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For qualified healthcare professionals

Recognition of Prior Learning (formerly APEL)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), formerly known as Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning, incorporates:

  • Recognition of prior certificated learning (RPCL)
  • Recognition of prior experiential learning (RPEL)

RPL enables registered practitioners to enter a diploma or degree programme at different stages by recognising and accrediting academic and experiential learning already achieved elsewhere, either in course work at another institution or in practice.

Decisions about the level and amount of credit to be awarded for prior learning are made by the Accreditation Panel, based on the evidence that you are able to provide about the learning from your degree programme or other relevant experiences.

The accreditation panel meets once per term to review recommendations of the accreditation assessors and award credit accordingly. It is important for practitioners who wish to receive credit for prior learning to discuss the potential for this before commencing a programme of study.

For practitioners who wish to enter Level 6 studies but do not meet the requirement of 120 Level 5 credits, it may be possible to utilise a professional portfolio to gain direct entry to Level 6 studies by Advanced Standing. Criteria for the portfolio are available on request, along with tutorial support for portfolio development.

Postgraduate students may transfer up to 120 credits towards a masters programme.

How to apply for accreditation

Accreditation is a three-step process:

Step 1: Discussion with an Accreditation Consultant

Step 2: Completion of the Accreditation Claim Form

Step 3: Compiling and submitting an Accreditation Profile

Details on how to complete each step, and the accreditation claim form, can be found in the Accreditation Handbook.

Accreditation fees

Fees for making accreditation claims are as follows:

  • £180 per 15 credits
  • £720 for advanced standing accreditation (equivalent to 120 credits)

In many cases fees are paid by the applicant’s employer by arrangement with the College. However, if you wish to self-fund your accreditation claim, you can pay online.

Note that fees are non-returnable if the application for accreditation is not successful.

Accreditation panel meeting dates

  • Accreditation Panel: 4 September 2018
  • Portfolio submission deadline: 27 August 2018
  • Accreditation Panel: 5 March 2019
  • Portfolio submission deadline: 19th February 2019
  • Accreditation Panel: 4 June 2019
  • Portfolio submission deadline: 21st May 2019
  • Accreditation Panel: 17September 2019
  • Portfolio submission deadline: 3rd September 2019


For more information about accreditation, or to book an appointment with an accreditation consultant, please email the Nightingale Student Hub with your details.

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