Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) is committed to member education and enabling lifeguards to achieve recognised qualifications within New Zealand. The following outlines the process to gain recognition of prior learning (RPL) for qualifications.

What is RPL?

Recognition of prior learning describes a process used to evaluate skills and knowledge gained outside the classroom.  These skills and knowledge are then recognised against a set of standards or learning objectives.  To be granted RPL, you need to collect and present evidence that clearly demonstrates you have met or exceeded the requirements of all the learning outcomes on the SLSNZ course or award.

What kind of evidence is required?

Evidence for assessment may come from:

  • Recognised proven achievements outside formal learning.
  • Achievement gained through a formal learning programme 

Your evidence may come from a variety of sources, which may include:

  • Existing qualifications or parts of qualifications. NB: Both a copy of the qualification transcript or certificate and a list of learning objectives or content of each of the relevant topics covered in the course, must be supplied.
  • Log books 
  • Documentation of observations of your performance.
  • References and testimonials from recognised educators, coaches or sports administrators.
  • Your Curriculum Vitae
  • Verified attestations of your experience or qualifications.

The evidence should be concise and arranged systematically in a portfolio so the assessor can easily see the match between your evidence and the SLSNZ learning outcomes. The onus is on you to present all necessary evidence. To protect the credibility of SLSNZ and in fairness to those who complete the full SLSNZ courses and awards, your application will initially be declined if insufficient evidence is submitted.

The evidence you provide must:

  • Be verifiable as your own work.
  • Be related to the SLSNZ courses you are seeking credit for.
  • Demonstrate what you know, understand and are able to do now, not what you were able to do three or more years ago.

Who will assess the evidence and how will it be assessed?

SLSNZ will evaluate your application, undertake any necessary checks and communicate the result to you. Checks may include:

  • Personal interview
  • Checking authenticity of information supplied
  • Contacting a nominated referee
  • Endorsement by your club
  • Requesting completion of an appropriate assessment task
  • Observation of your performance

What are the outcomes of the process?

The assessor must be confident you are able to meet or exceed all of the requirements of the learning outcomes for the SLSNZ course/qualification for which you seek RPL. The assessor may decide:

  1. Your evidence meets all requirements and SLSNZ will issue the Award.
  2. Your evidence meets some, but not all of the requirements. Further evidence may be required and/or you may be asked to complete an assessment task in order to demonstrate competency in the areas where your evidence does not cover, or does not meet, the requirements.
  3. Your evidence does not meet the requirements and the assessor recommends you enrol in all or part of a SLSNZ course or complete a module(s).

Whats next?

To apply for Recognition of Prior Learning please download the application form below