What is RPL and how does it benefit learners and institutions?

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process whereby evidence of learning (formal, non-formal or informal) that has taken place prior to enrolment in higher education is recognised and given value. A fundamental principle of RPL is that a learner should not be asked to relearn something they already know. With RPL, prior learning can count towards entry, advanced entry, credit or exemptions from modules. In some cases, people with enough prior learning may even obtain full academic awards. This ambitious 5-year (2020-2025) €6.9m project is funded by the HEA’s HCI Pillar 3 (Innovation & Agility). The national project team based in THEA works closely with our cosponsors IUA as well as 19 project leads based in each partner HEI. Our goal is to build on our collective work to date to make RPL an integral and vibrant part of higher education, one which offers lifelong learning opportunities to learners and enterprise.

Grace Edge
Project Manager


Dr. Eavan O’Brien
Head of Research & Development


Hear from RPL Project Manager Grace Edge, Prof. Mark Rogers Registrar & Deputy President in UCD, Claire McGee Head of Education & Innovation Policy in Ibec, Paul Hannigan President of LyIT, and Simon Hanratty RPL Learner at MU.

Benefits to

See what learners have to say about the benefits of having their prior learning recognised. Featuring Maynooth University's Simon Hanratty and Anne Marie O'Dowd, Syed Amin from LyIT and UCD's Ronan Horgan.

Importance of RPL to Higher Education Institutions

Hear how RPL benefits institutions from senior academic leaders Paul Hannigan President of LyIT, Prof. Mark Rogers Registrar & Deputy President of UCD, and Dr. John Cullen Dean of Postgraduate Studies at Maynooth University.

Why is RPL so important for professional development? Hear from Dr. Mary Ryder Director of Nursing Education and Practice Development in the School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems in UCD, Dr. Mark Scanlon Assistant Professor in the School of Computer Science in UCD, Patricia Doherty Head of Dept of Business Studies in LyIT, and Thomas Dowling Head of Dept of Computing in LyIT.