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.