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Association of Early Childhood Educators Nova Scotia

You May Apply for RPL If You Meet the Following Criteria:
  • 6500 hours of on-the-floor experience as an ECE, and
  • Nova Scotia ECE Entry Level Classification, or Level 1 Classification, or School-Age Designation.

If you meet both of the above conditions please proceed to the application form: 2024 Application Form

ESL Learners, please note: The exam & interview contain college-level language. We therefore require you have level 7 or higher from IELTS (or a comparable level from another organization) before attempting the RPL process.

What Is RPL?

RPL is an assessment of your past education & professional experience to determine if you meet the criteria for a Level 2 ECE classification in Nova Scotia.

RPL is not a course. It is a series of exams & interviews used to assess your knowledge & skill level. Successful completion of RPL does not grant a diploma or any other credential from any college or university, and is not transferable in college or university Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) processes.


You can apply any time by clicking this link for the 2024 Application Form. Please note, submitting the form is not the whole application process. You will also have to send us supporting documentation:

  • Your resume or CV,
  • Proof of your Nova Scotia classification certificate,
  • Proof of your ECE diplomas or degrees
  • Proof of any non-ECE diplomas or degrees
  • If English is not your first language, please also attach proof of your language proficiency certificate. We require Level 7 from IELTS or an comparable level from another organization.
Please email these to us at rpl@aecens.ca.

Document attachments must be in Word or PDF formats. Photos of degrees or diplomas are also accepted in JPEG or PNG formats.

Overview of the RPL Process:
  • Review the Program Guide
  • Fill in the RPL application & upload required support documents using the 2024 Application Form
  • Receive & review the Candidate Examination Package
  • Prepare for the examination
  • Register for the examination & pay examination fee
  • Pass the written examination, review results & feedback
  • Receive & Review the Candidate Situational Interview Package
  • Prepare for the situational interview
  • Register for the situational interview & pay registration fee
  • Pass the situational interview
  • If successful, receive results along with the RPL Program Successful Completion Certificate and Letter
  • Apply for Classification Upgrade with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

RPL Fees -  Effective November 2023

To help reduce the cost to participate, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is pleased to provide funds to cover the application, exam, & interview fees for 20 applicants, who are currently working in regulated child care, or Family Home Day Care licensed by the Province of Nova Scotia, or a Pre-primary Program until the end of 2024. Funding is tied to candidate participation in exam & interview preparation programs through Opportunity Place.

There is an option on the RPL application form to indicate you wish to receive government funding for this process.





Fee $500.00

Fee $1,150.00

Fee $1,150.00

Fee $2,800.00

HST = $75

HST = $172.50

HST = $172.50

HST = $420

Total $575.00

Total $1,322.50

Total $1,322.50

Total $3,220.00

RPL can be applied to:

  • Hiring and Recruitment
    By providing a measurement of competency for an ECE Level 2 Classification in Nova Scotia.
  • Training
    By providing an opportunity for candidates to engage in self- directed learning to demonstrate their competencies in ECE through non-traditional methods of learning.
  • Competency Development
    By requiring skills and standards of performance and transparent, reliable assessment processes
  • Performance evaluation
    By assessing a candidate’s competency using standardized and validated assessment tools
  • Succession and Career Planning
    By successfully completing the RPL Program candidates can upgrade their classification level which can lead to opening up career opportunities.
  • Employee/Labour Relations
    By supporting and recognizing the professional development of employees against a standard of competency.
  • Recognition of Competency
    By successfully completing the RPL Program enables the candidate to apply for a classification upgrade.

Photo Courtesy of Through the Years Child Care & Community Centre

Comments From Past RPL Candidates:

"I am beyond thrilled to learn that I have successfully completed the RPL program.  This was an exciting learning opportunity and I truly enjoyed the whole experience.  I particularly appreciated the feedback and lists of resources for me to explore. I will continue to learn and grow throughout my journey in the ECE field."

- Successful RPL Candidate, 2021

"Thank you so much for the opportunity to have my previous experience recognized!"

- Successful RPL Candidate, 2022

RPL Document Download Centre:

The following documents contain all of the information related to the RPL program.

For anything not answered in the documents below, please email us at rpl@aecesn.ca

The application form for prospective RPL Candidates is in the link below. Please note, there are attachments that must be submitted along with this form in order for the application to be activated. The form is available in 2 versions:

2024 RPL Application live form link

Pathways to Prosperity - A guide from Opportunity Place on the Pathways to Prosperity workshop series.

Level 2 Early Childhood Educator Competency Profile for Nova Scotia - a document from our provincial government outlining the knowledge & skills required to meet the Level 2 standard.

*Updated* RPL Interview Guide - this document contains information about the situational interview part of the RPL process.

RPL Program FAQ - Recognized Prior Learning (RPL) Program Frequently Asked Questions.

RPL Program Accomodations - outlines the principles and responsibilities for the provision of accommodations within the assessment process for Candidates in the RPL Program.

RPL Information for Employers  - RPL is the process used to identify, document, assess and recognize existing skills and knowledge.

RPL Program Complaints & Appeals Process - outlines the principles and administrative process(es) by which a RPL Program Candidate may register a complaint with respect to the conduct of any individual or the management and administration of the RPL Program.

RPL Program Resource List - A list of materials that RPL Candidates can review in preparation for the written exam and situational interview.

RPL Program  Guide - This is an information package for Candidates enrolled in the Level 2 ECE Assessment for the Recognition of Prior Learning.

RPL Policies and Procedures  - the document that governs how AECENS runs the RPL program.

 AECENS Code of Ethics - Guidelines for responsible behaviour in Child Care practice.  

The RPL Program is generously funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Education & Early Childhood Development.

©AECENS, 2024
AECENS is a registered non-profit in Nova Scotia, Canada

3845 Joseph Howe Drive, Suite 102

Halifax, NS B3L 4H9


AECENS is located in Mi’kma’ki, the unceded territory and ancestral homeland of the Mi’kmaq Nation.  Our relationship is based on a series of Peace and Friendship treaties between the Mi’kmaq Nation and the Crown, dating back to 1725. 

AECENS recognizes that We Are All Treaty People.

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