Advising for Recognition of Prior Learning


RPL Process Flow Chart

At RRC Polytech, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process that identifies, documents, assesses and recognizes formal study, and informal and non-formal learning gained through work and life experience.

RRC Polytech evaluates and grants credit for qualifying previous learning that is equivalent to learning outcomes in College courses and programs.

Recognized prior learning will be applied toward the requirements of College programs.

College faculty are the subject matter experts/assessors who assess the learning and award course credits. The College RPL Advisor and/or Program RPL advisors assist individuals throughout the RPL process.

Accessing RPL

Contacting the RPL Advisor and attending a RPL orientation session are the first steps in the RPL process.

See the forms and fees ›

RPL Orientation Sessions

Our orientations will introduce you to the concept of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and the ways prior learning is recognized at RRC Polytech. Orientations are held monthly from September through June and individuals will have an opportunity to attend the orientation on campus or online. Search for the ‘Recognition of Prior Learning Orientation’ event at the following link:

See upcoming RPL orientations ›


Recognition of relevant learning, equivalent to that required in College courses and programs ensures that students do not have to relearn what they already know and can do. Benefits include:

  • encourages pursuit of formal education
  • eliminates duplication of learning
  • increases access
  • may reduce the cost of a College education
  • may shorten the time to complete a College program
  • increases self-esteem and self-confidence
  • validates learning gained through work and life experience
  • identifies program areas requiring further study
  • assists with career development and educational planning

Who should apply for RPL?

RPL is for adult learners who have previous formal learning and/or significant work and life learning that may be equivalent to college courses/programs. Credit is awarded for the learning that has come from these experiences.

The learning should be current, relevant to the RRC Polytech course/program outcomes and of sufficient breadth and depth to ensure college level learning.

National Advanced Placement and Prior Learning (N-APPL)

RRC Polytech has a partnership with the National Advanced Placement & Prior Learning (N-APPL) process. Canadian Armed Forces veterans may be eligible for recognition of prior learning through the N-APPL process. The N-APPL process evaluates and recognizes the skills and expertise of former and current serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Connect with a RPL Advisor for more information. Simply fill out our online intake form and we will contact you within three business days.


RRC Polytech uses four approaches to assess prior learning:

1. Assessment of Educational Documents for Transfer Credit

Formal courses previously completed through recognized post-secondary institutions may be equivalent to courses in your program of study at RRC Polytech. Transfer of credit decisions are made by the Chair or Program Manager.

2. Challenge Process

A challenge process measures learning through a variety of assessment methods such as exams, projects, assignments, skill demonstrations, evidence collection, interviews and product assessments.

3. Portfolio Assessment

A portfolio is a detailed document which you develop to prove that the learning acquired through work and life experience is equivalent to the learning resulting from a college course(s). Assistance and resources for portfolio development are provided by the RPL Advisor, and/or program faculty.

4. External Course/Program Assessment

RRC Polytech has a formal process to evaluate courses or programs offered through business, industry, community and other organizations to determine whether they are equivalent to the learning required for college course(s).

More detailed information on RPL policies, procedures and assessment methods is available from the RPL Advisor or the specific program area. Please note that fees apply to each assessment method.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does RPL give credit for experience?

No, college credit is not awarded for experience. RPL credit is awarded for the learning (i.e. what a student knows and can do in relation to course/program outcomes) gained from work and life experiences or formal study. Prior learning is any learning that a student has acquired from formal education, work and/or volunteer experience, personal study and any other life activities (i.e. hobbies, travel, training programs, community life, etc.) that resulted in knowledge and skills.

Students may have acquired learning which may be equivalent to the knowledge, skills and abilities expected from College courses/programs. Experience by itself is not necessarily evidence of learning or of learning that is equivalent to that required in College courses. RPL processes provide students with the opportunity to prove prior learning for the course/program outcomes.

How many course credits can be awarded through RPL processes?

It is possible to achieve a maximum of 75% credit in a program through the RPL processes. In most cases, the remaining (i.e. 25%) must be earned in actual studies through RRC Polytech. The number of credits awarded depends upon the nature and extent of the student’s learning, how well it matches the learning requirements for courses in a RRC Polytech program and if the learning is successfully demonstrated. Further detail is outlined in the RRC Polytech Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy A14.

How will RPL credit appear on a transcript?

Once a student has achieved RPL course credits, the results are recorded on the student’s academic record and an official College transcript may be requested. As noted in RPL Policy A14, the College records successful RPL on transcripts in the same way in which grades are normally transcribed in a course. Where this is not appropriate, the designation “CR” (credit) will be used.

Transfer of credit from recognized educational institutions will follow RRC Polytech RPL Policy A15 – Transfers between RRC Polytech programs and RPL Policy A16 – Transfers of Credits to RRC Polytech from Other Post- Secondary Institutions. Unsuccessful RPL will be recorded as “No Credit” (NC) on the student’s academic record. Program faculty complete the “Results of Portfolio and/or Challenge Process Assessments” form and notify the student of both successful and unsuccessful RPL.

Is there a RPL appeal process?

An appeal for a RPL process is handled in the same way as an academic appeal and follows the policies outlined in the College Policy S3 – Student Appeals.

RRC Polytech campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories which provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

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