Academic Support

It's important that our students are able to access support when they need it in order to sucessfully complete their programmes with us. SIT offers a range of student support services which are available to students from all campuses including SIT2LRN Distance Learning students.


Do you ever need study help at 11pm, or on a Sunday afternoon, or during breaks?

You need to fit in study around your busy schedule. That’s why SIT gives you free access to the 24/7 ‘Studiosity’ service.

How does it work? When you can’t reach on-campus support, you can get feedback on your writing and referencing - for any course - in less than 24 hours.

You can also connect to a live English, Maths, Science, Business, and other core skills areas, Subject Specialist between 3pm and midnight for help with a question right away.

Please note: Studiosity provides feedback and support on essays, assignments, reports etc that you have already written yourself. Studiosity will not write these essays, assignments, reports etc for you.

Next step: You will find a link to Studiosity within each of your Blackboard courses, you can also find a link on the Blackboard Help page, found under your “Organisations” tab on the homepage of Blackboard.

Upload your first draft of your next assignment, to try it out.

Learning Assistance Unit

Sometimes learning isn't as clear as you would like it to be and there are times when you will need a little extra assistance.

SIT's learning assistance team will assist you with your study skills including such areas as: academic reading, writing assignments or essays, maths, concentration, time management, exam techniques, memory skills, note taking and any other area of learning.

This is a free, confidential, and self-referred service. Sessions are normally done on a one to one basis but are sometimes in small groups, if required.

The Peer Tutoring Scheme is also available for students. If you are having difficulty with your programme content and want assistance, ask your tutor if it would be possible to have a peer tutor appointed to work with you.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Southern Institute of Technology may recognise your prior learning when it is relevant to your SIT programme of study.

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.

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)

How do I apply for RPL?

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.

Can I apply for RPL before I enrol?

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.

How is RPL assessed?

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.

How much RPL can I apply for?

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

Are there any costs involved?

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.

What is Cross Credit?

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.

What is Credit Transfer?

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 hav 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.

Contact Details

Jerry HoffmanLearning Assistance Unit - Jerry Hoffman
Phone: (03) 211 2699 ext. 8796

The Learning Assistance Office is located in the front foyer of the SIT Library (Tay St, Invercargill). To contact us please phone, use email or leave a message with your contact details on the notice board if no one is in the office, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


Sandra King RPL Facilitator - Sandra King
Phone: (03) 211 2699 ext. 8771

The RPL Facilitator is located on Level 2 in the H Block and is available from Monday to Friday. Appointments can be made via email.