Unveiling the Hidden Curriculum: Recognizing the Value of Informal Learning through RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning)

Value of information learning through RPL

In the traditional educational landscape, formal learning often takes the spotlight, overshadowing the wealth of knowledge gained through informal learning experiences.

This article delves into the concept of the “hidden curriculum” and explores how Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is unveiling the true value of informal learning, bridging the gap between conventional education and the skills acquired organically through life experiences.


1.The Hidden Curriculum Defined:

There are informal aspects of learning that go beyond textbooks and classrooms.

2. Informal Learning: So much more!:

Informal learning, including on-the-job experiences, self-directed learning, mentorship, and other non-traditional educational paths can never be under estimated.

3. RPL is a pathway for Unrecognized Skills:

RPL acts as a beacon, recognizing and valuing the skills acquired through informal learning that often go unnoticed in traditional educational settings.

4. Success Stories: From Informal Learning to Professional Triumph:

Listen to what a previous student had to share about making use of his knowledge and experience in gaining a qualification:
“The ICB gave me hope that there is a future for someone who did not go or could not afford going to varsity as the costs in comparison were much more affordable. The mere fact that it is SAQA accredited and that you can study further using the credits obtained was extremely positive. I am affiliated to SAIBA and SAIT and a registered tax practitioner. I am busy on the Independent reviewer specialized course through SAIT now as well to diversify my skill set and offer further services to potential clients.

I completed my qualification some time ago and registered with CIMA to study further as a cost accountant. However, due to my business growing 10 fold from the opportunity derived from ICB, I had to put it on hold and rather look to specialize on a few short courses in the interim. ” Darryl Rheeder.

5. RPL and Career Development:

RPL supports career development by acknowledging and validating the skills acquired on the job.

6. Challenges of Ignoring Informal Learning:

The power of the workforce with experience can not be undermined.  Experience counts for so much!  Can you imagine how the combination of experience but also the theory training and certification will improve knowledge base and skill sets in the workplace.  Let’s also consider the follow up mentoring that these individuals can pass onto the next generation.

7. The Role of Technology in Informal Learning Recognition:

Technology, including portfolios, online assessments, and digital badges, can play a crucial role in recognizing and documenting informal learning experiences. And as such make you more credible in the workforce and job search next to other candidates.


We cannot over-emphasize  the transformative potential of Recognition of Prior Learning in unveiling the hidden curriculum and fostering a more inclusive, adaptive, and holistic approach to education.

We do encourage to explore how your unique informal learning journeys can be recognized and celebrated through RPL, unlocking doors to new opportunities and personal growth.

Ready to get started with RPL. Start your journey here.