Use your previous learning to help you gain an OU qualification (June 2017)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the identification, assessment and formal acknowledgement of learning and achievement that occurred at some time in the past which is taken into account when you register for your study. The OU has an RPL policy which outlines key criteria for exemption from OU study and which includes the following general statement:


RPL has real value in recognising and promoting lifelong learning and society’s needs for an appropriately skilled and capable workforce. It also encourages and fosters workplace and employer partnerships with the University. Employers benefit from increased motivation of employees and enhanced workplace practice and contribution to workforce development planning.”

RPL is generally made up of two types; recognition of certificated learning (RPCL) and recognition of experiential, or work based learning (RPEL). The majority of RPL activity in the OU is currently through recognition of certificated, or formal learning, through our credit transfer process; however policy and processes for recognition of experiential, or workplace learning are under development.

The OU will recognise any prior study which carries UK higher education credit, including police training which has been validated by a UK degree awarding body, or which is listed on the Ofqual Register of Recognised Qualifications. We may also be able to recognise non-credit bearing professional study through a specific assessment process. 

Applications for credit transfer should be completed before registering for your OU qualification.  For more information and to apply for OU study exemption please visit the Credit Transfer website.