Accreditation of Prior Learning

What is Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)?

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is a way of recognising the knowledge and skills that a person has gained through their previous experiences, such as work, volunteering, or informal education. APL can help a candidate gain credit for a course or programme of study, without having to repeat the same learning. APL can be based on certificated learning, which is learning that has been formally assessed and awarded by an institution, or experiential learning, which is evidenced learning that has been acquired through practical activities and reflection.


Candidates interested in applying for an APL should speak with a member of the training team.


Prior to submitting an APL  application, all candidates should apply for a place on the programme as normal. This includes:


  • Submitting new entrant application form and CV
  • Submitting two professional references
  • Payment of non-refundable application fee
  • Attending for interview/s
  • Confirming interest


Having spoken to a suitably qualified member of the training team, candidates should begin work on their portfolio. An APL application portfolio is a collection of information and documentation which supports and evidences the candidates prior learning. It should include:


    • Introduction
    • CCSTI Module Descriptors for which the application is being made
    • Prior Learning Achieved
    • Supporting Documentation
APL Fees

All APL  assessments carry a non-refundable fee of €150.00 which should be paid upon submission of portfolio. This is a separate payment from the application fee.

If I am granted an APL, do I need to pay the full training fees?

No. If you are granted an APL you will pay pro rata training fees. This will be discussed with you as part of the APL process.

I have pre-accredited or accredited status with the Irish Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy. Do I need to complete the full four-year BSc to upgrade my professional qualification?

No. Candidates seeking to ‘top up’ their existing professional qualification can apply for an APL. Each application is unique and is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Accredited or pre-accredited candidates should speak with a member of the training team before applying for a place on the programme.

Where can I find more information?

You can read our Accreditation of Prior Learning Guidance here or speak with our Academic Registrar on

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