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SIT’s Zero Fees Scheme continues for 2023

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SIT’s Zero Fees Scheme continues for 2023


Southern Institute of Technology may recognise your prior learning if it is relevant to your SIT programme of study. Credit is granted towards your programme from previous tertiary studies or through life or work experience. We offer Recognition of Prior Learning, Cross-Credit and Credit Transfer options.

Recognising learning for credit enables learners to progress more easily in their education and career, taking their formal and non-formal skills and knowledge along with them, and not having to repeat training for what they already know or can do.

NZQA guideline


RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) is when credits are granted towards your current programme of study at SIT from previous tertiary study or through relevant work experience. Your qualifications and/or experience need to:
  • Have similar content
  • Be at the same level as the paper/unit standard that you are applying for
  • Have a similar number of credits
  • Be current (i.e. have been completed in approximately the last five years)

Cross Credit applies in situations where the paper(s) in the qualification into which you will enrol SIT and the paper(s) which you have completed previously are not identical but the material covered is equivalent.

The Programme Manager will advise you at the time of your initial contact with them if this applies.

You will need to complete the Application for Cross Credit form to start the process.

*You must provide formal evidence such as a verified copy of your transcript to show that you have achieved the relevant result.

Credit Transfer applies in situations where the papers or the unit standard of the qualification into which you will enrol at SIT and the paper or the unit standard from a previous qualification you have successfully completed are exactly the same.

You will need to complete the Application for Credit Transfer form to start the process.

*You must provide formal evidence such as a verified copy of your academic transcript to show that you have achieved the relevant result.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

It is recommended that if you think you may be eligible for RPL that you enrol in the programme of study and include as much information as you can about your relevant experience in your enrolment form. This will enable the Programme Manager to advise you of any RPL you may be likely to receive if you are offered a place on the programme. If you accept the place you would then need to complete an RPL application form.

You can, if you wish, apply for RPL prior to enrolment. For pre-enrolment RPL you need to submit your application to the RPL Facilitator who will consult with the faculty to ascertain the assessment fee. The fee must be paid prior to RPL assessment taking place. The RPL facilitator will advise you of the fee and if you wish to proceed you will be provided with an invoice. Upon payment of the fee your application will be assessed.

Maximum of one third of a programme's total credit may be RPL’d i.e. 120 credits in a 360 credit programme.

Step 1: 
To decide whether your previous education, training or work experience is relevant, start by looking at the paper descriptors of the SIT papers you want to apply RPL for. You may obtain these from the RPL facilitator or the Programme Manager. If the paper is a unit standard (papers with codes beginning with ‘US’), you can get a copy of the unit standard from the NZQA website: https://www.nzqa.govt.nz/framework/search/index.do

Step 2: 
For each paper:

  • Identify the knowledge and skill you have learned that reasonably match the learning outcomes for the paper.
  • Ensure that you have obtained or can obtain necessary evidence to prove that you have the skills and knowledge.
  • Repeat the above steps for each outcome of each paper you are applying RPL for.

Reminder: Any formal education/training and/or experience will need to:

  1. Have similar content
  2. Be at the same level as the paper/unit standard that you are applying for
  3. Have a similar number of credits
  4. Be current (i.e. have been completed in approximately the last five years)

Step 3: 
Contact the Programme Manager and discuss your proposal. They will advise if you should pursue the RPL process.

Step 4: 
You need to prepare a portfolio of evidence that clearly shows the assessor how you meet each learning outcome. This may mean contacting an institute that you studied with to obtain academic transcripts and course descriptors. It is your responsibility to obtain these documents and have transcripts verified.

Fee & Evidence Information

Sample Paper Descriptor

Step 5: 
Contact the RPL facilitator once you have this information organised. The facilitator will be able to advise you if sufficient evidence has been supplied and on the next steps of the process.


  • It takes 4 to 8 weeks to process an RPL application. It may take longer to process your application during the peak periods at the beginning and end of the year.
  • If the RPL result is required for a qualification completion at the end of the year:
    • It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that sufficient time is given to their RPL application by submitting the application early.(Preferable 4 months before programme completion date)
    • If the RPL application requires the result of another paper taken concurrently at another institution, please make sure to inform the Programme Manager.

RPL costs are based on a $40 administration charge plus $75 per hour for the time it takes to assess your application. The clearer you make your application – the quicker it will be able to be assessed.

For an RPL application submitted after enrolment the RPL fee will be invoiced to you once the outcome of your application is advised.

For a pre-enrolment RPL application the fees are required to be paid prior to assessment of your application.

There are three main ways of assessing RPL. These methods are:

  • 1. Attestation: An authoritative person(s) confirms your prior learning, usually at an interview.
  • 2. Challenge: Your prior learning is tested by means of a practical, oral or written test or a combination of these three.
  • 3. Portfolio: You prepare a collection of materials and information containing all the details and evidence for your prior learning.

It is the role of the RPL Facilitator to assist you in putting your evidence materials together.

Recognition of Prior Learning for International Students

International students can seek an RPL assessment prior to enrolment. RPL may be awarded for tertiary study completed overseas that is relevant to the SIT programme the learner is applying for.

Your qualifications need to:

  • Have covered similar content as the SIT qualification
  • Be at the same level as the paper/unit standard that you are applying for
  • Have a similar number of credits
  • Be current (i.e. have been completed in approximately the last five years)

1. Email our International Department and request an International Student RPL Application Form

2. Attach the following documents with your form when you are ready to submit:

  • An original/or certified academic transcript showing grade/result, level of the paper and credit value.
  • Official paper descriptors from the overseas provider for each of the papers being considered for RPL. These descriptors must be coded and titled as per the academic transcript.

3. Submit the application and support documentation to SIT's International Department and pay the RPL assessment application fee.

Please note that information must be supplied in English.

Once you submit your completed RPL application to SIT’s International Department, SIT’s RPL Facilitator will work with the relevant subject specialist to assess your previous study against the SIT qualification.

Completion timeframe for the RPL assessment is dependent on the availability of subject specialists. You will be advised of the decision within a three-week timeframe. At certain times of the year, your application may take longer to process due to end of year and semester breaks.

SIT International staff will inform you of the outcome of your RPL application. RPL is a result, and results cannot be entered into a student record of achievement until the student is accepted and enrolled in a SIT programme of study.

An application for an RPL assessment prior to enrolment incurs a non-refundable fee of NZ$100.00. This covers the administration cost in assessing your prior study against SIT qualification content.

Applications are unable to be processed until this payment is made.