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Education Pathways

What is RPL?

RPL stands for Recognition of Prior Learning. 

What this means is that anyone wishing to progress their education to the next level can do so, even if they don’t have a university exemption. Or, if they have work experience in the sport and fitness industry but no formal qualification, their learning can be recognised, and credits awarded. 

RPL opens a whole new world of opportunity for many who thought that further learning was not possible. It means that everyone has access to lifelong learning, and no-one is barred from higher education. 

To explain the process, let’s look at our three categories of RPL: 
Click to expand the RPL infographic

Category 1

Recognition of relevant informal learning at work, allowing access to assessment for the achievement of a full occupational qualification.

Occupational qualifications are recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and are registered at different levels on the Occupational Qualifications Sub Framework (OQSF). eta offers qualifications at level 4 and 5.

Category 2

Recognition of prior formal learning, enabling exemption from credits already achieved in similar subjects in a new learning programme.

Category 3

Recognition of any prior learning that may enable access to education programmes at a higher education level than would have been previously allowed. 

This kind of RPL can apply to qualifications on the OQSF and the Higher Education qualifications Framework (HEQSF).  eta qualifications include Higher Certificates at level 5, Advanced Certificates and Diplomas at level 6 and degrees at level 7.

Category 1:

Recognition of industry experience and informal learning

If you do not hold a formal qualification but you have valuable work experience, it is possible for your knowledge and skills to be recognised. In certain cases, your knowledge and skills can be assessed for the achievement of a whole qualification. 

These qualifications are: 

  • National Certificate in Sport Management (120 credits at NQF level 5) 
  • National Certificate in Coaching Science (120 credits at NQF level 5) 
  • National Certificate in Fitness (Personal Trainer) (137 credits at NQF level 5) 
  • National Diploma Coaching Science (236 credits at NQF level 5)
  • National Diploma Fitness (120 credits at NQF level 5)

To see if you are eligible, please select your qualification and then complete our RPL checklist and submit for evaluation. Our course specialists will evaluate your application and will then get back to you on your next step in your RPL journey.

Category 2:

Recognition of prior formal learning for exemption

This is also known as credit accumulation and transfer (CAT). If you have prior formal learning in the form of credit-bearing modules or a previously completed programme, it is possible for this learning to be recognised and for you to be exempt from learning credits that you already have. You can use this to gain access to a higher-level programme or to complete a higher education qualification. 

You will need to provide proof of your prior learning in the form of an official transcript of results with a breakdown of the modules and credits already achieved, so we can evaluate what credits you have and at what NQF level. If your credits can be transferred, then you can be exempt from repeating the same credits, enabling you to go on to complete your studies at a higher level. 

Important: Exemption of credits for a programme cannot exceed 50% of its total credits. For example, to complete a diploma or degree of three years, you would need to complete at least 18 months of studies for your new qualification.

To find out more, please chat to us online or contact us on any of our numbers.

Category 3:

Recognition of prior formal learning for access to a higher qualification

This process is specifically designed for those students who have not been able to meet the minimum requirements for access to a programme e.g., a 50% NSC pass to access a degree. 

Even though it may require some time and input on your part, the assessment process for this category could enable you to gain access into the higher-level qualification that you desire.

Contact the campus where you wish to study, and we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to complete the process before booking your final assessments and interview with us. 

If you are still unsure about your programme choices and the associated careers that you may gain access to once successfully completing your qualifications, we advise you that you speak to your student advisor before continuing with this process. This could be in the forms of a consultation around your career needs and expectations with an eta student advisor. 

To find out more, please chat to us online or contact us on any of our numbers.

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