This paper sets out to examine whether the process of accrediting prior experiential learning (APEL) as used in UK universities is the most appropriate approach for providing academic recognition for work‐based projects and learning.
Work‐based projects that had already been assessed in the context of a professional qualification were re‐examined to identify how they might be used towards a master's degree and what if any additional work the candidates would need to complete.
The study finds that in most cases it appeared that the candidates would be able in principle to gain a full master's degree based on their existing work and associated reflection and writing‐up, without the need to carry out additional investigation or projects.
The findings are based on a small sample of individuals from a specific field (the conservation of cultural heritage), and while the findings are clear and appear to have wider applicability they can only be regarded as pointers for practical trialling and further investigation.
The findings suggest that the current approach to APEL used in UK universities needs to be expanded so that awards can be made substantially on the basis of already‐completed workplace projects. A trial of this approach is proposed using candidates from the cultural heritage sector.
The paper proposes a basis for changes to credit practice that will provide better scope for individuals to use and build on workplace activities in gaining academic awards.
CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited