Recognition of Prior Learning, RPL
Do you already have acquired skills prior to becoming a student that align with the goals and level of the degree you are studying? Or are you currently employed, engaged in other studies, or participating in extracurricular activities that enhance your competence in line with the goals of the degree?
Recognition of prior learning (RPL) means recognising and accrediting the competences acquired elsewhere and prior to your studies. The idea is that you do not have to study something that you already know and your competence will be accredited as part of your degree.
RPL may cover entire modules or some parts of modules. Competences may have been acquired in other universities, at work or in hobbies. It does not matter where the skills have been learned as long as they can be recognised and accredited as part of your degree.
If you wish to have your prior learning recognised, you can start the RPL process. Discuss your prior competence with your student counsellor and learn about the learning outcomes of your degree before applying for RPL.
As a student, you play an active role in the RPL process. First, you should recognise your own competences, describe them and compare them with the learning outcomes of your degree. Then you should demonstrate your competence with documentation or by skills demonstrations.
What is recognition of prior learning?
Accreditation means that you will gain credits by documenting your competence and doing skills demonstrations that will be assessed. You can start the RPL process whenever during your studies. Remember to bring it up when you recognise a new competence acquired from e.g. work experience during your study time.
RPL and Pakki – student desktop
HAMK students use Pakki for the RPL process. You may start the RPL process by sending a module-related comment to your tutor teacher or student counsellor via your PSP or booking an appointment for a development discussion with your student counsellor. If the discussion leads to an agreement that you should apply for RPL, go to Pakki and fill in the RPL application. Remember to add the required attachments to the application. Please note that cross-institutional course completions can be transfered via the link found in Pakki.
RPL instructions (videos and pdf)
Pakki instructions: Credit transfer of exchange studies
- Credit transfer of prior higher education studies
In this video tutorial, you will learn how to apply for the recognition and accreditation of your prior studies.
- Work experience to credits
In this video tutorial, you will learn how to apply for the recognition and accreditation of your prior work experience.
N.B. Consult your student counsellor before applying because work placement is usually a part of normal studying and does not require filling in any applications.
- RPL for non-academic competence (e.g. Scout training)
In this video tutorial, you will learn how to apply for the recognition of prior learning in Scout training or in some other non-academic activities.
- Exemption from language studies (video to be published later)
This video tutorial explains how to apply for an exemption from language studies.
RPL – credit transfer of prior higher education studies
- discuss with your student counsellor / teacher tutor about the credit transfer
- fill in an RPL application in Pakki and attach the necessary certificates (e.g. copy of your degree certificate or an official Transcript of Records)
- you will receive a notification once a decision has been made and the credits have been added to your record.
RPL – skills demonstration
- discuss about the skills demonstration with the teacher who will assess your skills demonstration
- fill in an RPL application in Pakki
- demonstrate your skills according to the skills demonstration plan
- the teacher gives the grade based on the skills demonstration.
RPL – exemption from compulsory language studies
- you may apply for exemption of compulsory language studies (Swedish or English) if you have never studied the language in primary or secondary school, high school or in Vocational Upper Secondary Education and Training. Also, if you have studied the language, but the knowledge is still so poor that you cannot achieve the goals HAMK has set for languages, you may apply for an exemption.
- fill in an RPL application in Pakki
- you will receive a notification once a decision has been made and the exemption has been added to your record.
Filing an appeal
Filing an appeal from the decision of credit transfer, exemption of mandatory language studies or assessment of skills demonstration
Students dissatisfied with the decision for credit transfer, exemption of mandatory language studies or assessment of skills demonstration may request a reassessment. In case of credit transfer or exemption, the student will request the reassessment from the decision maker or the teacher who graded the skills demonstration. The reassessment request must be made, in written or spoken form, within 14 days of receiving information about the decision. Such requests may be made orally or in writing within 14 days of being informed of the decision. The student is considered to have received the decision or the grade one day after its entry into Pakki.
The staff deals with the requests without delay. A student not satisfied with the decision maker’s reply may appeal to HAMK’s Board of Examiners. A written appeal must be made within 14 days of being informed of the decision maker’s reply concerning the reassessment request.
Appeals should be sent to tutkintolautakunta(at)hamk.fi via email or in letter form to the Board of Examiners, Registry Office, P.O. Box 230 (Visamäentie 35 A), 13101 Hämeenlinna. An appeal is deemed to have been received on time when the registered date of receipt is within 14 days of the decision maker’s reply.
A written appeal must indicate at least the student’s demands, including reasons, competence name or module name and code, the student’s name, degree programme and contact details required to deal with the issue.
The Board of Examiners will deal with appeals without delay. Board members may not participate in dealing with appeals concerning the decisions they have made or the grades that they have given. The Board of Examiners will base its decisions on statutes, HAMK’s Guidelines, the degree’s description of competence and the assessment documentation at issue. The board will provide the persons in question with the meeting minutes that contain the decision on the appeal. Decisions made by the Board are final.