A. R. P. L.

What Is A.R.P.L. ?

ARPL stands for Artisan Recognition of Prior Learn and it is a process whereby people’s prior learning can be formally recognized in terms of registered qualifications and unit standards, regardless of where and how the learning was attained. RPL acknowledges that people never stop learning, whether it takes place formally at an educational institution, or whether it happens informally.

What Are The Requirements?

Requirements to qualify for the Artisan RPL trade test according to merSETA (Manufacturing, Engineering and Related services SETA).

Qualifying Criteria Categories

A.  Minimum three (3) years relevant work experience within     South Africa and N2 certificate inclding relevant trade theory. OR

B. Minimum three (3) years relevant work experience within South Africa and  Relevant Engineering NC(V) NQF level 3. OR

C. Minimum three (3) years relevant work experience within South Africa and Technical Grade 12 with Maths, Engineering Science and related theory subject. OR

D. Minimum Eighteen (18) months relevant work experience within South Africa, completed  of all relevant work experience modules and Relevant Engineering NC(V) NQF level 4. OR

E.Minimum Eighteen (18) months relevant work experience within South Africa and relevant (directly related to trade theory subjects) N6 certificate or National Technical Diploma (S and N Stream). OR

F. Minimum four (4) years work experience within South Africa with Grade 9 (Standard 7).OR

G. Successful completion of  merSETA registered NQF Level 2,3 and 4 trade related learnerships with minimum two (2) years, inclusive of the institutional and workplace components.


Documents Required

  • Certified By A Commissioner Of Oath
  • Certified documents must not be older than three months.

1. Clear originally certified copy of Identity Document.

2. Originally certified copy of educational qualification.

3. Original or originally certified service letter on a company letter head as proof of experience within South Africa with detailed daily duties, start date and signed off by the duly authorised person.

4. Where applicable, documentary proof showing that the applicant is legally in South Africa with exclusion of medical permit.

5. A candidate, who attempted a trade test and passed at least 50% of the number of tasks given, will be given recognition for those tasks. The recognition will be retained by the candidate for a maximum of 3 attempts or 18 months from the date of successful completion of the trade task whichever comes first. Thereafter, no credit or recognition of tasks applies.

6. The merSETA will communicate the outcome of the application directly with the applicant and not third party.

7. An arrangement may be made for merSETA to pay for the trade test fee for unemployed candidates.

8. A pre-assessment may be recommended whereby the cost will be born by the employer or candidate.

9. Relevant work experience means according to training schedules for the trade. 

Tool Jig, Die-maker and Plastic Mould Makers, the applicant needs to do pre-work before attempting the actual trade test. Documentation in this regard must be requested from the applicable Regional Office of merSETA prior to the trade test date for completion.

The merSETA may decline the application if there is a conflict of interest with regard to the selected DTTC

*The above criteria is adopted from the Trade Test Regulations vol. 599 No. 38758 of 8 May 2015 Gazette No.10425

Process For The A.R.P.L

As of September the 1st 2019 the department of higher education (DHET) has instituted new policy and criteria for trade testing. An extensive tool kit of directives and requirements have to be followed which will culminate in the actual trade test (summative assessment).

The process is divided into four stages outlined hereunder.

Stage 1: Registration and portfolio creation. This file to contain letters of work experience, certified ID copy and application documents with signed undertaking from candidate.

Stage 2: Interview for assessment of acquired knowledge (verbal ) and written examination papers of an hour long each. Panel beaters have five and painters three. Duration: 2 days.

Stage 3: Practical formative assessment of which various tasks are performed to assess practical trade experience. This takes 13 hours to perform.

Stage 4: This is the summative assessment or trade test. This is carried out after the relevant reports have been submitted and POEs (portfolio of evidence ) is complete. The reports are sent to the Merseta for approval and if acceptable, a serial number is issued. Then only may the trade test be carried out. From the submission of reports and request for S/N the time period is indeterminable, as this is dependant on the seta and its verification process. The issue of the S/N is also registered on the NAMBs system.  (National Artisans Moderating Body) and QCTO.  (Quality Council For Trades and Occupations)  Extremely important for the tracking of documents and reports to enable the presentation of the artisans certificate.  

While every effort is made by the centre for the successful  completion of this process, much lies with the co-operation of the various bodies. The fee structure is as follows:

  • Stage 1 ,R3500
  • Stage 2 ,R7500
  • Stage 3 ,R7500

All materials, printing and photographic  reporting included.Formative assessments can be accommodated on a Saturday should a number of candidates request as a group and by prior arrangement.