The importance to Europe of skilled and knowledgeable citizens extends beyond formal education to learning acquired in non-formal or informal ways. Appropriate validation of competencies acquired through non-formal and informal learning pathways (consisting of identification, documentation, assessment and certification) will better support individuals to provide their added value to the labour market.
The 2012 Council Recommendation on validation encourages the Member States to put in place national arrangements for validation by 2018. These arrangements will enable individuals to increase the visibility and value of their knowledge, skills and competencies acquired outside formal education and training: at work, at home or in voluntary activities.
The VNFIL process is only starting in Europe, so the products which partners are determined to develop are high at EU agenda and designed on the request from the real need of partners from Lithuania, Italy, Portugal and Greece.
In fact and so far, countries involved in the project have been developing different approaches and arrangements for VNFIL (validation of non-formal and informal learning), but there is a consensus around the idea that there is a need for professionalization & formalization of the process.
All PROFI-VNFIL partners agreed that:
1. There is a need for the development of online self-evaluation and self-assessment tools d for VNFIL candidates aiming to prepare an e-portfolio. The candidate can use his/her portfolio to prove that he/she has the demanded skills to proceed with the validation process.;
2. There is also a strong need to advocate for society and policy. VNFIL is not just an assessment – it is an important process attracting interests of stakeholders from different sectors of education and training. But without effective strategies and policy on VNFIL, the system cannot deliver their promise. Citizens, education practitioners, employers and others should be well informed and should trust the VNFIL system.
3. Training is essential for all professionals involved in VNFIL and training programmes for professional involved in VNFIL should be developed. In all partners’ countries, the time for face-to-face learning in education practitioners is limited to a few days per year and this practice privileges “one-shot-approaches” which are not effective in adapting to newly introduced or transformed VNFIL systems. VNFIL professionals need proper training on how to perform assessment during VNFIL.
Aiming to ensure the professionalization and well-functioning of high-quality systems of VNFIL, the project partners have set the following objectives for this project:
1. Development of a quality digital self-evaluation and self-analysis tool (E-portfolio) for candidates
2. Professionalization of the VNFIL process – Training Programme for the training of VNFIL professionals
3. Advocating in society and establishing National Strategy Papers for VNFIL