A national project on the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
QQI participated in VISKA, Visible Skills of Adults, an Erasmus+ Key Action 3 Policy Experimentation and Innovation project in collaboration with partners in Norway, Iceland and Belgium, Flanders. See our information leaflet. VISKA aimed to reduce skills mismatch and distance to opportunities in employment, education or training through the provision of RPL.
Through systematic research and evaluation based on field trials in three countries, some impacts for policy at national and EU level are noted in the Cross Country Evaluation Report here.
The Report documents impacts of the project, including services provided to learners, changes at sectoral and regional level and to legislation, but concludes that ultimately the culture and openness of a country to RPL goes beyond the need for technical amendments of laws/regulations/decrees. The learning from VISKA suggests that there is ‘a need for validation to become part of the ethos and culture of society so that all learning regardless of origin is valued through new, existing adapted or enhanced quality assured systems and processes.’
An Executive Summary is also available here
VISKA in Ireland also developed a report contributing to the overall project learning here
Recommendations included that all initiatives addressing the needs of people with low levels of qualifications should include opportunities on a voluntary basis for RPL as appropriate, and for enabling the development of open, inclusive communities of practice drawing together actors from both policy and practice.
Irish stakeholders tested digital tools and contributed generously to the thinking in relation to VISKA concerns- on how best to assess transversal skills in RPL, how to build awareness, how to strengthen quality assurance systemically, how to make services more visible, how to build capacity for practitioners. The work also benefitted from the leadership of a National Advisory Group (NAG) and by policy and practitioner workshops. The NAG includes representatives from the Department of Education and Skills, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, NALA, Aontas, the National Centre for Guidance in Education, ETBs, SOLAS and ETBI.
The project concluded in March 2020, with an exciting conference hosted in Brussels on 12 February 2020. Important presentations were made by Deirdre Goggin, CIT Research Partner, setting out policy lessons learned, and from Jens Bjornevold, who looked at RPL from the perspective of learning outcomes, digging deeply into questions of standards against which learning and evidence should be measured. Read more
The VISKA ezine is here