The Procedure and Terms and Conditions for the Recognition of Prior Learning
§ 1. General Provisions
§ 2. Counselling and organisation of assessment
§ 3. Application
§ 4. Processing of an application
§ 5. Assessment
§ 6. APEL assessment when applying for Master's studies
§ 7. Fee for processing an application
§ 8. Contestation
§ 9. Implementing provisions
Important! Starting from 01.08.2020 (only the applications submitted starting from 01.08.2020) the credit points taken into account through accreditation of prior and experiential learning, including continuing education courses, shall be counted towards completion of a study load.
Established by Regulation No 4 of the TalTech Council of 21 March 2017
§ 1. General Provisions
(1) This procedure regulates accreditation of prior and experiential learning (hereinafter referred to as “APEL”) for the completion of a study programme and for compliance with the admission requirements in Tallinn University of Technology (hereinafter referred to as "TalTech" or "the university").
(2) The goal of APEL is:
1) to enhance educational and professional mobility and to broaden the opportunities for lifelong learning of people, including people with special needs;
2) to ensure that learning results gained from learning in an educational system comprised of different levels (formal education), from other organised learning activities (non-formal education) and from professional work experience, as well as from learning in daily and leisure activities (informal education) are considered equal to learning results gained from completing a study programme or can be used for meeting the established admission requirements;
3) to enable the university to respond flexibly to changes in the labour market and in demands for labour force.
(3) It is possible to complete a whole study programme using results from learning and professional experience gained outside TalTech, except for defending the final paper or passing the final examination. in the free choice courses module APEL is used up to the module’s maximum volume established in the study programme, except for:
1) accreditation of courses passed as an exchange student in a foreign university;
2) accreditation of courses passed earlier at TalTech when changing from one study programme to another.
(31) The credit points taken into account through accreditation of prior and experiential learning shall not be counted toward completion of semester load. The courses of degree level studies passed after the last matriculation to TalTech shall be counted toward completion of semester load.
(4) The Office of Academic Affairs shall make sure that the APEL application forms are available on the university's intranet under APEL.
(1) A person applying for accreditation of prior and experiential learning (hereinafter referred to as the “applicant”) receives general information on the procedures and work organisation of APEL from the corresponding specialist in the Office of Academic Affairs.
(2) As regards accreditation of prior and experiential learning and suitability of prior learning:
1) counselling in a School shall be carried out by a person or persons appointed by the Dean (hereinafter APEL adviser);
2) assessment in a School shall be carried out by a person or persons appointed by the Dean (hereinafter APEL assessor) and in cases specified in subsections 5 (6) and (7) the Dean shall establish a committee for APEL assessment.
(3) The Vice Rector for Academic Affairs shall establish an APEL Advisory Committee comprising representatives of Schools, the Office of Academic Affairs, the Open University and students. The student representative to the APEL Advisory Committee shall be appointed by the Student Union.
(4) In order to ensure a uniform level of implementation of APEL, the goal of the APEL Advisory Committee is to:
1) decide on general issues related to APEL, including issues related to the collection of data on APEL cases;
2) analyse and compare cases of accreditation of prior and experiential learning;
3) if necessary, make proposals for amending this procedure.
§ 3. Application
(1) A student shall submit an APEL Application-Transfer Form in the study information system ÕIS (hereinafter ÕIS). A person who is not a student shall fill in an application form available on the TalTech website under APEL (www.taltech.ee/vota) and send the completed form to an APEL adviser of the School.
(2) It is possible to apply for accreditation of learning gained from formal education courses, in-service training or professional experience in order to complete a study programme.
(3) In addition to the application specified in subsection 1 of this section, the applicant shall, within 14 calendar days as of the submission of the application, submit to the APEL adviser of the School originals and copies of the following documents:
1) a diploma, a certificate or other documents certifying prior studies, including in-service training;
2) relevant evidence of learning from professional work experience or daily and leisure activities (a job description, a directive on appointment to office, a professional certificate, a portfolio of or reference to work completed, a self-analysis, etc.).
3) Failure to submit the documents or any other evidence specified in clauses 1) and 2) of this subsection shall be deemed as a withdrawal of the application.
(4) The Applicant shall be liable for the correctness of documents and other materials submitted.
(1) An APEL adviser shall send the documents to an APEL assessor. If a fee is charged for the review of an application, the documents shall be sent to an APEL assessor after the fee for the review of an application has been received on the TalTech bank account.
(2) The APEL assessor shall review the application sent to him or her and make an assessment decision within 30 calendar days. The APEL assessor has a right to ask the applicant to submit additional documents, to take an interview or a test, to pass an assessment or an examination, if necessary. The period designated for making the assessment decision shall be extended according to the time spent on additional operations. Both in case of approval or rejection of an application, the APEL assessor shall include the reasons of his or her decision in the print-out of the Application-Transfer Form.
(3) The APEL adviser:
1) shall approve and register a student’s APEL Application-Transfer Form in ÕIS if the application is partially or fully approved. The assessment decision on the Application-Transfer Form submitted shall be available for the applicant not later than within 14 calendar days as of making the decision. If the assessment decision is negative, the APEL adviser shall remove the applicant’s Application-Transfer Form from ÕIS.
2) shall document and issue the assessment decision if the person submitting the application is not a student. An APEL adviser shall send the applicant information on the assessment decision not later than within 14 calendar days as of making the decision. If the applicant becomes a student, the decision can be recorded in ÕIS as part of completing the study programme as long as studies are conducted in the version of the study programme the application was based on. When the applicant becomes a student, he or she shall submit the assessment decision to an APEL adviser of the School.
§ 5. Assessment
(1) When applying for accreditation of learning gained from formal education, the suitability of acquired learning outcomes for completing the study programme shall be assessed. If the decision is positive, original performance shall be recorded in the student’s results. If the assessment system of the other educational institution differs from the valid assessment system, pass/fail assessment shall be used, marking a positive result as “passed”, if accredited. In case of accreditation of learning gained from formal education abroad, the positive result is marked as “passed”. The Office of Academic Affairs shall enter the subjects passed in the non-TalTech subjects register and link them to the corresponding institution of higher education. If the institution of higher education is in a foreign country, the country shall be specified. If the date of performance is not specified in the source document annexed to the application, the date of transfer of learning results shall be specified as the date of performance.
(2) When applying for accreditation of learning gained from in-service training or work experience for completing a study programme, correspondence to a subject included in the study programme shall be assessed. If the decision is positive, the subject included in the study programme shall be recorded in the student’s results. For accreditation of in-service training for completing a study programme, single subjects passed in in-service training can be considered separately or the programme of in-service 3 training can be considered as a whole. It is possible to accredit courses in the study programme based on learning gained from work experience. The result of the assessment shall be marked as “passed”, using pass/fail assessment. The date of transfer shall be marked as the date.
(3) In case of a combined APEL Application-Transfer Form, it is possible to accredit courses passed in formal education and in-service training or learning gained from work experience. Correspondence to a subject included in the study programme shall be assessed. If the decision is positive, the subject included in the study programme shall be recorded in the student’s results. The result of the assessment shall be marked as “passed”, using pass/fail assessment. The date of transfer shall be marked as the date.
(4) When applying for accreditation of learning gained from in-service training, work experience and from combination of different types of APEL in order to complete the free choice courses module, correspondence to subjects included in the TalTech subject register shall be assessed.
(5) If the need for additional competence becomes evident, an APEL assessor shall ask the lecturer of the corresponding course for assessment. In this case, the name and opinion of the lecturer who provided the assessment shall also be marked in the print-out of the Application-Transfer Form.
(6) APEL assessment shall be organised by the APEL assessment committee established by the Dean and including a representative of the Office of Academic Affairs, if completion of more than 50% of the volume of a Bachelor’s, professional higher education, integrated or Master’s study programme is applied for by accreditation of learning from professional experience, independent studies or in-service training or by combined APEL.
(7) APEL assessment shall be organised by the APEL assessment committee established by the Dean and including a representative of the Research Administration Office, if completion of a Doctoral study programme in the volume of more than 30 ECTS credit points is applied for by accreditation of learning from professional experience, independent studies or in-service training or by combined APEL.
(8) The way the assessment decision was developed must clearly and unambiguously become evident from the documents used for making the decision. An assessment decision shall be made based on the compliance of the applicant’s knowledge and skills to the learning outcomes of a subject.
(9) The following shall not be accredited on the basis of the APEL procedure:
1) a part of a subject which is accredited by agreement between a student and the lecturer of the relevant subject and where no standard application is submitted;
2) as a rule, internship, which shall be accredited according to the internship guide.
(1) If an applicant does not meet the requirements for Master’s studies established in the admission requirements of the university, the provisions of this procedure apply.
(2) For accreditation of prior and experiential learning the applicant shall submit a standard form application and the documents specified in subsection 3(3) to an APEL adviser of the School not later than within 14 calendar days before the commencement of the application period for Master’s studies. With the approval of the Dean, an exception can be made so that it is possible to submit documents until the end of the admission period.
(3) APEL assessment shall be carried out as follows:
1) An APEL assessor shall review the application and make a decision within 14 calendar days. If necessary, the APEL assessor may ask the applicant to submit additional documents, give an interview, pass a test, an assessment or an examination;
2) An APEL assessor shall declare that the results of prior learning either meet or do not meet the requirements for applying for a Master’s programme;
3) If the results of prior learning do not meet the requirements set for applying for the desired study programme, the APEL assessor shall, at the request of the applicant, determine which subjects have to be passed before application;
4) The assessment decision shall be issued to the applicant by the Dean’s Office of the School after a period specified in clause 1 of this subsection has passed. A copy of the decision shall be preserved in the Dean’s Office.
(1) As a rule, a fee is charged for the review and assessment of applications. Payment shall be made on the basis of an invoice. An invoice for applying for APEL is issued based on the School's application submitted to the Finance Office.
(2) The rates and payment procedure of APEL fees shall be established by the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs.
§ 8. Contestation
(1) The decision made on the accreditation of prior and experiential learning and the assessment of suitability can be contested pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act and the Academic Policies of TalTech.
(1) Regulation No 3 of the TalTech Council of 24 January 2012 “The Procedure and Terms and Conditions for Recognition of Prior Learning” (amended by TalTech Council Regulation No 10 of 8 October 2013) is repealed.
(2) The Regulation shall enter into force from the moment of signing thereof.