New requirement for Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning

May 21st, 2018, Published in Articles: Vector


The latest Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning (ARPL) process as prescribed by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) is designed to assist candidates who wish to pursue careers in artisanal trades such as diesel mechanics, welding, fitting and boiler-making.

According Artisan Training Institute (ATI) marketing and sales manager Gerhardt van der Merwe, the usual trade test preparation is no longer sufficient for studying the trade of your choice. The DHET now stipulates that all Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning (ARPL) candidates must also compile a portfolio of evidence including a curriculum vitae (CV); any other certified supporting documents of qualifications and current and previous employment, together with trade-related duties performed. Photographic proof must also be included, where applicable and available.

Self-employed candidates must provide proof of trade-related evidence, which must be accompanied by affidavits signed by clients or other parties supporting the candidate’s ARPL request. All documents in the portfolio of evidence must align with the checklist provided by the National Artisan Moderation Body. The checklist can be found on the DHET’s website, at www.

The DHET further requires that the following documents be added to candidates’ porfolios of evidence before the final trade test can be conducted:

  • Candidate evaluation or interview checklist.
  • Gap closure reports.
  • Phase assessments.
  • Documentary, audio-graphic or photographic proof of assessments.
  • The recommendation of the assessor for trade testing.

As a result of all these additional requirements by the DHET, this process now takes much longer than it used to in the past.

All traditional steps and training must be completed, in addition to the portfolio of evidence. Candidates must also still follow the correct training processes despite the additional documentation required in the portfolio of evidence.

These processes include application; orientation; technical panel evaluation; registration; candidate evaluation; feedback and referral; gap closure (if necessary); phase assessments; workplace experience evaluation; updating of portfolio of evidence; re-evaluation (where necessary); appeal (if necessary), and obtaining a recommendation to take the final trade test.

Trades that must adhere to the new process are diesel mechanics; welding; fitting and boiler making. Electrical; millwrights; instrumentation and rigging do not have to adhere to these steps yet, but will have to do so in the very near future.

In a bid to make this process easier for the candidates, the ATI conducts a series of trade tests to help to identify gaps and areas in their skills sets.

Contact Lanae Erasmus, Artisan Training Institute, Tel 011 472-3443,


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