European guidelines for validating non formal
These arrangements will enable individuals to increase the visibility and value of their knowledge, skills and competences acquired outside formal education and training: at work, at home or in voluntary activities.
This second edition of the European guidelines is the result of a two-year process involving a wide range of stakeholders active in validation at European, national and/or sectoral levels.
That it is why it is one of key tool for realizing the lifelong learning in Europe.
This article explores (1) the degree to which immigrants can be considered dominant groups in the area of validation of non-formal and informal learning and are subject to specific validation measures in 33 European countries; (2) whether country clusters can be identified within Europe with regard to the dominance of immigrants in the area of validation; and (3) whether validation systems are likely to lead to the inclusion of immigrants or foster a process of “devaluation” of their skills and competences in their host countries.
Given the inevitable variation in quality of OERs, along with the varying success of learners to adapt to online learning, attention has to be given – at national, European and international level – to documenting, assessing and certifying the outcomes OERs.
For them to be considered in validation, transparency is crucial.
These guidelines set out how validation of informal and non-formal learning could increase the visibility and value of learning that takes place outwith formal education, and support the transferability of skills across Europe.
This work is particularly relevant at this point in time given increased migration and social inclusion challenges across Europe, where the recognition of informal and non-formal learning could support transitions into employment and other positive pathways for those without formal qualifications.
The European Inventory is closely connected to the European Guidelines on validation.
What is particularly interesting about these new guidelines is that they place special emphasis on validation arrangements for education and training facilitated by open educational resources, and in addition, make specific reference to the use of badges with OER.
For reference, the section that relates to OER is included below in its entirety.
It can also play a major role in combating youth unemployment by making skills acquired through voluntary work, or during leisure, visible to employers.
A key objective of the earlier edition of these guidelines, issued in 2012, is that EU Member States work together towards national arrangements for validation by 2018.