What is APEL?

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning is a process that enables people of all ages, backgrounds and attitudes to receive formal recognition for skills and knowledge they already possess’ (Simosko, 1991). A person’s learning and experience can be formally recognised and taken into account to:

  • gain entry to further or higher education courses
  • give exemption from certain parts of a new course of study
  • qualify for an award in an appropriate subject in further or higher education

The Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

The terms APL (Accreditation of Prior Learning) and APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning) generally describe the same process, but there is a difference in the nature of the evidence provided to support a candidate’s claim for recognition of previous qualifications or experience.

APEL generally refers to incidental prior learning which is un-assessed. Such learning may be gained through unstructured experiences, arising from leisure pursuits, family experiences and work. It also includes un-assessed formal training courses. Certificates may or may not be available as evidence that the learning has taken place.

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