What is RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning)?

If you have studied similar courses previously, or have relevant work experience, you can apply for exemptions (credits).

At ICB, credits are given on a subject by subject basis. The ICB's Exemptions Board reviews each application, case by case, to determine if there is sufficient evidence of competency in particular learning areas.   If certain criteria is met, the Exemptions board will grant exemptions towards ICB programmes. There are two types of exemptions that will be considered:

Exemptions for Prior Learning

  • Applications must be based on NQF registered qualifications/part qualifications and need to be submitted with the following documentation:
  •  proof of provider accreditation (some examples are: DHET, Seta's QAP, Umalusi, CHE)
  •  NQF level 
  • SAQA qualification registration number. 
  • For all exemptions applied for, qualifications must have been obtained within the last 5 years i.e. “current” per SAQA requirements or if qualifications are older than 5 years, they must still be NQF registered together with current relevant work experience.

Exemptions for Work experience

  • You’ll be asked to complete a Portfolio of Evidence (PoE), which we will supply to you. Once you have completed the PoE, you’ll have to send it back to the ICB where we will evaluate it and then let you know whether your application for RPL credits has been approved or not. 

How to apply:

• Create a student profile on the ICB Student Portal via this Student Login tab: https://www.icb.org.za/ 

• Pay the RPL application fee of R510 to the ICB.

• Submit the completed "Guideline for RPL" document to the ICB

The process:

Once the ICB’s Exemptions Review Board has reviewed your application, which can take up to 6 weeks, they will write to you with their decision. You could receive specific subject exemptions or even a full qualification exemption.   

You will then need to review the board's outcome and decide which exemptions you would like to accept.  Once you have let us know, and we have received your payments, we will proceed to process your credits or RPL PoE's.

Feedback will be given by learning area (subject) and could be: 

  • Full Exemption granted If the ICB recognises your previous studies and grants you credit for equivalent subjects, you will need to pay an exemption fee per subject granted. 
  • Exemption not granted If the ICB does not feel that your previous qualification(s) or work experience match part or all of the learning outcomes of the subjects you are applying for. 
  • Conditional exemption granted This means you don’t qualify for the full exemption but can submit more evidence without having to write an exam. You will however, be required to complete a Portfolio of Evidence (PoE) assessment provided by the ICB to prove your competency in a particular subject. 
    • You will need to pay a RPL PoE fee for each subject.  
    • Once we have  received your payment, a special RPL PoE will be issue to you for you to complete for each subject granted and you will need to submit it by the stipulated “Due Date.” 
    • You must do all the assessments in the Portfolios and then send them back to the ICB for final assessment. 
    • We will review them and let you know the outcome 7-8 weeks after the due date stated on the PoE label. 
    • The completion of an RPL PoE is regarded as an assessment entry and all the policies and procedures with regards to ICB assessments apply. 
    • If your PRL PoE outcome is ‘exempt’ (competent), and you will get full exemption for that particular learning area, or if ‘unsuccessful’, you’ll need to enrol for that subject as normal student.

Terms and Conditions: 

  • Compulsory Student Registration - in order to accept any exemptions granted, you will need to be a registered student of the ICB. If you are not yet an ICB learner, you will need to pay the annual student registration.
  • Exemption opportunities are valid for six (6) months from date of issue. • 
  • Qualification Certificates are only issued once a full qualification is obtained. 
  • No certificates are issued for exempted learning areas/subjects. 
  • No refunds for Exemption Fees will be given under any circumstances. 

Next Steps:

Once you have received your Qualification, you will be able to receive Professional Membership from a professional body.  

Here is a recording of a recent webinar that explains RPL in detail: