European Commission - Education & Training - lifelong learning policy - Validation of non-formal and informal learning...Looking beyond formal education and training
The validation of non-formal or informal learning is a key element in the EU’s actions to support education and training, although individual countries are at different stages in supporting this validation. Some have established systems, while others are only beginning developments in this field.
There are a number of steps at European level. In 2009, the ’European guidelines on the validation of non-formal and informal learning’ were published by Cedefop, the EU's reference centre for vocational education and training. Based on common principles adopted by the Council in 2004 and work of the cluster on the recognition of learning outcomes (now the Learning Outcomes Group), they provide a support tool for the development of validation practices.
The European Commission and Cedefop, have also produced an inventory of validation of non-formal and informal learning with a detailed survey of developments in European countries.
The implementation of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and the development of national qualifications frameworks are also expected to promote validation of non-formal and informal learning throughout Europe.