RPL in
The Netherlands
VET – Business Cooperation
24/25 April, Copenhagen
Patrick Leushuis
Ministry of Education,
Culture and Science
RPL in The Netherlands
• RPL = market activity
Providers: educational institutes and specialized
• Formal and non-formal standards (learning outcomes)
• Use of RPL:
o career development, internal and external mobility
o exemptions, flexible learning pathways
Certificate of Experience
Building the RPL-infrastructure
• Subsidies for regional partnerships learning & working
Businesses, education & training institutes, local and
regional government organisations
RPL and workbased learning
• Subsidies for higher education institutes (2007-2011):
Flexible, tailor made learning paths incl. WBL
Organizational development
• Subsidies for learning & working offices (2010-2012):
Physical & virtual ‘front offices’ + active approach of
In 44 regions in the Netherlands
After 2012: career guidance offices?
Promotion of RPL
• Booklets, flyers, posters etc.
• Portal and websites
o Animation clip:
o Videos – RPL testimonials etc.: video.ervaringscertificaat.nl
• National campaigns: TV, radio, internet
o TV add: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCf4udF_EuA
• Social partners (employers organisations and unions):
case studies on good RPL practices
=> RPL in collective labour agreements
Quality Assurance
• RPL quality code
• Accreditation
• National RPL register
• National expertise centre RPL
o Information on RPL and quality code
o Good practices
o RPL academy: training RPL-professionals
o RPL toolbox: handbooks, guidelines, competence profiles etc.
Financial support for RPL participants
and employers
• Sector funds:
full or partial funding for RPL
• Fiscal incentives:
tax deductability costs of RPL
Facts and figures (1)
Results of subsidized projects:
• 2005-2007: 80.000 participants WBL / RPL
• 2008-2010: 125.000 participants WBL / RPL
• 44 learning & working offices:
provision of information on:
education and training
financial arrangements
active approach of employers in the region
Facts and figures (2)
• Development in numbers of RPL-participants:
2007 - 9.900
2008 - 12.500
2009 - 15.700
2010 - 22.000
2011 - 17.700
• Mainly in formal standards at EQF- levels 2, 3 and 4
• Increasing share of RPL-participants in procedures using
non-formal standards
Experiences and Challenges
• RPL is mostly used as an instrument to obtain exemptions:
diploma orientation rather than
career / labour market orientation
• Problems in transfer of RPL-results
• Market ‘shake out’, quite a number of RPL-providers stopped:
High costs of accreditation
Lower numbers of RPL-participants than necessary
Alternative: intake assessments and ‘regular’ exemption
• Challenges:
reinforce the use of RPL for career development / direct use
labour market: establishing suitable standards
Quality control of ‘alternative’ instruments
Lessons learned in HEI’s
• National program ‘lifelong learning in higher education’
• Seven Universities of Applied Sciences (2009 – end 2011)
• Key success factors:
o organizational development: structure and culture
o strategic partnerships with Businesses and local and regional
goverment organizations
o integrated approach:
 lifelong learning (RPL, training and education)
 research and innovation
 industrial placement, projects, guest lectures etc.

Dia 1 - Danish Ministry of Education