Accreditation of prior learning (APL)
The accreditation of prior learning (APL) is a process for accessing and, as appropriate, recognising prior experiential learning or prior certificated learning for academic purposes. This recognition may give the learning a credit value in a credit-based structure and allow it to be counted towards the completion of a programme of study and the award(s) or qualifications associated with it. (QAA: Guidelines on the Accreditation of Prior Learning, September 2004)
APL is an umbrella for two types of learning:
- Accreditation of prior certificated learning (APCL)
This is the process through which previously assessed and certificated learning is considered and, as appropriate, recognised for academic purposes. In the Kingston context, the certificated learning must relate to certificated programmes that are either from another HEI, Edexcel or are recorded on the qualifications and credit framework database (QCF).
- Accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL)
This is the process through which learning achieved outside education or training systems is assessed and, as appropriate, recognised for academic purposes.
Sources of advice
- Academic Quality and Standards Handbook
- Making your learning count – a web guide to APEL for staff and applicants
- SEEC – SEEC is a highly respected authority in the existing and developing field of Credit Accumulation and Transfer (CATS) at higher education levels. SEEC serves as a reference point on credit-based learning, structures and processes in the UK and now in the developing field of European credit.
Its website will guide you through the detail of what it is and what it does, and answers questions such as what credit is, what sort of support and guidance SEEC offer, and the benefits of membership. The website also includes a number of useful reference documents, some of which can be downloaded for free and others which can be ordered for a fee. The University is represented on the APL Group and the Recognising Learning through Work Group. For more information on university representatives, contact Denise Cooper.
- QAA – the website offers a number of useful documents on the use of APL and credit in higher education.