Guidelines and Procedures for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Applicants

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Guidelines and Procedures for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Applicants June, 2017

1.     Introduction
For the purpose of these guidelines, RPL may be defined as an assessment process of an individual’s informal or formal learning in order to determine the extent to which that individual has achieved the required learning outcomes, competencies, or standards to make him/her eligible to apply for admission to a specified degree programme. Under the UQF 6, the qualification guideline provides for an RPL pathway as an alternative access point for UQF 8.
The 7th Special Meeting of the Joint Admissions Committee held on 9th February 2012, abolished the Mature Age entry examinations which were then replaced by RPL. TCU in its 60th meeting of the Commission held on 14thMarch 2013 approved the guidelines for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and its implementation started from academic year 2013/2014.
These guidelines are issued in accordance with the introduction of the UniversityQualificationsFramework (UQF) in 2012 which requires Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) as an entry point to UQF8. These guidelines are for RPL in respect to cases which were previously considered as part of the Mature Age Entry Examination arrangements.

2.       Principles

a)            RPL is critical to the development of an open, accessible, inclusive, integrated and relevant post-compulsory education and training system, and is the key foundation for lifelong learning policies that encourage individuals to participate in learning pathways that include formal, non-formal  and informal learning.
b)           RPL will be assessed through examinations organized along targeted programmes.
c)             The certificate issued shall be used for purpose of applying for admission into a relevant degree only in Tanzania Universities.
d)           The model of RPL that is implemented must be aligned with the outcomes, goals, and objectives of the qualification intended to be pursued by the candidate.
e)            RPL should recognizeapplicant’s learning regardless of how and where it was acquired, provided that the learning is relevant to the learning or competency outcomes in a subject, unit module, course or qualification to be pursued by the candidate.
f)               Admission to any university is competitive. The RPL assessment, therefore, does not imply a guaranteed enrolment intoother institutions that accept RPL students. The candidate may apply for admission and competebased on the available capacity/slots using the certificate obtained in the RPL examinations. However, one is assured of direct admission after passing RPL Exams if he/she wishes to study in the same RPL Centre.

3.     RPL eligibility.

RPL shall involve the following: -

         Certificate of Primary Education

Candidates with primary education must possess the following qualifications:
a)            Must have completed and possess a standard seven certificates;
b)           Must have progressed to NTA level 5;
c)             Must have practiced the acquired knowledge for not less than five years.

         Certificate of Secondary Education

Candidates with secondary education shall possess the following qualifications:
a)            Must have completed and possess a certificate of secondary education;
b)           Must have attended any extramural classes;
c)                Must have experience of not less than five years in the relevant field.

         Advanced Certificate of Secondary Education

Candidates with Advanced Certificates of Secondary Education shall possess the following qualifications:
a)            Must have completed and possess a Certificate of Advance Certificate of Secondary Education;
b)           Must have attended any extramural classes;
c)             Must have experience of not less than three years in a relevant field.

            Diploma Education

Candidates with Diploma Education shall possess the following qualifications:
a)            Must have completed a two to three years Diploma programme;
b)           Must have experience of not less than three years in a relevant field.

            Candidates with foreign certificates

Candidates with secondary or Diploma Education shall possess the following qualifications:
a)            Must have completed either secondary education or diploma education outside the country;
b)              Must have met the above-mentioned criteria as per item (ii), (iii), and (iv) above.

4.     Application requirements

Applicants for RPL examinations should produce the following documents for evaluation before registration to the examination:
a)      Evidence of age not below 25 years;
b)     Resume/Curriculum Vitae;

c)       Certificates of achievement or participation obtained prior to applying for RPL;
d)     Copies   of    academic    certificates    obtained    in    formal   studies    previously undertaken;
e)      Competence in both written and spoken English; and
f)         Other evidences as may be applicable including the following documents:
i)       Performance appraisals/review by the employer, for those employed;
ii)     Job/Position Description for those employed;
iii)   Evidence of any community work;
iv)   Community/ office/industry awards;
v)     Completed work products;
vi)   Magazine/newspaper articles about work; and vii)Outlines of courses undertaken;
viii)      Supervisor’s reports.

5.     Application procedures

a)            The Commission shall advertise programmes whose admission may include RPL candidates each academic year.
b)           Candidates shall be required to apply for RPL examination through the Central Admission System (CAS) each academic year once advertised by the Commission.
c)             Candidates who meet the minimum requirements as stipulated in Section 4 above shall be given an examination card attached with candidate’ photo and be required to appear for examination at an approved examination center.
d)           The approved centers for coordination of RPL examinations 2017/18 academic year are shown on Table 1.

Table 1 - RPL centers with their discipline.

RPL Exam Centre
Open University of Tanzania
Education, Laws, Information
Communication Technology (ICT) and Social Sciences.

Tumaini University Dar es Salaam College (TUDARCo).
Journalism and Mass Communication.

Sokoine University of
Agriculture General, Horticulture,
Agribusiness, Human Nutrition, Forestry, Veterinary Medicine, and Wildlife.

Mzumbe University (MU).
Accounting, Management, and
Tumaini University Makumira.
Music, Divinity/Theology

6.     Registration, Examination and Application fee.
 Mode of Payment
a.) Applicants shall pay One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Tanzanian Shillings (Tshs.
150,000/-) for registration and examination as follows: -
i.                     Fifty Thousand Tanzanian shillings (Tsh. 50, 000/-) shall be paid through TCU Bank A/C No. 01J1026795702 CRDB Bank tocover for registration and administration costs;
ii.                   One  Hundred  Thousand  Tanzanian  Shillings  (TSh.100,  000/-)  shall  be
paid directly to the RPL centers to cover for the RPL examination costs.
b.) After paying application fee, RPL applicants are required to submit to TCU a paying slip through e-mail rpl@tcu.go.tz or submit hardcopy direct to TCU premises. Applicants MUST ensure that the payment bank slips contain names of the applicant, valid e-mail address and mobile numbers for easily communication.
c.) TCU having received the paying slips and upon payment verification, will provide  an
RPLpaymentID Number through the E-mail OR Mobile indicated.
d.) RPL applicants shall use the given Payment ID Numbers to login to the system for registration.

         Online registration for RPL Examinations

a.    Open the TCU website www.tcu.go.tz;
b.   Click ONLINE SYSTEMS link on the top menu of the TCU website then click CASto open Central Admission System;
c.    For self-registration of a new applicant, click “RPL Registration” link; to open window for RPL Registration Confirmation.
d.   Click on New RPL Applicants Registration link to open the Registration Form
e.    Fill self-registration form to register and click “Submit” button to create your account;
f.     After   creating   an   account,   successful   registration   message   will    be
displayed. Click on the “Continue” button to complete registration;
g.    Click “Additional Details link on the Registration Module, fill in your
personal particulars and click Submit button;
h.   Click on “set Secret” in order tochoose secret question and answer which will be used to cover password when forgotten.
i.      Click “Upload Attachments”link and thenclickthe respective Browse button to attach your personal attachments. “Click  Upload attachments” button to submit the uploaded files.
j.      To add or edit your registration particulars click on Add/Edit information link to upgrade your profile.
k.    You can print or save your profile in PDF format for future reference.
NOTE: Applicants should submit to TCU premises all certified copies of the documents attached on section 6.2(i) including recentcoloured passport size photo. Applicant should make sure that the documents submitted are marked with RPL Registration Number and field of study.

7.     Assessment for RPL

a)            The assessment shall focus on the discipline that the candidate wants to pursue for further learning.
b)           The assessment tools (in terms of questions, grading, and credits) shall be as approved by the Commission.
c)             The minimum RPL pass mark shall be an average of grade ‘B+’ in which A= 75- 100; B+=65-74; B=50-64; C=40-49; D=35-39; F=0-38.
d)           The examination shall be comprised of three papers in which paper Oneshall carry 30 marks (English and Mathematics); paper TWOshall carry 30 marks (General Paper) and paper THREE (Specific discipline/field) shall carry 40 marks.
e)            A candidate must score at least 50% from paper THREE(i.e. specific discipline) which is 20 (50% of 40) marks and obtain other marks from other papers. Failure to attain 50% in paper THREE (i.e. specific discipline) will disqualify a candidate from passing the examination.
f)               Results of RPL shall be published by the Commission and RPL Centres.
g)            Candidates who have passed at an average of B+ grade and above shall be eligible to apply for admission during the applicable admission cycle.

8.     RPL Certificates

a)               There shall be a certificate issued to a candidate who has sat and passed RPL examination at an average of B+ grade.
b)                A certificate shall be issued by an institution approved by the Commission to issue such a certificate.
c)                  Candidates with RPL Certificatesshall be able to apply for admission to a relevant programme in any Higher LearningInstitution that accept RPL students in Tanzania
d)                RPL certificate shall be valid for one year from the date it was issued in recognition of the ability of the candidate to pursue higher education in the specified field of study.

 Tanzania Commission for Universities 
P.O.Box 6562 Dar es Salaam
Tel +255 22 2772657 or +255 22 2772869
Fax +255 22 2772891 \Email: es@tcu.go.tz 
Dar es Salaam

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