A Review of Irish Projects on the Sustainability of Recognition of Prior Learning Initiatives

Katherine Collins, Dublin Institute of Technology

Document Type Conference Paper

Paper presented at the 6th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning Conference (RWL6), Roskilde University, Denmark, 28 June-1 July 2009


One increasingly popular area of research in the workplace is the concept of the recognition of prior learning (RPL). RPL can be defined as the recognition of learning that has taken place, but has not necessarily been assessed or measured and which may have been acquired through formal, non-formal and informal routes. In this paper I will attempt to use the European concept of Valorisation as a means to examine four RPL projects that were undertaken in Ireland in recent years between higher education institutes and workforce sectors. This analysis was done by way of desk research and interviews with key stakeholders within each project. It was discovered that despite primarily positive participant reviews of the RPL process, the aspects of value, sustainability, visibility and policy are still lacking. The most promising added value of RPL was in the potential of its impact and transferability, which are areas that should be researched further when focusing on education and training between the workplace and higher education institutes.