Dr Ciara Staunton

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Ciara Staunton
Dr Ciara Staunton, Project Lead, University College Cork

Ciara Staunton is the Project Lead for the National RPL Project at UCC.

Ciara's journey into the RPL space commenced in 2016 when she joined the RPL Practitioners’ Network on behalf of ACE (Adult Continuing Education, UCC). She led a project on RPL in 2016/17 which resulted in 17 farmers from West Cork successfully gaining entry to and exemptions on 40 out of 60 credits on the Diploma in Environmental Science and Social Policy (NFQ Level 7). She worked closely with her colleague, Belinda Gascoigne, on this project and devised a plan in which over three academic cycles, the course would evolve in order to streamline the RPL entry route and accommodate blended learning for future cohorts of farmers wishing to pursue the course. They now have had three cohorts of farmers undertake the Diploma successfully.  

In order to further educate and upskill myself in the area of RPL, I undertook two digital badges in 2020 on RPL and RPL Facilitation. These were delivered through the National Teaching and Learning Forum. On foot of those badges, she co-facilitated the rollout of both badges to a group of 30 participants from across the Community Ed. (CE), Further Ed. (FE) and Higher Ed. (HE) sectors nationally.

In 2020, she successfully tendered for a research project as an RPL Expert as part of the European Agenda for Adult Learning Project Adult and Community Education: Supported Learner Pathways 2020-2021 from Aontas, the National Adult Learning Forum. As part of this contract, she designed and developed a new Certificate in Continuing Professional Development in the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for practitioners of adult and community education. 

She is delighted to be part of this extremely important national project which will make RPL front and central to dialogues within Higher Education Institutions.