Applying for full or partial exemption from probationary requirements for learning & teaching


Full exemption from probationary requirements for learning & teaching

All probationary staff should read this Probationary Information page first and ensure they have completed form LTPROB.

Details for applying for full exemption from the probationary requirements for learning and teaching are available here.


Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL): Applying for partial exemption from the Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching (CILT) or the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching for Learning in Higher Education (TLHE)

What is Recognition of Prior Learning?

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a generic term for the process by which Higher Education Providers such as our University, recognise and, where appropriate, award credit for learning that has taken place before entry onto a programme of study. Staff who are planning to undertake the Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching (CILT) or Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching for Learning in Higher Education (PGCertTLHE) may be eligible to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL – formerly known as APL) to have their previous learning accredited towards CiLT/PGCertTLHE.

There are three types of recognition:

• Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning: RPEL
• Recognition of Prior Certificated Learning: RPCL
• Credit Transfer

You can find out more about these at: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/lets/pp/policy/rpl

CiLT is comprised of two 30 credit Modules; the maximum exemption that may be granted is 50% of the total course work and/or attendance (typically all of Module 1). In exceptional circumstances it is possible to apply for exemption from Module 2 (instead of Module 1).

The PGCertTLHE is comprised of two 15 credit modules and one 30 credit module; the maximum exemption that may be granted is 50% of the total course work and/or attendance. This may be exemption from EDU6147 alone, or EDU6147 and EDU6148.

For details of requirements and process for exemptions email: tlhe@sheffield.ac.uk

You can find out more about CiLT and download the handbook to find out what is covered in each module at: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/lets/cpd/cilt

You can find out more about the PGCertTLHE and download the handbook to find out what is covered in each module at: www.sheffield.ac.uk/lets/cpd/pgcerttlhe

Why might I be eligible to apply for RPL?

Previous applicants have applied on the basis of one or more of the following:

  • Being able to demonstrate that they have developed their teaching practice/support of learning through experience ‘on the job’ which is equivalent to (or exceeds) the achievement of the relevant module Learning Outcomes (CiLT Module 1 or PGCertTLHE Module EDU6147)
  • Successful completion of a structured non-credit bearing CPD programme for learning and teaching which is accredited at Descriptor 1 of the UKPSF (AFHEA)
  • Gained credits from undertaking part of a relevant credit bearing teaching qualification (but not completed the qualification)
  • Completed a relevant credit bearing qualification (e.g. 20 credit teaching certificate)
  • Undertaken part of a credit bearing teaching qualification e.g, attended sessions and completed activities and assignments but not completed (i.e. no credits awarded)

How long does it take?
The RPL process typically takes from three to five months. Successful applicants are awarded 15 or 30 M level credits and gain admission to Module 2 of CiLT or either EDU6148 or EDU6149 of the PGCertTLHE. The process has been developed in accordance with the University’s RPL Policy.

All RPL applications should normally be made prior to the start of the programme. The final opportunity to make an RPL application for Module 1 of CiLT will be the beginning of December 2017. After this date applications for RPL will only be considered for the PGCertTLHE modules EDU6147 and/or EDU6148.

The RPL process in brief:

  1. Determining eligibility to apply: all potential RPL applicants must complete an Application for Admission either for CiLT or the PGCertTLHE. The Programme Director reviews all application forms to identify individuals who may be eligible to apply for RPL. Eligible applicants are invited to an RPL consultation.
  2. Making an application: this is a two stage process comprising a written application supported with evidence followed by a Viva with the Programme Director (if the written application meets the criteria).
  3. Second assessment of the application by the Deputy Director for Learning and Teaching (Quality Assurance) in the School of Education (applicants are informally notified of the outcome after this).
  4. Application forwarded to Admissions or the Taught Programmes Office for sign off.

What to do

Determining your eligibility to apply for RPL

1.Complete the relevant PGCert Application Form and email it to tlhe@sheffield.ac.uk and note in the email that you wish to be considered for RPL.
2.The PGCert Programme Director will assess your eligibility to apply for RPL by reviewing the information you provide in Sections D and E of the Application Form. It is therefore crucial that you detail your experience fully in these sections.
3.You will receive an email from the Programme Administrator informing you of the Programme Director’s decision.
4.If assessed as eligible, you will be invited to an RPL group consultation with a RPL Adviser. NOTE: If assessed as ‘not eligible’ you will need to register for EDU6147 and/or EDU6148 of the PGCert and complete the Programme as normal.
5.Attend the RPL consultation at which the RPL process will be explained in detail and guidance given by the RPL Adviser about:
•Which RPL and associated forms to complete
•The appropriate Learning Outcomes that you must map your prior learning to in your application
•How to approach developing your written application to map appropriately to the Learning Outcomes
•Appropriate types of evidence to provide to support your written application

6. After the consultation you will need to decide how you wish to proceed. There are three possibilities:
•Proceed with making an application for RPL
•Attend the EDU6147 Workshop Week and then decide by the end of the Workshop Week whether to apply for RPL or undertake the PGCert in full
•Decide not to apply for RPL and undertake the PGCert in full

Making an application

1.Complete the written application and required forms (as advised at the RPL briefing) and submit it to tlhe@sheffield.ac.uk by the relevant deadline (see above).
2.The RPL Adviser will assess your written application against the Assessment Criteria for the appropriate module(s) (provided on the RPL forms) to assess whether it is substantive enough to indicate that you would successfully pass the appropriate module(s).
3.If judged substantive enough, you will be invited to an RPL Viva. In the event that the written application is judged as not substantive enough, the applicant will be advised to register for EDU6147 and EDU6158 and complete the PGCert programme in the usual manner rather than proceed an application that has a high probability of being unsuccessful.
4.The RPL Viva will be conducted by the PGCert Programme Director and RPL Adviser which will be examined in accordance with the Pass level of the Assessment Criteria for the appropriate PGCert module(s). The Viva will be recorded.
5.Post viva, the RPL Adviser will write an RPL Report recording the outcome from the assessment process thus far which will be forwarded along with the written application and viva recording to the Deputy Director for Learning and Teaching (Quality Assurance) at the School of Education for a second assessment.
6.The Deputy Director for Learning and Teaching (Quality Assurance) at the School of Education will assess the application and notify the PGCert Programme Director of the outcome which will be informally communicated to the applicant.
7.The relevant part of the application is then forwarded to Admissions or the Taught Programmes Office for sign off.
8.Successful applicants are then awarded 15 or 30 M level credits and proceed to either Module 2 of CiLT or EDU6148 or EDU6149 of the PGCertTLHE. Unsuccessful applicants register for EDU6147 and/or EDU6148 and undertake the PGCert in the normal manner.