How? – an overview of the APEL process

Although the APEL process can be used to gain exceptional entry to or exemption from a programme of study, this is not its primary purpose. The APEL process focuses on assessment and certification of the prior learning and experience.


At the end of the process, a successful candidate could be awarded:

Entry to an academic course of study

  • Exemption from elements of the proposed course of study
  • Credit points towards an academic qualification
  • Units/modules recognised by a Certificate of Achievement
  • Units/modules accumulated towards a full qualification
  • A full qualification.

These outcomes are based on an examination of the principal objectives and competences of the courses prescribed by the institution to which you are applying.
Your prior qualifications and experience are compared against those objectives and competences. For the prior learning and experience to be deemed to be of value, you must demonstrate a good match between your prior learning and experience and the specified learning objectives and competences. This is the essence of the APEL process.

Steps in the APEL process

The APEL process is essentially about three processes:

  • identifying what a person can do
  • equating those skills and knowledge with specific standards or requirements and
  • crediting the learner in an appropriate manner

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