Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) / Cross-credit

Recognition of Prior Learning is where your existing skills and knowledge (gained through your prior learning) can be asssessed for credited towards a qualification or programme. 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.

Discuss your proposal with your Programme Manager they will advise you as to whether or not you should pursue the RPL process. The next step is to contact the RPL Facilitator to assist you with putting your materials together and completing the RPL Application Form.


Sandra King

Academic Operations Officer


Call: (03) 211 2699 Ext 8771

What is RPL?

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)

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:

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.

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.

You can apply for RPL using this form.


  • 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 is a result and you must be enrolled in a paper for it to be resulted. 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, based on the Programme Manager’s recommendation, you would then need to contact the RPL Facilitator to complete an official RPL 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.

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

RPL costs are based on an administration charge plus the time it takes to assess your application. The clearer you make your application – the quicker it will be able to be assessed. The RPL Facilitator will advise you of the charges involved before you submit your RPL application form.

Cross Credit applies when there is a Cross Credit arrangement in the programme of study being undertaken at SIT. This arrangement may be between programmes at SIT or between SIT and another provider. The Programme Manager will advise you at the time of your initial contact with them if this applies.

Please click here for the Cross Credit form. 

*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.

Please click here for the Credit Transfer form.

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