LLLP is partner in the two-year Erasmus+ KA2 project “ImproVal” (https://www.improval.eu/), involving five partners from five European countries (Finland, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Slovakia). The project kicked-off in Helsinki, Finland on October 29-30th 2018 and aims to provide a synthesis of the work undertaken in the EU on the validation of volunteering experience. It will do so by bringing together the coordinators of a number of previous validation projects, making known the methods, tools and thinking behind validation of learning in the voluntary sector, in a validation compendium, conducting a small-scale study on the usefulness of validation for volunteers, and by encouraging a dialogue between relevant stakeholders locally, nationally and at European level.
The main virtue of voluntary work, that is not always recognised, it is a great non-formal and informal learning opportunity for the volunteer. The ImproVal project starts from the statement that competencies acquired through volunteering activities need to be better recognised in the society. Indeed, the recognition and validation of non-formal and informal learning is highly relevant in the European educational area. This is widely acknowledged at EU level, for instance, in the 2012 Council Recommendation on the validation of non-formal and informal learning.
More and more people and organisations are becoming aware of the educational value of volunteering, and of validation opportunities for the voluntary sector. At the same time, no bridges between projects have been created, which includes the risk of reinventing the wheel on one side, and ‘’missing links’’ on the other side, e.g. in connecting the validation methods with the European Guidelines or the European Qualification Framework for Validation and/or because some forms of volunteering would not be recognised.
To cope with these issues, ImproVal project partners will develop three main outputs:
- Volunteering validation compendium
- Study on validation in volunteering
- Policy recommendations
Coordinator: Sivis Study Centre, a nationwide non-formal adult education centre, whose mission is to foster citizens’ competences and promote active citizenship and voluntary work in cooperation with its members.