Skip to main content Accessibility Statement

As universities respond to renewed requests from Scottish Government and the Scottish Funding Council to provide learning opportunities that allow for re-skilling and upskilling of non-traditional learners, it is important that this Enhancement Theme supports the drive to develop, deliver and recognise more flexible and accessible learning.


In 2014, QAA Scotland worked closely with the higher education sector to develop the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) National Framework in Scotland, with a view to expand and embed RPL to a wider extent in the sector. Alongside the Framework, an RPL Toolkit provided staff and students with a practical way to develop new RPL initiatives.


Building on the success of this original work, this new project aims to consider how we recognise and help learners to build on learning accumulated in non-traditional pathways in 2021 and beyond.

To support future work to expand and embed RPL in the Scottish higher education sector, we have developed a scan of rUK and international practice. The report, and its executive summary, explore the differing terminology, processes and frameworks, and support for RPL across the globe.


review of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) National Framework in Scotland

The review of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) National Framework in Scotland will formally begin on 15 December 2021 with the first meeting of our expert review group. We are delighted to announce that Professor Ruth Whittaker (Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students)) from the University of Brighton has agreed to chair the Group. Ruth previously chaired the current iteration of the framework and will offer her vast expertise and experience to steer the process.

At its first meeting, the Group will discuss the outcomes of the recent survey sent out to practitioners across the sector to find out about practice and understanding of RPL and Micro-credentials; they will also work through the existing framework to establish the depth and breadth of review required.

Our RPL Framework Expert Review Group comprises a wide range of Institutions and Sector organisations who have volunteered to help review and redevelop this widely used resource:

RPL Institutional Members
Aberdeen University
City of Glasgow College
Edinburgh College
Heriot-Watt University
Glasgow Caledonian University
Open University Scotland
University of the West of Scotland
University of the Highlands and Islands
University of Brighton
RPL Sector Body Members
Universities Scotland
College Development Network
QAA / QAA Scotland
Skills Development Scotland (TBC)