Recognition of Prior Learning - Process Overview

What do I need to gain access into South African Higher Education?

In order to gain entry into a registered higher education qualification, a candidate is required to meet certain access requirements. Access is defined as (NQFpedia; 2014): “the opportunity to pursue education and training, including relevant qualifications and part-qualifications, for all prospective learners.” For most entry-level higher education qualifications, a National Senior Certificate is required for access into the Higher Certificate (HCer), the Diploma (Dip), and the Bachelor’s Degree (BDeg) with appropriate subject combinations and levels of achievement (CHE; 2013).


What if I do not meet the minimum requirements for traditional access into South African Higher Education?

In this instance, we focus on one of these pathways which is the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), which SAQA (2013) terms as: “the principles and processes through which the prior knowledge and skills of a person are made visible, mediated and assessed for the purpose of alternative access and admission, recognition and certification, or further learning and development.” The CHE (2013) continue with supporting this by noting that “institutions may recognize other forms of prior learning is equivalent to the prescribed minimum admission requirements and may recognize other forms of prior learning for entry to or granting advanced standing in given programs” ... ”In all cases, the admitting institution must be satisfied that the applicant has the necessary competence.” This process has been designed to be in line with the legislative requirements of the DHET, SAQA as well as CHE.


How can CEApp together with higher education make this possible?

CEApp has worked hand-in-hand with higher education providers, policymakers, and governmental stakeholders to make RPL for Access accessible, policy orientated, and equitable. This we have collectively achieved through combining best-practice tools available to us in the Psychometric field and educational policies.

Since the college needs to prove that the candidate "has the necessary competence",  we have designed a fully online driven solution to make this possible. The candidate is required to complete various assessments in order for the higher education institution to acquire adequate information to ensure that the candidate has achieved the necessary competence or if the candidate needs to seek additional competence before being granted access.

It must be noted that the candidate should satisfy all the conditions of the RPL for Access process and that even if they meet the conditions, access is not automatically granted to the higher education institution.


What are the minimum requirements to be an RPL for Access Candidate?

  1. You are of school leaving age or higher
  2. You are a South African Citizen OR are an International applicant and you have received feedback from SAQA or the educational institution that you have not met the minimum requirements for access into the course/qualification that I wish to apply at.
  3. You are currently not in school or part of a registered higher education qualification.
  4. Where you do not have matric or equivalent, you are not at an age or position to complete matric first/ anymore.

What do I need to have to complete this process?

  1. A digital copy of your ID Document/Passport – (In Pdf format)
  2. A copy of your latest schooling/educational certificate(s) and/or your equivalence certificates from SAQA (equivalence certificate is for international students only) – (In Pdf format)
  3. This process will require you to provide evidence of your skills or learning, be that through a job, project, extra-curricular activities, etc.  You have evidence of these in the forms of reference letters, informal certificates, work samples, photos, videos, sound clips, and/or motivational letters
  4. You have access to an internet-connected device like a computer in order to complete the application process. If not, you can go to the educational institution and make use of one of their computers to complete this process
  5. You have funding for this course (e.g. self-payment, sponsor, an employer who pays)
  6. You can afford the fee for this RPL Access/ Alternative Access process
  7. You are able and interested in attending information sessions regarding this process at the educational institution
  8. You can complete the final assessments on a computer with a stable internet connection, without any assistance from anyone, and in an environment that is free from distraction