RPL recognised as the route to the National Trade Test

By Sam Dubazana

Before, the only route available to take a National Trade Test was for the candidate to have an N1, N2, or N3 qualification, and to have worked in the industry according to section 28 of the repealed Manpower Training Act of 1981.

Following the publication of the Criteria and Guidelines for the Implementation of Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning (ARPL) by the Minister of Higher Education and Training in Government Gazette No. 40691, dated 17 March 2017, notice No. 228, ARPL will be implemented on a phased basis at accredited Trade Test Centres as capacity develops and toolkits for particular trades are approved by the National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB) per Trade Test Regulation 11(4).

The phased implementation will be based on approved toolkits for the legacy trades that appear on the National Trade List published in Government Gazette No. 35625, dated 31 August 2012. Where a toolkit for a particular trade is not available, transitional arrangements outlined in Regulation 11(5) of the Trade Test Regulations will apply.

Whenever a toolkit for a particular trade has been approved and is scheduled for implementation, a circular will be issued by the director general to inform stakeholders that the transitional arrangements for specific trades will no longer apply for that particular trade from a determined date.

Trade Test Centres that are accredited will be able to apply for the approved ARPL toolkits from the NAMB for the trade or trades for which they are accredited once the toolkits are available.

What is RPL?
Recognition of Prior Learning is one of the principles underpinning the objectives of the NQF. In the SAQA publication Criteria and Guidelines for Assessment of NQF registered Unit Standards and Qualifications (October 2001), RPL is described as follows:

  • “Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)” means the principles and processes through which the prior knowledge and skills of a person are made visible, mediated, and assessed for the purposes of alternative access and admission, recognition and certification, or further learning and development.
  • “To, through assessment, give credit to learning which has already been acquired in different ways.”

For more details about ARPL, Craig Pereira can be contacted on 011 206 1113 or at pereira.c@dhet.gov.za 


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