It is a systematic process for the identification, documentation, and evaluation of learning based on previous experience. Knowledge, skills, and attitudes are evaluated to determine the level at which an individual has achieved certain learning outcomes, in order to access a study programme and/or to obtain credits.

APEL.A enables individuals with working experience but do not possess or lack academic qualifications to enrol at a higher education provider (HEP), such as Open University Malaysia (OUM). In general, it involves the assessment of knowledge acquired by a person through formal education or previous experience.

Applications can be made online at https://www2.mqa.gov.my/apel_a/

For admission to a Master’s degree programme, candidates must be at least 30 years old from 1 January onwards in the year of application, possess an STPM or Diploma qualification or other recognised equivalent qualifications, and have relevant work experience.

For admission to the Bachelor’s degree programme, candidates must be at least 21 years old from 1 January in the year of application and have relevant work experience.

For admission to the Diploma programme, candidates must be at least 20 years old from 1 January in the year of application and have relevant work experience.

For admission to a Certificate programme, candidates must be at least 19 years old from 1 January in the year of application and have relevant work experience.

For now, the APEL.A assessment in Malaysia is intended for admission to a HEP only. It is applicable for four levels of admission:

i. Certificate programme APEL T-3
ii. Diploma programme APEL T-4
iii. Bachelor’s programme APEL T-6
iv. Master’s programme APEL T-7

APEL certification can be used by applicants only for furthering their studies at a HEP. It does not award qualifications like a HEP programme. An APEL certificate also cannot be used for employment purposes.


For example, APEL T-7 can only be used to apply for admission to a HEP to study at the Master’s level. It is not an award for a Master’s programme offered by the HEP.

They can engage in full-time or part-time studies.

For Master’s programme, the modes permitted are coursework mode and blended mode.

Yes, and it is according to level:

Certificate (Level 3) & Diploma (Level 4) RM155.00
Bachelor (Level 6) RM250.00
Master (Level 7) RM370.00
  • At least two months for APEL T-3, APEL T-4 and APEL T-6 from the date of completed application*.
  • At least three months for APEL T-7 from the date of completed application*.

* Note:   The APEL evaluation period depends on the candidate. The period stated is for those who pass the assessment. If a candidate fails and needs to repeat it, the evaluation period will be longer.

APEL T-3, APEL T-4, and APEL T-6: Aptitude Test and Portfolio.

APEL T-7: Aptitude Test, Portfolio, and Interview.

The test structure for Level 3 and Level 4 is as follows:

Malay Language

10 objective questions

2 hours

English Language

10 objective questions


10 objective questions

General Knowledge/Critical Thinking

10 objective questions

Note: Applicants must answer 20 questions correctly to pass.

For Level 6, the structure is as follows:

Malay Language

10 objective questions

2 hours

English Language

10 objective questions


10 objective questions

General Knowledge/Critical Thinking

10 objective questions

Note: Applicants must obtain 50% of the Aptitude Test score to pass.


The test structure for Level 7 is as follows:

Malay Language

Part A : 13 objective questions

2 hours 30 mins


Part B : 1 structural question

English Langauge

Part A : 12 objective questions


Part B : 1 structural question


Part A : 25 objective questions


Part B : 1 structural question

General Knowledge/Critical Thinking

Part A : 25 objective questions

Part B : 2 structural question


Note: Applicants must obtain 50% of the Aptitude Test score to pass.

A PPA is a HEP appointed by MQA to receive and process the APEL.A assessment for admission to programmes in Level 6 and Level 7. All OUM Learning Centres nationwide are equipped and able to carry out the functions of a PPA.

You will receive an automatically generated e-mail which contains a link. Click the link and re-register with one of the PPAs.

Check out the APEL Handbook for Certificate, Diploma and Bachelor’s Degree < https://www2.mqa.gov.my/portalapela/dokumen/BukuPanduanAPEL_18072021.pdf>.

Also look up the following link: https://apel.oum.edu.my/resources/ for sample test questions and other useful resources.

You are advised to apply for APEL.A at least 6 months before the date of admission to the HEP of your choice.

No, it doesn’t. It is permanently valid.

No, they cannot. They must receive the official results from MQA first.


APEL.C is a method of assessing knowledge gained from work experience, life experience or a collection of short courses for the purpose of obtaining credit transfer for courses in academic programs at Higher Education Providers (HEPs).

If you are planning to take Bachelor's Degree, you can shorten duration of study upto 4 semesters or if Master's Degree by 1 semester.

You can continue your study to Bachelor's Degree and Masters's Degree at OUM

Open to all registered students of OUM (by Coursework / Mixed Mode) and Bachelor programmes with relevant knowledge and skills acquired through non-formal work-related learning experience and informal training courses.

APEL which was launched previously is for the purpose of admission to PPT which is known as APEL ( Access ). APEL.C or APEL ( Credit ) is for the purpose of obtaining a credit transfer.

Through the implementation of APEL.A and APEL.C, individuals with extensive experience can not only enter programs at HEPs but can also use their experience to obtain credit transfers for specific courses in the program of study. Therefore, students can complete their studies in a shorter period.

For the purpose of APEL.C assessment application, a person must have student status (have been registered in a program of study at PPT).

APEL.C was first implemented in September 2016.

None. APEL.C is not like APEL.A which sets a specific age limit for each level of study.

No. APEL.C is open to all students in HEPs who have obtained approval to conduct APEL.C, whether they are citizens or international students. APEL.C is also open to all students regardless of the method of admission to the program of study, whether through the APEL.A or conventional route.

Students who apply for APEL.C to the HEP will be assessed but how the form of assessment depends on the suitability of the field. It is not necessarily an exam. Valuation methods can be in the form of demonstrations, portfolio valuation interviews and so on.

The maximum credit transfer under APEL.C is 30%. For students with formal qualifications and experience, they can earn both APEL.C credit transfer and formal learning. For example, students who have a Diploma and work experience, can get a maximum credit transfer of 30% [APEL.C] and 30% (formal learning) for admission to the Bachelor.

Among the benefits of APEL.C are:

  1. enabling students to complete their studies in a shorter period of time;
  2. encouraging working individuals to return to learning;
  3. recognizing individual learning experiences gained outside the formal stream;
  4. avoid repetitive learning;
  5. can reduce the cost of student education;
  6. making our higher education system more flexible and comparable to developed countries which on average have recognized prior learning;
  7. one of the methods for creating a culture of lifelong learning
  8. creating a knowledge society for the purpose of improving the country's economy and social development; and
  9. contribute towards the development of the country's human capital through the recognition of skilled workers.


APEL.Q is the assessment of an individual’s prior experiential learning against a fully accredited programme of OUM. You will receive an academic qualification if you pass all the assessed components.

APEL.Q assesses your knowledge, skills and competencies acquired through formal learning (such as university and college programmes), non-formal learning (such as seminars, workshops and professional courses) and informal learning (such as work experiences).

All individuals, regardless of citizenship, who meet the minimum requirement of work experience can apply for APEL.Q. Please note that specific years of work experience are required depending on the academic programme you wish to be assessed against.

MQF Level Academic Qualification Minimum Years of Work Experience in Related Field
6 Degree 15 years
7 Masters 20 years


To apply for the APEL.Q programme, you must submit your application directly to the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA). However, you can choose OUM as the assessment centre. Apply for APEL.Q through the following link:



The assessment process for APEL.Q consists of the following components:

  1. Self-Assessment
    You will do a self-assessment to determine your eligibility for the APEL.Q programme.
  2. Portfolio Preparation and Submission
    You need to prepare and submit a portfolio, which is a compilation of evidence documenting the prior experiential learning you have acquired through formal, non-formal or informal means. The evidence presented must prove that the learning experiences gained are relevant, specific and match the programme's learning outcomes.

  3. Field and Validation Visit
    The field and validation visit (FVV) aims to assess and verify that you possess the knowledge and competencies required by the programme. FVV shall be conducted at your place of work or any environment/location that is conducive for a relevant and accurate assessment.
  4. Challenge Test
    Challenge tests are controlled standardized tests to assess whether you have achieved mastery of the programme's body of knowledge. Challenge tests can be in the forms of written and/or oral tests, review of work produced, performance evaluation, etc., depending on the nature and discipline of the programme.
  5. Capstone Course
    Capstone courses are normally offered in the final semester/year of study of a programme. A capstone course incorporates the primary learning outcomes of the programme and it is intended to allow you to show that you have mastered the core discipline of study.

APEL.Q programme are available throughout the year. You can apply at any time.

You may still be able to complete this assessment component. The FVV is typically conducted at the workplace, but as the learner, you can propose an alternative location suitable and conducive to an accurate assessment. This means that even if you are currently unemployed, you may still be able to complete the APEL.Q programme if you can provide a suitable location for the FVV.

APEL.Q programmes do not have regular classes as they are designed for individuals to demonstrate their prior learning experiences. However, attending class may be required for capstone courses, which are intended for you to display your mastery of the programme’s core discipline.

You can, but you must terminate your normal programme first before applying for the APEL.Q programme. This ensures that there is no overlap between the two programmes and avoids any confusion or issues with your academic progress.

An advisor will be assigned to you, who will support you and help to ensure that the entire APEL.Q process is carried out smoothly, from when you begin your application to the end of your assessments. In addition to the advisor, you will have access to various support services and learning management systems available to all OUM learners. These resources can help you prepare for your assessments and provide additional guidance.

While the FVV assessment is typically conducted at the candidate’s place of work, you may propose an alterative location that is suitable and conducive for the assessors to assess your knowledge and competencies accurately. An alternate assessment method can be implemented if such a location is approved. However, finding an appropriate location outside of your regular workplace may require addition effort and planning.

The capstone course typically ranges from 4 to 8 months, as it is usually offered to regular learners over a semester. However, the duration may vary depending on the specific programme and individual circumstances.

The capstone course typically ranges from 4 to 8 months, as it is usually offered to regular learners over a semester. However, the duration may vary depending on the specific programme and individual circumstances.

The duration of the APEL.Q assessment process is highly dependent on your commitment and efficiency in completing all the required components. If you stay on track and remain dedicated, you can expect to complete the entire process within 9-12 months for the Undergraduate level programmes, or 12-15 months for the Postgraduate programmes. Remember, your advisor will be there to guide you every step of the way and ensure a smooth process from beginning to end.

The following officials are authorised to carry out CTC verification:

  • government officer holding administrative or professional post in Group A
  • principal, headmaster, assistant principal and assistant headmaster of school
  • member of Parliament and assemblyman
  • village chief
  • chairperson of the village security and development committee (jawatankuasa kemajuan dan keselamatan kampung)
  • commissioner of oaths

Note that the stamp mark that certifies each document should clearly show the full name and designation of the certifying person, the department name and complete address.

To successfully complete an APEL.Q assessment, you must demonstrate a minimum competency level of 50% for each programme learning outcome (PLO) in every component assessed. In other words, you must show a satisfactory understanding and mastery of the relevant knowledge and skills for each PLO to pass the assessment. It is also important that in addition to passing each assessment component, you must maintain a final CGPA of 3.0 or above to be awarded the degree.

In APEL.Q context, PLOs stand for programme learning outcomes. These are the main areas used to evaluate your knowledge and competency in your field of study.

There are 11 PLOs in total, covering a range of skills and attributes (comprising knowledge and understanding; cognitive skills; functional job skills; practical skills; interpersonal skills; communication skills; digital skills; numeracy skills; leadership, autonomy and responsibility; personal and entrepreneurial skills; and ethics and professionalism).

By assessing these PLOs, the APEL.Q programme aims to ensure that candidates possess the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful in their chosen field of study.

A fee is charged for the self-assessment exercise, which is not included in the programme fee. If you are required to take enhancement courses, you will not need to pay any additional fees besides the programme fee. However, if you happen to fail any of the assessment component and wish to resit additional fees will be applicable.