RPL process of Assessment 2021 (click to download)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) means the principles and processes through which the prior knowledge and skills of a person are made visible, mediated and assessed for the purposes of alternative access and admission, recognition and certification, or further learning and development” – SAQA

What is RPL Process?

The process of Recognition of Prior Learning, is the comparison of the previous learning and experience of a person against the  at the relevant level, however obtained whether via formal or informal learning, against the skills required for a specified part qualification or qualification and the recognition of that competency for purposes of certification. (See the current EQASA syllabus).

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process for obtaining credit in the required modules for a qualification or part qualifications assessed by EQASA.

Why apply for RPL?

RPL provides:

. recognition of skills and knowledge gained.

. for all experienced persons in the equine and equestrian industry to obtain a qualification or part qualification in their specialist discipline or field of practice. E.g. instructors/trainers/teacher/coaches/riding masters; professional grooms; equestrian tourism providers etc.

What will be assessed?

Learning will be assessed – what you know and what you can do. RPL is based on the belief that adults acquire knowledge and skills through experience. The quality (standard or level) of the learning and the quantity of experience (years of experience) is important.

Learning will be assessed to establish whether the RPL candidates have:

foundational competence – that is, their understanding of what they are doing and why they are doing it

practical competence – their ability to perform a set of tasks

reflexive competence – their ability to integrate and connect their knowledge and skills so that they learn from their   actions and are able to adapt to changes and unforeseen circumstances

applied competence – how they demonstrate the application of their knowledge and skills

At what level should the learning be?

At the level of the modules of a part-qualification/qualification for which you are applying for credit.

Who can apply for RPL?

. adults who we recommend have at least ten years of verifiable experience that is current; and

. who have acquired skills and knowledge through one or some of the following:

. formal study

. work experience

. informal study for recreational or personal interest

. company-based training

. industry-based training

. working with experts in the field

. life experience

. who comply with the admission criteria for the programme

What are admission criteria?

These are Minimum requirements:

1.  Maturity – candidate should be above 40 years of age

2. Industry experience – candidate must have been in the equine industry for 20 years, at least 10 years of which must be current.

3. Competed at the required level being 1.10m for Show Jumping and Elementary level for Dressage.

4. Coached at the required level (see syllabus requirements)

How does EQASA grant credit for RPL?

Credit is granted when the candidate’s knowledge and skills match the learning outcomes for the specified modules.

Once you have been accepted as an RPL candidate, you will either do a challenge examination and/or be asked to compile a portfolio of evidence to support your application. EQASA assessors will decide whether you will write a challenge examination or a portfolio, according to general assessment criteria and the nature of the specific module. A panel of respected, qualified assessors will assess your evidence and will recommend or decline credit. Credits obtained through RPL are recorded on your transcript of results.

What if credit is declined?

If a candidate is unsuccessful and does not receive the credits for which he or she applied, he or she may enroll for the modular examinations.

For how long will credits be acknowledged?

Credits awarded will be acknowledged for five years after accredita­tion and are renewable on application at no cost.

What is a challenge examination?

Some subjects are best assessed through a formal examination. Formal examinations for RPL are called challenge examinations. The challenge examination might take different forms, for example an oral examination, a skills demonstration or a written examination.

Challenge examinations/assessments will be for selected modules or part qualifications only.

What is the difference between a challenge examination and an ordinary examination?

An ordinary examination is one in which you have enrolled for a specific module, because you wish to acquire that specific knowledge, you have studied a prescribed textbook and you have been internally assessed on your knowledge of the prescribed learning material.

A challenge examination is compiled for an individual who claims to have all the knowledge for a specific module and who is assessed on existing knowledge. You will be assessed whether you have the necessary knowledge as described in the assessment specifications for the specific module. No reference is made to specific textbook content.

What is a portfolio of evidence?

A portfolio is a folder of information that an RPL candidate accumulates about what he or she has learned through past experiences and accomplishments. Normally, a portfolio contains descriptions of learning with supporting documentation as evidence to verify learning claimed. A portfolio is not only a product in the form of an information folder, but is also a process by which prior learning experiences can be translated into educational outcomes, and documented and assessed for credit.

How long does it take to compile a portfolio?

Most portfolios can be completed in approximately four weeks.

An RPL candidate has six months after he or she registers and pays the fee to submit his or her portfolio.

When will the portfolio be assessed?

Portfolios can be submitted throughout the year and will be assessed in the shortest possible time.

What assistance is available to RPL candidates?

EQASA will assist all RPL candidates throughout the process. Assistance will be through different channels, namely individual face-to-face appointments, telephonic contact, e-mail and the postal service.

What is the application process for RPL?

(1) A prospective candidate submits a CV to EQASA, and if necessary, he or she will have an interview with the Managing Director to assess whether he or she is a candidate. In the case of RPL instructor/coach applicants, the CV must include detailed information on the competition disciplines; achievements of the applicant and instruction levels and achievement of pupils.

(2) Candidates download the RPL application form.

(3) The candidate views the relevant subjects listed in the EQASA syllabus and decides from which modules they believes they could, on the basis of their experience, be granted credits.

(4) Candidates complete the RPL application indicating the modules for which RPL is being applied and return it to EQASA with payment of the fee in full.

(5) If assessment of modules claimed is through a portfolio of evidence (POE), the candidate completes the portfolio and submits it.

(6) Application is reviewed by the RPL panel and the Managing Director gives feedback to the applicant – this will take from three to four weeks.

(7) If assessment is by means of a challenge examination, the candidate receives notice of the date of examination/on site assessment.

(8) The RPL panel assesses the POE and/or challenge examination and awards or declines credit.

(9) The results are sent out by the CEO.

What will RPL cost?

The cost includes the EQASA once-off registration fee and is provided on application but is approximately one-third of the price of the prescribed modules plus an assessment fee for the POE:

Please consult the “Prices” for the full fee payable. The payment may be split over three months.

For RPL information

All enquiries relating to the RPL process or assistance needed should be addressed directly to the Managing Director. 

Requirements for Registration

Phase One

When applying for an evaluation for admission to RPL, the following documents must be submitted together to the Managing Director:

(1) RPL application for admission a): application form; b): extended CV; c): credit claim

It is the candidate’s responsibility to make sure that he or she complies with the general admission criteria.

Prospective candidates for RPL have to apply for it. To assess the eligibility of a prospective candidate for assessment, we need enough information to make a decision. This is a crucial step in the process because candidates are not always within reach for personal interviews. The preliminary application therefore has different sections:

  • Registration:
  • Application Form: completed
  • Extended CV: The extended information should give an outline of your knowledge, skills and competencies.
  • Credit Claim: is a provisional credit claim form for the required subject knowledge and elective disciplines. If you are unsure of which credits to claim, EQASA will assist you on review of your application.

Phase Two

On approval of your application, you will be advised of the applicable RPL fee and whether your assessment will take the form of an Evidence exam; Portfolio of Evidence, or both.

These in all likelihood will be in the following areas:

a) Written RPL theory paper (which may include any part of the syllabus relating to Modules 1-5).

b) An individual flatwork lesson

c) A group jumping lesson.

Once you have been advised that your application to undertake the RPL assessment is successful, you will need to fulfil any additional requirements for that particular module or level.The required documents below are to be uploaded onto your profile on the EQASA website.

  • a Police Clearance certificate 
  • a School leavers’ certificate or equivalent.
  • a Level One First Aid certificate (less than 3 years oldt
A RPL national selected committee of respected, qualified individuals will consider the merits of the RPL application and their decision WILL BE FINAL.