Friday, December 6, 2019

Recognising All Prior Learning Outcomes

Greetings from the Lifelong Learning Conference 2019, at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, where Professor Dr Patrick Werquin from Conservatoire national des arts et m├ętiers (French Tertiary Research and Adult Education Institution) is talking on Recognition of Prior Leaning (RPL). He started  by suggesting the local Singaporeans talk to the Australian in the audience about RPL. I found this surprising, as RPL is a process I assumed would be in common use for vocational education, if not university academic studies, worldwide. 

Professor Werquin argued that human assessors, ideally at least three, were needed for each RPL. He suggested employers would not accept assessment carried out automatically online. I am not so sure this is the case. As an example, airline pilots are assessed, at least in part, based on their performance in a simulator. This allows the assessment of skills which cannot be tested in a real aircraft, as it would be too dangerous and expensive. Similarly, medical professionals are increasingly assessed on simulated patients.

Professor Werquin suggested RPL was a second chance for people who missed out on traditional education. That is one use, but I suggest there are others. As an example, I studied education at university first, and obtained a university qualification, then RPL for VET teaching. Universities are applying a form of RPL with the Higher Educaiton Academy, where applicants present evidence of their knowledge and experience of education, and this is then formally recognized.