On the way: new edition of guidelines for validating non-formal learning


The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) Advisory Group (AG) has responsibility to support and monitor the implementation across Member States on progress in the implementation of the 2012 Recommendation on the validation of non-formal and informal learning (RPL) (Council Recommendation of 20 December 2012 on the validation of non-formal and informal learning (europa.eu)). The Recommendation asks that, in accordance with our national circumstances, we have in place by 2018, arrangements for individuals to have their learning validated, obtaining a full or partial qualification.

In support of this work, the Commission and CEDEFOP developed European Guidelines for validating non-formal and informal learning. A new edition of the Guidelines is being developed and will be published shortly. The publication will be available on-line with planned interactive links to examples drawn from case studies across the EU.

The 2023 Guidelines follow a long process of open consultation in which Irish practitioners wholeheartedly engaged. This edition focuses strongly on the individual and the breadth of stakeholders involved in meeting validation needs. We look forward to both the support and stimulation the Guidelines will bring to our consideration of national opportunities and challenges across different contexts.

National and thematic progress in implementing the Recommendation is also periodically monitored through Inventories. Work on the Ireland Inventory has begun. You can support this work by ensuring that Institutional policies, publications/reports, case studies and contact details are up-to-date and visible on institutional, provider and competent authority websites. Great progress has been made nationally across all sectors in the implementation of validation (RPL) and it would be a shame not to evidence this clearly!

Thematic reports will delve into the evolution of validation as an integrated part of national skills policies, validation initiatives to support Ukrainian refugees, validation in the green and sustainable economy, and systems to increase awareness of opportunities for validation of non-formal and informal learning – “Outreach".

Many providers have used the NARIC publication  Rough guide to Ukrainian qualifications in the context of the Irish National Framework of Qualifications as a stepping stone to support both language training in relevant professional skills areas and as a platform for validation / RPL of additional experiential learning. The EU Skills Profile Tool for Third Country Nationals has interoperability with Europass is now also available in Ukrainian.  Some Guidance Counsellors tested this tool as part of the VISKA project

Publication of the Inventories is scheduled for the end of 2023.

2023 is also the European Year of Skills and validation, or RPL, is highly effective in achieving policy objectives in skills contexts as has been evidenced across a range of national initiatives. Finally, plans for a Validation Festival are also under consideration by the Commission.