On January 15, President William Ruto’s Cabinet opened doors for Kenyans who have never attended classes to acquire professional certificates after approving the policy on Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).
RPL is the process of identifying, assessing and certifying knowledge, skills and attitudes regardless of how, when or where learning occurred.
The RPL certificate is only awarded by institutions that have been certified by the Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA).
Currently, KNQA only offers certifications to four categories of institutions which have also been accredited by the Ministry of Education.
President William Ruto chairing a Cabinet meeting at State House on January 15, 2024
Institutions Qualified to offer RPL certificates
All Kenyan universities formed under regulations set by the University Act no 42 of 2012 are eligible to offer RPL certificates upon certification. Currently, Kenya has 35 public universities.
National polytechnics in Kenya can also receive a legal order to offer RPL certificates.
There are currently 11 national polytechnics in Kenya which include; Kabete, Eldoret, Nyeri, Meru, Kisumu and Kitale national polytechnics.
Others include; North Eastern, Sigalagala, Kisii, Kenya Coast, and Nyandarua national polytechnics.
Institutions Under Government Ministries
The third category of schools that can offer RPL certificates include institutions under Government Ministries with a legal order to award qualifications.
Under this category, the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) is at the forefront of offering RPL certificates.
Currently, NITA has training centres in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, and Athi River.
“Institutions established by an Act of Parliament to develop and award qualifications,” KNQA explains the fourth category allowed to offer the certificates.
Apart from the Kenyan-based institutions, foreign institutions accredited in their home countries as qualification awarding institutions can be certified by KNQA to offer RPL certificates to Kenyan citizens.
University of Nairobi students at a graduation ceremony in December 2019.