Policy 014: Recognition of Prior Learning


Policy 014: Recognition of Prior Learning

1.1 This Policy outlines ACM’s approach to considering and reviewing applications from prospects for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), in a fair and equitable manner. This includes accredited/ certificated prior learning, and experiential prior learning.

1.2 This policy addresses the transfer of credit at the appropriate FHEQ level from within or outside ACM, the accreditation of other forms of certificated learning, and the accreditation of experiential or work-based learning undertaken by a student prior to the commencement of their ACM programme of study.

1.3 This Policy has been created in line with the academic regulations of ACM’s validating partner, Middlesex University.


2.1 In all cases of Recognition of Prior Learning, responsibility rests with the applicant for making a claim to have acquired knowledge and skill and for supporting the claim with appropriate evidence. However, assistance will normally be given in preparing an application for the accreditation of prior learning.

2.2 The learning derived from experience (i.e. not via an accredited course) must be able to be identified in order to be assessed.

2.3 Prior learning is identified through systematic reflection on experience, the writing of clear statements about what was actually learned and the collection and collation of evidence to support those statements. Evidence of this may include:

  • Published articles or manuscripts;
  • A portfolio of professional work (such as a show reel, records, etc.);
  • Awards and other forms of recognition;
  • References from colleagues, employees, voluntary organisations or professional bodies.

    2.4 Where it is proposed to allow entry with specific credit, the methods of assessment must be such that the judgement made can be overseen by Assessment Boards. Where the prior credit is sufficient to gain entry to Level 6 appropriate External Examiner oversight must be sought either through the awarding organisations Assessment Boards or through the University approval process.

    2.5 The maximum credit that may be awarded towards a qualification on the basis of prior learning is two-thirds of the credit value of the whole qualification, e.g. 240 credits out of a 360-credit Bachelor degree.

    2.6 Prior accredited or experiential learning which is evidenced will be reviewed in line with the learning outcomes and overall requirements of the programme to which the applicant has applied.

2.7 In cases of RPL where the applicant wishes to commence study part-way through a programme (e.g. at Level 5), an initial review of the application will be carried out by ACM, before submitting the application and review information to Middlesex University. In these cases, the final decision on admission will be made by Middlesex University.

2.8 Other factors which may be considered as part of deciding whether to grant specific credit include:

  • The grades by which the prior credits were passed, along with any other detail available from the transcript of study
  • Any academic reference or personal statement accompanying the application to study
  • Any articulation or progression arrangement existing between the institution from which the credit was gained, and the ACM’s partner university for the ACM programme in question

    Applicants must also meet the usual entry requirements for the programme they propose to study.

    2.9 Any applicant wishing to appeal a decision regarding Recognition of Prior Learning should refer to ACM’s Academic Appeals Policy and Procedure.



4.1 This Policy applies to all applicants, and current students wishing to transfer onto another degree programme at ACM.

4.2 This Policy applies to Higher Education applicants to all ACM campuses, applying to study a programme validated by Middlesex University.


  • Admissions Policy;
  • Student Transfer Policy;
  • Academic Appeals.



This Policy is under the responsibility of the Academic Board. The responsible committee will ensure the cyclical review of this Policy is carried out under ACM’s Quality Assurance Framework.
The Academic Board delegates operational responsibility of this Policy to:

  • Admissions Manager;
  • Head of Academic Standards;
  • Registrar.


Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL): ​Recognition of prior learning is an assessment process that involves assessment of an individual’s relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning) to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit.

This has formerly been known as Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) or Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).


Please see the accompanying Procedure document for detailed information.


The Recognition of Prior Learning form can be found in Appendix A. This is also available upon request from the Admissions department (​​).


There is no further supporting information in relation to this Policy.


Version: 2.0

Approved on:
Approved by:
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Download POL_014_Recognition of Prior Learning_21_22.docx

Posted in: Middlesex Policies, Polices