REGOGNITION OF PRIOR EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING (RPEL)
You may also substitute skills achieved through experience for your degree studies. These types of skills may have been earned e.g. through nonformal learning (further education, short programs at the workplace, adult education training, etc.) or through informal learning (work practice, positions of trust, learning through free time activities). The focus is not on experience as such but on the knowledge and skills learned through it.
The recognition of skills achieved through experience is based on the learning outcomes of courses and study modules. The skills achieved are compared with the learning outcomes of the courses and/or study modules to be compensated. If the skills and the learning outcomes correspond to each other, then full or partial substitution may be granted. Besides documentation, an additional demonstration of the student’s skills may be required.
Applying for RPEL
Before applying for recognition, discuss it with your study plan supervisor (teacher tutor) and include the course to be transferred in your personal study plan. Apply for RPEL well in advance before the studies begin. In practice, you should apply for all recognitions at the beginning of studies. Apply for RPEL using the appropriate form that can be printed out on the Internet pages of the faculties and Language Centre. Describe at least the following:
· how much and what type of experience you have
· what kinds of skills you have achieved through your experience
· how the skills correspond to the learning outcomes of the courses and study modules to be compensated
· which courses and study modules the skills-based recognition concerns.
To enable assessment of the RPEL, your form must include a sufficient number of attachments, for example diplomas, letters of reference, portfolios, learning diaries, publications and other written reports, or other documented demonstrations of the skills you have achieved. However, the main thing is not to hand in mere documents but to use the documents to present a picture of your skills in relation to the learning outcomes of the studies in question.
Deliver the form and its attachments to the RPL responsible of the faculty or Language Centre. If needed, your faculty and the Language Centre provide further instructions on the documentation and the necessary attachments.
Decision on RPEL
The material on prior learning (the form, portfolio, and other attachments) is handled in a subject/field-specific meeting, in which also the RPL responsible of the faculty or Language Centre is present. Based on the material, a decision is made 1) to grant recognition regarding study modules, courses, or their parts, 2) to require the student to present an additional demonstration of his/her skills, or 3) to reject the application. The additional demonstration may be e.g. an examination, an interview, an oral portfolio presentation, or a written report. Skills may also be demonstrated by taking part in an REPL exam that is arranged on a general examination day or on Language Centre's makeup exam day.
The RPEL exam is applied to find out whether the student already has the skills stated in the learning outcomes of a course (or study module). The exam centres solely on learning outcomes, not on course literature. Taking the exam requires the above-mentioned RPEL procedure and its decision, and thereby permission to demonstrate one’s skills through the exam. The RPEL exam can only be taken once and registration is made according to the normal registration procedure.
The RPEL decision or the decision to require an additional demonstration of prior learning is, as a rule, made within a month from the delivery of the application with the appropriate attachments. Decisions on applications delivered in June or July are normally made by the end of August. The final decision is made within a month from the additional demonstration.
Notification, registering, and storing of RPEL
A partly approved or a rejected RPEL decision and its grounds are delivered to the student as a copy. The decision contains rectification instructions and the decision-makers’ contact information for further inquiries.
An approved or partly approved recognition is registered and stored in the credit record system. The credit record has a statement that the recognition has been made through the RPEL procedure. Recognized courses and study modules are indicated as compensated and graded as pass in the credit record. RPEL is not shown in the actual degree diploma.
RPEL decisions are kept in the faculty and the Language Centre at least until the student’s graduation.
Rectification of a decision
If you do not agree with the RPEL decision, you may request orally or in writing a rectification from the person who made the decision. You must make the rectification request within 14 days from the moment you were informed about the decision. Deliver the request to the head of study affairs. Describe very clearly the part of the decision you are referring to and the grounds for the rectification.
The person who made the decision must provide a decision on the rectification request within one month after it was sent in. The rectification decision must be made in writing.
If you do not agree with the RPEL rectification decision, you may ask for an appeal from the appellate committee of the University of Lapland. You can ask for an appeal within 14 days from being informed about the rectification decision. Deliver the form of appeal to the University Registry. The appellate committee is subject to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the University of Lapland. No appeal may be lodged against the ruling of the appellate committee (Universities Act, Section 84).
The RPEL contact person at the Language Centre:
Study Coordinator Anita Fagerström