Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

The Chartered Banker Institute recognises that knowledge and skills can be attained from a broad range of learning.The Institute is therefore committed to ensuring that, where appropriate, knowledge and skills which are gained via the certificated programmes of other recognised awarding bodies can be given credit towards its own professional qualification programmes. 

What is Prior Learning?

Prior Learning is any learning that is undertaken by an individual prior to enrolling for a qualification made by the Chartered Banker Institute. Learning must be relevant to the knowledge, skills and understanding which will be assessed as part of that new Institute qualification. 

What is Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)? 

Recognition of Prior Learning (also known as Approved Prior Learning) is the process whereby the Institute is able to formally recognise previously assessed and certificated learning and make an award of credit. 

This award of credit can then be transferred to the qualification being studied with the Institute, which means that the academic study requirements of the new qualification will be less than that which is normally required. 

How can RPL be used? 

Once RPL credit has been awarded, it can be used in two main ways:

  1. To provide a specific amount of credit at a specified academic level which count towards a Chartered Banker Institute qualification - this is the most common use of RPL credit. 
  2. To gain a module exemption in respect of one or more specific Chartered Banker Institute qualification modules.

General Principles

  • Applications are accepted for fully completed and awarded qualifications. The Institute may however, at its discretion, and where the appropriate evidence is provided, consider an award of RPL credit where only individual units / modules have been successfully completed. 
  • The minimum amount of RPL credit that will be awarded is 10 credits and the normal maximum amount of RPL credit that will be awarded is 50 credits.
  • RPL credit cannot be awarded unless the prior learning is at least equivalent to level 7 on the Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework (SCQF). For more information on the SCQF, see Explaining Educational Levels
  • No Chartered Banker Institute qualification can be attained solely on the basis of RPL credit. At least one Chartered Banker Institute module must be completed in respect of any qualification. 
  • The qualification assessment method must be similar in standard, scope and rigour to a Chartered Banker Institute module. 
  • Academic qualifications, e.g. a university bachelor's or honours degree, must have been completed within the last 10 years in order to be eligible for the award of RPL credit.

RPL Application Process

Anyone wishing to apply for RPL credit should complete and submit the online RPL Application Form, (which is supported by our Recognised Prior Learning - Guidance Notes for Uploading Evidence) along with an attested copy of each relevant award certificate and an attested copy of the relevant transcript of studies or results letter - these must be in PDF format. 

NB. Where the required documentary evidence is not properly attested; or where one or more documents are missing: or where the evidence is not PDF format, the application will not be assessed and will be returned to the applicant. 

Attestation of Qualifications / Transcripts 

The attestation (certification) of each document must be made by an individual of professional standing. For example, this could be an accountant , notary public, solicitor or doctor. Alternatively, your employer may attest the document(s) if you are employed by a major bank or other major and widely-recognised employer. 

To attest a copy, the individual should: 

  • state the following on the document: 'I have seen the original document and certify that this is a complete and accurate copy'
  • write their name, position and / or capacity, e.g. solicitor, employer, etc. and a contact address and an official stamp wherever possible
  • add their signature and the date. 

The Institute may, at its discretion, also require applicants to provide further details of their prior learning, including, for example, one or more of the following: 

  • learning outcomes
  • syllabus
  • assessment criteria
  • assessment materials.

The Institute's Awarding Body will, on receipt of the full requirements, review the application to determine if the applicant is eligible to receive and RPL credit. The applicant will normally be advised of the RPL decision by email within 10 working days.

Where an application for RPL credit is declined, the reason(s)  for the application will be stated. 

Offers of RPL must be exercised within six months of the date of the notification of the RPL decision. 

Fees Payable

No fees are incurred where a student / prospective student applies for the award of RPL credit. 

Where an application for the award of RPL credit is successful, a fee is normally payable. The fee is payable in respect of each successful RPL application is dependent upon the number of credits awarded, with each credit attracting a fee of £10. It is irrespective if the credits are awarded at academic level SCQF 7 or SCQF 10.

As an example, if 10 credit points are awarded, the fee payable is £100, irrespective of the SCQF level. 

The maximum fee currently payable in respect of the award of RPL credit is £500

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy

View the Institute's full Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy.