The labour market in Bulgaria has increasing requirements on the characteristics of the workforce as its quality has a key role in increasing the competitiveness of the companies. In addition, 66% of the registered unemployed do not have a profession or qualification certified by official documents or certificates, although some of them have knowledge and skills gained from non-formal or informal experience. Therefore, the task for the country is to build a system for validating (assessing, recognizing) the knowledge and skills acquired through non-formal and informal learning.
As a result from that the Regulation on the Conditions and Procedure for Validating Professional Knowledge, Skills and Competencies came into force on January 1st 2016. It is worth to mention that this regulation doesn’t have the characteristics of a law and there are still many details to be arranged. The issue of validation is still relatively unexplored area. Nevertheless, here are the aspects worth mentioning.
The institutions authorized to perform validation: vocational schools, art schools, sports schools, vocational colleges and vocational training centers.
Steps of the validation process:
- Determining the profession in which the individual wishes to validate his / her professional knowledge, skills and competences;
- Comparing the professional knowledge, skills and competences the individual has with the official State educational requirements;
- Collecting of evidences proving that the individual has the named knowledge, skills and competences;
- Checking (where appropriate) the skills an competences for which there is no evidence;
- Additional training (if necessary);
- Examination – theory and practice;
- Issue an official document for validation of professional competences (after successful examination process)
Documents issued after validation: a certificate for professional qualification or a certificate for validation of partial qualifications in a respective area.