CEDEFOP has just announced the publication of the new EU Guide for the Validation of Non-Formal & Informal Learning. This is the first revision and update to the CEDEFOP guidelines since 2012, and comes at a time where the Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning is at a critical point in its history.
For too long the EU has, on the whole, had an indifferent strategy to ‘making learning visible’. Attempts have been made to involve learners in the validation process, but often these processes have been poor and inadequate methods of comprehensively measuring competence. It could be argued that a fundamental problem has been the age of some of the validation systems involved. In some EU Countries, for example Finland, the NFIL validation system is over 20 years old. And whilst during the 1980’s these systems and plans worked well, they have struggled to adapt to the modern era of diverse complex learning avenues.
So what is new in this recent (2015) revision? Cedefop say “they have, through extensive consultation with regional, national and international stakeholders, merely elaborated” on the first publication. However, there are some notable additions to highlight.
Firstly there have been amendments to the ‘creation of a quality assurance system’. This means that the process of validation and the tools used, are; reliable, fit for purpose, consistent and trusted. This system helps ensure the quality of the validation of learning remains high and relevant.
Secondly the updated NFIL guidelines also hint at the ‘conditions’ for developing and validating learning. The report points out that if the learner has knowledge of; costs, validation procedure, support available, learning outcomes and timeline for validation, they are more likely to engage in the process and better utilise the resources available.
Finally, the revised guide further stresses the importance (identified in the 2012 edition) that to ensure effective validation of learning, requires following a process of several interconnected steps; right from identifying the validation purpose, through to choosing the correct tools for validation and certification. This is where the BEVIN Project comes in, as we, through our database of effective tools, will help make this validation process as efficient as possible.