By Colvis Samuels,
Education Officer, Ministry of Education/TVET Council
THE Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) is a form of assessment that judges if a learner can evidence that he/she can meet the assessment requirements for a unit or units of an occupational standard through knowledge, understanding or skills they already possess and thus be awarded the credit for the unit/s or the qualification. It is also known by several other names, such as Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR).
There is a great demand for competent and certified employees in Saint Lucia and within the wider region. A global economy and the mobility of the workforce are encouraging the recognition of national, regional and international credentials and occupational standards for skills acquisition. People who have been practicing and are competent in a skill can provide evidence through assessment and the presentation of a portfolio can receive the CVQ/NVQ.
The first group of individuals who were assessed and certified through the APL modality by the St. Lucia TVET Council was a group of 62 beekeepers who received full CVQ Level 2 Beekeeping certification. The beekeepers who did not complete the programme received “Units of Competence” towards the attainment of a full CVQ. Furthermore, among the 62 individuals who were trained and assessed, 20 were referred to the NELP to upgrade their numeracy and literacy skills. Since then, several groups and individuals have been certified through the APL route and have received their CVQ certification. Many of them have moved on to get their CSME Skills Certificate.
An agency such as the St. Lucia Allied Health Council or a hotel may access training for its employees. To do so, the agency must make a request for assessment from the St. Lucia TVET Council. Thereafter, the process to be followed will include the following:
1. Agency pays the requisite fees
2. Candidates are invited to an initial meeting and sensitized about the APL process, portfolio requirements and development. Candidates also sign the assessment schedule at the meeting
3. Assessment is conducted at the appointed day, time and place
4. Certification process conducted
5. Candidates issued with certificates.
In the case of individuals, the process is as follows:
1. Candidate collects an APL form from the TVET Unit in the Ministry of Education, 3rd Floor, Francis Compton Building, Waterfront, Castries
2. Completed APL form and attachments (verified certificates) are submitted to the TVET Unit
3. Candidate pays the requisite fees
4. Candidates are invited to an initial meeting and sensitized about the APL process, portfolio requirements and development. Candidates also sign the assessment schedule at the meeting
5. Assessment is conducted at the appointed day, time and place
6. Certification process conducted
7. Candidates issued with certificates.
Please contact the TVET Unit in the Ministry of Education, 3rd Floor, Francis Compton Building, Waterfront, Castries for further information on the APL/PLAR.