Frequently Asked Questions



Who can benefit from RPL?

The process can be beneficial to those who:

  • Have significant informal (experiential) learning and few formal qualifications
  • Are looking to re​train or change their career path
  • Need to continue a course/programme at a different institution
  • Wish to gain recognition for skills gained within work (paid/unpaid) or leisure activities
  • Wish to fast track learning  to ensure it is cost and time effective
  • Want to gain access to academic programmes to continue their professional and social development
  • Require recognition of employer development programmes/employment skills
  • Want recognition of professional practice for professional bodies
  • Have returned from abroad, or are immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers who want to confirm their qualifications obtained in other countries

Is my Learning Suitable for RPL?

There are two types of prior learning which can be recognised, formal and informal.

​Formal Learning (Certified) ​Experiential Learning (Informal)

​This refers to learning for which a certificate has been awarded through an educational institution or other recognised education/training provider.

The certificate would outline the syllabus studied, the results achieved and assessment processes; an example would be GCSEs, NVQs HNCs and HNDs.

​This refers to learning gained through work, voluntary activities or other life experiences.

It is unlikely to be documented and would require the collection of evidence to substantiate the learning claimed; an example could be work related training courses, hobbies.


How do I make an RPL Application?

To apply for Credit Transfer or RPCL, applications should be made either through UCAS at for full time Undergraduate programmes, unless you are currently already studying at Cardiff Metropolitan University, in which case you will need to apply as an internal transfer.  Applications for postgraduate and part time programmes are made through the University's online application system Self Service.

To apply for RPEL, you need to register an interest firstly through the online RPEL Expression of Interest Form.  If advised to make an application, you will need to complete the RPEL Application Form​.

What is a Credit?

A credit is an award made to a learner in recognition of the achievement of designated learning outcomes at a specified level.

Credits enable small achievements to be formally recognised and accumulated tow​a​rds qualifications.  The framework used is the Credit and Qualification Framework for Wales (CQFW)​.  The amount of credit given is based upon an estimation of the amount of learning time it will take and average learner to achieved the specified learning outcomes.  One credit (within CQFW) equates to learning outcomes which are achievable in 10 hours of learning time.​

Credit points are awarded at particular levels relating to years of study e.g. 1, 2, 3 or M (Masters level). 120 credit points at year 1 / level 4 represents the first year of an undergraduate degree.

The level is an indicator of the complexity and depth of the learning required.

What Credit can I be awarded?

Credit Table

Qualification​​Maximum Credit through RPL​Credit through Cardiff Metropolitan University Modules
​Master's Degree​120 credits*60 credits at Level 7​
​PG Diploma60 credits​60 credits at Level 7​
​PG Certificate30 credits​30 credits at Level 7​
​Honours Degree240 credits​120 credits at Level 6​
​Ordinary Degree200 credits​100 credits, of these a minimum of 60 at Level 6​
​Foundation Degree120 credits​120 credits at Level 5​
​Diploma HE120 credits​120 credits at Level 5​
​Certificate HE60 credits​60 credits at Level 4​
​Foundation Certificate60 credits​60 credits at Level 3​
*at least 90 credits with Cardiff Metropolitan University to gain a Merit or Distinction

Will I be charged a fee?

A fee will be charged and given by the RPL Adviser, but it will depend on the amount and type of credit applied for within your application.  The cost covers:

  • Support time to assist with the RPL application
  • Time for an academic to assess the application
  • Administration costs​

A broad indication of cost for a 20 credit module is £300.

There will be an additional charge for further support of £50 per hour if required.

How long does the process take?

Dependant on the credit applied for, the process can take anything from a couple of weeks up to 2 months due to the amount of evidence required.  The time for completion will be agreed with your RPL Adviser at the beginning of the process.

How do I complain about a decision made?

If you are not happy with the service or outcome in relation to your claim, we have a formal complaints procedure. For more information on the formal complaints procedures, please click here.

Is there a deadline for claims?

The deadline is dependant on what you wish to undertake, as the credit needs to have been awarded three weeks before the start of the programme or module.  You will be given a timescale to work towards by your RPL Adviser.

How do I evidence my prior learning?

You will need to provide evidence of qualifications when credit is awarded as well as learning and experience undertaken through work, voluntary activities or other life experiences.

To evidence experiential learning you will need to provide a portfolio reflecting on your experience and the learning outcomes required by the modules.  This will help you identify the skills, knowledge and understanding developed through your experience, and to help you express and qualify your learning in a way which can be assessed for academic credit.  Click here to access the RPL Guidance and RPEL Portfolio template.

Who do I contact if I am an Organisation requiring Credit for my employees training?

If you are an Organisation or Training Agency wishing to acquire credit for your employees based on training and experience gained in the workplace, please contact the Centre for Work Based Learning (CWBL):  For more information on CWBL click here​.