Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL – and its virtually synonymous ‘Recognition of Prior Learning’ and ‘Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning’) is the identification and acceptance by MAEL of learning/attainment by an adult learner of:
● Learning or recent experience which has been completed prior to the adult learner enrolling for a qualification;
● Learning which is relevant to the knowledge, skills and understanding which are to be assessed as part of that qualification,
That involves the recognition by MAEL through its Assessment Board of that learning and/or attainment through amendment to the requirements which a Learner must have satisfied before the learner will be assessed or that qualification will be awarded.

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MAEL’s policy draws on the SPA document (and associated papers) issued by UCAS (see )

4.1.1 APL Policy

If an adult learner wishes that some of their prior learning should be accredited, it is their responsibility to request that and to provide all necessary evidence, whether that is via previous certification (with copies of transcript and syllabus) or professionally verified relevant prior experience.

An application needs to be made in writing to the MD. It must include the name of the qualification, relevant learning outcomes, date(s) of the prior learning and detailed evidence. Any supporting documents must be listed and securely attached. Original documents should not be sent, and copies need not be certified at this stage, but view of the originals will be needed later.

No APL process may involve any change in any learning outcome, nor in any dilution of the standard or level of the learning required to be assessed.

Teaching centres may add additional requirements, or decline APL altogether, if that is necessary to meet non-MAEL national or Montessori stipulations. In that case, it must be made explicit and clear in their adult learners’ handbook.
4.1.2 APL Procedure

On receipt of an application, it will be logged in the same set of records as is used for policy changes. The MD will then acknowledge receipt and pass the papers to the CE. He/she will undertake an investigation and make a decision as to whether the evidence is sufficient to enable a valid claim to be substantiated. If it is sufficient then the matter will be referred back to the MD who will notify the Teaching Centre authorising them (subject to any local stipulations) to credit the learner with that part of the assessment. If it is insufficient then the CE will communicate with the learner, advising what else would be needed.

If the learner is not satisfied with the decision, it is open to them to appeal, following the process in section 4.4 herein.

4.1.3 Policy Governance

The Board of Directors will be notified in the normal course of their board meetings of an application and of the result. Any procedural change which is deemed to be necessary will be dealt with using the procedures in the policy maintenance framework in section 4.18 herein.

It is important that any APL application should respect the equality of the applicant. The requirements of reasonable adjustment (see section 4.20 herein) must be observed and taken into consideration.

 page uploaded 12/4/2012