Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

We understand that learning comes in different forms — we’re proud to offer study pathways that recognise the value of your previous work, education and life experience.

Recognising learning for credit

Have the experience, skills or knowledge, but not the qualification?

MIT recognises that adult learners come with a wide range of knowledge, skills and experience. We understand that learning in the workplace is just as important in providing a set of valuable skills and experience as learning in the classroom. That’s why we are offering a variety of ways to recognise prior learning.

Recognition of Prior Learning and Skills (RPKS) is the overarching term for assessing and recognising learning to award credit towards a qualification, course or standard at Te Pūkenga. The credit may be from previously credited learning or non-credited learning. Recognising learning and awarding credit is undertaken by evaluating ākonga skills and knowledge in relation to the graduate profile or other learning outcomes of a programme, component of learning, or assessment standard.

Where stated in the Programme Regulations, some programmes may limit the number of credits that may be recognised through RPKS.

There are several ways we recognise your skills and knowledge:

Cross credit (CC) and Credit Transfer (CT)

Recognition of prior formal learning, such as Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) programmes, or credits gained through formal training leading to qualifications in New Zealand.

Recognition of informal prior learning (RPL)

This applies to on-the-job training, skills and experience, learning through community courses, professional development programmes or skills and knowledge gained through voluntary work.

For each process, evidence of prior knowledge is required. See the many ways you can provide evidence below.

Is RPL for me?

Anyone with knowledge and skills gained through informal learning or formal learning can apply for RPL.

The RPL process includes an assessment of your skills and knowledge against the outcomes of the relevant course.

For example, a successful applicant is someone who has a good amount of experience in the area in which they are seeking a qualification and can either provide authentic evidence and/or demonstrate knowledge and skills. This area of knowledge and experience is current and relevant to the course or qualification.

Credits for knowledge and skills are not awarded in every case as industry regulations and standards may apply.


All fees for RPKS fees are to be paid before we can assess your evidence. The following fees apply:

  • Credit transfer is free of charge
  • Cross Credit for qualifications that were not awarded by Te Pūkenga costs $25.00 per credit including GST
  • Cross Credit for qualifications awarded by Te Pukenga business divisions are free of charge. CC fees are capped at $2,000 per 120 credits (equivalent to one year of full-time study)
  • Recognition of Prior Learning costs $36.00 per credit including GST, up to a maximum of 75% of the course fee. RPL fees are capped at $3,000 per 120 credits (equivalent to one year of full-time study)
Cross Credit Recognition and Transfer (CRT)

Cross Credit (also known as Credit recognition) applies when you can provide evidence of your previous formal learning. Experts review applications on a case by case basis.

Credit recognition costs $25.00 per credit, including GST for qualifications not awarded by Te Pūkenga

Credit transfer applies when credits are being transferred from an incomplete programme in another MIT programme or credits from an incomplete programme in another New Zealand institute. An “exact match” is determined.

The maximum number of credits that can be applied for, will be determined by the programme regulations.

Credit transfer is free of charge.

Recognition of informal learning

Recognition of informal learning is where we look at your existing skills and knowledge gained through independent study, informal learning and work experience. Where possible, we will recognise this learning as being equivalent to that taught in a formal education setting. We’ll use this to award credit towards a qualification.

To carry out a fair and reliable assessment for this type of learning you will need to provide evidence to demonstrate the skills and knowledge you have gained. The more evidence you can supply the easier it will be for the expert to award RPL. Before you can apply you will need to gather your evidence together in a portfolio, with your CV to include with the online application.

See below for the list of evidence you can provide.

Once you have gathered together your evidence, make sure you complete section three of the online application form. Include information about your past education, training and experience that is relevant to the programme you are interested in gaining credit for. Where you cannot provide evidence in some programmes, MIT may be able to offer an assessment of your prior learning by means of a challenge assessment.

Assessment of prior learning

In some schools, RPL is governed by the industry requirements and/or regulations. Fees may apply for this specialised assessment.

An RPL application may take longer than usual to process as a content expert will need to look at your evidence. Start gathering your evidence early to save time.

An assessment of prior learning is carried out by one of our content experts to evaluate the evidence you have provided for any skills and/or knowledge to meet the outcomes of a qualification, programme or course. We will then arrange to meet with you to confirm the process and discuss what is required.


A portfolio of evidence will provide the expert with information to make a fair, valid and reliable judgement of your prior learning. Evidence must be current i.e., no more than 5 years old.

Types of evidence you can provide include originals of:

  • Formal awarded qualification
  • Academic transcripts
  • Letters of attestation from verified sources
  • Certificates of attendance
  • Certificates of professional development
  • Learning hours from incomplete courses
  • Curriculum from overseas courses
  • International Qualification Assessment from NZQA
  • Verified translated international document with signature and translator number.

Evidence can be provided for an RPL assessment from one, a combination or from all of the above, presented in a portfolio of evidence.

All hard copies must contain the name and/or logo of the organisation.

Other evidence can be obtained from:

  • Video/audio interviews
  • Professional conversation with an expert

Where required, other evidence sources will be agreed upon during a meeting.

Evidence will be assessed for: validity, level, currency and authenticity. For example, in some industries, evidence 5 years or over is considered outdated. You may be required to complete a project before you can be awarded credits.

RPL costs $36.00 per credit including GST.

International qualification

If you are a New Zealander or have permanent residence and you hold an international qualification you would like to have considered for Credit Recognition, you will need to apply to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority first for an International Qualification Assessment (IQA).

International students also need to apply to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority for an International Qualification Assessment before we can consider your RPL application. Please contact MIT’s International Department if you need more advice for your study pathway.

Please note that NZQA has certain conditions for the IQA as stated on their website.

Once your International Qualification Assessment is completed, we look forward to working with you.

Applying for RPKS

Applying for RPKS is a three-step process:

  1. Indicate your interest in RPKS using the online enrolment process. This will  initiate your MIT student identity
  2. Write to and state the programme for which you are interested in getting credit
  3. Complete the appropriate RPKS application form for the programme you wish to study.

You can apply for RPKS well in advance of starting your studies.

Whenever you choose to apply for RPKS, you will need to complete the MIT online enrolment form and a separate RPKS application form, so we have the details we need to process your results.

You will be subject to MIT’s Ākonga Policy for each year in which you are enrolled, whether you are an enrolled student or an RPKS candidate.

Before applying for RPKS you should consider the following points:

  • Do you think your knowledge and experience and /or your previous related study meet the purpose of the course/s of your study choice?
  • Do you think you can provide authentic and verifiable evidence for your chosen course/s?
  • Do you think you are eligible for RPL, CR, CT or a combination of these?
  • Have you calculated approximately how much the RPKS fees will be? (You could pay course by course or in a lump sum)
  • Are you aware that if your application for RPKS means you will be studying for less than 80% of full-time study, you may no longer be eligible for loans and allowances?

Once you have considered these questions and you know that you want to proceed with your RPKS application, tick the RPL button in the online enrolment form and write to to request an application form tailored to the study you are interested in. Alternatively, download the blank RPKS Application Form template and email it to once you have completed it.

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Find out more

If you have questions about your qualifications or prior skills, or to find out more, contact us today.

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