What is Accreditation of Prior Experiential and Certificated Learning

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					                                            University of Kent Applicant APECL Guidance

Part 1 – Introduction to APECL

What is APECL?
The Accreditation of Prior Experiential and Certificated Learning (known as APECL at Kent) offers potential students
the chance to gain recognition for qualifications they have already achieved at other institutions, and to gain
recognition for learning from other experiences, for example in the work place.

   It enables prior learning/experience to be given an academic credit value (credit is explained in more detail in Part
    2) which can then be used to gain exemption from relevant modules, or even stages, of a university level
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    programme.

   It enables people to enter a university level programme at the point that best suits their experience and skills. It
    also helps ensure that learners do not have to repeat learning they have previously undertaken.

APCL
The recognition of learning that has already been achieved is called the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning –
APCL. This type of learning normally carries an academic credit value which can be put towards a programme of
study in a similar subject.

A typical APCL claim might be:

   An applicant who has completed a programme such as a Foundation Degree who would like to use the credit from
    that towards a degree at Kent in a similar subject area.

Recognising this type of prior learning is straightforward, provided it:
 can be evidenced through a certificate or transcript
 is at the right level
 is relevant to the university programme to be taken
 and the content of the prior learning can be mapped with the content of the new university programme to be
   taken.

APEL
APEL is the recognition of learning that has been carried out informally, this could be through leisure activities,
training, or through experience in the work place. The skills and knowledge gained from these experiences can be
recognised and given an academic credit value.

To decide upon the academic value of prior experience applicants are asked complete a portfolio of evidence (APEL
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Portfolio). Within the portfolio they are asked to:

   Reflect on their experience and what they have learnt from it and identify how this is relevant to the university
    programme they want to take.

A typical APEL claim might be:

   An applicant who has several years of work based learning through their employment, who wishes to have that
    learning assessed, and then given an academic credit value towards a degree at Kent.

Provided the APEL portfolio is at the right level and relevant to the university programme to be taken it is given an
academic credit value.

   The academic credit gained for the APEL portfolio can then be used towards a qualification, such as a degree in a
    subject relevant to their work experience.


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  Academic credit, normally known as just ‘credit’, is awarded on completion of learning, and indicates the level of learning and the amount of
learning that has been carried out. For example a typical degree is worth 360 academic credits.
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  An APEL Portfolio is a collection of reflective writing and evidence that demonstrates how prior experience of an applicant meets the learning
outcomes of the modules for which credit is sought. There are alternative ways for an applicant to demonstrate how they meet the learning
outcomes – see Part 7 of this guidance – ‘How to make an APEL claim’.
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                                     University of Kent Applicant APECL Guidance

   APEL is a good way of making use of relevant experience, particularly from the workplace, to gain credit at
    university level; however the process is more involved than APCL and requires commitment from the applicant to
    produce their portfolio of evidence at the correct academic level and within the required time frame.


Benefits of APECL
   APECL makes a university education accessible to a wide variety of learners.

   APECL allows learners to enter university at the point which most suits them, their skills and their knowledge,
    avoiding the need to repeat learning that has already been carried out.

   APECL benefits professionals wishing to gain credit for work in their field which they can then put towards a
    university level qualification, turning professional practice into academic credit.

   APECL enhances the mix of students in a group, putting learners with hands on work and other experience in the
    classroom, where other students can benefit from their knowledge.

   APECL is of benefit to individual students and also organisations who wish their staff to gain qualifications at
    university level.


APECL is Straightforward

There are a number of new terms, and processes to consider when looking at APECL claims. These can seem
complicated at first, but the process is straightforward, and support is available from Admissions, the Centre for
Professional Practice, which is the central APECL department for the University, and from the guidance listed below.

Credit Transfer
The University also offers applicants the option of Credit Transfer. This relates to when applicants wish to transfer into
an undergraduate programme, from another university. The University will consider this request provided that study is
the equivalent to our study at Kent. To apply for a credit transfer in this way the application must be carried out via
UCAS, specifying which academic year is to be transferred into. An official transcript must be submitted to the
University to provide details of the applicant’s current studies.

For further information please contact the, Information, Recruitment and Admissions Office, via
information@kent.ac.uk or visit http://www.kent.ac.uk/studying/faq.html


Further Information
For more detail on APCL and APEL please see the relevant sections of this guidance. APECL uses particular
language therefore a glossary of terms can be found in Part 10.

       Part 1 – Introduction to APECL
       Part 2 – What is Credit?
       Part 3 – Modules, Learning Outcomes, and Mapping
       Part 4 – APCL and APEL Examples
       Part 5 – Limits, Currency, Spent Credit
       Part 6 – How to make an APCL claim
       Part 7 – How to make an APEL claim
       Part 8 – Process for Approval of APECL at Kent
       Part 9 – FAQs
       Part 10 – Glossary


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                                            University of Kent Applicant APECL Guidance


Part 2 - What is credit?

Academic Credit
APECL relies on the use of academic credit and transferring that credit towards programmes at Kent, Academic credit
is described by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education as being used:

“to summarise and describe an amount of learning; it can help to identify 'how much' learning was involved and 'how
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hard' it was.”

Academic credit is given a volume and level, the volume relates to how much learning has been completed, and the
level to the type of learning completed – i.e. undergraduate or postgraduate.
 Volume: Typically 1 academic credit equates to 10 hours of learning.

      Level: At Kent level is referred to for undergraduate programmes as:

       F – Foundation, (also known as Level 3)
       C – Certificate, (also known as Level 4)
       I – Intermediate, (also known as Level 5)
       H – Honours, (also known as Level 6)

       and at postgraduate level as:

       M – Masters, (also known as Level 7)
       D – Doctoral, (also known as Level 8)

The QAA’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications gives guidance on the different levels at which
                                          4
qualifications can be studied in England.

      An example of credit in practice at undergraduate level is a typical honours degree – this is worth 360 credits.
       This is normally made up in the following way:

       -    120 credits at Certificate level (Level 4)
       -    120 credits at Intermediate level (Level 5)
       -    120 credits at Honours level (Level 6)

      An example at postgraduate level is a typical Masters degree – worth 180 credits at Masters level.

       -    All 180 credits would be at M level (Level 7).

How does credit work with APECL?
Credit works with APECL in that you are able to use credit gained through prior learning, or credit awarded for your
experience, towards a new programme of study at Kent.

The fit between prior learning/experience and the learning outcomes of the programme you wish to study is assessed
through mapping. This process determines how much prior learning/experience can be used for exemptions from
module(s) on a new programme. Modules, Learning Outcomes and Mapping are explained in detail in Part 3.

Examples
Examples of how credit works for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, can be found in Part 4 of this
guidance.




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    http://www.qaa.ac.uk/academicinfrastructure/FHEQ/academicCredit/AcademicCredit.pdf
4
    http://www.qaa.ac.uk/academicinfrastructure/FHEQ/EWNI08/FHEQ08.pdf

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                                    University of Kent Applicant APECL Guidance

Part 3 – Modules, Learning Outcomes and Mapping
Modules, Learning Outcomes and Mapping
When an APCL or APEL claim is made it involves mapping an applicant’s prior learning or experience with the content
of the university programme they are joining. The mapping is carried out by matching learning outcomes from a
person’s prior learning/experience with the learning outcomes of the module(s) for which they are seeking credit.

These terms are explained in detail below:

Modules

 Modules are the units of learning that make up an academic programme. A module is in a specific subject area it
  also has a specific credit value determined by the amount of learning involved to complete the module and a level
  is assigned to it, dependent on the difficulty of the content.

    For example:
          Module Title              Amount of Credit worth        Level of Module
          Introduction to History   15 credits                    level C

   Each module is made up of learning outcomes. By achieving these learning outcomes through taking a module,
    and passing assessment for it (i.e. essays and exams) a student completes the module and attains the credit.


Learning Outcomes

   Learning outcomes are statements of what a learner is expected to know, understand and demonstrate following
    study of a particular module or programme of study. In terms of APECL it is key that the learning outcomes from
    an applicant’s prior learning have relevance to the learning outcomes on the chosen Kent programme in order for
    a claim for credit to be approved.

Mapping

    Mapping is comparing the learning outcomes of the prior learning/experience of the applicant, to the learning
     outcomes of the module(s) at Kent that credit is being claimed for. This process is carried out by identifying the
     specific learning outcomes of the module(s) and laying them side by side with the prior learning/experience,
     allowing those assessing the claim to determine how much credit an applicant is entitled to.

Process
The mapping process for APECL is different depending on the type of APECL being claimed:

   APCL
    For APCL mapping is carried out between the learning outcomes of the prior learning that has already been
    achieved and the learning outcomes of the module(s) in the new programme that is to be undertaken. The
    module(s) used are the ones in a similar subject area to the applicant’s prior learning.

   APEL

    For APEL the mapping process is carried out by mapping prior experience to the learning outcomes of the
    module(s) for which credit is sought.

    This is done via an APEL portfolio - a collection of work produced by the APEL applicant designed to
    demonstrate their experience and how learning from it relates to the module(s) for which credit is sought. The
    applicant’s skills and experience, as detailed in the APEL portfolio, are mapped to the learning outcomes for the
    module(s) that they wish to gain credit. The process of identifying which module(s) credit should be claimed
    against is guided by an applicant’s APEL Portfolio Supervisor.



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                                       University of Kent Applicant APECL Guidance

Part 4 – APCL and APEL Examples
Each APECL claim is individual, based on an individual’s prior learning/experience. The following are examples to
give some guidance to how APECL might work in practice for both APCL and APEL.

Please note the examples used are for illustrative purposes only. All APECL claims are a matter of academic
judgement, based on the individual circumstances involved.


Example using APCL onto a BA (Hons):
For undergraduate qualifications you can claim credit using APCL or APEL. There are certain limits on the amount of
credit you can claim, this is typically up to 2/3rds of a programme’s total credit value i.e.

      BA (Hons) Degree is worth 360 credits at Kent (120 credits at level C, 120 credits at level I and 120 credits at
       level H) an applicant can APECL up to 240 credits of the programme (provided that the prior learning meets the
       learning outcomes of the chosen degree)

A BA (Hons) is normally worth 360 credits at levels C, I and H. An applicant could gain either APCL or APEL of up to
240 credits onto a BA/BSc (Hons) programme using prior learning.

For Example:

An applicant with an Accountancy Diploma, worth 120 credits at level C from a UK professional body, could use this to
                                    claim APCL onto a BA (Hons) Accounting.


    The content of the Accountancy Diploma is similar and at the same academic level as two 15 credit modules on the
     first year of the BA (Hons) Accountancy. Therefore 30 credits of the BA (Hons) Accountancy could be claimed as
     APCL, provided the learning outcomes from the Diploma can be mapped to the learning outcomes of the two BA
                                                     (Hons) modules.


If the claim for 30 credits at level C was approved it would allow the applicant to gain exemption from the two modules,
    allowing them to avoid repeating learning and reducing the amount of study time they have to complete on the BA
                                                  (Hons) Accountancy.


Example using APCL onto a Postgraduate Certificate:
For postgraduate qualifications you can claim academic credit through APCL or APEL at Kent. There are certain limits
on the amount of credit you can claim; this is typically 50% of the programme’s total credit value i.e.

     MA/MSc is worth 180 credits at Kent and applicants can APECL up to 90 credits of the programme (provided that
      the prior learning meets the learning outcomes of the chosen MA/MSc)

The Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice is worth 60 credits at Masters (M) level. An applicant could gain
either APCL or APEL of up to 30 credits onto the programme using prior learning. The PG Cert in Professional
Practice is made up of three modules: Core Module - Evidence Based Practice worth 15 credits at level M, Core
Module - Collaborative Working worth 15 credits at level M, Optional Subject dependent Module worth 30 credits at
level M.

For Example:

    An applicant with a relevant qualification with content relating to Evidence Based Practice, or Collaborative Working
      worth 30 credits at level M, could claim those as APCL onto the Postgraduate Certificate Professional Practice.


    The 30 credits of APCL could be sought against the two core modules provided the prior learning can be mapped to
                                           the module(s) learning outcomes.



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                                     University of Kent Applicant APECL Guidance

If the claim for all 30 credits at level M was approved it would allow the applicant to gain exemption from the two core
modules, allowing them to avoid repeating learning and requiring them to only complete a further 30 level M credits to
                                   gain the Postgraduate Certificate Professional Practice.


Example using APEL onto a BA (Hons)
APEL and APCL can be used to gain credit onto both undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in the same way.
For APEL where there is no prior qualification, credit is awarded to the applicant through the development of an APEL
portfolio.

An applicant could gain APEL of up to 240 credits on to an undergraduate BA (Hons) in Marketing using prior
experience.

For Example:

    An applicant who has several years of experience working in marketing, but does not have a formal marketing
     qualification could make a claim for credit against one of more of the modules on a marketing programme.


The applicant assesses their experience against the modules on the marketing degree, to determine, which modules
      best match their experience. The applicant is then supported by the central APECL department, and the
     School/Centre responsible for the degree in putting together an APEL portfolio based on their experience.


   The APEL portfolio is built up to match the learning outcomes of the module(s) which best match the applicant’s
                                                      experience.


   The match is assessed through the evidence in the APEL Portfolio. The evidence would include reflective writing
  statements, where an applicant looks back on their experience, analysing what they have learnt from it, assessing
   how it will affect them in the future, in work or as student, and linking it to the modules for which they are seeking
                   credit. It would also include references, CVs, examples from the applicant’s work etc.



The APEL portfolio is assessed by the university and awarded a credit value; the credit awarded allows the applicant
          to gain exemption from any modules on the marketing degree, which match their experience.


      Please note the same process would be used for an APEL claim onto a postgraduate programme.

  Please see Parts 6 and 7 for further detail on what is required to make either an APCL or
                   APEL claim at undergraduate and postgraduate level.




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                                     University of Kent Applicant APECL Guidance


Part 5 – Limits, Currency, Spent Credit

There are some key things to consider when making a claim – these do not prohibit
claims, but you should be aware of them.

Credit Limits

The university has defined certain limits for the amount of APECL that can be used onto a programme. This is to
ensure that there is a sufficient amount of new learning carried out at the University of Kent, before a student is
awarded a Kent qualification. For example:

   The University of Kent Credit Framework states a BSc/BA (Hons) student entering with APECL would be required
    to complete a minimum of 120 credits of the Kent programme of study, (with 90 of these credits being at level H or
    above.)

    A BSc/BA (Hons) degree is worth 360 credits, so in other words you would only be able to APECL a maximum of
    2/3rds of the credit value of the programme, which can also be expressed as a maximum of 240 credits.

   The University of Kent Credit Framework states that for an MA/MSc a student entering with APECL would be
    required to complete a minimum of 90 credits of the Kent programme of study, with these all being at level M

   An MA/MSc is worth 180 credits, so in other words you would only be able to APECL a maximum of ½ of the
    credit value of the programme, which can also be expressed as a maximum of 90 credits.

The full Kent Credit Framework can be found at: http://www.kent.ac.uk/uelt/quality/credit/creditinfoannex3.html


Currency of Credit
   The university requires that credit is current – i.e. that prior learning/experience is up to date. This is because over
    time academic programmes develop and change. The university usually looks for prior learning used for APCL, or
    prior experience used for APEL, to be no more than 5 years old.

   If your learning is more that 5 years old it does not mean that you cannot use it, but you may be required to
    provide evidence to show how you have stayed up to date with your subject area, for example, through a CV or
    evidence of CPD.

   Please note: Some Schools/Centres may have different time limits on currency, especially in subjects which
    change at a fast rate.



Spent Credit

   The university has regulations relating to the re-use of credit. This is where credit previously obtained through
    prior learning/experience cannot be re-used if it has been used before. If you believe that your prior learning may
    already have been ‘spent’ on a Kent programme then please consult the relevant section of the Kent Credit
    Framework http://www.kent.ac.uk/uelt/quality/credit/creditinfo.html#transfer


For more information on regulations related to APECL please see Part 9 FAQ’s.




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                                     University of Kent Applicant APECL Guidance

Part 6 – How to make an APCL Claim

How do I know if I have an APCL claim?

If you have some prior learning at higher education level (i.e. Higher Education Certificate, Foundation Degree, or a
professional qualification) which has been formally completed, recognised and certificated you may be able to gain
credit via an APCL claim onto a Kent programme (provided that you have not previously used the credit to gain
exemptions on Kent programmes).

This will allow you to enter a new programme at the point which best suits you, and which will ensure that you do not
have to repeat any learning.

If you do have prior learning which you believe could be used in this way then the next step is to identify a programme
or area of study at Kent which your prior learning relates to. APCL can be sought onto undergraduate, postgraduate,
full and part time programmes. Kent programme details can be found at:

   http://www.kent.ac.uk/studying/

Please use the information available on the website to identify if you may have prior learning that could be mapped to
a programme at Kent. If you are unsure, then you can contact the School/Centre responsible for the programme that
you are interested in joining, to see if you have grounds for a claim.

Alternatively if you are unsure what programme you would like to enter, but feel you have some relevant prior learning
then you can contact the Information and Guidance Unit in Admissions, information@kent.ac.uk

A Student Support Officer is also available within the central APECL Unit – Centre for Professional Practice (CPP)
Sue Brown, S.Brown@kent.ac.uk

If you are an employer and you have staff that could benefit from APCL onto university level programmes please
contact the School/Centre related to the subject area in which you are interested or alternatively contact the Head of
Workforce Development for the central APECL Unit, Collette Payne, C.Payne@kent.ac.uk

What do you need to do next?

   To make an APCL claim you will need to indicate on your UCAS form that you have APCL that you wish to have
    considered.

   For applicants applying directly to the university you will need to make sure that you clearly state on your
    application that you wish to have APCL considered.

   Once you have indicated your interest in claiming APCL this will be referred to the relevant Admissions Officer for
    the programme onto which you wish to join. They will decide on whether you can have APCL approved onto the
    programme. The decision will be one of academic judgement based on the prior learning you have and how that
    relates to the programme you wish to join.

   To make your claim for APCL you will need to be prepared to evidence your prior learning through a certificate or
    transcript.

   If your prior learning is older than 5 years, you should be prepared to evidence how you have remained up to date
    with your subject knowledge.

   If you have changed name since your achieved your prior learning you should be prepared to evidence this.

   You should be prepared to identify the syllabus and detail of your prior learning to allow the Admissions Officer at
    Kent to make their decision.



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                                     University of Kent Applicant APECL Guidance

   You should also be prepared to demonstrate how your prior learning meets the learning outcomes of the
    programme onto which you wish to study. A template for this is available.

   It will not always be possible to claim credit onto a programme, and the amount of credit that you are able to
    request will depend on your individual claim. It is not guaranteed that all prior learning will be accepted as credit
    onto a programme.


PLEASE NOTE: That there is no guarantee that an APECL claim will be approved as approval is an academic
decision based on the match between an applicant’s prior learning/experience and the learning outcomes of the new
programme they wish study.

For more information on the process for approving APCL please see Part 8 Process for Approval.
For more information on the regulations related to APECL please see Part 9 FAQ’s.




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                                     University of Kent Applicant APECL Guidance

Part 7 – How to make an APEL claim

How do I know if I have an APEL claim?
If you have some prior experience, achieved either through work based activity, activity in your personal life, or
training that has not been formally recognised then you may be able to gain credit via an APEL claim onto a Kent
programme (provided that you have not previously used the experience to gain exemptions on Kent programmes).

This will allow you to enter a new programme at the point which best suits you and your skills and experience, and
which will ensure that you do not have to repeat any learning.

   Examples of APEL:

    -   Significant professional experience that can be applied to programmes in your area of work for example,
        Applied Professional Practice programmes, or Business programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate
        levels.

    -   Training that has not yet been formally recognised or accredited at higher education level.

Due to the fact prior experience used for APEL has not been formally recognised you are required to demonstrate,
through an assessment method (usually a portfolio of evidence and reflective statements) that your prior experience
meets the required level of learning and the learning outcomes of the Kent programme you wish to join.

   It is important to remember that it is the learning achieved through your experience that is given credit - not just
    the experience itself.

If you do have prior experience which you believe you could use in this way then the next step is to identify a
programme or area of study at Kent which your prior experience may relate to. APEL can be sought onto
undergraduate, postgraduate, full and part time programmes. Kent programme details can be found at:

   http://www.kent.ac.uk/studying/

Please use the information available on the website to identify if you may have prior experience that could be mapped
to a programme at Kent. If you are unsure then you can contact the School/Centre responsible for the programme that
you are interested in joining to see if you may have grounds for a claim.

Alternatively if you are unsure what programme you would like to enter, but feel you have some relevant prior
experience then you can contact the Information and Guidance Unit in Admissions information@kent.ac.uk

A Student Support Officer is also available within the central APECL Unit – Centre for Professional Practice (CPP)
S.Brown@kent.ac.uk

If you are an employer and you have staff that could benefit from APEL onto University level programmes please
contact the School/Centre related to the subject area in which you are interested or alternatively contact the Head of
Workforce Development for the central APECL Unit, C.Payne@kent.ac.uk

What do you need to do next?
   To make an APEL claim you will need to indicate on your UCAS form that you have APEL which you wish to have
    considered.

   For applicants applying directly to the university you will need to make sure that you clearly state on your
    application that you wish to have APEL considered.

   Once you have indicated your interest in claiming APEL you will be advised to have a consultation with a relevant
    member of staff, this may be from the relevant School/Centre which runs the programme on which you wish to
    study or the central APECL Department – the Centre for Professional Practice (CPP). There will then be a process
    of referring you to an appropriate APEL portfolio supervisor, most likely from the relevant School/Centre which
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                                     University of Kent Applicant APECL Guidance

    runs the programme on which you wish to study. They will decide on whether you have APEL that can be used,
    and will support you in putting together an APEL portfolio. Throughout advice will be sought from relevant subject
    experts.

   It will not always be possible to claim credit onto a programme, and the amount of credit that you are able to
    request will depend on your individual claim. It is not guaranteed that you will be able to use all prior experience as
    credit onto a programme.

   To make your claim for APEL you will need to be prepared to evidence your prior learning normally through an
    APEL portfolio, including identifying suitable supporting evidence that relates to learning from your past
    experience (i.e. project plans, reports, e-mails, references etc.)

   If your prior experience is older than 5 years, you should be prepared to evidence how you have remained up to
    date with your subject knowledge.

APEL ASSESSMENT

   You should be prepared to demonstrate how your prior learning meets the learning outcomes of the programme
    onto which you wish to study.

   This is normally through production of an APEL Portfolio (a collection of evidence and reflective statements
    related to prior experience and linked to the learning outcomes of the new programme onto which you wish to
    study). An APEL Portfolio is however just one method of assessment for APEL claims, alternatives might be:

    -   demonstration of experiential learning through case studies
    -   where appropriate observation of a performance, with support by written reflective work
    -   work related incident analysis

   There is the option to use other methods if they are appropriate and dependent on the individual case and needs
    of the programme onto which credit is sought.

   The format of APEL portfolios may vary depending on the nature of the programme and the requirements of a
    particular programme. It will be the responsibility of the APEL Portfolio Supervisor to determine with the applicant
    the format of the APEL portfolio.

IMPORTANT

   APEL Portfolio or other assessment development is a learning process, reflecting on the experience you have
    gained, therefore you will need to ensure you are able to complete the requirements of the portfolio development,
    and that you make your claim early enough to allow time for the APEL assessment to be completed, assessed
    and approved.

PLEASE NOTE: That there is no guarantee that an APECL claim will be approved as approval is an academic
decision based on the match between an applicant’s prior learning/experience and the learning outcomes of the new
programme they wish study.

For more information on the process for approving APEL please see Part 8 Process for Approval.
For more information on the regulations related to APECL please see Part 9 FAQ’s.




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                                    University of Kent Applicant APECL Guidance

Part 8 – Process for the approval of APECL at Kent
The APECL approval process differs for APCL and APEL. The differences are due to the way in which the prior
learning for APCL and APEL is assigned a credit value.

Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL )
For APCL where prior learning has been assessed and assigned a credit value, there is a clear comparison to be
made between the learning outcomes of the prior learning and the learning outcomes of the Kent programme. To
assess whether a claim for APCL can be agreed the following process is followed.


   Applicant expresses interest in claiming APCL when making application to university either via UCAS or directly.



Admissions Officer in the relevant School/Centre requests any supporting information and evidence from the applicant
                   and makes their academic decision based on the information available to them.



         Decision is reached by the Admission’s Officer and reported to Admissions, Faculty, School/Centre.



                                   Applicant is informed of the decision in writing.

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)
For APEL where prior learning/experience has not been formally been assessed and assigned a credit value, there
needs to be a demonstration that an applicant’s prior learning/experience can be mapped clearly to the learning
outcomes of the Kent programme. To assess whether a claim for APEL can be agreed requires a different process to
that for APCL, the following is followed ensuring that the APEL portfolio (or other APEL assessment) meets the
required learning outcomes, and is sufficient in terms of volume and level.

       Applicant expresses interest in APEL when making application to university either via UCAS or directly



   Applicant after an initial discussion with Admissions Officer or Programme Leader in relevant School/Centre, is
                                             assigned a Portfolio Supervisor.



                    APEL portfolio is developed by the applicant with Supervisor offering support.



  Completed portfolio is assessed by Portfolio Supervisor and recommendation is made to the APECL Sub-group.



 APECL Board/Sub-group ratify the recommendations of the Portfolio Supervisor – credit is awarded to the applicant.



                             Decision is reported to Admissions, Faculty, School/Centre.



                                     Applicant is informed of decision in writing.
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                                      University of Kent Applicant APECL Guidance

Please note:

   The decision on any APCL or APEL claim is an academic one, based on the prior learning/experience presented
    as part of the claim and whether it is a suitable match for the new programme.

   There is no guarantee that an applicant will be given credit for all of their prior learning/experience.



Guidance on Timescales for APECL Claims
The following are some guide time lines to consider when you are making an APECL claim. Actual timescales may be
longer or shorter dependent on the individual claim.

APCL

   It is recommended that any application involving APCL is made as soon as possible, as it must be made and
    approved prior to the commencement of the module(s) for which credit is sought. It is recommended that as soon
    as you have been offered a place on the programme that you want to join, you contact the relevant School/Centre
    about your APCL claim. It is recommended that you make a claim 6 weeks prior to the commencement of the
    module for which you are seeking credit, in order to allow time for a decision to be made.

APEL

   It is recommended that any application involving APEL is made as soon as possible, as it must be made and
    approved prior to the commencement of the module(s) for which credit is sought. If you wish to make an APEL
    claim, it is recommended that as soon as you have been offered a place on the programme that you want to join,
    you contact the Admissions Officer for the School/Centre responsible for the programme you wish to study on,
    who will ensure you are assigned a portfolio supervisor.

   Portfolio development can take some time; therefore it is recommended that you allow a minimum of 6 weeks to
    develop a portfolio. The amount of time required to develop a portfolio will depend on your individual programme
    and experience; it may well take more than 6 weeks.

   It is recommended that you allow time for your portfolio to be completed and assessed – assessment of a portfolio
    by the university can take up to 6 weeks from submission. This timescale includes time for an assessment by
    your Portfolio Supervisor, by the University of Kent APECL Sub-group, and APECL Board.

   You should allow enough time to make any changes to your portfolio should it not be successful at the first
    submission.

   Therefore it is recommended that where possible you allow a minimum of 12 weeks to develop, submit and
    approve an APEL portfolio – prior to the commencement for the module(s) onto which you are seeking credit.




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                                     University of Kent Applicant APECL Guidance

Part 9 – FAQs

FAQ’s
What is the difference between General and Specific Credit?

General credit is the amount of credit that your prior learning is worth in total, i.e. a degree is worth 360 general
credits. Specific credit is the amount of your general credit that can be specifically mapped against the learning
outcomes of the modules for which credit is being claimed.

 i.e. an applicant has 360 credits from a degree, but only 120 of these are relevant to the modules for which they are
seeking credit, the general credit value would be 360 credits, the specific credit value would be 120 credits.


What limits are there on the amount of credit that can be claimed?

There are certain limits on the amount of credit that can be used as APECL towards a new Kent programme. This is to
ensure that there is a sufficient amount of new learning carried out at the University of Kent, before a student can be
awarded a Kent qualification.

The exact limits are detailed in the University’s Credit Framework
http://www.kent.ac.uk/uelt/quality/credit/creditinfoannex3.html

Further information can also be found in the guidance section Part 5 – Limits, Currency and Spent Credit, available
on the CPP website http://www.kent.ac.uk/CPP/apecl.html

What grade will I receive for APECL?

Credit approved via the APECL process does not carry a numerical mark or contribute to the classification of the
programme for which you are applying to join. In other words the prior learning you submit in your claim provides
credit towards the overall programme, but cannot be used towards the final grade for the programme you take at Kent.

This may mean that you will not be able to claim credit against certain compulsory modules or pieces of coursework
that count towards your programme’s overall classification.

What are the deadlines for APECL claims?

It is important that you make an APECL claim PRIOR to starting the programme of study for which you are requesting
credit. This allows assessment of your claim, and if your claim is unsuccessful allows you to register for the modules
that you are claiming credit for.

When making an APECL claim you should always ensure that you are aware of the specific admission deadlines of
the programme which you are applying to join.

What would happen if an APECL claim is not successful?

There is no guarantee that an APECL claim will be successful, if you are for any reason unable to claim credit against
modules in your chosen programme, then you would be required to take those modules as normal.

Where can I find more information on the regulations and process of APECL at Kent?
Kent Quality Assurance Code of Practice

http://www.kent.ac.uk/uelt/quality/code2001/annexr.html

Kent Credit Framework

http://www.kent.ac.uk/uelt/quality/credit/creditinfoannex3.html



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                              University of Kent Applicant APECL Guidance

 Part 10 – Glossary of Terms
APCL                     This stands for Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning, learning which has been
                         completed formally and for which a certificate or transcript has been received.

APECL                    This stands or Accreditation of Prior Experiential and Certificated Learning, this is the
                         umbrella term used by the University of Kent to describe recognition of formally completed
                         prior learning, and learning from experience which can be used towards academic credit.

APEL                     This stands for Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning; this is the process of turning
                         informal learning and experience, into academic credit towards a programme of study. This
                         is usually achieved by completion of a portfolio of work.

Code of Practice for     This is the Kent Code of Practice for Quality Assurance, which in Annex R, details the
Quality Assurance of     rules and process for APECL at Kent.

Taught Programmes

Credit (Academic         Academic credit is awarded to students on completion of learning; it can also be awarded
Credit)                  for prior experience. Academic credit indicates the level of learning and the amount of
                         learning carried out.

Credit Transfer          The University also offers applicants the option of Credit Transfer. This relates to when an
                         applicant wishes to transfer whole stages of a programme into a Kent programme, from
                         another university where they are currently study. This is not subject to the APECL
                         procedures, where the study being used for credit has ECTS equivalence.

Currency                 Currency refers to when learning was completed. To be considered current learning must
                         normally have been completed within the last 5 years.

CPP                      CPP stands for Centre for Professional Practice which is the Department within the
                         university which has responsibility for managing the APECL process.
General Credit           General credit refers to the amount of academic credit that a programme is worth once it
                         has been completed. i.e. a BA/BSc (Hons) Degree is worth 360 general credits.

Learning Outcome         A learning outcome is a statement of what a learner is expected to know, understand and
                         demonstrate following study of a particular module/programme of study. Learning
                         outcomes are key in APECL as prior learning needs to be mapped to the learning
                         outcomes of the new programme of study to determine if credit can be awarded.

Level                    Refers to the level of learning carried out. Different higher education institutions refer to
                         level in different ways, at Kent learning is usually referred to as Certificate level,
                         Intermediate level, Honours level and Masters level. In other institutions this will be level 4,
                         5, 6, 7.

Level C (also known as   Stands for Certificate level, this is normally the first level of an honours degree, and the
level 4)                 first level taken on the way towards higher level qualifications. Certificates of Higher
                         Education can be awarded at this level.

Level I (also known as   Stands for Intermediate level, this is normally the second level of a honours degree, other
level 5)                 programmes at Intermediate level are ordinary (non-honours) degrees, Foundation
                         degrees, Diplomas of Higher Education, and other higher diplomas.

Level H (also known as   Stands for honours level, this is normally the third level of an honours degree, leading to a
level 6)                 BSc or BA (Hons) Degree. Other programmes at this level are Graduate Certificates or
                         Graduate Diplomas.



                                                     15
                                   University of Kent Applicant APECL Guidance

Level M (also known as         Stands for Masters level, this is the level normally taken by students who already have an
level 7)                       undergraduate honours degree or equivalent. Other programmes at this level include
                               Masters degrees in science and engineering that have been awarded after extended
                               undergraduate programmes. Other programmes at this level also include Postgraduate
                               Certificates and Postgraduate Diplomas.

Mapping                        Mapping is comparing the learning outcomes of the prior learning/experience of the
                               applicant, to the learning outcomes of their chosen Kent programme.
Module                         A module is unit of education on a specific subject area. A module is made up of a number
                               of learning outcomes.

Quality Assurance              The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) checks how universities
Agency                         maintain their own academic standards and quality. They review and report on how
                               Universities meet their responsibilities, identify good practice and make
                               recommendations for improvement. They publish guidelines to help institutions
                               develop effective systems to ensure students have the best learning experience.

Portfolio                      In the context of APECL a portfolio is a collection of work designed to demonstrate an
                               applicant’s experience and how learning from this experience relates to the programme for
                               which they are seeking APECL.

Programmes                     Programmes are the courses of academic study that the university offers, for example a
                               BA (Hons) is a degree programme.

Reflective Writing             This is the process of writing about past experience to support a claim for APEL. Reflective
                               writing in the context of APEL is looking back on your experience, analysing what you have
                               learnt from it, assessing how that will affect you in the future, in work or as student, and
                               linking it to the modules for which you are seeking credit.

Specific Credit                Specific credit refers to the amount of credit from a general credit value that can be
                               specifically mapped to the learning outcomes of the Kent programme for which you are
                               seeking credit.

Stage                          This refers to the stage of the programme onto which you are seeking APECL. For a full
                               time BA/BSc (Hons) for example you would normally have Stages 1, 2, and 3.

The Credit Framework  This is Kent’s Credit Framework which details the limits and rules on the use of academic
for Taught Programmes credit at Kent. Annex 3 relates specifically to the limits on the amount of credit that can be
                               used for APECL.




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