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Identification and recognition of acquired Competence (RPL)

How can previously acquired competence be incorporated into studies?

The identification of competence means that you seek to understand the competence you have acquired in various ways and analyse it in relation to the learning objectives of courses. You can describe and demonstrate your competence so that it can be accredited as part of your studies.

The recognition of competence refers to the higher education institution’s measures and practices by which the competence you have identified and presented is made visible, documented and assessed. The higher education institution confirms your competence, and it is made part of your studies.

The identification and recognition of acquired competence means that competence gained through different types of learning is taken into account:

  • Formal learning refers to studies completed at a higher education institution for which students receive a reliable document, a certificate.
  • Non-formal learning refers to systematic, intentional and goal-oriented learning that takes place in training organised by employers or organisations for liberal adult education, for example. This type of training is not part of the formal education system.
  • Informal learning takes place in daily activities related to work, family and leisure. It is not systematic in terms of learning objectives, study time or learning support, and usually no certificate is awarded.

The demonstration of competence means that you verify and make visible the competence you have acquired in various ways. The ways of verifying competence and making it visible may include competence portfolios, work certificates that identify competences, work samples, competence diaries, interviews or written outputs.

Procedures for the identification and recognition of competence


Accreditation refers to the process of competence recognition in place at the higher education institution.

  • Substitution means the substitution of studies included in the curriculum with similar higher education level studies completed elsewhere.
  • Inclusion refers to the inclusion of studies completed elsewhere or competence acquired in another way as part of studies.

The first phase of the accreditation procedure aims to identify the competence you have acquired and assess how it matches the course’s learning objectives. If the learning objectives and your previously acquired competence match, your competence can be recognised and accredited in full or as part of the course.

Step 1

Study your degree programme curriculum and the learning objectives of the courses.

  1. Compare your competence with the learning objectives of a chosen course in your curriculum.
  2. Identify your existing competence.

    Analyse your competence in relation to the learning objectives of the course (e.g. by mind mapping)
    Our curricula: Study Guide, Lapin AMK (csc.fi)

  3. Consider the level of your competence compared to the course’s assessment criteria.
  4. Consider how you can tangibly demonstrate your competence.

Step 2

Contact your study counsellor if you wish to discuss accreditation.

Contact the student affairs coordinator of your degree programme if you need guidance on how to prepare an accreditation application in Peppi.

Step 3

Complete a RPL application for substitution or inclusion in eRPL in Peppi. Send it to your degree programme’s student affairs coordinator for processing.

Your degree programme’s student affairs coordinator will check the application information. The student affairs coordinator will contact you if the application needs to be revised or complemented. Make the requested revisions or additions and return the application to the student affairs coordinator. The coordinator will then send the application to the study counsellor for processing.

You will find instructions for completing the RPL application here.

Step 4

The study counsellor will process the application and make a positive or negative decision on the recognition of your competence (inclusion or substitution).

If the accreditation is partial, the study counsellor will instruct you to contact the teacher of the course. You must agree with the teacher on how you can demonstrate your competence (demonstration of competence). The teacher will assess your competence and record the assessment for the course.

You can view the accreditation decision in eRPL. If you are dissatisfied with the decision, you can file an appeal within 14 days of receiving the decision.