Early Childhood Education Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Program

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.

Overview of the RPL Process

  • Review the Program Guide
  • Submit RPL Application & upload required support documents using the online form & pay application /eligibility fee
  • 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.

Recognizing Prior Learning can be applied to:

  • Hiring and Recruitment
    By providing a measurable standard 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

Photo Courtesy of Through the Years Child Care & Community Centre

“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

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

– Successful RPL Candidate

Download Documents


Level 2 Early Childhood Educator Competency Profile for Nova Scotia

March 2021


RPL Program Accommodations

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


RPL Program Information for Employers

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


RPL Program Complaints & Appeals Process

The following outline 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 FAQ

Recognized Prior Learning (RPL) Program Questions and Answers

RPL Program Now Accepting Applications

We are pleased to announce that the RPL Program Application Process is now open!


RPL Program Resource List

Books and other resources

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

Policies and Procedures

Pathways to Prosperity

Pathways to Prosperity

Application Form