Recognition of Prior Learning

What is RPL?

There are two types of RPL:

  1. RPL for entry onto a relative QQI programme, each QQI programme has specific entry requirements, if you do not meet these requirements you may apply for entry based on relative experience. Please contact the college for further details on this.
  2. RPL is also the process of determining, from previous certified learning, if learners are eligible for a module exemption relative to a component covered on their QQI programme. This process applies to non QQI/NCVA/FETAC awards only.

For further information on the exemption process from NCVA/FETAC awards please see link below:


RPL for exemption – Who is this for?

Learners who are currently in the process of completing a QQI major award programme and wish to be exempt from completing a module(s) of a course whose content has already been covered by an existing qualification. This facility is provided to learners of The Open College only.



As some learners already have degrees, diplomas or certificates in areas related to their programme of study, it is possible to apply for an exemption from module(s) of a course whose content has already been covered by existing qualifications. It is not possible to obtain exemptions on the basis of work experience only.

A specific module exemption may be awarded where you have covered the relative learning objectives through previous certified learning. This type of exemption exempts you from the requirement to take a specific module.

Before applying for a specific module exemption please check the module syllabus linked to your relative QQI programme which can be viewed on The Open College website.



Anyone who is seeking an exemption based on recognition of prior learning will need to supply the following information:

  1. Completed QQI RPL Form to include details of previous certified learning. Please click here to download a PDF copy.
  2. Relevant certificates (specifically linked to an awarding body) to include transcript of academic results – awards which have been issued from foreign countries will need to be transcribed onto the Irish Framework of Qualifications before applications can be considered.
  3. Programme details relating to the previous certified learning – it is essential to establish that learners have already covered the learning objectives set down in the QQI module descriptors.


It is important to note that RPL applications are approved on the basis that the learner has already covered the learning objectives through their previous programmes of study, the only way this can be determined is if you can provide evidence of same and then we can work to link up these learning objectives.


Exemption & Fees

There is an initial fee of €40.00 charged to process this request. If approved, course fees will not be reduced. However students will be exempt from completing modules on the specific course.



Copies of any certificates, courses, or any other information which you feel might aid the assessment of your request must be submitted with this application by post.

RPL requests through QQI can take approximately 6-8 weeks.


To continue please complete the below online form ensuring you upload all the required documentation as noted above.


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