Across the world, countries
increasingly recognize the value of informal and non-formal learning and many
are establishing systems to acknowledge competencies gained through these
Mauritius is one of the
leading countries in the African region to successfully initiate RPL as one of
the key mechanisms towards certification of skills and competencies against
National Qualifications and in so doing, is facilitating people to make the transition
from the informal to the formal economy. The strategic move towards a high
income earning country as enunciated clearly in the Government Vision 2030
cannot be achieved unless there is a strong and competent human resource base.
However, wherever and whenever
achieved and nurtured, the recognition of such skills and competencies is a strategic
endeavour and would lead to many benefits for the individual, the employer, the
industry and the economy.
In line with the SDG 4 and the
SADC Guidelines for RPL, the development of a new RPL guidelines 2016 provides
an enabling framework for recognition of skills and competencies up to level 6
of the National Qualifications Framework thus broadening the scope of the
system and bringing more inclusivity in the education and training landscape.
With the active involvement of
the private sector in the implementation of RPL, there is now consensus on its
effectiveness and reliability in gauging the level of competency against unit
The trust in RPL is now
acquired given that the system has been tested and benchmarked against the SADC
Guidelines for the RPL.
Time has come for
massification of RPL and to catalyze the process, this paper provides for a
first of its kind RPL scheme to unable any employee to have the opportunity to
earn a qualification by assessing prior learning through the RPL method.
With an aggressive RPL campaign,
the scheme is expected to reach out to employees as well as individuals
operating in various trades of the economy at different level of operations aiming
for qualifications up to diploma level [level 6]
What is RPL?
Recognition of Prior Learning is a process used to
identify, assess and certify a person’s knowledge, skills and competencies,
regardless of how, when and where the learning occurred, against prescribed
standards for a part or full qualification. (ILO, 2015)
The implementation of RPL rests with the MQA as per
the provisions of the Mauritius Qualifications Act 2001 which is “to recognise
and validate competencies for purposes of certification obtained outside the
formal education and training systems”.
In the local context, however, for certification, RPL
considers both recognition of accredited learning and recognition of prior
RPL provides an alternative route for earning a valued
The potential benefits of RPL are not limited to the
instance, may benefit from RPL for cost-efficiency reasons. It allows employers
to advance workers in which they have invested over the years and who possess
the relevant skills and experience for a job.
Governments, on the other hand, can use RPL to improve
the educational profile of their workforce and help applicants expand their
employment prospects. If RPL is integrated into the overall education and
training systems, it will positively impact the labour market, as well as
countries’ economies, and society.
RPL process in Mauritius - The National RPL Framework
A National RPL Framework has
been established to provide the
architecture and establish an enabling environment that will facilitate the
development and implementation of RPL.
This RPL Framework would, amongst others, establish a
single and all-encompassing point of reference for RPL.
Central to the present Mauritian RPL model, starting
from its conception to its implementation, resides the different phases namely
the pre-application, pre-screening, facilitation and assessment stages.
RPL is proposed against unit standard based
qualification. Different sets of RPL strategies is proposed for levels 2-3,
levels 4-5 and for levels 6 i.e. the strategies for implementing RPL differ
according NQF level at which it is being sought.
These strategies are linked to the target group for
which the system is aimed for thus further increasing the reliability and
validity of the system and thereby enhancing trust.
Notwithstanding the above, RPL, at this stage is
limited to NQF level 6.
The table below
briefly describes the different stages.
Candidate is provided information about the process of RPL
Candidate submits its application and
identify the qualification against which RPL will be claimed
A facilitator guides the RPL candidate in the
preparation of the portfolio
The candidate is assessed against the unit
standards of the selected qualifications
The guiding principle
throughout the whole RPL process is fairness to the candidate and continuous
RPL implementation modality
Intake of RPL candidates is limited to thrice yearly namely:
Jan/Feb, April /May and August /September through an Expression of Interest
exercise. Candidates will be given a three-month period to complete the
Portfolio and subsequently once the portfolio is finalised. Assessment may be
organised twice on a yearly basis [depending on quantity of portfolio
submission]. The three months may, be extended on a case to case basis, upon agreement
with all parties involved in the RPL process, be extended.
During the three months period for the preparation of
the portfolio candidates will be monitored monthly. Only upon a favourable
monitoring report submitted by the facilitator to the MQA, the candidate may be
enrolled for assessment.
A range of assessment methods is used by the awarding
body/ies amongst which the portfolio assessment is key. A plethora of other
methods such as challenge test, interview, skill demonstration may also be
The RPL method makes provision for remedial actions in
cases where there are skills and competency gap to ensure candidate completes
the RPL process and earns the qualification.
The process flowchart below
describes the different steps involved in the RPL process.
for eligibility for RPL.
years of experience in the field
formal entry requirement or level 1
4 or 5
details regarding fees and other requirements are available in the RPL Guidelines
Application form for RPL