Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Have the experience, but not the qualification?

MIT recognises that adult learners come with a range of knowledge, skills and experience. We understand that learning in the workplace is just as important in providing a set of rich skills and experience as learning in the classroom, which is why we are proud to offer a variety of ways to recognise prior learning.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a broad term used to describe a number of ways we can identify and reward your prior knowledge, on-the-job skills, experience and qualifications.

How does RPL work?

RPL values all the different kinds of learning that people have gained - at school, at work and in the community.

There are two ways we recognise your skills and knowledge.

  • Credit Recognition and Transfer is recognition of prior formal learning, such as STAR programmes or through a formal training leading to qualifications in New Zealand.
  • Recognition of Informal Prior Learning applies to non-formal learning, such as on-the-job training, skills and experience, learning through community courses or professional development programmes.

Is RPL for me?

Anyone with knowledge and skills gained through informal learning or formal learning can apply for RPL. However, credit for their knowledge and skills may not be awarded in every case.

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

Fees apply for the assessment of RPL.

For example, a typical successful applicant is someone who has a considerable 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 experience is current and relevant to the course or qualification.

International students will need to go through to NZQA first for an International Qualification Assessment. Once NZQA has recognised your qualification we look forward to hearing from you.

Credit Recognition and Transfer

Credit recognition applies when you can provide evidence of your previous formal learning. Experts review applications on a case by case basis.

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.

Recognition of Informal Prior Learning

At MIT we acknowledge learning from sources other than that gain from formal qualifications. Recognition of informal learning is where we look at your existing skills and knowledge gained through independent study, informal learning and work experience, and where possible, recognise this learning as being equivalent to that taught in a formal education setting for the purposes of awarding credit toward a qualification.

So that the expert can 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 click on the “Apply Now” button. Make sure you fill in the detail for past education and training and past experience. Where you cannot provide evidence in some practice areas we can offer an assessment for prior learning.

In some practice areas RPL is governed by the Industry Requirements and/or regulations. Fees 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, so start gathering your evidence and apply early to ensure a spot in the enrolment period that suits your needs.

Assessment of Prior Learning

An assessment of prior learning is carried out by one of our content experts to evaluate the evidence you have provided for any skill and/or knowledge to meet the outcomes of a qualification, programme or course.

The expert will look at workplace experience as well as the evidence you can supply from a range of sources. In some practice areas industry requirements apply.


A portfolio of evidence will provide the expert with information to make a fair, valid and reliable judgement of your prior learning.

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 a RPL 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
  • Other sources to be agreed upon during meeting.

Evidence will be assessed for: validity, level, currency and authenticity. For example, in some disciplines, currency of evidence will apply, whereby if the evidence is outdated (usually 5 years or where a programme has significantly changed) a project and/or components of programmes may be required to award credits.

Find out more

To find out more, contact us today at 0800 62 62 52 or email