RPL instructions

Principles

The recognition of prior learning (RPL) process allows you to use previous learning that corresponds to the intended learning outcomes specified in Diak’s curriculum or course delivery plan for credit transfer towards your degree. 

The RPL process is initiated by you. You can apply if you are an attending student on a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programme at Diak.

Apply for RPL at the start of a semester to transfer credits towards modules scheduled for the next semester, unless you have made other arrangements with your study guidance counsellor or lecturer. First-year students can apply for RPL for modules in the first semester even after they have started.

You can apply for full or partial RPL accreditation for a module by using the online form available on MyDiak. The autumn  2021 application period for starts 23rd August and ends  30th September  2021 for modules scheduled for spring 2022 or later as per your study plan, with the exception of students beginning their studies now. You cannot apply for RPL for current or previously unfinished modules. 

Carefully read through the learning aims and course content of your degree programme. You'll find the descriptions on MyDiak, from your own personal study plan. Click on the name of the course to see all descriptions and the 11-character code of the course in question. In the course information you'll also find  RPL-instructions with additional information on applying for RPL and the skills required for RPL to be possible. Implementation plans for the current semester can be found on Diak's Study search (http://koulutushaku.diak.fi or Studies - Implementation plans on the top menu of your MyDiak page).

Assess your existing knowledge, skills and competencies in relation to the learning outcomes. Consider why you are applying for RPL, what knowledge and skills you have in relation to the content and learning outcomes. Also consider how current your knowledge and skills are. Consider whether it would be more beneficial for you to complete the study module instead of applying for RPL. Be prepared to describe your prior learning on the e-application.

Procedures
1. Upgrade students (holders of a vocational college diploma in the same field, opistotutkinto)

If you have a vocational college diploma in the field in question, you are a so-called upgrade student, which means that you are upgrading your diploma-level qualification to a Bachelor’s degree. You will draw up your personal study plan with the study guidance counsellor at the start of the programme. Your previous qualification will be taken into account in the plan. For other types of prior learning, submit a credit transfer application to the teacher who is responsible for the RPL process for the module in question.

2. Formal prior learning, e.g. higher education studies
  • If applying for RPL on the basis of prior higher education studies, please note that the prior learning must correspond to the contents, learning outcomes and scope of the modules in question and be up to date. You can also apply for credit transfer towards elective or complementary professional studies.
  • Follow the instructions provided in MyDiak to submit your RPL application. Enter the name of your study guidance counsellor as the decision-maker. You can check your study guidance counsellor on MyDiak. Choose settings and student information (upper right-hand corner).
  • Combine scanned certificates of your previous formal learning into one file and attach according to the instructions.
  • You will receive the decision by email.
  • If your RPL application is rejected, you will complete the module as per normal procedure.
  • If you are required to supplement your prior learning, the study guidance counsellor or RPL coordinator of the module in question will specify the method of supplementary or alternative demonstration of competence. These include e.g. learning diaries, learning maps, essays, reflective writing, work tests, written or oral exams, sharing of expertise, interviews, group discussions, videos, or feedback from colleagues, supervisors or subordinates.
  • The study guidance counsellor or course coordinator may specify the date by which you have to complete the demonstration.
  • It is your responsibility to keep a copy of the decision on the supplementary/alternative demonstration until you have successfully completed the course.
  • Fill in the application carefully and make sure that you attach all the required documents. RPL applications cannot be supplemented by email after you have received the decision.

The thesis cannot be substituted by RPL. 

RES1 and RES2 studies can be partially accredited if you have completed research methods or thesis in your previous higher education studies.

However, you may be able to utilise your previous thesis project in some cases according to Diak guidelines.

3. Informal prior learning (work experience, hobbies, other training)
  • If you would like to use your prior informal learning towards your degree, make sure that you read the module delivery plans first and familiarise yourself with the module aims and contents. Assess whether your knowledge and skills are up to date.  
  • Follow the instructions provided on MyDiak to submit your RPL application. Enter the name of the RPL coordinator for the module in question as the decision-maker. The names of RPL coordinators can be found on Diak’s website.
  • Under “Summary of prior learning”, give a concise description of your relevant knowledge and skills. Please note that it is not enough to state that you have a vocational qualification and that you have five years’ work experience in the social field. Specifically, you should describe the exact knowledge and skills you have that are relevant to the module contents. Please note, that you alone are responsible for describing your prior learning sufficiently in the application. The lecturer in charge of RPL will make the decision solely based on the information available in the application and no additional or supplementary information will be requested. You cannot supplement an RPL application by email after you have received a decision.
  • Combine scanned copies of your previous formal learning into one file and attach to the application according to the instructions. Do not attach image files.
  • If your RPL application is approved, the module will be entered in the register and marked as a PASS (HYV) with the abbreviation RPL and the decision statement in the notes.
  • If your RPL application is rejected, you will complete the module as per normal procedure.
  • You can also apply for partial credit transfer, in which case you can be exempt from half of the practical training periods, or requested to give a supplementary demonstration of competence. The lecturer in charge of RPL will specify the supplementary or alternative method. These include e.g. partial practical training periods, learning diaries, learning maps, essays, reflective writing, work tests, written or oral exams, sharing of expertise, interviews, group discussions, videos, or feedback from colleagues, supervisors or subordinates.
  • The lecturer in charge of RPL may specify the date by which you have to complete the demonstration.
  • It is your responsibility to keep a copy of the decision on the supplementary/alternative demonstration until you have successfully completed the module.
4. RPL of language studies

Please contact your study advisor for details on RPL of language studies.

RPL orientation
  • Read the RPL guidelines, course descriptions and additional information on RPL carefully. Attend information sessions or watch the clip to find out how to proceed. You can seek advice from your study guidance counsellor or the lecturer responsible for the semester program.
  • Begin by collecting all of the necessary attachments to one document (pdf file). Fill in the application carefully, following all instructions and take care to add all attachments to the application. You cannot reopen an application after saving, so make a copy of the justifications you present for yourself. Please note that in most cases we will not ask you to resubmit your application or any additional information regarding your application. Also note that RPL applications cannot be supplemented by email after you have received the decision.
Decisions  
  • Please note that the processing time is one month after the submission deadline. The decision is recorded on your eRPL application.
  • The decision will be made by the lecturer in charge of RPL or your study guidance counsellor.
  • Please note that decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. For example, a certain length of work experience does not automatically guarantee approval.
  • Approved courses are recorded in the register and marked PASS (HYV) and the decision statement is entered in the notes. Details of partial RPL approval are specified in the module notes.
  • Credits transferred based on RPL may not be taken into account in the calculation of your study progress for the purpose of calculating your student financial aid by Kela. You should aim to schedule other modules to fill any gaps so that you will earn at least 55 ECTS credits per academic year.
Appeals and reapplying after a rejected application

Section 19 of the Degree Regulations concers RPL (Identification and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Work-Based Learning).

Appealing the decision

A student who is not satisfied with an RPL decision can appeal the decision. The appeal must specify which part of the decision the applicant is unsatisfied with. Appeals are directed to the Examination Board. The student must contact the secretary of the Board within 14 days of being notified of the decision and the basis of the decision per the relevant assessment criteria (L 932/2014, 57 §). The secretary of the Board will inform the student of the procedure for appealing the RPL decision. The student must send the appeal with necessary attachments to the Examination Board secretary in writing, at the latest by two calendar weeks prior to the Examination Board meeting.

Reapplying for RPL after a rejected application

A new RPL application for the same study unit cannot be accepted if the student has not acquired new learning and skills in the related topic after the rejection of the previous application. However, if the rejection of the previous RPL application was based on something other than the description of prior learning (in reference to the study unit core content and learning aims), the student can apply for RPL again.

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