The interpretation of a knowledge claim in the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and the impact of this on RPL practice

27 Jun 2016

The question addressed in this paper is: what does a knowledge claim consist of in the context of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)? The research comprises a case study of RPL applicants' entry into a postgraduate diploma (a fourth-year programme) in project management. The focus is on the knowledge claims made as part of the RPL application by experienced project managers and leaders. Three different aspects of the knowledge claims are analysed: what the knowledge claim consists of; what the academic interpretation of the claims is; and how the interpretation of the claims impacts on the RPL approach. The findings deal with the knowledge of the project management cycle prior to entry into higher education. It is found that knowledge claims not only consist of theoretical knowledge but also mainly situational knowledge, ability and attitude. In addition, the knowledge claims made in the RPL application based on the relevant and substantial knowledge are acknowledged by the academic institution in question. The RPL approach that results from the interpretation of the knowledge claims does conform to one RPL approach, within the paradigm of project management.