Glossary of Terms
APL the Accreditation of Prior Learning, or RPL the Recognition of Prior Learning, is a process which recognises previous learning for the purposes of claiming credit against an award (such as a Diploma or a Degree) regardless of where or how the learning was achieved. It has two components APCL and APEL.
APEL denotes the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning i.e. learning derived from experience which is uncertificated and not previously assessed. For example, learning from unpaid work or paid work, community activities, leisure pursuits and other informal learning experiences.
APCL denotes the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning which is learning that has been previously assessed in a formal learning environment, e.g. learning arising from academic and professional awards for example Higher National Diplomas, Foundation Degrees, Open University Courses, National Vocational Qualifications, and other courses at an appropriate level.
Certificated learning does not have to be credit-based, and most colleges and universities have a mechanism for gauging the credit value of certificated learning, from the UK or elsewhere.
Assessment Criteria: Descriptions of what the student is expected to do, in order to demonstrate that the learning outcomes have been achieved at the threshold level. As such they have a direct relationship to specific learning outcomes.
Course Credit: Credit awarded for the subject component(s) of the student’s named award i.e. core or designate modules.
Credit: A quantified means of expressing equivalence of learning. Credit is awarded to a student in recognition of the verified achievement of designated learning outcomes at a specified level. Achievement at a standard above the ‘threshold’ for the award of credit can be recognised through the award of marks and grades, but not by the award of a greater volume or higher level of credit than that which is assigned to the module or award.
Credit Level Descriptor: A statement that describes the characteristics of learning demand which the student will encounter at each level.
Credit rating: The process of assigning to a module or award a number of credits at a specified level.
HEI: Higher Education Institute, usually a university.
FE/HE: Further Education/Higher Education.
Learning outcomes: Demonstrate what a student is expected to know, understand or be able to do on completion of a process of learning.
Level: An indicator of relative demand, complexity; depth of learning and learner autonomy. The level defines the relative demands of the learning which will be required of a student undertaking a module/unit.
Qualification Level Descriptor: A statement that describes the characteristics of learning demand which the student will encounter at each level.