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Ten Standards for Quality Assurance in Assessing Learning Credit


The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (C.A.E.L.) has developed ten standards that govern the assessment of prior learning. These ten standards are divided into two categories - Academic and Administrative. The first five are Academic Standards relevant to the processes governing the assessment of prior learning. The second five are Administrative Standards that describe the administrative context within which the assessment and recognition of equivalent academic credit occur.


    1. Credit should be awarded only for learning, not for experience.
    2. College credit should be awarded only for college-level learning.
    3. Credit should be awarded only for learning that has a balance is appropriate to the subject between theory and practical application.
    4. The determination of competence levels and of credit awards must be made by appropriate subject matter and academic experts.
    5. Credit should be appropriate to the academic context in which it is accepted.


    1. Credit awards and their transcript entries should be monitored to avoid giving credit twice for the same learning.
    2. Policies and procedures applied to assessment, including provision for appeal, should be fully disclosed and prominently available.
    3. Fees charged for assessment should be based on the services performed in the process and not determined by the amount of credit awarded.
    4. All personnel involved in the assessment of learning should receive adequate training for the functions they perform, and there should be provisions for their continued professional development.
    5. Assessment programs should be regularly monitored, reviewed, evaluated, and revised as needed to reflect changes in the needs being served and in the state of the assessment arts.
Council for Adult and Experiential Learning
(C.A.E.L. Standards for Prior Learning Assessment)
Cite: Urban Whitaker. (1989). Assessing Learning. Philadelphia, PA:
CAEL. p. 9

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