My first involvement with APEL was in 1990 when I was invited to design a system by which cohorts of experiences practitioners in the disability training sector could achieve a sectoral qualification primarily through recognition of prior certificated and experiential learning. A taught route to the particular qualification was already in operation in partnership between the Adult Education Centre in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth (now National University of Ireland, Maynooth) and the National Rehabilitation Board. The trainers’ qualification was an essential element of quality assurance for the sector with funding support provided by the EU Social Fund. However, it was obvious to the partners that many trainers were already sufficiently competent and experienced to meet the training standard required and that they did not require formal training in that regard. Therefore an APEL Route was devised, operationalised and piloted with twenty-five experienced trainers.





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