APL is a form of assessment that judges if a learner can show 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.

There is a great need/demand for competent and certified employees in Saint Lucia and within the wider region. The demand in industry for qualifications, experience and credentials of workers is growing. A global economy and the mobility of the workforce are encouraging the recognition of national, regional and international credentials and occupational standards for skill acquisition.

This demand has motivated certifying bodies to embrace the APL as a means of assessing candidates for certification and/or entry to education institution. UWI Open Campus in Saint Lucia launched its APL programme in 2013. The UWI Open Campus has taken a decision to use this method of assessment to increase access to its programmes.

The first grouping of individuals who were assessed and certified through the APL modality was a group of Beekeepers who were assessed and certified in NVQ Level 2 Apiculture. Some received “Units of Competency” towards the attainment of the NVQ.

Elements of the APL

• Induction - awareness and information

• Mentoring –the mentor will give support, guidance and advice and to assess the learners’ capacity

• Mentor will work with learners to develop a time bound action plan to gather evidence

• The evidence for award of credit must be current, authentic, valid, reliable and sufficient

Forms of evidence of skills, knowledge and understanding that may be collected

• Certificates (formal qualifications or statements of attainment)

• References from line managers

• Testimonials

• Witness testaments

• Observations

• Assessments

• Written work / work samples