Accreditation of Prior and Experiential Learning (APEL, VÕTA) Guidelines

I General Provisions

1.   The decision of the assessment of prior and experiential learning (APEL) takes place according to paragraph 4 of the Kõrgharidusstandard (Higher Educational Standard) or the Estonian Republic.

2.   This procedure regulates the assessment of learning outcomes at the Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary, considering student’s prior and experiential learning.

3.   Processing an APEL application involves a fee at the rate of 1ECTS. This fee covers evaluating one diploma/ certificate/continuing education certificate/work experience for transferring up to 10ECTS.

4.   APEL takes place according to individual evaluation.

5.   A student who has completed a mandatory or elective course at a university or at an applied higher institution in the past seven years and has a statement to this effect or a certificate, may submit a written request for a transfer of a subject. Studies in continuing education or in other training school up to 2 EAP can be assessed as electives. APEL is not considered in case of final exams and a defense of theses.

6.    Students may receive credit for skills and knowledge gained through work and/or ministry experience under the APEL system. Prior working experience is assessed by a committee. One year working experience is considered equal to 10 EAP of practica.   Work experience is only eligible for a period of seven years.

7.   Previously taken BMTS courses will be counted as expired after 9 years. Exceptions are made for those who have applied for multiple parental leave as well as for external learners who have consistently completed courses with no more than a 2 year pause.

8. Accreditation of expired courses may only be applied for if competency in the course objectives are demonstrated through an examination before the relevant faculty member.

9. Transfer of prior learning and work experience from other institutions is limited to one third of the BMTS curriculum, or 60 ECTS.  Neither the Diploma paper nor subjects from the Diploma Paper Module are eligible for transfer.

10.    A student has the right to APEL counselling. Counselling is given by the dean.

II Application

1. A student who is applying for the recognition of prior studies and working experience submits an APEL application on ÕIS where the student describes the studies or work experience which need to be assessed.
2. The applicant must scan and upload relevant documents (diploma, diploma supplement, certificate of continuing education, document describing working experience, etc) of prior studies or working experience.
3. The applicant is responsible for the accuracy of the submitted documents.
4. APEL applications are received for the autumn semester until 30 September and for the spring semester until 31 January.

III Assesment

1. Assessment of the application is made by the APEL commission who have the right to consult relevant BMTS faculty for their professional opinion.
2. An application is reviewed and assessed within one month.
3. It may be necessary to require:
3.1. submission of additional documents
3.2. portfolio preparation (an applicant’s description of his studies or working experience)
3.3. to pass an examination
3.4. to conduct an interview.
4. A subject may be transferred if a student has passed a pass/fail evaluation, but in the curriculum the subject ends with an examination.
5. If the prior studies which are transferred were assessed in a different assessment scale than the BMTS uses, the subject is considered to be completed with a “pass” grade.
6. If a student wishes to have his prior studies and working experience assessed as a part of a course being taken in the BMTS, it can be done without an application in agreement with the lecturer.
7. If the applicant does not agree with the decision, he/she can submit a written appeal to the Rector’s Cabinet within a week.

IV Quality Assurance

1. In order to assure the quality of APEL the following criteria are used:
1.1. principles and procedures are monitored, they are public;
1.2. counselling is granted to all applicants;
1.3. at least once a year the Academic Committee analyses decisions taken in connection with APEL.

V Entry Into Force of these Regulations

These regulations shall enter into force from the moment of acceptance: adopted by the Academic Committee on 26 November 2010 with amendments on 2 February 2017, 14 November 2019 amd 6 June 2020.