Skip to main navigation Skip to content


Recognition of prior learning 

QAA Scotland's work on RPL was part of the sector's broader approach to widening participation in higher education in Scotland. RPL can help to  make higher education  more accessible to non-traditional learners, encourage different forms of flexible learning paths and engage a more diverse student body.

Developing a National RPL Framework for Higher Education in Scotland

QAA Scotland worked with the Scottish higher education sector to develop and implement the National Framework for the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

The key purposes of the Framework are to:

  • expand and embed RPL to a much wider extent in the higher education sector within the context of 'flexible learning pathways'
  • raise awareness of and increase transparency of RPL processes for staff and students.
  • reduce inconsistencies in RPL processes between and within HEIs 
  • allow HEIs and other organisations to share and develop practice in RPL in a consistent and sustainable manner.

Find more about the National Framework.


Streamlining Recognition of Prior Learning Guidelines: Support and Assessment (July 2012)

  • These guidelines aimed to support the university sector in Scotland to develop and implement more streamlined, enhanced approaches to Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) support and assessment.

Read the full Streamlining Recognition of Prior Learning Guidelines

Learners' Experiences of the Process of Recognition of Prior Informal Learning (July 2012)

  • The aim of this project was to gather data about the learner experience of undertaking a claim for the recognition of prior informal learning in higher education in Scotland.

Read the full report on the Learners' Experiences of the Process of Recognition of Prior Informal Learning project

Streamlining RPL Processes: facilitating the award of credit for prior informal learning (September 2011)

  • This project was designed to support the development of the Streamlining of Recognition of Prior Learning Guidelines. The report gives more detail about the work that was carried out to scope the structure and content of the Guidelines.

Read the full  report on Streamlining RPL Processes