Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL)

Thank you for your interest in Access to Recognised Training for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) program for Hospitality Industry professionals and educators.
By choosing to apply for RPL with us you will be undertaking one of the most up-to-date industry-relevant recognition programs available.
The Institute of Tourism Studies recognises that knowledge, skills and competencies can be gained in a variety of ways; through formal education as well as training, workplace experience or general life wide learning. 

What is RPL?

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is the process through which students can gain exemption to, or credit within a nationally recognised qualification course/s based on learning outcomes of the study unit candidates apply for including competencies gained through formal, non-formal and informal learning.
The two most common methods for gaining skills recognition are:
1. Credit Transfer (CT)
2. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Credit Transfer (CT)
Credit Transfer assesses the initial course, subject or unit of competence that an individual is using to claim access to, exemption or the award of credit in, the destination course to determine the extent to which it is equivalent to the required learning outcomes, competency outcomes, or standards in a qualification.
Units to be considered for credit transfer will correspond substantially in content, objectives and standard to equivalent units in the Institute course.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
RPL is a form of assessment which is the process of recognising a person’s skills, knowledge and competencies which candidates may have acquired through previous personal development training, education, work and/or general life experience. The benefits of RPL may reduce the time a student has to spend for attending classes or relearning what they already know and achieved through life – long learning and experience.
The evidence the applicant provides must be authentic (something they have prepared, produced or has been written about them by a relevant third party), and must be sufficient to demonstrate competence against the unit/s of competence.
The applicant must also be able to demonstrate that this evidence is still current and relevant. This may be through a variety of means such as a portfolio of evidence, interviews, voluntary work, written answers, assignment , case studies or a practical demonstration.
The evidence of these skills and knowledge may be used to grant credits or exemption for a subject, module, course or qualification.

The Recognition for Prior Learning Flow Chart


What will the candidate be assessed against?
The candidate will be assessed against the study unit learning descriptor which clearly states the knowledge, skills and competence for that particular study unit the candidate is applying for, even though you might not have achieved these through work experience, informal and non-formal training and education. These may include working experience, continuous personal development, voluntary work, and life- long learning.

Self-Assessment Prior to RPL Application
The candidate is encouraged that prior to applying will carry a self-assessment of the study unit that the candidate is applying for. This can be done by looking at the study unit descriptors and the MQF Level which can be provided here. The candidate is also advised to carry a self-assessment for authenticity, relevance and validity as stated underneath;


  • Is the evidence your own work?
  • Are the qualifications, references and licences presented by you; authentic documents?


  • Does the evidence show that you can perform the competence while working?
  • Does the evidence demonstrate that through professional development, experience or continued employment that your skills and knowledge are current?


  • Does the evidence cover the full range of performance identified in the unit of competency?
  • Does the evidence show competence over a period of time?
  • Does the evidence show competence in a range of contexts?


  • Does the evidence relate to a unit of competence?
  • Does the evidence reflect the four dimensions of competency?
  • Does the evidence address the key competencies?


Applying for RPL

Candidates who are interested to apply for RPL will be required to upload together with the application form to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., scanned copies of identification documents such as your National Identity Card or Passport and an official Job History Employment. e.g Job’s Plus Employment History.

Once the application form is filled this must be returned or submitted to the registrar’s office of The Institute of Tourism Studies by email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and the RPL coordinator on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further clarification and guidance.

Applications for RPL are to be submitted prior to an enrolment for a course. The ideal time frame stipulated is of at least 28 working days. 

There are two stages in the Recognition for Prior Learning progression. The first stage of the process is to immediately seek guidance provided from The Institute of Tourism Studies RPL coordinator once the candidate formally applies for RPL by email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click Here for the RPL Application Form


Candidates must clearly identify the course, study unit learning outcome or competences that the candidate wish to be assessed trough recognition for prior learning on the application form. Only a maximum of 50% of the total

European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) or European Credit Vocational Educational Training (ECVET) from a whole course program or unit may be rewarded through credit transfer of the RPL.

Example 1: If a whole course is made of 60 ECTS’s only 30 ECTS can be transferred from Recognition for Prior Learning.

Example 2: If a learning outcome or competence has a number of ECTS allocated to it only half of these can be transferred from Recognition for Prior Learning assessment.

Candidates who may have obtained and exemption through formal qualification will be counted as being part of the maximum credits that a candidate may achieve from both Exemption and RPL.

Example 3: If a whole course is made of 60 ECTS’s and 10 credits have been awarded through exemption only 20 ECTS can be transferred from Recognition for Prior Learning which gives a combined total of 50% of the credits from a course.

Preparing Collection of Evidence

The process of gathering, certifying and uploading evidence in support of your RPL application is important to understand.

Evidence allows the Assessor/s to make an informed judgment on your ability to fulfil the requirements of the learning outcomes, skills or competences. The more evidence you can provide of your skills, knowledge, and competences, the easier it is for an assessor to decide.

It is important that the candidate prepares a portfolio of evidence to support own working experience of non-formal and informal learning.

Your objective is to establish the strongest case for RPL as possible, therefore the amount and strength of your evidence is important when establishing a strong case for RPL.


Assessment Process

The assessment process will evaluate the candidate non-formal and informal learning but may also use other forms of assessment such as interviews, assignments, case studies or practical assessment to validate the RPL assessment and to ensure that the candidate has the required skills, knowledge and competence of the study unit the candidate has is applying for.

The candidate will be notified about any overarching assessments and or staged assessments by the RPL coordinator to make the necessary arrangements beforehand.

The assessor/s may reserve the right to ask for practical technical evidence at any time of the Recognition of Prior Learning if further stronger evidence may be needed.


RPL Fees

A fee of €25 per ECVET/ECTS credit for candidates outside the European Union attending on a full time and part-time basis is charged for Recognition and Accreditation of Prior Learning (RPL).The final fee of the RPL shall be based on the number of the total credits allocated per study unit. (e.g. if the study unit has 6 credits - ECTS / ECVETS - allocated to it a fee of €150.00 should be charged prior to the assessment process)

The fee of €25.00 per ECVET/ECTS credit does NOT APPLY for full time candidates attending at the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) or candidates coming from countries which are members of the European Union (EU) up to EQF/MQF Level 6. The same fee of €25.00 per ECVET/ECTS credit will be charged for all at EQF/ MQF Level 7 recognition of prior learning (RPL) assessments.

Students who are paying for their courses (i.e. non EU or part-time) need to pay RPL as per established fees.  If they are given the exemption of that particular module through RPL then they will not pay for it in their course fees (they will be given a refund).

An example;

Mr Johnson is a paying student from USA which does not form part of the EU. He is to pay for the course fees that he is to enroll in. He then asks for recognition for prior learning (RPL) for module XYZ001 which falls within the course of studies that he has enroll in. If Mr Johnson succeeds and an exemption through RPL is granted, he is to pay for the RPL assessment per credit as stipulated in 3.1 for the module he has applied and found to be successful in but the amount payed will be deducted from his study course fees.  This is done so students do not have pay a double fee for the same module while at the same time encouraging them to take RPL if they feel they can make it.  



Once the application has been assessed, the RPL coordinator shall submit a detailed report provided by the assessors / technical experts to registrar’s office and a copy of the report should be also provided to the Institute’s Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The team of technical/academic experts shall give the RPL coordinator a detailed written report of any assessments carried out so proper feedback can be given to the applicant during the feedback process.

Applicants which fail or found not competent through their assessment are to be informed of the knowledge, skill or competence that a candidate may have not achieved and shall be given the opportunity or the possibility to either:

(i)re-take the RPL assessment when the candidate thinks that the missing learning outcomes/elements have been achieved; or

(ii)follow a study unit or parts of it on a part-time basis to make up for the identified knowledge, skill or competence against a nominal fee.


Right of Appeal

Applicants who may feel that the RPL assessment did not justify their competence, may forward a written complaint to the RPL coordinator using the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and copy the Institute of Tourism Studies Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) Department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. This shall be done against a minimal nominal fee indicated from time to time by the Institute of Tourism Studies.

The RPL coordinator shall appoint another assessor/s as, technical/academic experts to re-assess the first assessment if such a need arises through a formal complaint that the applicant was unfairly assessed. The second assessment result shall be deemed as final and feedback shall be provided to the candidate/applicant in a detailed written report prepared by the experts appointed.






ITS - Malta (Main Campus)  
Aviation Park, Aviation Avenue
Ħal Luqa LQA 9023  
Malta - EU 

+356 2379 3100

ITS - Gozo
Triq l-Isqof Buttigieg,
Qala QLA 1042, 

+356 2379 3400