top of page

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


The New Zealand Certificate in Medical Transcription and Editing (Level 4) does not use unit standards so it is challenging to assess prior learning and ensure that it meets all of the learning objectives of the programme.

The Advisory Group for the Certificate in Medical Transcription and Editing (Level 4) has determined that the focus of applying medical knowledge in a listening and transcribing medical transcription situation differs from applying the knowledge in a clinical or patient contact role. This means that the knowledge is not easily portable.

What is RPL?

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) enables a student to be granted credit for one or more courses without having to undertake the formal course of study or the assessments and assignments. It ensures that students have an opportunity to have their previous achievements recognised.


This process is subject to the requirements of the Education Act, NZQA rules and TEC Funding Conditions.

Guidelines for Recognition of Credit / Prior Learning

There are four types of recognition of credit:

1. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) - past formal and informal learning (in some cases it is more appropriate to use RCC)

2. Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) - recognition of current skills and knowledge

3. Cross credit - credit gained from one qualification that is recognised for another qualification

4. Credit Transfer - transfer of credit from one institution to another institution. (may require RPL, may or may not be unit standards-based)

What is involved?

You need to be able to prove that you can satisfy all of the learning outcomes of the courses for which you request RPL. This can be done by submitting evidence of previous studies which could include academic transcripts, learning outcomes, course descriptors and assessment information. Supporting documentation from a previous employer to confirm that you have relevant knowledge may also be submitted. You may be required to complete an assessment to prove your knowledge and/or participate in an interview to discuss your prior knowledge.

Credit will normally be granted where relevant studies (or other demonstrated learning achievement) have been completed within the last ten years. A maximum of four course exemptions may be granted.

How do I apply?

Download the application form from the website and submit with the application fee of $175 plus GST to A further fee of $125 (plus GST) per hour for academic staff to assess the application is payable on completion of the RPL assessment and prior to the course start date. The fee to assess RPL cannot be funded with a student loan.



When do I apply for RPL?


You should apply for RPL at least one month prior to the course start date. Applications will not be accepted within the month prior to the start date. If you are successfully awarded RPL for any course then the programme tuition fee will be adjusted accordingly.

What is the process?

Your application will be checked by the administration team to enable matching of the learning outcomes of the Certificate in Medical Transcription and Editing (Level 4) with the learning outcomes from your previous studies. New Zealand regulations require that there is a 100% match. Once the matching process has been completed, a decision, based on the evidence supplied, will be made. You will be notified of the outcome and you will receive an invoice for the time spent on the matching process.

How long will it take?

This depends on the number of courses you are applying to get RPL for. If all the necessary documentation is submitted then the initial assessment can usually be conducted within five-ten working days and an indicative decision can be given. Chargeable assessment hours will vary dependent on the amount of evidence submitted and the time taken to establish that the learning outcomes match.

What will it cost?

There is a non-refundable application fee of $175 (plus GST), payable on application. A further fee of $125 (plus GST) per hour for academic staff to assess the application is payable on completion of the RPL assessment and prior to the course start date. The fee to assess RPL cannot be funded with a student loan.

What are the benefits?

  • Less time to complete a qualification in certain instances

  • Encouragement in starting a qualification

What happens if my RPL evidence is insufficient?

If the required evidence is unavailable or inadequate then you may be offered an assessment to prove your knowledge. This means that you complete the assessment and assignment requirements of the course without doing the study. There will be a fee payable for marking and access to the learning website dependent on the time spent by the academic staff. This would be conducted before the course of study starts and if successful means that you do not need to enrol in that course of study or pay the full tuition fee.

Please refer to the RPL Sample Evidence Guideline.

If you have any other questions regarding Recognition of Prior Learning, then please contact the office by emailing

RPL Evidence Guidelines


  • All materials submitted to support an application will be kept confidential.

  • Materials will be returned to the applicant on completion of the RPL process, however, copies will be kept on the student file.

You need to provide suitable evidence, as listed below, to support your application.

For each subject you wish Sue's Computer Training Co. to assess credit for, please provide the following evidence:

Certified academic transcript/statement clearly stating the following:

  • Full name of student

  • Programme title

  • Individual subject results

  • Date of transcript

  • Grading key (explanation of grades)

Subject information, which would normally include:

  • Aim, objectives and learning outcomes (a summary of what the subject aims to achieve)

  • Learning hours

  • Credit points

  • Assessments (assessment types, percentage, number of assessments, grading system)

For applications relating to professional experience you must provide an official letter from the employer stating:

  • Employer contact details

  • Employment period

  • Position held

  • Job description

  • Detailed list of medical knowledge applied on the job

  • Hours worked (or typical hours per week in a part-time/full-time position)

bottom of page