Lifelong Learning Platform | LLLP - European Civil Society for Education

Validation of learning

If the correlation between education and employment and especially to quality employment as well as to poverty is well known, one’s qualification does not always correspond to one’s knowledge and skills. Mechanisms to validate non-formal and informal learning contribute to tackle unemployment and achieve a better match between jobs and skills by acknowledging those acquired outside the formal education system.

Validation of non-formal and informal learning also gives opportunities for second chances, improves access to education and enhances motivation to learn. It  contributes to social inclusion, personal development, empowerment and employability. This is why the Lifelong Learning Platform calls on decision-makers to adopt a comprehensive approach when developing their validation mechanisms.

The 2012 Council Recommendation on the validation of non-formal and informal learning (VNIL) is a first step towards more satisfactory validation policy frameworks in the EU. It gave a political impulse for Member States to speed up the building of well-functioning validation systems in partnership with stakeholders. However, according to the CEDEFOP 2014 European Inventory on Validation, “most countries need to further develop their practical validation arrangements”.

The LLLP is a member of the EQF Advisory Group that monitors the implementation of the Validation Recommendation. It also runs a Validation Task Force with its members.



  • Launch of the EU survey ‘Vocational Education and Training 2035’

    The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) is currently working on a project focusing on the ‘Changing Nature and Role of Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Europe‘. The research will support the European Commission and the EU Member States in setting objectives for post-2020 European cooperation in the area of vocational education and training. The project is coordinated by 3s Unternehmensberatung and consortium partners include Danish Technological Institute (DTI, DNK), University of Warwick (IER, UK), Tallinn University (IISS, EST), Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini (FGB, IT), and the Federal […]

  • Cedefop Conference “How to make Learning Visible?”

    Cedefop organised a two day conference in Thessaloniki, where the topic of validation of non-formal and informal learning was discussed. Key note speeches and interactive panel discussions with representatives from the European Commission, Cedefop, the youth sector, Civil Society, as well as validation practitioners pointed out the challenges and opportunities regarding the multi-level process of validating skills and competences across Europe. Four parallel workshops took place focusing on the needs of specific groups such as migrants, unemployed, low-qualified adults and […]

  • European Alliance for Apprenticeships Awards

    The European Commission wishes to recognise achievements of companies, committed under the European Alliance for Apprenticeships, as well as their apprentices for outstanding achievements in promoting apprenticeships. It has launched a call for recommendations for candidates for being awarded an EAfA award under the following three categories: 1) Small and medium sized enterprises; 2) Big enterprises; 3) Apprentices. The candidates must demonstrate outstanding achievements in the area of apprenticeships, in particular keeping in mind that the focus areas of the European Alliance for Apprenticeships: the quality, the supply and the image of apprenticeships. Proposals must […]

  • Save the date for the VET Week 2016 / 5-9 December 2016

    Vocational education and training (VET) is evolving in exciting ways all across Europe. The European Commission organises the first European Vocational Skills Week on 5-9 December in Brussels, to inspire people to discover and use their talent through vocational training. The aim is to showcase high-quality VET programmes as a stepping stone to fulfilling careers, and ultimately, to help make sure that people have the skills they need in a fast-changing labour market. Events will take place across Europe […]

  • Almost half of upper Secondary Pupils in the EU enrolled in VET

    Out of the 22 million pupils in the European Union studying at upper secondary level in 2014, almost 11 million (or 48%) were enrolled in vocational education. In twelve EU Member States, more than half of all upper secondary pupils studied vocational programmes. Vocational education at upper secondary level was somewhat dominated by men, who accounted for 56% of pupils, compared with 44% women. This pattern can be observed in almost all Member States. Ensuring that young people develop […]

  • Skills Matter: Survey of Adult Skills

    This Second Edition of the Survey of Adult Skills, Reader’s Companion,  a product of the OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), was designed to provide insights into the availability of some of these key skills in society and how they are used at work and at home. It describes the design and methodology of the survey and its relationship to other international assessments of young students and adults.

  • Getting Skills Right

    Getting Skills Right: Assessing and Anticipating Changing Skill Needs. Shifts du to digitalisation, globalisation, demographic, as well as other changes in work organisation are constantly reshaping skill needs. This OECD report identifies effective strategies for improving labour market information on skill needs and ensuring that this information is used effectively to develop the right skills.

  • EU-CoE youth partnership: recognition of non-formal learning

    In 2010, relevant stakeholders in the youth field expressed the need for a better coordination and observation of activities at European level in the field of recognition of youth work and of non-formal learning. The EU-CoE youth partnership was invited to play such a coordination role and therefore established as of 2011 an Expert Group on Recognition which meets bi-annually. In 2015 the Lifelong Learning Platform was invited to share its views with the expert group and applied to become […]

  • Guidance and counselling to take validation to the next level, 2015

    European Parliament – 2 December (13.00-15.00)
    The Lifelong Learning Platform welcomed the 2012 Council Recommendation on the validation of non-formal and informal learning (VNIL) as it gave a political impulse for Member States to speed up the building of validation systems. Significant progress has been made in the last few years, especially with regard to the development of the legal frameworks and strategies. However more efforts should be made in order to increase the potential benefits of validation for a wider […]

  • Validation of learning outcomes

    We are what we do, and yet, only part of what we do is recognised by others, namely employers and formal education institutions. But how many young people and adults engage in non-formal and informal learning processes? How many volunteer? How much do these activities add not only to their competences and skills, but also to their personalities? And in spite of the huge benefits such activities produce, quid of their recognition and validation? These were the questions asked during […]

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