Accreditation of Prior Certified Learning (APCL)

What is APCL?

APCL gives recognition to learning which has been formally assessed and for which a certificate has been awarded; this process avoids duplication of assessment for individuals undertaking this programme.

The RPS will consider accreditation of prior certified learning applications by applying the following principles:

  • APCL will not be awarded for high-stakes outcomes. All individuals undertaking the programme will have to demonstrate achievement of all high-stakes curriculum outcomes.
  • APCL learning may be awarded to exempt individuals from being assessed against medium-stakes and low-stakes outcomes.
  • APCL requests must be relevant, authentic, and valid.
  • APCL requests must be at the equivalent level of performance as described in this curriculum’s programme of learning.
  • Patient safety must never be compromised.

How can I apply for APCL?

If you have certified learning which you would like to be considered for exemption, you will need to submit an accreditation of prior certified learning application for review by an RPS accreditation of prior certified learning assessor. You will need to provide a copy of the relevant certificate and/or transcript along with the programme learning outcomes and/or assessment criteria and will need to undertake a mapping exercise to demonstrate which outcomes the certified learning meets. 
You will need to email your completed application to [email protected] 

What happens if my certified learning is not eligible for APCL?

Where APCL is not granted or if an outcome is not eligible for APCL, evidence that has been previosuly assessed as part of a portfolio assessment or other educational programme can be included in their portfolio. 
Notes on curriculum mapping
  • The core advanced curriculum requires candidates to demonstrate the have applied capabilities in practice – therefore if the prior certified learning did not require assessed application in practice, it is unlikely automatic exemption will be granted
  • Exemption is granted based on the learning outcomes/assessment of the prior programme (not the content/evidence the candidate has produced)
  • Independent prescribing programmes are aligned to the RPS Post-registration Foundation Curriculum – therefore independent prescribing programmes will not be considered for APCL against the RPS Core Advanced Curriculum (n.b. portfolio evidence can still be used as part of the Core Advanced curriculum assessment)

What exemptions will be offered to candidates who have previously completed RPS Faculty?

Any candidate who has previously undertaken the RPS Faculty Assessment can request APCL. Exemptions will be automatically applied based on the level of achievement of the candidate and the mapping of the core advanced curriculum to the APF. Exemptions will not be provided for high stakes outcomes.

For more information or should you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected]

APCL request examples

Core Advanced APCL request example