Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

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 proud to offer a variety of ways to recognise prior learning.

There are several ways we recognise your skills and knowledge.

Credit Recognition and Transfer is 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 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 learning 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 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.

Fees apply for the assessment of prior learning process (APL).

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 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, apply now. Make sure you complete section three of the application form including your past education, training and experience. Upload your documents in section five and where you cannot provide evidence in some programmes we can offer an assessment of prior learning.

Assessment of 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. Start gathering your evidence early to save time and to ensure a spot in the enrolment period that suits your needs.

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.


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 industries, evidence 5 years or over is considered outdated. A project may be required to award credits.


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

Once NZQA has recognised your qualification, contact our MIT International who can advise you of a study pathway.

Find out more

If you have questions about your qualifications or prior skills, or to find out more, contact us today at 0800 62 62 52 or email