RPL @ The Water Academy

Photo of Noma sorting RPL files

Nomawethu our RPL admin support checking the first submissions of evidence and capturing the data.

In 2015 LGSETA appointed PiCompany to conduct a year long RPL Advisors course for persons in the Water Sector. Marius Pretorius from The Water Academy was selected to do this training and out of 60 candidates was one of the few who qualified. Marius is now the RPL advisor for The Water Academy. RPL is included in South Africa’s National Qualifications Framework (NQF) as a strategic redress principle and is upheld in legislation as a step in Further and Higher Education qualifications. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is defined in the National Standards Bodies Regulations as follows: “Recognition of prior learning means the comparison of the previous learning and experience of a learner howsoever obtained against the learning outcomes required for a specified qualification, and the acceptance for purposes of qualification of that which meets the requirements.”

In February this year large boxes of files were loaded into vehicles and trained TWA staff took to the road to kickstart the brand new RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) project. Our RPL facilitators drove thousands of kilometres across the Western, Northern and Eastern Cape meeting candidates, explaining the RPL process and delivering the evidence files. RPL takes account of previous learning and experience. It involves measuring and assessing that learning and experience against the outcomes for a particular qualification, in our case, in the water services sector. Candidates meeting the requirements are awarded the qualification. The process requires collection of quality evidence and proof of requirements for the specific qualification.

This evidence is then assessed by TWA’s qualified RPL practitioner and assessor. Candidates who meet the selection criteria are then guided and assisted in how they will be assessed. TWA assessors then assess candidates at their place of work and once completed the assessments are moderated and quality assured by external verifiers from EWSETA. The RPL process is designed to recognise knowledge and practical expertise gained outside of formal education and training. It increases access to qualifications and eliminates the duplication of learning. The Water Academy is approaching the final assessment phase of this new and exciting project. RPL is a challenging field with rigorous processes but offers infinite rewards and benefits to both individuals and their workplace as it is an opportunity to recognise and reward skills development without losing precious work time.