mean by Credit Transfer? What do we mean by RPL ? What are the outcomes of RPL ? What are the drivers for RPL development in Scotland? Learning outcomes approach- advantages & challenges for RPL Process of gaining credit for prior learning Examples- university & workplace contexts In preparing this presentation tried to strike the right balance between enough detail to be helpful and not too much detail to be completely overwhelming!

3 Different types of prior learning
Formal learning: takes place within the context of programmes delivered by learning and training providers is assessed and credit-rated. Informal learning: achieved through life and work experiences learning gained in non-formal contexts e.g. in the community, the workplace or independent learning not been previously assessed or credit-rated The SCQF Guidelines on RPL (2005) refer to the EU definition of the different types of learning to explain the differences: formal learning takes place within the context of programmes delivered by learning and training providers; is assessed and credit-rated; and leads to recognised qualifications non-formal learning takes place alongside the mainstream systems of education and training. It may be assessed but does not typically lead to formal certification, for example, learning and training activities undertaken in the workplace, voluntary sector or trade union and through community-based learning informal learning can be defined as experiential learning and takes place through life and work experiences. It is often unintentional learning. The learner may not recognise at the time of the experience that it contributed to the development of their skills and knowledge. This recognition may only happen retrospectively through the RPL process, unless the experiences take place as part of a planned experiential or work-based learning, programme[1]. While it is useful to understand the differences between these different types of learning, it is likely that an individual’s learning experience will have a combination of formal, non-formal and informal aspects. [1] SCQF RPL Guidelines

4 SCQF & prior learning SCQF aims to support lifelong learning through enabling more flexible progression across all learning sectors: Enables learners, learning providers and employers to understand full range of Scottish qualifications and how they relate to each other Assist in clarifying relationships between Scottish qualifications and those of rest of UK , Europe and beyond Capacity to recognise all forms of learning through learning outcomes approach to award of credit Development and implementation of national RPL guidelines integral to SCQF implementation plan

5 SCQF and prior learning
12 Doctorate 11 Masters SVQ 5 10 Honours Degree 9 Ordinary Degree 8 HND / HE Diploma SVQ 4 7 Advanced Higher HNC / HE Certificate 6 Higher SVQ 3 A learner may combine an RPL claim with a credit transfer claim in seeking credit within a programme. 5 Intermediate 2 SVQ 2 4 Intermediate 1 SVQ 1 3 Access 3 2 Access 2 1 Access 1

6 SCQF & prior learning National debate on RPL (2004): change of term from ‘APEL’ to ‘RPL’ Production of Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework (SCQF) RPL guidelines (2005): formative and summative recognition Production of SCQF RPL resource pack (2006): examples of practice Development and piloting of RPL resource packs and profiling tools for Community Learning and Development and Social Services sectors ( ) Development of Flexible Entry (RPL and Credit transfer) Staff Development and Resource Packs for Scottish HE sector ( 2006) Scottish Executive (SE) RPL scoping exercise (2006): to understand stakeholder views on priority areas of development, as well as barriers The SCQF is currently in discussion with stakeholders and the Scottish Government regarding what form the support for RPL will take over the next three years. This support is likely to focus on mainstreaming RPL within organisations and institutions through building capacity and capability.

7 What do we mean by credit transfer?
Credit Transfer : gives learners credit for their prior formal or ‘certificated’ learning. This means learning they have undertaken which has been assessed and for which they have been awarded qualifications or certificates, for example an SVQ; university module, Higher National unit or Higher National Certificate or Diploma or Professional Development Award. It can enable a learner to transfer credit gained through one qualification to another qualification or programme of study. Based on comparability of outcomes of different qualifications/elements of qualifications CT can be from completed or uncompleted qualifications

8 What do we mean by RPL ? Recognition of Prior informal Learning (RPL) will involve a learner in : reflecting on life and work experiences and non-formal learning or training experiences identifying learning outcomes providing evidence of that learning Role of learning provider to provide effective support and manage process of recognition What does RPL involve? To some extent this will depend on the type of RPL being undertaken by the person. All forms of RPL will involve the learner in: reflecting on experiences identifying the learning within these experiences providing evidence of the learning claimed. Experience is only valuable, in this context, as a source of learning. It is what the person has learned that is important not what they have done. The key premise of RPL is that: recognition is given for learning, not for experience alone the learning that is recognised should be transferable and not just context-specific credit awarded as a result of RPL is of the same value as credit gained through formal learning the learner is responsible for identifying and demonstrating their prior learning with appropriate guidance and support from staff.

9 What do we mean by RPL ? The SCQF guidelines encourages the use of RPL for personal and career development, or formative recognition, and RPL for credit, or summative recognition. Formative recognition is linked to personal/career development & educational guidance. Purpose: to build learner confidence and help learners make connections between previous learning and ways in they which can build on this to support further learning and development The Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF) encourages the use of RPL for personal and career development, or formative recognition, and RPL for credit, or summative recognition. Formative recognition can be carried out within the context of personal/career development and educational guidance. Its purpose is to build learner confidence; recognise skills and knowledge gained through experience; and identify ways in which these skills and knowledge can be developed through further learning opportunities. The outcome of this process can be an action plan or personal development plan.

10 What do we mean by RPL ? RPL for credit, or summative recognition, involves assessing, and then credit rating learning gained through experience which took place before a learner embarks on a formal programme or qualification Link between two forms of RPL : Formative recognition can be preparatory stage to summative recognition ( building learner confidence and developing reflective skills e.g. use of profiling tools) The Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF) encourages the use of RPL for personal and career development, or formative recognition, and RPL for credit, or summative recognition. Formative recognition can be carried out within the context of personal/career development and educational guidance. Its purpose is to build learner confidence; recognise skills and knowledge gained through experience; and identify ways in which these skills and knowledge can be developed through further learning opportunities. The outcome of this process can be an action plan or personal development plan.

11 What do we mean by RPL? RPL for credit :context
Organisations which deliver SCQF credit-rated provision: Colleges Higher Education Institutions SQA-approved centres Other SCQF credit-rating bodies All organisations which deliver SCQF credit-rated provision can award a general credit-rating. The receiving institution determines the amount of specific credit a learner can be awarded within a particular programme within that institution or organisation The Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF) encourages the use of RPL for personal and career development, or formative recognition, and RPL for credit, or summative recognition. Formative recognition can be carried out within the context of personal/career development and educational guidance. Its purpose is to build learner confidence; recognise skills and knowledge gained through experience; and identify ways in which these skills and knowledge can be developed through further learning opportunities. The outcome of this process can be an action plan or personal development plan.

12 What are the outcomes of RPL ?
As a result of RPL people may: Plan a learning pathway; personal/career development plan which will build on their prior learning (RPL for PCD/ formative recognition) Identify core, and other skills, which they have gained through their life and work experiences which will help them to study, train or work effectively ( building learner confidence & supporting transitions) Gain entry to a programme at college or university as alternative to traditional entry qualifications (RPL for entry) Gain credit within a programme or towards a qualification ( RPL for credit/ summative recognition) See RPL: Learner Journey diagram Plan a learning pathway; personal/career development plan; or personal learning plan which will build on their prior learning. This may include a mapping or ‘notional levelling’ of their learning onto the SCQF to help identify their starting point and their future direction. This form of recognition is described as RPL for Personal/Career Development, or formative recognition. Identify core, and other, skills which they have already gained through their life and work experiences which will help them to study or train effectively in a college, university or other learning and training provider. This form of RPL focuses on building learner confidence and easing the transition between informal and more formal learning situations. Gain entry to a programme at a college, university or other learning and training provider as an alternative to the normal entry requirements if they can demonstrate knowledge and skills which are equivalent to the entry requirements. This form of recognition can be described as RPL for entry and will involve some form of assessment, which may be written or oral, such as an interview. Gain credit within a programme, or towards a qualification, at a college, university or other learning and training provider. Credit can either be for particular units or modules or for entire levels of a programme or qualification. This form of recognition is described as RPL for Credit, or summative recognition. It involves a formal assessment of the learning as part of the credit-rating process.

13 Drivers for RPL development in Scotland
National level: Lifelong Learning, Employability agendas, Skills Strategy for Scotland Social inclusion and social justice Skilled, flexible & mobile workforce Improved economic productivity and competitiveness Legislation in some sectors regarding qualified workforce Learning provider: Widening participation and Flexible Delivery agendas: Demographic change- need to target new student markets Student retention and progression

14 Learning outcomes-based approach
RPL & credit transfer within context of SCQF: Single unified framework for all Scottish academic and vocational qualifications Outcomes-based : skills, knowledge & understanding Levels: complexity of learning ( SCQF level descriptors) Credit points : volume of learning undertaken (average/notional learning time: i.e. 10 hours = 1credit point) SCQF level descriptors ‘set out characteristic generic outcomes of each level’ relating to knowledge & understanding; practice; generic cognitive skills; communication, ICT & numeracy skills; autonomy, accountability & working with others - ‘provide general shared understanding of each level and to allow broad comparisons to be made between qualifications and learning at different levels’ (SCQF, 2003) –facilitate recognition of prior learning and vertical and horizontal progression routes A learner may combine an RPL claim with a credit transfer claim in seeking credit within a programme.

15 Learning outcomes-based approach
Advantages for RPL/credit transfer: Separates teaching process from learning process i.e. enables flexibility in terms of when, how and where learning takes place LOs describe transferable skills, knowledge & understanding Can be used in retrospective terms ( i.e. what learner has already achieved through prior learning) as well as prospective terms ( i.e. what learner is expected to achieve through programme of learning) Units of learning described in outcomes terms, underpinned by SCQF level descriptors, enables easier comparison between different qualifications and different types of learning experiences in terms of credit transfer, RPL and progression Indication of ‘threshold’ level of learning i.e. balance between ‘specification of learning and openness to unexpected areas of learning’ (Moon, 2002) Expressing own learning through prior experience in terms of LOs can make comparisons/connections to outcomes of formal programmes easier for learners A learner may combine an RPL claim with a credit transfer claim in seeking credit within a programme.

16 Learning outcome-based approach
Challenges for RPL/Credit transfer: Usually predicated on formal learning model: experiential/informal learning process different starting point to that within formal learning (unless work-based learning programme) Easier to demonstrate LOs through prior experiential learning at postgraduate level (specialised, application to practice etc ) than at undergraduate level ( broader, fundamental concepts etc) RPL/credit transfer claims may be assessed on basis of whether direct match, rather than broad comparison, which is difficult to demonstrate Difficulty of providing individualised programme if not all LOs can be demonstrated through prior learning Issue of extent to which all LOs need to be achieved to pass module(s) : expectations of 100%? In terms of credit transfer from e.g. HN qualification to degree, LOs may be comparable, but differences in curricular content, learning, teaching, assessment approaches may lead to difficulties in terms of transition & progression for learners A learner may combine an RPL claim with a credit transfer claim in seeking credit within a programme.

17 Process of gaining credit for prior learning
3 stages to process of awarding credit for prior learning : Initial advice and guidance (what credit transfer /RPL involves, what credit limits there are for prior learning, what costs, roles & responsibilities of learner and tutor/advisor; and different learning pathways to qualification) Support ( reflective process; understanding learning outcomes; identifying own learning outcomes; evidence gathering & selection) Recognition/assessment ( assessment of evidence of achievement of learning outcomes and assessment criteria) Stage 1 Initial advice and guidance 7.1 Learning pathways to the qualification Learners, or potential learners, should be given preliminary information about the process through a discussion of the different learning pathways for the qualification. This advice will be provided by a Tutor, a Mentor, or an Assessor. He or she will give initial advice on the nature of the credit transfer and /or RPL process, and its use within the context of the programme. This guidance should form part of the overall initial guidance a learner should be given by programme providers before commencing the programme. This guidance will cover the requirements of the award, including the need to gather evidence, analyse and report on their experiences and will also include information on the type of evidence learners will need to provide in order to successfully complete the award.

18 Process of gaining credit for prior learning
Key principles of RPL: Recognition is given for learning not experience Learning that is recognised should be transferable and not just context-specific Learner is responsible for identifying & demonstrating their learning Credit awarded through RPL is of same value as credit gained through informal learning Stage 1 Initial advice and guidance 7.1 Learning pathways to the qualification Learners, or potential learners, should be given preliminary information about the process through a discussion of the different learning pathways for the qualification. This advice will be provided by a Tutor, a Mentor, or an Assessor. He or she will give initial advice on the nature of the credit transfer and /or RPL process, and its use within the context of the programme. This guidance should form part of the overall initial guidance a learner should be given by programme providers before commencing the programme. This guidance will cover the requirements of the award, including the need to gather evidence, analyse and report on their experiences and will also include information on the type of evidence learners will need to provide in order to successfully complete the award.

19 Process of gaining credit for prior learning
RPL Learner support : Two forms of support ( mentor/tutor/assessor) Support for RPL process ( e.g. planning learning pathway; support for reflective process; evidence gathering & selection) Support in subject, vocational, professional area (e.g. level, knowledge, skills and values) Written/e-learning resources Individual tutorials/meetings Group sessions Electronic communication Support for the RPL process: encouraging reflection helping to identify sources of learning helping with the selection of learning outcomes against which the RPL claim is being made advising on the type of evidence that can used to demonstrate learning supporting the development of reflective and analytical writing skills providing feedback on the production and presentation of the evidence. Subject specific support In addition to general RPL support the learner will require advice which focuses directly on the subject matter of their learning. advising if the learning from experience is likely to be at the appropriate level for the programme clarifying programme standards and learning outcomes advising on which types of evidence are appropriate to the learning outcomes and the criteria for assessment advising on how to relate the learning from experience to current theory advising on the level of analysis required in the submission (where appropriate) providing feedback on draft evidence. Support can be provided by a Tutor, a Mentor, and/or an Assessor. This depends upon the delivery arrangements for the programme and may vary across programme providers. Support may therefore be provided by a number of individuals or by one individual carrying out the different roles of Tutor/Mentor and Assessor. If an individual is carrying out both a support and assessment role it is clearly important that there is a clear understanding by the individual and the learner, he or she is working with, of the differences between each role.

20 Process of gaining credit for prior learning
Evidence gathering mechanisms: Reflective account Project work Interview/oral assessment/professional discussion ‘Assessment on demand’ Simulation/observation of practice Mapping of Learning Outcomes Profiling Europass CV Portfolio Direct evidence demonstrates a learner’s practice. It is something they have produced while carrying out their practice role or it can be ‘third party evidence’ which is something written about their practice by someone else e.g. their line manager/ supervisor/mentor/colleague/learners they have worked with. Evidence can also be provided by an assessor directly observing practice or assigning a written or practical task. Reflective evidence demonstrates the learner’s understanding of their role and of the principles, practice and the purpose of childhood practice; how they have dealt with particular issues, or incidents; an evaluation of particular approaches they have used; a consideration of the application of appropriate theories and knowledge to their practice.

21 Process of gaining credit for prior learning
Key guidance in evidence gathering: Streamlined approaches should be used to make the process manageable for the learner, Tutor/Mentor and Assessor. Balance of direct and reflective evidence. Be highly selective in choice of evidence and cross reference evidence to more than one standard or learning outcome . Streamlined approaches should be used in the gathering and presenting of evidence of prior informal learning to make the process manageable for both the learner, Tutor/Mentor and Assessor. When gathering evidence as part of an RPL process, the learner needs to decide which learning experiences to draw upon and the particular pieces of evidence he or she will compile to demonstrate the standards and learning outcomes The learner requires detailed guidance on how to put together Evidence, and in particular on the nature, range and volume of evidence required to demonstrate the learning. Balance bt direct & reflective evidence. Learners should be encouraged to reduce the volume of evidence by being highly selective in their choice of evidence and to cross reference evidence to more than one standard or learning outcome so that the process of compiling Evidence becomes a more manageable exercise. This cross referencing process should be used when making decisions about which evidence to use and in presenting the selected evidence. The role of the Assessor is to assess the material presented and determine whether or not it provides evidence that the learning outcomes have been achieved. The Assessor is the final arbiter of a Credit Transfer and/or RPL claim. Acceptability: is there an appropriate match between the evidence presented and the learning outcomes being demonstrated; is the evidence reliable and valid? Sufficiency: is there a sufficient breadth and depth of evidence, including evidence of reflection, to demonstrate the achievement of the learning outcomes claimed? Authenticity: is the evidence clearly the outcome of the learner’s own effort? Currency: is what is being assessed current learning? Does the learner need to provide evidence of having kept the learning up-to-date, if the learning experience occurred longer than 5 years ago?

22 Process of gaining credit for prior learning
Assessing prior learning Learner must submit claim in form that Makes clear written statements about what actually learnt i.e. learning outcomes Provides supportive evidence that learning claimed has occurred Appropriate SCQF level Demonstrates comparability between outcomes of her prior informal learning with the learning outcomes of module, unit, part of a level or entire level of qualification for which seeking credit Meets Assessment criteria: Acceptability Sufficiency Authenticity Currency Streamlined approaches should be used in the gathering and presenting of evidence of prior informal learning to make the process manageable for both the learner, Tutor/Mentor and Assessor. When gathering evidence as part of an RPL process, the learner needs to decide which learning experiences to draw upon and the particular pieces of evidence he or she will compile to demonstrate the standards and learning outcomes The learner requires detailed guidance on how to put together Evidence, and in particular on the nature, range and volume of evidence required to demonstrate the learning. Balance bt direct & reflective evidence. Learners should be encouraged to reduce the volume of evidence by being highly selective in their choice of evidence and to cross reference evidence to more than one standard or learning outcome so that the process of compiling Evidence becomes a more manageable exercise. This cross referencing process should be used when making decisions about which evidence to use and in presenting the selected evidence. The role of the Assessor is to assess the material presented and determine whether or not it provides evidence that the learning outcomes have been achieved. The Assessor is the final arbiter of a Credit Transfer and/or RPL claim. Acceptability: is there an appropriate match between the evidence presented and the learning outcomes being demonstrated; is the evidence reliable and valid? Sufficiency: is there a sufficient breadth and depth of evidence, including evidence of reflection, to demonstrate the achievement of the learning outcomes claimed? Authenticity: is the evidence clearly the outcome of the learner’s own effort? Currency: is what is being assessed current learning? Does the learner need to provide evidence of having kept the learning up-to-date, if the learning experience occurred longer than 5 years ago?

23 Process of gaining credit for prior learning
Ensuring Quality All RPL processes should be quality assured to make sure of consistency, transparency and accessibility (SCQF RPL core principles) . Integrating recognition of prior learning within programme design and delivery : LOs should be expressed in a way that enables a variety of different routes for their achievement as well as the use of different modes of assessment/evidence. Training and support for staff involved in supporting learners in RPL process Use of SCQF core principles & key features of RPL : RPL Guidelines (www.scqf.org.uk) Integration of Credit Transfer and RPL provision within quality assurance system Credit Transfer and RPL processes need to be fully integrated within the programme provider’s quality assurance systems to ensure transparency, consistency and reliability. Credit Transfer and RPL processes should be available for scrutiny by appropriate external quality assurance, for example by an external auditing body. Processes for CT/RPL need to built into programme design stage to ensure accessibility and greater ease of use, from both learner and provider perspective. Staff involved in the planning, development and operation of RPL processes need to be provided with training, and continuing support for this role. This will require adequate resources. The roles and responsibilities of both staff and learners in the RPL process need to be clearly defined and agreed through, for example, a Learning Agreement. It is desirable that the role played by staff in supporting and in assessing RPL claims for credit should be clearly separated. One individual may carry out both roles, but needs to ensure objectivity in the assessment process.

24 Examples University of West of Scotland
Centralised/partnership approach- APL Coordinator APEL claims workshops Systematic reflection to identify learning Students write statements of learning Cognitive skills that have been achieved Complexity of situation in which learning has taken place Extent to which learning been achieved independently or under supervision Specify how prior learning may contribute to specific programme of study & reflect ways in which individual has changed as result of going through learning process Use SCQF level descriptors as guide Matching of statements to learning outcomes of module(s) for which seeking credit Integration of Credit Transfer and RPL provision within quality assurance system Credit Transfer and RPL processes need to be fully integrated within the programme provider’s quality assurance systems to ensure transparency, consistency and reliability. Credit Transfer and RPL processes should be available for scrutiny by appropriate external quality assurance, for example by an external auditing body. Processes for CT/RPL need to built into programme design stage to ensure accessibility and greater ease of use, from both learner and provider perspective. Staff involved in the planning, development and operation of RPL processes need to be provided with training, and continuing support for this role. This will require adequate resources. The roles and responsibilities of both staff and learners in the RPL process need to be clearly defined and agreed through, for example, a Learning Agreement. It is desirable that the role played by staff in supporting and in assessing RPL claims for credit should be clearly separated. One individual may carry out both roles, but needs to ensure objectivity in the assessment process.

25 Examples Glasgow Caledonian University
Devolved approach- responsibility of Schools (Heads of Learning, Teaching & Quality) University Guidelines for Flexible Entry (RPL & Credit Transfer): consistent with SCQF RPL Guidelines; all Schools follow same process, but support and evidence gathering mechanisms for RPL vary to suit needs of school, programme and student group Flexible Entry: Guide for Students School-based RPL advisor Flexible Entry Claim form based on recent learning with clear comparability to the learning outcomes of the proposed programme; mechanism for tracking progress of claim from initial enquiry to assessment & credit-rating decision. Integration of Credit Transfer and RPL provision within quality assurance system Credit Transfer and RPL processes need to be fully integrated within the programme provider’s quality assurance systems to ensure transparency, consistency and reliability. Credit Transfer and RPL processes should be available for scrutiny by appropriate external quality assurance, for example by an external auditing body. Processes for CT/RPL need to built into programme design stage to ensure accessibility and greater ease of use, from both learner and provider perspective. Staff involved in the planning, development and operation of RPL processes need to be provided with training, and continuing support for this role. This will require adequate resources. The roles and responsibilities of both staff and learners in the RPL process need to be clearly defined and agreed through, for example, a Learning Agreement. It is desirable that the role played by staff in supporting and in assessing RPL claims for credit should be clearly separated. One individual may carry out both roles, but needs to ensure objectivity in the assessment process.

26 Examples University of Stirling
Valuing Learning from Experience (Valex )EU project (GCU & Stirling Scottish partners): RPL model & toolkit – formative recognition and summative recognition, group model RPL module for entry into and credit against Access programme: partnership SWAP, Forth Valley College & Access to Industry: Reflecting on learning from experiences & learning from community/adult learning programmes Academic assignment giving credit against an Access or SWAP programme module Exploring RPL routes for professional/CPD programmes (LO focus, evidenced through reflective/academic writing Integration of Credit Transfer and RPL provision within quality assurance system Credit Transfer and RPL processes need to be fully integrated within the programme provider’s quality assurance systems to ensure transparency, consistency and reliability. Credit Transfer and RPL processes should be available for scrutiny by appropriate external quality assurance, for example by an external auditing body. Processes for CT/RPL need to built into programme design stage to ensure accessibility and greater ease of use, from both learner and provider perspective. Staff involved in the planning, development and operation of RPL processes need to be provided with training, and continuing support for this role. This will require adequate resources. The roles and responsibilities of both staff and learners in the RPL process need to be clearly defined and agreed through, for example, a Learning Agreement. It is desirable that the role played by staff in supporting and in assessing RPL claims for credit should be clearly separated. One individual may carry out both roles, but needs to ensure objectivity in the assessment process.

27 Example Social Services sector
Vocational/professional qualifications & workforce development : social care; practice learning; early years education RPL Resource Pack- formative recognition: confidence-building, reflective process, reflective writing RPL profiling tool- staged approach to summative assessment An effective and resource efficient way of undertaking the credit rating of prior learning is to incorporate this within the overall planning and assessment process for achievement of a qualification, rather than to undertake it as a separate, discrete process.

28 Example of RPL & Credit Transfer process as part of qualification achievement
A learner, with appropriate support and guidance, will consider the standards and learning outcomes of the programme at the appropriate level and determine the extent to which they have already achieved these through their prior learning. Determining the relevance and comparability of the outcomes of prior informal learning to the qualification standards and outcomes can be undertaken through a reflective process guided by the learner’s Tutor or Mentor. This can be undertaken through discussion in an individual meeting or tutorial or through a group session with other learners. The SCQF Social Services RPL Resource Pack contains activities that can be undertaken with learners to support this process. A learner will identify which of the standards and learning outcomes they consider they have already achieved through their work, and other relevant experiences and how they could demonstrate this i.e. what evidence can they gather or produce which can be included in their Evidence By identifying existing knowledge and skills gained through their prior certificated and/ or prior informal learning, learners can then plan how to build on their existing learning through further learning and development activities in order to fully achieve the qualifications standards and learning outcomes. A consideration of the extent to which an individual has achieved the PLQ(SS)/PLQ requirements through their prior learning will form part of the initial evaluation of learning needs which might be undertaken on an individual or group basis.

29 Example of RPL process as part of qualification achievement
Recognition and credit-rating of prior learning is therefore incorporated into the assessment process for the qualification as a whole. A learner can present evidence for achievement of learning outcomes based on: Prior qualifications Prior informal learning Learning undertaken as part of a planned programme of learning ( work-based, provider-based, e-learning, blended learning etc) A learner embarking on the programme will therefore be able to select the most appropriate learning pathway depending on their prior experience and qualifications through this planning process.

30 Useful resources SCQF Handbook : RPL Guidelines & Credit Transfer Guidelines SCQF Social Services RPL Resource Pack (SSSC,2007) SCQF Social Services RPL Profiling Tool (SSSC,2007) SCQF Social Services RPL Mentor Guidance Pack (SSSC,2007) Practice Learning Qualifications Social Services (PLQ(SS)) Guidelines for Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Informal Learning (RPL) (Scottish Social Services Networks, 2007) The resources should be helpful in providing further guidance and please feel to get in touch. Interested to hear your initial thoughts and questions and whether you think the model of RPL indicated in the PLQ e.g. is one that might work within the context of Childhood practice qualifications.

31 Discussion What are the advantages of using a learning outcomes approach in the recognition of prior learning within your own contexts? What are the disadvantages/challenges? To what extent is the approach to RPL in Scotland, and the examples of practice, given transferable to your own contexts? What approaches are you currently using and what are your plans for future developments? The resources should be helpful in providing further guidance and please feel to get in touch. Interested to hear your initial thoughts and questions and whether you think the model of RPL indicated in the PLQ e.g. is one that might work within the context of Childhood practice qualifications.


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