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The University of Southampton
Health SciencesProfessional development

Credit for Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is concerned with both learning from prior certificated learning (PCL) and prior experiential learning (PEL).

The majority of clinical practitioners have a wealth of experience: many have undertaken short courses that have resulted in learning. Claiming academic recognition for this learning is a process that not only prevents repetition of learning but also values experience.

Prior learning experience
Prior learning experience

“ Nobody knows which direction their life will take, I have learned that no study or learning experience is ever wasted. You may never know when or why a particular module or course will be useful, but during my current educational journey, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) has been invaluable.” (Stuart Verity – Paramedic)


Prior Certificated Learning (PCL) is learning that has previously been assessed in a formal learning environment.  This may be appropriate if a candidate has been awarded credit in another higher education institution. HE level 4, 5, 6 and 7 credit can be gained using this approach through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).


Prior Experiential Learning (PEL) denotes learning derived from experience which is uncertificated and not previously assessed. This may recognise learning through experience whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Capturing learning from different aspects of a candidate's experience may be presented through two different PEL processes: a specific credit claim or through the Experienced Practitioner Route (EPR).  EPR if required, is potentially available to all practitioners with 5 years post qualified experience.

To process a claim or for more information, please contact

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