Analytic Quality Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2004-21, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 22 September, 2021 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2021.


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Accreditation of Prior Certified Learning (APCL)

core definition

APCL is learning acquired from previous experience that has been formally assessed.

explanatory context

APCL is similar to APL in as much as it is recognition of prior learning but refers only to such learning that has been formally acknowledged or credited through a form of certification.


analytical review

London Metroplitan University (2007) states:

APCL denotes the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning which is learning that has been previously assessed e.g. learning arising from academic and professional awards for example Higher National Diplomas, Foundation Degrees, Open University Courses and other courses at an appropriate level.

University of Plymouth (2010) states:

Accreditation of prior certificated learning (APCL): is the award of credit towards a University of Plymouth award in respect of previous study at HE level which the student has passed. APCL may be awarded in respect of a completed programme of study (eg HND, DipHE, PG Diploma) or in respect of one or more modules or units of a programme.


The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA, undated) in the UK states:

Accreditation of prior certificated learning (APCL): The identification, assessment and formal acknowledgement of learning and achievement that occurred at some time in the past prior to entry to a course of study, and for which the learner was awarded some form of official recognition.

associated issues


related areas

See also

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

Recognition of prior learning


London Metropolitan University , 2007, Glossary of Terminology available at$related-information/apel/apelforstudents/glossary.cfm, last updated 24 September 2007, accessed 18 September 2012, page not available 30 December 2016 .

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), undated, Glossary, available at, accessed 7 January 2017, not found 20 June 2019.

University of Plymouth, 2010, Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL), University of Plymouth Academic Regulations and Notes for Guidance - Taught Programmes (2009/10 Edition), available at, accessed 18 September 2012, not available at this address 20 June 2019.

copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2021

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