The recognition of prior learning

The purpose and possibilities of use of RPL

The recognition of prior learning (RPL) is a process that helps a competent authority assess the competence of an applicant based on specific criteria, i.e. how the applicant’s knowledge, skills and attitudes adhere to the enrolment criteria of the educational institution, the learning outcomes of the curriculum or its part(s) or the competency requirements of the professional standard. If the applicant's competences meet the requirements, they will be taken into account with respect to fulfilment of the enrolment criteria, completion of the curriculum or upon awarding a professional qualification.

In principle, it means that a person acquiring an education or applying for a professional qualification can take into account their prior studies (for example, what has previously been acquired in formal education, learned independently or in refresher courses) or what has been learned from professional experience (communication and practical skills) in order to have certain courses recognised when completing a curriculum.

RPL makes it possible to recognise:

  • Prior studies in educational institutions;
  • Learning acquired through in-service training or independent studies;
  • Knowledge and skills acquired through professional and other experience.

For the applicant, the process of RPL consists of the following stages:

  1. Counselling and self-assessment of the applicant

The applicants consult an RPL specialist. Then they analyse their knowledge and skills, as well as the way these fit into the context of the current curriculum.

  1. Preparation and submission of the application

In this stage, the applicant fills in an RPL application form. The application forms are available at the home page, as well as on paper from the RPL specialist.

The application must be filed with all evidence certifying the existence of the knowledge and skills acquired, i.e. self-analysis, subject syllabus, certificates/diplomas, etc.

  1. Assessment of the application

The application is assessed by an RPL Committee. The RPL Committee has a right to require additional evidence, conduct an interview with the applicant, ask the applicant to demonstrate his/her skills, carry out an on-the-spot observation, etc.

  1. Decision and feedback

The assessment committee makes a decision after completing the assessment process. The RPL specialist gives feedback on the decision, records the decision in the RPL register and, in the event of a positive decision, enters the course recognised in the study information system (SIS).

  1. Contestation (if necessary)

The learner has a right to contest the decision pursuant to the Study Regulations.

Grete Sõõru
RPL and student admissions specialist
Tel: + 372 6 711 734
grete.sooru@ttk.ee