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The Use of Principles of Good Assessment in Recognition of Prior Learning Practice in Library and Information Science in South Africa

Ike Khazamula Hlongwane


Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) practice offers sound benefits to library and information science (LIS) schools. Despite these envisaged benefits, very little is known about RPL practice in LIS schools in South Africa. This study sought to establish whether principles of good assessment were being followed in the LIS schools to ensure the integrity of the RPL outcomes. A combination of a questionnaire and document analysis were used to collect data from the ten LIS schools in the South African higher education and training landscape. The questionnaire was used to collect quantitative data through a survey method. In addition, the researcher employed content analysis to collect qualitative data from institutional RPL policy documents. The findings indicate that RPL assessment processes across LIS schools in South Africa were largely subjected to principles of good practice. The study found that in accordance with the SAQA RPL policy the purpose of assessment was clarified to the candidate upfront, the quality of support to be provided to the candidate in preparing for the assessment was established, an appeals process was made known to the candidate, and the choice of assessment methods was fit for purpose to ensure credible assessment outcomes. It is therefore recommended that other disciplines or departments use LIS schools’ experiences as a benchmark to improve their own RPL endeavours.


Library and Information Science (LIS) schools; principles of good assessment practice; Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy; South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)

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