Collette’s RPL Journey
Collette applied for recognised prior learning with GMIT School of Science to gain entry to a Bachelor of Science Degree in Quality (Level 7).
I have been working in a large multi-national Medical Device company for many years. I had a lot of experience in Quality roles and had been promoted accordingly. Previously, I had completed a Diploma 1 and Diploma 2 in Quality Management along with 2 further Certificates (Science in Quality & Regulatory Affairs and Supervisory Management & Statistics) at Level 7 but did not have a Level 6 qualification on the NFQ. My ultimate goal was to obtain a Degree in Quality to formalise my quality experience, training and knowledge.
Completing the RPL process with GMIT My Experience allowed me to document and show case my experience, training and knowledge through a formal system. Once I had completed this and met requirements, I was granted credits by GMIT which allowed me to bypass Level 6 and graduate with a Level 7 BSc in Quality.
The RPL process basically involves documenting your past work experience, training and qualifications and providing evidence of those. I would strongly encourage anyone who would like to obtain a higher qualification to complete the RPL process.
Karolina’s RPL Journey
Karolina applied for recognised prior learning with GMIT School of Science to gain entry to a Bachelor of Science Degree in Quality (Level 7).
Why did you decide to go to college?
I decided to go to college to improve my long term career prospects. I really enjoyed my job working in the Quality Department at Medtronic, but I knew that I would have to get some formal qualifications under my belt in order to progress in my career. My ultimate goal is to become a Quality Engineer.
What attracted you to the course?
The most attractive thing about the course was that I could study and work at the same time. Classes are held in the evening time, which makes the course really accessible. The content of the course was also really important to me, it ticked all the boxes of what I need and I have been able to apply everything that I’ve learned to real work situations.
How useful did you find the My Experience website and ePortfolio application tool?
The tool was quite useful, it was great to be able to use the experience that I already had and it made me realise that I had lots of knowledge and skills already. This gave me a fair bit of confidence. I found the tool a little but difficult to use at times though, I felt that it could have been more intuitively designed.
Tell us about your experience with building your application?
I put lots of time and effort into building my application. I answered each applicable section as well as I could, and I asked for references and supplementary material from my work. The application was a really important component of my degree in the end – I think it’s important to stress the importance of getting it right to applicants.
Any advice for other RPL applicants?
My advice would be to allow yourself plenty of time to complete the application, and demonstrate evidence of the experience that you’re presenting wherever possible. If you don’t understand anything or you need some guidance, ask for help from the GMIT department.
Are you glad you made the decision?
I am really glad that I made the decision to complete the course. It certainly wasn’t easy – sometimes when you finish work the last thing you want to do is study! The results and the sense of achievement at the end make it all worthwhile. I was so proud of myself when I graduated. All of the hard work and evenings with the books really paid off.
What is next for the future?
I’m waiting for the final Level 8 year of the Quality Science for Industry course to be offered. I’m really looking forward to reaching the next level of my degree. I’ve already been promoted at work, and I know that achieving the Level 8 will be a huge help to me in my career ambitions. Onwards and upwards!