CPUT Recognition of Prior Learning 2025/2026

CPUT Recognition of Prior Learning 2025/2026

CPUT Recognition of Prior Learning 2025/2026 – Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) provides an opportunity for students to identify their learning, have it assessed and formally acknowledged. The process involves the identification, mediation, assessment and acknowledgement of knowledge and skills obtained through informal and non-formal learning.

Details Steps for CPUT Recognition of Prior Learning 2025/2026

Step 1: Decide What to Study

Decide what you would like to study and which qualification you are interested in studying.  Ideally, that should be in line with the work, interest or hobbies you have.

For RPL all you learning is taken into account this can include, but is not limited,  to formal and informal work, voluntary work, sport, hobbies, interests and other activities that lead to learning of a substantial nature.

  • RPL is done against qualifications offered by CPUT.
  • Only a limited number of academic departments accept RPL applications into one or more of the qualifications they offer.
  • To see if the qualification you are interested in is listed, click here
Closing date for all RPL Applications for the 2025 Academic year is 31 August 2022.

Step 2: Type of RPL you want to apply for? 

CPUT offers three options for Recognition of Prior Learning RPL:

  • Access into first-year for applicants older than 23 years  with at least five years relevant working experience
  • Exemption from certain subjects/courses – Exemptions – RPL
  • RPL for advanced standing into post-diploma or postgraduate studies.

2.1 Gaining access into first-year

If you have considerable work experience – more than five (5) years – that is related to the course you want to study, but you don’t meet the academic requirements for entry into the first year of the programme, you may want to apply for RPL for access.

Think carefully about the course of study you would like to study; this is your career that you are building for yourself. Select one qualification that you want to pursue. You might find that your work experience falls within the scope of two qualifications. In this case, you may apply for access to both qualifications. Motivate your reasons for applying for two qualifications in your application and indicate your preference.

2.2 Exemption – RPL

You might have gained knowledge in specific areas through informal learning and non-formal learning. If this knowledge is closely related to the learning outcomes of part of a CPUT qualification that you want to enrol for, you may want to apply for exemption RPL. In this case, your knowledge will need to be compared to the learning outcomes of a particular subject(s) to be recognised. Once the assessment is done, the University might give exemption from some subjects, but not for the entire qualification.

2.2.1 Application for re-admission after 10 years.

If you studied with CPUT (or its feeder institutions) more than 10 years ago, and you would like to resume your studies in the original qualification, you have to apply for re-admission. You apply for re-admission using the RPL process.

CPUT knows and understands that due to a variety of factors you took a decision to take a break in your studies.  With your incomplete qualification, you might have been able to work in the field of discipline you studied in. If this is the case, you can apply for re-admission using the RPL process. The RPL process affords you and the University an opportunity to evaluate your knowledge against the current qualification. CPUT uses the Exemption – RPL route to determine which subjects in the current qualification you can be granted exemption(s) for and which subjects you will have to complete. Depending on your knowledge and changes to the curriculum you might be required to re-do subjects you did originally. Depending on the registration status of the qualification you did originally vs. the current qualification CPUT might not be able to grant you more than 50% of the credits.

You apply for re-admission after 10 years by doing the following:

  • Complete a CPUT application form and tick the RPL box on the front page, or submit your application online
  • Complete a short portfolio of evidence and submit it with your application form. Guideline for the portfolio can be found here

If you studied at CPUT more than 10 year ago, and you would like to study a different qualification than the one you did originally, you may apply for RPL for exemptions as in point 2.2. Your original studies will be taken into consideration.

Difference between Exemption RPL and Exemption Credit Transfer

Exemption Credit Transfer: you may have successfully completed subjects at another Higher Education Institution in South Africa (another University of Technology) – that are similar to subjects of the CPUT qualification you want to study,  which is referred to as formal learning. In this case, you may apply to be exempt from having to redo the subjects and have the credits transferred to your CPUT qualification. Contact the relevant Faculty Office.

Guidelines govern the maximum number of subjects for which Exemption RPL and Exemption Credit Transfer can be granted. In terms of the residency clause, students must complete at least 50% of the subjects in any programme at the institution awarding the qualification – i.e. at CPUT. Guidelines apply to all higher education institutions.

2.3 Advanced Standing into the Advanced Diploma (once implemented) 

You may apply for advanced standing into one of the Advanced Diploma (replacing the BTech) if you don’t meet the entry requirements of this qualification. This type of RPL provides for the recognition of knowledge at a higher level than you as an RPL applicant qualifies for. The qualification at the lower level, the Diploma,  is never awarded to you if you apply for this type of RPL. However, on the successful completion of the higher level qualification,  the Advanced Diploma, that qualification will be awarded.

The RPL assessment takes place against the qualification at the lower level. When applying for RPL for advanced standing into an Advanced Diploma, you complete the screening questionnaire for the Diploma underpinning the Advanced Diploma.

2.4   Advanced Standing into postgraduate studies such as Post Graduate Diploma, Bachelor Honors degree, M-level studies and D-level studies

If you are interested in postgraduate studies, for a Postgraduate Diploma, Bachelor honours M-level or D-level studies, send an email to RPL enquires at rpl@cput.ac.za, and you will be referred to the correct person.

2.5 International students and International Qualifications

International applicants should have their qualification evaluated by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), Unit for Evaluation of Foreign Qualifications before you submit your RPL application. (Go to www.saqa.org.za.).

If your qualification has been evaluated but you don’t meet the entry requirements of the programme you are interested, or you want credit for what you already know, you apply for RPL as described above. In addition, you also submit your SAQA evaluation of your qualification(s) with all the other documentation required for RPL by the end of June the year before you would like to undertake your studies if you are not a South African you are required to follow the instructions for International Students as stipulated on this website.

Step 3: Submitting Your RPL Application 

Online application via the self-service portal:

Complete your CPUT application online via the self-service platform. Click here –  to follow the online application submission steps

  • CPUT requires you to submit certified copies of the supporting information to the University.
  • Submit the letter of motivation together with your online application
  • Decide on one qualification you want to study.

Make sure you attach ALL the screening information required as specified by the academic department click here. Please make sure that you submit all the information required to avoid unnecessary delays

Paper-based application

  • Complete the CPUT application form – Downloadable from here. CPUT requires you to submit a hardcopy of the application from and supporting information to the University.
  • On the front page, you’ll find the RPL box, tick it.
  • Attach the letter of motivation to the application and sign it!
  • Decide on one qualification you want to study.
  • Make sure you attach ALL the screening information required as specified by the academic department click here.

Due to the COVID-19  regulations you are required to courier or post your application to the Admissions Office on the Bellville Campus If you are able to scan and email the application form and supporting documentation to rpl@cput.ac.za  before sending it, it will be highly appreciated by the RPL unit. We still need the hard copy for verification purposes.

Account Name: CPUT
Bank: ABSA
Account number: 011 625 10521
Branch code: 632005
Reference: RV01/52422  with your name or ID number

Step 4: Payment for RPL

On submission of your application:

  • Paper-based application fee: R 100 Application fee to CPUT and you will find the payment details on the CPUT application form.
  • Online application Fee (R100): Free of charge

RPL related Fee:

The following is payable once you have been invited to the test/workshops and/or portfolio building process. Please use either your ID number or Student Number as a reference

  • R 350 for advanced standing per subject in a Diploma
  • R 500 for access into a qualification

Step 5: The CPUT Recognition of Prior Learning RPL Process

Upon receiving your RPL application, the relevant academic department will determine, based on the information that you have submitted, whether your RPL application is feasible.

Feasibility depends on the nature of your work, experience and knowledge developed throughout your life, in relation to the qualification you are applying for. If the department has determined that this is not the case, you will be notified, and the academic department will suggest alternatives and/ or the RPL Unit.

If the department is of the opinion that your RPL application is feasible, you will be invited to participate in the rest of the RPL process. The process is qualification specific, and the academic department and/ or the RPL unit will inform you.

It might involve one or more of the following:

  • Development of a portfolio of evidence and you will be invited to a portfolio building workshop or given information by the academic department
  • Workshops to upgrade your knowledge in relation to the entry requirements of the qualifications followed by tests
  • When submitting a portfolio, you might be asked to attend an interview and/ or do a presentation
  • You might be asked to submit examples of your work, do a demonstration or participate in an OSCE (in Health Qualifications)

Step 6: Submission of evidence

RPL is a complex and lengthy process, and the timelines within the process are as follows:



Submission of portfolioOctober
Interviews/ DemonstrationsOctober/ beginning of November
Workshops and TestsOctober/ beginning of November
Feedback on applicationJanuary 2025

Step 6: Decisions made by the University

  • The decision to grant a person RPL is an academic decision made by the University. The decision is primarily made by the academic department and confirmed (or not) by the Senate of the University.  If the University approves your application, you will receive an email from CPUT guiding you through the online registration process that commences at the beginning of January, the start of the academic year.
  • If your RPL is not approved, you will receive a letter from the University informing you. Either the academic department or the RPL Unit will give you reasons and make suggestions regarding your future education.

Applicants, have a right to appeal if you are not satisfied at any stage of the RPL process. You are required to contact the RPL Unit if you want to appeal rpl@cput.ac.za.   In the email, please explain the grounds and reasoning of your appeal.