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Recognizing Prior Learning (RPL)

It is possible for students to earn credit for the learning they’ve completed prior to their studies at NSCC. This could be learning obtained through credit and non-credit courses, on the job training, work experiences, life experiences, volunteer activities, and personal study. NSCC has two processes for assessing and Recognizing Prior Learning (RPL):

  • Transfer Credit
  • Challenge for Credit

Students can apply for RPL as soon as they are admitted into a program and may earn up to 75% of their program through the RPL process. The request for transfer credit assessment needs to be submitted prior to the deadline outlined in the current year Academic Schedule for the semester which the course is in.

Important notes about the RPL Process

  • Part-time students who are not declared in a program can only request a transfer credit assessment.
  • RPL cannot be used to upgrade a recognized NSCC grade.
  • RPL cannot be used to obtain a pass in a failed NSCC course if the learning occurred prior to being unsuccessful in a NSCC course.
  • If you are currently enrolled in the class, you should continue to attend classes until your challenge or transfer credit has been granted.

Transfer Credits

Students who believe they have successfully completed the equivalent of an NSCC course at another post-secondary institution may apply for a Transfer Credit (PDF 464KB). If NSCC agrees that the course is equivalent, a Transfer Credit is granted. Transfer credits will appear on your transcript as "CR", and will not be included in the honours calculation.

When submitting your Transfer Credit Application, please ensure:

  • appropriate documentation (including: course outline and official transcript) from the other institution(s) to support the application for transfer credit is provided
  • course(s) have been completed from a public institution within the past ten years;

There is no fee charged to process transfer credits.

Challenge for Credit

Students who believe they have already completed equivalent learning to that offered by an NSCC course, may challenge for credit (PDF 433KB). The Prior Learning Challenge Credit process may involve one or any combination of the following:

  • Challenge exams
  • Interviews
  • Skills demonstrations, projects, case studies, assignments, essays;
  • Portfolio assessment, which includes a collection of materials that clearly demonstrates, documents, and matches your prior learning to NSCC course or program learning outcomes.

The cost for full time learners is covered in their program tuition. The cost for a part time learners is the equivalent of one unit of study and includes all courses challenged.

Any prior learning that is awarded credit will appear on your transcript as "P".

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