Accreditation of prior learning
The Accreditation of Prior Learning process allows for the formal recognition of prior learning.
The recognition of prior learning involves the exercise of professional judgement on the part of academic staff to establish that a substantial element of learning has taken place prior to the candidate's admission to a programme. This recognition, when formally agreed and ratified, will lead to the award of credit and allow the credit value gained to be counted towards the completion of a University programme of study and associated award(s).
The Accreditation of Prior Learning policy, endorsed by the Taught Student Education Board (TSEB) on 3 May 2017, encompasses Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL), Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) and Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL), as outlined in the definitions below.
Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) - previously assessed and certificated learning through an education provider is recognised for academic purposes, in adherence with the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) (also referred to as Credit Transfer in some contexts).
Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (ACPL) - the assignment of credit for learning (such as professional development or employment-based awards) that has already been prescribed and recognised by an organisation deemed appropriate to offer awards but that has not led to the award of credit or that is not positioned within the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ).
Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) - experiential learning outside formal education or training is considered and, where appropriate, is recognised for academic purposes.
Guidance and forms
Faculties/schools should provide guidance and support to students who may wish to apply for APL, including information on acceptable evidence, the volume of material required and the proof of authenticity. Guidance for faculties/schools and guidance for applicants are available on how to process/apply for APL.
Applicants are required to complete the Accreditation of Prior Learning application form and submit this to the relevant faculty/school with appropriate evidence for consideration.
For undergraduate studies, applicants seeking accreditation of prior learning should apply in the normal way via UCAS. UCAS instruct applicants wishing to be considered for entry other than to level 0 or 1 to first contact the institution. However, as not all applicants do so, care should be taken not to make an offer where the applicant has completed the point of entry as 2 or 3 on the UCAS form before permission is granted by your School Taught Student Education Committee (SLTC) or sub-group thereof.
Upon approval, the faculty/school is required to complete the correct APL form depending on the level and type of APL.
For undergraduate applicants please retain the original for your department records and provide a scanned copy via email to the Taught Admissions team’s UG Enquiry inbox.
For taught postgraduate applicants, please refer to the Advanced Standing CRM guide in the CRM user guides section.
Accreditation of Experiential Learning proforma (long form) - for undergraduate APL or postgraduate APEL
Accreditation of Prior Learning proforma (short form) - for postgraduate APL
All accreditation must be reported to your School Taught Student Education Committee (STSEC).
Any accreditation over 60 credits must be approved by the Taught Student Education Board (TSEB).
It is possible to view the APLs in Banner for registered students using the report SWRPRSL.
Institutional articulation agreements
Please refer to the University Register of Approved Collaborative Provision for current articulation agreements, where applicants are granted advanced standing.
The Accreditation of Prior Learning policy does not encompass direct entry arrangements, as these are subject to collaborative provision approval processes.