Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of prior learning is the process which recognises the learning you have gained either:

  • Formally - through exams and qualifications obtained from awarding bodies such as other professional associations or universities, or;
  • Informally - for example in the workplace through relevant practical experience or non-certificated training.

By applying for recognition of your prior learning you can significantly reduce the time taken to complete the International Diploma, as well as reduce any overlap or duplication of previous study. There are two separate ways in which you can apply for recognition of your prior learning - the exemption route and the Accreditation of prior learning (APL) route.

Exemption route

If you already hold a relevant postgraduate level professional qualification or a university degree in risk management, you may be eligible for an exemption from one or more modules of the International Diploma. There are two types of exemption available:

1. Standard exemptions

If you hold a qualification/award which we have previously evaluated as covering the syllabus of one or more modules, then the application process is very easy.

Look here to see whether exemptions apply

Details of how to apply for a standard exemption can be found here

2. Non-standard exemptions

If you hold a qualification/award with which we are not familiar, but which you feel covers the syllabus of one or more modules, you might still be able to claim an exemption. You will need to provide evidence that the qualification/award you hold covers a minimum of 80% of the syllabus for the module you are applying for and has been tested to a level equivalent to the International Diploma.

Details of how to apply for a non-standard exemption can be found here

Accreditation of prior learning (APL) route

IRM’s Accreditation of Prior Learning Scheme (APL) recognises that people learn and demonstrate knowledge in ways other than through a process of formal study and examination. It allows you to demonstrate that you have met the theoretical requirements of the International Diploma modules through practical work experience or non-certificated training rather than by examination.

You must have a minimum of five years risk management experience to be eligible to apply and you will need to demonstrate your professional competence through the completion of a detailed portfolio of experience.

Details of how to apply can be found here


Take a look at our frequently asked questions or contact us.

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