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Institutes of Technology Ireland
Research & Innovation

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in the Workplace

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process by which skills acquired in a learner’s personal life or working life can be recognised and possibly accredited by a Higher Education provider.

In 2006, Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) participated in a Líonra (Líonra is a network of the seven third level colleges in the Border, Midlands and Western Region of Ireland) project aimed at recognising learning in the workplace. The purpose of this initiative was to accredit Business and IT learning achieved in the workplace with a third level qualification. Employees were expected to prepare an RPL portfolio to demonstrate their achievement of particular module learning outcomes. These portfolios were then assessed by the relevant subject lecturer. As part of the assessment process the RPL candidate was also interviewed. The RPL Facilitator provides training and support to all learners completing portfolios.

Before this novel initiative could be promoted to employers and employees, LYIT had to ensure its RPL methodologies were professionally developed and aligned to international best practices. This involved developing an RPL policy that was approved by LYIT’s Academic Council, designing RPL training materials for learners, delivering RPL training sessions to staff at LYIT, preparing RPL assignments and assessment tools.

To promote the RPL initiative, a well planned marketing campaign was undertaken which combined direct marketing, attending education fairs, visiting and presenting information sessions to larger companies and representative groups including IBEC, Skillnets, Chambers of Commerce, Trade And Industry Associations, hosting public information and training sessions held at LYIT, and via local media. The RPL initiative at LYIT proved very popular with more than 350 portfolios submitted during the first 3 years. This was the first experience of Higher Education for the majority of these learners and a significant number have decided to continue their studies at LYIT.

LYIT has progressed from offering single subject certificates for learning acquired in the workplace to jointly developing and delivering customised accredited programmes at levels 6, 7, 8 and 9 of the National Qualifications Framework with numerous local, regional and national employers. These programmes have significant RPL and Work Based Learning components making them more attractive to both employers and employees.

Testimonials

“I am currently completing a Higher Certificate in IT Support through LYIT, which will allow me to apply for positions that become available in the QA and Development departments. The RPL initiative allowed me to produce RPL portfolios in my own time, without having to attend classes. RPL was definitely one of the key attractions for me in completing this programme. It was great that LYIT recognised the learning and training I obtained in the workplace and this will allow me to complete the programme in a much shorter time frame.”
Dermot Cullen - Pramerica and RPL Participant

“The relationship between LYIT and the employers has been mutually beneficial. Employers  and employees are receiving customised training that improves employee skills and ultimately work performance and LYIT are obtaining excellent insight into the workings of industry. These relationships have allowed LYIT to gather substantial research into the whole area of Industry – HE interaction which will ensure we can continuously improve our offerings to employers and learners.”
Oran Doherty - RPL/WBL Facilitator, Letterkenny Institute of Technology

Client: North West Business Community
Institution:
Letterkenny Institute of Technology
Industry: Retailing, Public Sector, ICT, Pharmaceuticals, Manufacturing, Energy, Medical Devices, Financial Services, Food

Head of Development
John Andy Bonar
Letterkenny Institute of Technology
Port Road, Letterkenny
Co. Donegal
Ireland
T: +353 (0)74 918 6060
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Industrial Liaison Manager
Dr. Padraig Gallagher
Letterkenny Institute of Technology
Port Road, Letterkenny
Co. Donegal
Ireland
T: +353 (0)74 918 6062
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

RPL Facilitator
Oran Doherty
Letterkenny Institute of Technology
Port Road, Letterkenny
Co. Donegal
Ireland
T: +353 (0)74 918 6707
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.