Self-Directed Online RPL

The course is based on the South African National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Skills Program TG/ADVSITEGD/4/0080.

THIS IS NOT A TRAINING COURSE. It is simply a means to obtain recognition for skills you already have. If you are not sure contact us first.  It is important to bear in mind that RPL does not exempt you from assessment. RPL is assessment. The evidence that you present is an assessment of your current skills and knowledge applied against the assessment requirements of the course. You will be given the opportunity to display competency in all of the aspects of the Qualification that you are seeking; both ‘academic’ skills (subjects such as Risk management, OH&S and activity planning) and practical activity skills.



Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) allows guides who have significant experience working in the industry to gain recognition and qualifications based on what they can already do and know.

This allows them to progress to gaining qualifications without the expense and time of completing a course in something they can already do. However RPL does not automatically give out qualifications just because you have a few years experience.

The process would be better named Recognition of Current Competence, as it is a process by which we must make sure you are currently competent in the outcomes required by the qualification.

Therefore this process will require you to provide sufficient, reliable, valid evidence that you are currently competent in both he practical application as well as the knowledge aspects of this qualification.

This program is designed to assist in leading you through this process in your own time, however you do have a maximum of 3 months to complete the process, after which an additional fee of 25% of the course fee per 3 month period is charged in order to keep the portal open for you.

The BIG Wake Up…

As you work through this RPL process, the first thing most people notice is the amount of work they have to provide… In reality it is not much work to do, as as an experienced Guide applying for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), you have in fact already done all the work for your own business and are just giving us what you have already have in place to evaluate. That’s the theory anyway…

In reality we have found over the last 16 years offering qualifications in SA to the adventure industry, that most guides simply “fly by the seat of their pants” and hope for the best that they do not have a problem. This is not professional practice. So it is very likely that you will not have everything we ask of you already in place, and that’s fine as well. We will guide you through getting up to date with what is needed, and by the end of this process you will be better then you were at the start. That’s what this process is all about – making you successful.

So, if you have what we ask for already in place, you just need to submit it. Job done. If not you will need to use your prior experience and knowledge and create it first then submit it.

However, and this is the crux of this process. DO NOT just create things in order to get through this process as fast as possible. Create processes that will assist you in your business of being a guide. What you create must be immediately usable to you.


  1. You must complete each section the course.
  2. Everything you submit must either be signed or be recognisable as having been submitted from you personally.
  3. On each page there will be instructions as to what the unit standard requires, and below that on the same page will be what you need to submit.
  4. ALL Submissions must be through this site. In this way it is audit-able as having come from you.

You have 120 days from registration to complete this assessment. Thereafter additional fees will be charged if you wish to continue.

The Process

Once you have registered with AQN for this assessment, the process that will be follows is:

  1. You will work through the online assessment process, and submit all the evidence needed to satisfy the specific outcomes of the skills program. We will tell you exactly what you need to submit. This includes first aid certificates, log books, letters of testimony as to your abilities etc.
  2. An assessor will evaluate your submissions when complete, and write a formal report on whether of not you have met the required outcomes. If there are gaps, the report will stipulate this, and you will be able to re submit anything outstanding.
  3. The report ‘may’ indicate that you need to undergo practical coaching to fill in skills gaps if there are any. This cost in NOT included in the cost of this assessment. You do not need to do this coaching with AQN and can gain these skills anywhere you wish.
  4. Depending on your experience and the evidence you submit, you may need to undergo a practical assessment. The cost of this is not included in this online cost.
  5. Once all outcomes have been met, you will be signed off for this skills program and a formal certificate will be issued.


Payment is made via STRIPE in SA Rand.

Course cost can be seen here: COURSE COSTS

How much will the Coaching and Final assessment Cost if I go this route?

This is very difficult to work out without discussing it with you. But as a guideline…

  • Assessors charge approximately R3500 per day. This they often divide by the number of Learners they are assessing on that day. Usually a maximum of 4.
  • If you are doing the Camping module, then the assessment will take 2 days 1 night. So R7000 Assessors fee, divided by the number of Learners.
  • Assessors will also charge the cost of Transport, Meals and Accommodation/Permits if necessary.

So it is always a good idea to discuss costs with your Assessor before agreeing to the final plan. Try to link up with other Learners so the costs are shared. It is often cheaper to go to the Assessor then the Assessor come to you.


  • By purchasing this process from AQN you acknowledge that you have read and understand the above conditions, and have read the Learner Handbook.
  • Once paid, fees are NON REFUNDABLE.