Recognition Of Prior Learning (RPL): A New Pathway To Career Advancement

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In a rapidly evolving and highly competitive job market, where skills and qualifications play a pivotal role in career progression, the issue of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is rightfully coming to the fore.

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Many individuals across South Africa have worked diligently in various roles and industries, accumulating valuable knowledge and skills over many years. However, when they seek to climb the career ladder or transition to a new job, their hard-earned expertise often goes unrecognised due to their lack of relevant qualifications, and without consideration of their real-life track record and achievements.

“Our country faces significant socio-economic challenges. Aspiring professionals, including those who have worked in entry-level and minimum wage positions, find themselves at a crossroads. They possess practical skills, problem-solving abilities, customer service experience and industry-specific knowledge – all highly sought-after skills - but their lack of formal qualifications hinder their upward mobility.

“In this way, the gap between practical experience and formal recognition creates almost insurmountable barriers for career advancement,” explains Siyavuya Makubalo, Marketing Manager at Oxbridge Academy, a brand of ADvTECH, South Africa’s leading private education provider.

Upon receipt of a certificate of completion, students can articulate into a qualification in their preferred field, with the RPL certificate serving as confirmation of their skills and knowledge. Its purpose is to bridge the gap between practical expertise and formal qualifications, giving people the ability to advance their qualifications and careers.

“This serves as a beacon of hope for those seeking career progression, who want to improve their prospects but were not able to do so before,” says Makubalo.

She says the RPL process provides a structured framework for assessing and validating an individual’s prior learning.

“It is an acknowledgement of the skills and knowledge you’ve collected through work and life experience and then transferring them to a current training course’s requirements to gain entry to the specific training course you want to study.”

Upon receipt of a certificate of completion, students can articulate into a qualification in their preferred field, with the RPL certificate serving as confirmation of their skills and knowledge.

“Recognition of Prior Learning is a much-needed transformative process that acknowledges an individual’s existing expertise, regardless of whether it was gained through formal education, work experience, or self-directed learning. It provides a pathway for individuals to have their skills and knowledge assessed, validated and formally recognised.

In addition to the formal recognition, students also gain confidence in their abilities. They recognise that their practical know-how matters and can be a stepping stone to greater opportunities. Armed with validated skills, individuals can then confidently apply for promotions, switch industries, study further or explore lateral moves.

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