PEER LEARNING ACTIVITY ON VALIDATION OF NON-FORMAL AND INFORMAL

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					       PLA on validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET teachers and trainers – Summary Report
                                                                        14-17 January 2008, Lisbon, Portugal



                               EUROPEAN COMMISSION
                               Directorate-General for Education and Culture




PEER LEARNING ACTIVITY ON VALIDATION OF NON-FORMAL AND
INFORMAL LEARNING FOR VET TEACHERS AND TRAINERS

14-17 January 2008, Lisbon, Portugal



SUMMARY REPORT


INDEX
PEER LEARNING ACTIVITY ON VALIDATION OF NON-FORMAL AND INFORMAL
LEARNING FOR VET TEACHERS AND TRAINERS .................................................................... 1
SUMMARY REPORT ...................................................................................................................... 1
INDEX .............................................................................................................................................. 1
1     INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................................... 3
2     PLA STRUCTURE AND PROCESS ........................................................................................ 5
3 COUNTRIES’ EXPERIENCE WITH VALIDATION OF NON-FORMAL AND INFORMAL
LEARNING .................................................................................................................................... 15
4 VALIDATION OF NON-FORMAL AND INFORMAL LEARNING FOR VET TEACHERS AND
TRAINERS .................................................................................................................................... 20
5     CHALLENGES AND CONCLUSIONS ................................................................................... 25
ANNEX A – NOTE ON THE VISIT TO THE SEIXAL VALIDATION CENTRE ............................ 29
ANNEX B – NOTE ON THE VISIT TO THE LISBON NEW OPPORTUNITIES CENTRE........... 31
ANNEX C- NATIONAL REPORTS ............................................................................................... 33
DE - GERMANY ............................................................................................................................ 33
EE - ESTONIA............................................................................................................................... 41
ES - SPAIN .................................................................................................................................... 43
IE - IRELAND ................................................................................................................................ 44
IT - ITALY ...................................................................................................................................... 46
NO - NORWAY .............................................................................................................................. 49
PT - PORTUGAL........................................................................................................................... 52
SI - SLOVENIA.............................................................................................................................. 54
ANNEX D – PARTICIPANTS LIST ............................................................................................... 61
ANNEX E – GERMAN PRESENTATION – IT TRAINER ............................................................. 63


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      PLA on validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET teachers and trainers – Summary Report
                                                                       14-17 January 2008, Lisbon, Portugal


ANNEX F – ITALIAN PRESENTATION – VALIDATION OF NON-FROMAL AND INFORMAL
LEARNING IN ITALY .................................................................................................................... 63




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      PLA on validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET teachers and trainers – Summary Report
                                                                       14-17 January 2008, Lisbon, Portugal




1           INTRODUCTION

            The second Peer Learning Activity (PLA) of the Focus group on VET Teachers and
            Trainers took place on 14-17 January 2008 in Lisbon. The PLA was hosted by the
            Portuguese Employment and Vocational Training Institute (IEFP) in cooperation with
            the Portuguese Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity. The PLA was attended by 19
            representatives from eight countries (DE, EE, ES, IE, IT, NO, PT, SI). The group of
            participants was composed of Ministry representatives, social partners and non-
            governmental organisations. In addition, representatives of the European Commission,
            Cedefop and external experts to the Commission attended. The full list of participants
            is attached in Annex D.

            The PLA was organised by the Focus Group on VET Teachers and Trainers (referred
            to as the ‘VET TT Focus Group’ forthwith) which was created within the Cluster on
            Teachers and Trainers, in the context of the Education and Training 2010 work
            programme.

1.1         PLA Objectives
            The main objective of the PLA was to support peer learning across the participating
            countries in terms of:

                    Debating the different approaches to validation of non-formal and informal
                    learning and their success factors;

                    Reflecting on how these methodologies could be transferred to the context of
                    teachers and trainers in the different national settings;

                    Formulating proposals to support policy learning in the development of
                    validation of non-formal and informal learning for teachers and trainers.

            These themes were addressed by two visits to Portuguese centres for the validation of
            non-formal and informal learning, presentations, workshops and discussions which
            provided:

                -   Insights into the Portuguese system for the validation of non-formal and
                    informal learning;

                -   An overview of other countries’ experiences in validating non-formal and
                    informal learning, with a focus on VET teachers and trainers;

                -   Discussions on methodologies for the identification and assessment of
                    learning outcomes acquired through non-formal and informal learning. The
                    quality assurance criteria for these assessment procedures were also
                    examined;

                -   An opportunity to identify approaches and methods that could be transferred to
                    the context of VET teachers and trainers.
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      PLA on validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET teachers and trainers – Summary Report
                                                                       14-17 January 2008, Lisbon, Portugal


            In addition to the inputs provided by the Portuguese hosts and presenters, the Cedefop
            study on the Recognition and validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET
                                                            1
            teachers and trainers in the EU Member States (“Cedefop report” later in the text) was
            a very useful and in-depth source of information for discussions.

1.2         Purpose of this report
            The aim of this summary report is to outline and summarise the key issues and
            discussion points that were raised during the PLA in order to support wider national
            and European discussions about the possibilities of validating non-formal and informal
            learning for teachers and trainers. The summary report provides an outline of the
            structure of the PLA, gives some background information on the situation of the
            participating countries, and presents the key discussions and conclusions made.

            It is intended that this report be used to support the work of the Commission in
            disseminating the results of activities of the VET TT focus group to Member States and
            other stakeholders.




1
  Cedefop Panorama series; 2007(147)
http://www.trainingvillage.gr/etv/Upload/Information_resources/Bookshop/480/5174_en.pdf

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      PLA on validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET teachers and trainers – Summary Report
                                                                       14-17 January 2008, Lisbon, Portugal




2           PLA STRUCTURE AND PROCESS

            The PLA took place over three and half days.

2.1         Day 1
2.1.1       Validation of non formal and informal learning: exchange and sharing of experiences
            After the welcome of participants, the first day began by a workshop during which
            countries exchanged experiences in validation of non formal and informal learning.
            This discussion was stimulated by dividing the participants into two groups. Each group
            was provided with the following discussion topics in order to better focus the
            experiences shared on the PLA’s objectives:
                -   Share experiences, practices and problems in the validation of non formal and
                    informal learning in the different countries;
                -   Describe and explain what opportunities there are for the validation of non
                    formal and informal learning for VET teachers and trainers in each country.
            In parallel, each participant was asked to produce a list of his/her three personal
            objectives for attending the PLA. These objectives should have concentrated on policy
            at national/regional level and at implementation of validation of non formal and informal
            learning at institutional level. Participants’ most commonly shared objectives were
            (listed in order of priority):
                -   to provide an opportunity to learn from other participating countries
                -   to enable participants to learn about methods of validation of non-formal and
                    informal learning
                -   to explore the quality assurance mechanisms for validation
                -   to learn more about the assessment tools for validation
                -   to focus on problems and challenges countries encounter in setting up
                    validation systems

2.1.2       Summary of discussions
            At the end of the morning session a rapportuer from each group presented outcomes
            of the discussion and some further discussion was generated around the two
            discussion topics. Concerning the first topic, participants concluded that:
                -   Sharing of experiences on validation of non-formal and informal learning
                    revealed national contexts of participating countries of a very heterogeneous
                    nature. This heterogeneity concerns different features of validation, from
                    methodologies of identification, assessment and certification, target
                    populations, scope of the certification provided (general education and/or
                    vocational), consistency and consolidated experience of national models of
                    validation of non-formal and informal learning.
                -   The participants also noted the need to use a common language when
                    addressing validation of non-formal and informal learning. The same terms
                    might be used with different meaning in different countries. A good example
                    comes from the Portuguese system where the term “recognition” is used with
                    the same meaning as “identification” according to the Cedefop’s report.
                -   Some participants manifested concern around the issue of adequate financing
                    and staffing required in order to implement validation systems at national level.
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     PLA on validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET teachers and trainers – Summary Report
                                                                      14-17 January 2008, Lisbon, Portugal


                      The interdependence with the institutional capacity at regional or local level
                                                                   2
                      was also considered as a potential constraint .
                 -    A potential problem noted was that the pressure originating from European
                      and/or national challenges could compromise quality standards of validation of
                      non-formal and informal learning if the time and resources available are not
                      sufficient.
            In what relates to existing or potential opportunities for validation of non formal and
            informal learning for VET teachers and trainers, the discussion focused on the
            following topics:
                 -    The heterogeneous nature of validation systems was even more obvious when
                      these systems are discussed in relation to VET teachers and trainers. The
                      main discrepancies are:
                           1. in many countries there are still no systems that VET teachers and
                              trainers can use
                           2. in few other countries (PT) the existent system is being reformed to
                              accommodate validation for teachers and trainers.
                 -    When compared with the more general discussion on validation systems, it
                      was clear that validation of non-formal and informal learning for teachers and
                      trainers is still in very early stages in many countries and far less developed
                      than systems targeted at general population.
                 -    Some of the participants raised the following question: Before focusing on the
                      methods of validation for teachers and trainers, the reasons for why is
                      validation for this particular group desirable and what should be the object of
                      validation, are to be answered first.
                 -    The roles of teachers and trainers were also discussed, particularly in what
                      concerns the shift of focus from “teaching” to “learning”. It was underlined that
                      one of the issues to be further explored is how does this shift impact on
                      attitudes of teachers and trainers and what awareness raising activities are
                      needed for promoting the concept of “wide-life learning”.
                 -    Another issue to be further explored is the potential development of
                      qualification(s) for on-the-job trainers.

2.1.3       Visit to Validation Centre in Seixal: experiential learning and vocational qualifications
            The afternoon was mainly devoted to the visit to the New Opportunities Centre in
            Seixal and its debriefing session by the end of the day. Description of the visit to the
            Seixal centre can be found in the Annex A.

2.1.4       Debriefing session and discussions
            The session was organised in discussion in country pairs and then in plenary. Country
            pairs were asked for general impressions from the visit and a reflection on what was
            the relevance of this example for their country. In the plenary session, participants
            were also asked to provide feedback on what they had learned that could have
            contributed to their personal objectives for the PLA.
            The following discussion was very much focused on general impressions from the
            Seixal centre’s visit. The reactions of participants could be grouped as below:



2
  These discussions were triggered by the demonstration of the very important infrastructure and resources available
(both human and financial) in Portugal.

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PLA on validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET teachers and trainers – Summary Report
                                                                 14-17 January 2008, Lisbon, Portugal


          -   Most participants acknowledged how interesting the visit had been in providing
              practical insight into the Portuguese system.
      Use of life experience for identification of learning outcomes
          -   Italy particularly appreciated the demonstration of how self-analysis methods
              were used in all learning phases, thus promoting self-awareness of
              competences. Norway also noted that life history techniques appeared to
              function as a motivator for lifelong learning. In addition, the Slovenian
              participants very much appreciated the portfolio construction based on a
              biographical approach.
      Administrative set-up and cooperation
          -   The link between validation centres and the public employment service was
              considered good practice.
          -   Many participants shared the point of view that links between vocational
              training, education and labour market must be promoted in order to facilitate
              validation of non-formal and informal learning.
          -   Italy and Spain saw the involvement of the two ministries (Education and
              Labour) as a key success factor for the Portuguese system. For example in
              Italy, the equivalent two ministries seem to follow more parallel paths and
              bridges are difficult to build between them. Also, in the Italian context, the link
              between national and regional level is difficult to make.
          -   Furthermore, in countries where regions have competences for VET, the
              efforts to implement a coherent validation approach may be jeopardised by
              regional differences in interpretation and implementation.
      Financing and support
          -   Norway noted the huge effort put by Portugal into its validation system at
              national level, wondering also on how costly it was.
          -   Spain also stressed the necessity of important political commitment to develop
              a validation system of the scope of the Portuguese system. Other participants
              (DE) agreed that the political support in Portugal is an important factor for the
              sustainability of the validation system.
          -   German participants highly valued the fact that the Portuguese system is free
              of charges for participants and that it is well accepted by all relevant
              stakeholders.
      The reaction of the education system/ staff involved in validation
          -   In Spain the main obstacle to implementation of a large validation system is
              the rigidity and resistance from the formal education system. The introduction
              of validation of non-formal and informal learning as a wide practice implies a
              change of paradigm in national systems – moving from input and content-
              oriented approach towards learning outcomes.
          -   When reflecting on how the Portuguese system could be transposed to
              Slovenia, it was noted that an opposite approach might be needed: i.e. to start
              validation for the VET system and not for general education.
          -   It was underlined by the Spanish participant and shared by others that the
              motivation of staff involved in validation is key to the success of the
              Portuguese system.
          -   Portuguese attendants stressed the importance of continuous training process
              for technical staff involved in validation. It was noted that routines could hinder


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      PLA on validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET teachers and trainers – Summary Report
                                                                       14-17 January 2008, Lisbon, Portugal


                    the system and its quality. Such thread puts pressure on national authorities to
                    conceive and implement training policies for these employees.
            Other issues
                -   Some participants also expressed uncertainty concerning the quality
                    assurance issues in such a large validation system.
                -   The fact that the Portuguese system also focuses on broader competences
                    than the vocational ones was considered as very important. It thus also allows
                    for personal development, building-up of self-esteem and acquisition of some
                    key competence.
2.2         Day 2

2.2.1       Identification of informal/non-formal learning
            The second day of the PLA was dedicated to discussions of themes and issues
            identified in the Cedefop report. In the first part of the day, the expert clarified the
            distinction between formal, non-formal and informal learning (see also the Cedefop
            report).


2.2.2       Summary of discussions
            The explanation on experiential learning, with an effort to clarify the difference between
            knowing and understanding something was interesting for participants, although no
            further discussion in what concerns validation emerged from it.


2.2.3       Exploration of the processes for identification of informal/non-formal learning
            Later on, participants were divided in four groups to reflect on the issue of identifying
            non-formal and informal learning. The expert provided these groups with a fiche
            extracted from the Cedefop report as guidance for their discussions. At the end of the
            morning session, conclusions were presented in a plenary session.


2.2.4       Summary of discussions
            The participants presented the following conclusions and reflections:

                -   There is a need to create awareness in potential “clients” for validation
                    procedures. This is valid both for the general population as for teachers and
                    trainers.
                -   The first contact-point with the system is crucial for the information and
                    motivation of the individual.
                -   Important resources are necessary to create a sustainable system.
                -   One of the groups raised the question of how can experience and knowledge
                    of VET teachers and trainers be recognised? Though no concrete answers
                    were given, some country examples were discussed (e.g. the IT trainer in DE –
                    see Annex E)
                -   Some participants reflected on the concept of experience and underlined that
                    experience, per se, should not be considered as guarantee of skill or
                    competence but that assessment of the learning outcomes is required.




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        PLA on validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET teachers and trainers – Summary Report
                                                                         14-17 January 2008, Lisbon, Portugal


                    -    Some consensus was generated around the idea that, for quality assurance
                                           3
                         reasons, the tutor and assessor should not be the same person.
                    -    The question was asked whether some kind of skills profile/ professional for
                         validation workers already existed. Italy and Portugal noted that such profiles
                         existed but the requirements for these professionals were different in their
                         respective countries.

2.2.5          Learning needs and continuous professional development for VET teachers and
               trainers
               In the afternoon of the second day, Ms Cristina Paulo presented the guidelines of the
               new framework for VET trainers’ profiles within the Portuguese system. This new
               system elaborates on the previous one. Its innovation is that it creates more profiles
               which are better adapted to new challenges of VET. The past system used to be a
               "single profile system", where the profile of trainer was based on the traditional role of
               classroom teaching. The new system will be a multi-profile system which will
               acknowledge the different roles and competences involved in the learning processes.
               E-learning was used as an example to illustrate the evolution of the tutor profile when
               considering the role of "online tutors”.


2.2.6          Summary of discussions
               It was noted by the group of participants that:

                    -    The new Portuguese performance appraisal for teachers shared a lot of
                         common points with what was presented in the morning by the expert, namely
                         in what concerns experiential learning and how this challenges the traditional
                         role of trainers in learning processes.
                    -    Some participants questioned if the new system would create more
                         opportunities for trainers and less for teachers. Portuguese participants
                         explained that a lot of Portuguese trainers are also teachers and that the new
                         system was equally targeted at teachers and trainers.
                    -    Germany questioned if there was already a trainer profile in Portugal. Ms
                         Paulo answered that there was a profile but that it is now outdated and that its
                         new version is under construction. Germany also informed that the country is
                         also diversifying VET teachers and trainers’ profiles like Portugal.

2.2.7          Assessment of prior experiential learning
               The afternoon session also elaborated on the issue of quality assurance. This topic
               was addressed by a discussion on the guidelines for quality assurance as identified in
               the Cedefop report (p.43) and by a presentation of a Leonardo Da Vinci project
               Developing Teachers Assessment and Evaluation Skills.


2.2.8          Summary of discussions
               When the issue of quality assurance was addressed, participants were invited to
               discuss it in a very informal way. The expert emphasised the importance of the quality
               assurance code of practice. The Portuguese participants informed the other members
               of the group that all Portuguese validation centres (New Opportunities Centres) use a



3
    In the sense of the person that helped the adult through the validation process.
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      PLA on validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET teachers and trainers – Summary Report
                                                                       14-17 January 2008, Lisbon, Portugal


            Quality Chart since 2000. No plenary discussion took place after this non-formal
            exchange.
2.3         Day 3
2.3.1       Lisbon City Council New Opportunities centre
            The third day begun by a visit to a New Opportunities centre in Lisbon. The validation
            centre is part of the training division of the Lisbon City Council and focuses on the
            validation of non-formal and informal learning for city council employees. The centre
            undertakes validation with the view to issuing two types of certificate: the certificate of
            compulsory education and the certificate of secondary education. The approach
            developed by the centre puts individual learners and their life experience at the core of
            the validation process. It combines elements of the individuals’ life stories, their
            previous non-formal learning, individual project work with, if necessary, some short
            term or long term tailor-made courses. All this is captured in an extensive personal
            portfolio. A very important part of the centre’s efforts is process of supporting the
            individual learner towards their final examination. The final validation and recognition of
            learning outcomes takes place through an examination by an external committee. For
            a more detailed note on the approach of the Lisbon City Council New Opportunities
            centre, please refer to Annex B.

2.3.2       Summary of discussions during the visit
                -   A very important aspect of the validation process is that individuals have to be
                    ready to invest their personal time and “invest in themselves”. Most of the
                    identification of competences is through “guided” self-reflection.

                -   Frequent meetings with counsellors and the fact that people remain with the
                    same counsellor from the beginning to the end of the procedure are key for the
                    motivation and trust of people.

                -   The overall idea that the centre tries to convey to the people whom they meet
                    is that the validation process should not be a goal in itself. It should be
                    perceived as a beginning of a process and should hopefully result in further
                    participation in other training activities. It thus strengthens the possibilities of
                    lifelong learning for an individual.

                -   The role of counsellors is crucial. In Portugal, all counsellors are certified
                    trainers with experience in adult training. Their role in the process is rather
                    subtle as they speak with people about their personal experience and their life
                    histories, but at the same time their focus is to identify key competences. The
                    interviews should never be confused with any form of “psychological
                    consultation” sessions.

                -   Furthermore, advisers have to assess when a person is ready to pass the final
                    validation by the jury. As noted during the visit, the centre never sends people
                    to the jury before they are sure that the person can actually succeed. At the
                    same time, they do not trivialise this step. For the individual learners, the jury
                    should remain an important and challenging event for their perception of
                    achievement.




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    PLA on validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET teachers and trainers – Summary Report
                                                                     14-17 January 2008, Lisbon, Portugal


2.3.3     Opportunities for      the   validation    of   informal/non-formal     learning    for   VET
          teachers/trainers
          Following the visit to the centre, PLA participants were invited to reflect in groups on
          how the approaches they had heard about in day 1 and day 3 could be transferred to
          their national contexts, focusing on VET teachers and trainers.

2.3.4     Summary of discussions
          During the two visits to the Portuguese validation centres, the PLA participants
          obtained a good understanding of the Portuguese approach to validation of non-formal
          and informal learning. Compared to the practices and experiences developed in other
          countries, the Portuguese approach is based on both individuals’ professional
          experience, but also the reconstruction of their personal experience. Individuals’
          competences are used and noticeable in a variety of settings and situations and
          therefore validation of learning outcomes should take these different situations into
          account.

          When transposed to the VET teachers and trainers context, it was felt that such
          personalised approach for validating non-formal and informal learning could be used
          mainly for:

              -   Professional appraisals of teachers and trainers, within institutions and
                  companies that employ them.

              -   Recognition of competence for in-company trainers, especially those engaged
                  in training of apprentices.

          Part of the afternoon group discussions concerned countries’ requirements for
          recruitment of VET teachers and trainers and how could validation of non-formal and
          informal learning be used in this context. In most countries participating to the PLA,
          VET teachers’ recruitment rules are set in terms of one or a combination of the
          following criteria: (1) the level of their qualification; (2) the length of their prior working
          experience in the relevant VET field; (2) their pedagogical training. The following
          issues were raised during this discussion:

              -   Could validation of non-formal and informal learning be applied also to the
                  pedagogical component of teachers and trainers profession?

              -   Though non-formal and informal learning is considered for becoming a VET
                  teacher in some countries (i.e. professional experience is required), candidates
                  do not have to demonstrate learning outcomes/ competence, but rather the
                  length of period during which they exercise the profession.

2.3.5     German and Italian examples
          The German example of validating experience of IT trainers in view of obtaining a
          certification was presented in the afternoon of the day three. Validation for this profile
          was put in place in order to respond to the demand of the IT sector to ensure
          documentation and consequent recognition of competence to those who engage in
          delivering IT training in companies. Though other certifications exist in this sphere,
          these are delivered by software companies and are part of their business model. In
          addition certifications such as Microsoft or Cisco are mostly based on a set of multiple-
          choice tests rather than proof of competence. The Cert-IT certification, on contrary, is
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      PLA on validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET teachers and trainers – Summary Report
                                                                       14-17 January 2008, Lisbon, Portugal


            delivered by an independent body and it is based on a demonstration, by the
            individual, to prepare, deliver and document an IT project in his/her field. The
            description of the project can be found in the Annex E (see also the Box 8).

            The Italian presentation described examples of a formative and summative approach
            to validation of non-formal and informal learning. The formative approach was
            illustrated by the case of Libretto Formativo del Cittadino (Personal Training Record), a
            portfolio developed jointly by different ministries and regions, focusing on making
            explicit different learning outcomes acquired through various forms of informal, non-
            formal and formal learning. The summative approach was presented through the
            regional initiatives (Emilia Romagna and Toscana) to validation and recognition of non-
            formal and informal learning. These approaches are based on professional profiles
            described in terms of competences. These competences can be obtained through all
            types of learning. Non-formal and informal learning can be validated by: (1)
            documenting prior training; (2) documenting prior experience; and by passing a final
            assessment. The final assessment is compulsory in order to obtain a certification. The
            validation procedure can concern either a part of the qualification (a unit) or the entire
            qualification. The Italian presentation is attached in the Annex F (see also Box 5).

2.3.6       Discussion
            The discussions following the two presentations addressed the following issues:

                -   The motivation of individuals undergoing the validation procedure: participants
                    in the German example report that even though the procedure requires
                    important personal investment and represents additional time and efforts to
                    their workload, the success is rewarding. In addition, new skills are acquired
                    during this process as people have to reflect on themselves and document
                    their competences.

                -   Duration of certifications obtained through validation: while in Italy the
                    certificates are valid without a limitation in time, the German Cert-IT
                    certification has to be updated every five years by documenting that the person
                    continues to work in that profession.

                -   Composition of examination committees: in both case the committee is
                    independent. In Italy it is composed of professionals from the field and people
                    with required assessment skills.

                -   The combination of formal training with validation of non-formal and informal
                    learning: In Italy, individuals can combine formal courses with units achieved
                    through validation into a qualification. These formal courses are delivered by
                    formal training institutions which prepare for the whole qualification.

2.4         Day 4
            The final half day was dedicated to a reflection on the key lessons that participants’
            had learnt from the PLA and on the evaluation of the PLA. Participants were asked to
            formulate, from their perspective, the three most useful aspect of the PLA. The
            following responses were given:

                -   Norway: the information provided on countries’ systems and experience on
                    validation of non-formal and informal learning was valued. Norwegian

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PLA on validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET teachers and trainers – Summary Report
                                                                 14-17 January 2008, Lisbon, Portugal


              participants also highlighted the fact that the personalised approach, as seen
              during the study visits is much more developed in Portugal than in Norway. It
              was also noted that it might have been better to make country presentations at
              the beginning of the PLA in order to avoid some misunderstandings related to
              lack of information on the different countries.

          -   Slovenia: the focus on the process of validation was considered as an
              important aspect of the PLA. Slovenian participants agreed that some of the
              methods used in Portugal could be transferred to the Slovenian system. The
              example of how validation of non-formal and informal learning is used in
              general education, based on the national key competence framework and the
              analysis of individuals’ life experience were also considered as important
              aspects of the PLA. Finally the involvement and enthusiasm of those carrying
              out validation procedures were considered as crucial for the success of
              validation in Portugal.

          -   Germany: underlined that very highly qualified and trained staff was crucial for
              the success of validation of non-formal and informal learning. In addition,
              political willingness and legal regulations are necessary. The existence of such
              legislative framework enables the benefits to the individual to be fully realised.
              German participants also noted that some of the Portuguese experience could
              be transposed to the German setting, for example if focusing on migrants who
              did not go through the German compulsory education. The German
              participants also noted that it was not very clear, at the end of the PLA, how
              could the experience of validation be transferred to the context of VET
              teachers and trainers.

          -   Italy: the transparency of the Portuguese system was highly appreciated.
              Italian representatives noted that the existence of professional profiles, the
              transparency of methods used for validation and the explicit rules make it
              possible to compare countries’ experience in validation. These are also the
              conditions to enable assessment of the quality of validation systems. As
              compared to the Portuguese system, the Italian experience of validation puts
              more responsibility on the individual undergoing validation with less support
              from the validation system. Italian representatives also stressed the necessity
              to find a common language and to have shared understanding of the key
              concept in order to allow for cross-country comparisons.

          -   Estonia: from the Portuguese example it was obvious that the country has
              already gone through a shift in paradigm where outcomes of validation are
              now more and more accepted as equivalent to outcomes of formal learning.
              Form the Estonian perspective it is not clear where to start: with legislative
              measures or with the change in people’s attitude towards validation. Currently,
              some legislative measures that allow for validation exist already, but no system
              as such is in place and the quality assurance mechanisms are also missing.
              Moreover the topic meets resistance form the point of view of education
              professionals and this is difficult to overcome. In addition, the Estonian
              participants highly appreciated the fact that information was exchanged
              through non-formal discussions rather than formal presentations.

      The Portuguese hosts underlined that the PLA reflected how their validation system fits
      into the concept of lifelong learning and how the instruments used for validation, such
                                                                                                  13
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      as the methods to empower learners or the analysis grid, can be used also for other
      purposes in the perspective of lifelong learning. It was also noted that Portugal should
      further explore how the experience from validation methods and approaches could be
      transferred to the formal education and training system including in the area of
      teachers and trainers. In addition the Portuguese hosts reminded the participants of
      the problems that the validation system still meets:

          -   The social recognition remains low and still needs to be built.

          -   The system faces difficulties when it comes to its integration in the major
              formal education system. Currently it is mainly supported by the ministry of
              Labour.

          -   Validation of non-formal and informal learning reflects on learning and teaching
              methods and the principles used in validation are sometimes difficult to get
              accepted at the grassroots level.

      Finally the Portuguese hosts underlined that validation of non-formal and informal
      learning should not be confused with the learning process and the training offer, even
      though it reflects on these issues.




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      PLA on validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET teachers and trainers – Summary Report
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3           COUNTRIES’ EXPERIENCE WITH VALIDATION OF NON-
            FORMAL AND INFORMAL LEARNING

            This section of the summary report is based on the discussions, the presentations
            made during the PLA, as well as on the basis of national reports submitted prior to the
            PLA. All national reports can be found in Annex C.

            More in-depth information on the national experiences of the validation of non-formal
            and informal learning can be found in the European Inventory for the validation of non-
            formal and informal learning, a study funded by Cedefop:

            http://www.ecotec.com/europeaninventory/2007.html

3.1         Different stages of development of validation systems
            Each of the countries participating in the PLA has its own experience of validating non-
            formal and informal learning and, for the moment, there appears to be no single
            approach to validation. The national reports for this PLA show that:

                -   Several countries have already adopted national legislation which enables
                    qualifications to be obtained through the process of validating and recognising
                    non-formal and informal learning for VET professions. While some countries
                    focus on basing qualifications in terms of learning outcomes (rather than
                    training pathways) (IE) others put in place certificates that are equivalent to
                    those acquired through formal learning (PT, SI).
                    Box 1




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                Example – Portugal
                The Portuguese system for the validation of non-formal and informal
                learning is based on a Referential of Key Competences. This referential
                provides standards used to assess the portfolio of competences of each
                adult in order to achieve a certification.
                The system was created mainly to address the issue of the very low levels
                of qualification (both educational and professional) of the Portuguese
                population. General education certification was the priority in the first years
                of the system and this is still what generates the most demand from the
                Portuguese population.
                For the purposes of general education, the referential is organised into four
                areas of competence: mathematics, ICT, Language/Communication and
                Citizenship/Employability. These, in turn, are divided into three levels of
                certification: B1 – four years of school, B2 – six years of school and B3 –
                nine years of school. As of June 2007, the system integrates a B4 level,
                equivalent to 12 years of schooling. This is a more complex standard
                organised across three areas and 88 themes.
                The system now also integrates the certification of professional
                competences. For the moment, the scope of this sub-system is limited to
                those professions were the standards of competences are available. The
                system has the objective of promoting an integrated approach between
                school and professional certification.
                (Source – Portuguese presentations during the PLA)

          -   Some countries concentrate on the process of identifying and documenting
              non-formal and informal learning, for purposes of better employability or
              professional appraisals (DE), without necessarily leading to a qualification.
              Box 2




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                Example – Germany

                According to the German national report, the large variety of practices and
                programmes for validating non-formal and informal learning in VET being
                developed can be distinguished according to their main target audience:
                         a) Practices for the individual documentation of competencies that
                            support people in assessing their personal professional profile
                            and in planning their career
                     Most initiatives are oriented towards specific target groups like pupils,
                     employees, migrants, disadvantaged youths, women returning to the
                     labour market, persons planning a different professional career etc.
                         b) Practices for the assessment and documentation of
                            competencies applied in companies / businesses
                     Most practices in this field are ad-hoc and either related to the hiring
                     procedure, the human resource development approach or the
                     preparation of job references. Usually the application of these
                     instruments and its impact on the pay scale is regulated individually
                     within each company.
                         c) Practices for the documentation of competencies focusing on
                            their integration into the national VET system
                     There are a number of sector-based practices in the field of further or
                     continuing VET (CVET). Their frames of reference are more or less
                     closely related to existing occupational profiles, they follow the lines of
                     credit systems in higher education and a step-by-step, modular design.
                (Source – German report – see Annex C)



          -   Countries also encourage non-formal learning and informal learning by making
              it a pre-requisite for the award of certain qualifications (i.e. learners have to
              have a period of on-the-job training to obtain a qualification). Such practices
              can also necessitate the identification and documentation of the learning
              outcomes acquired.
              Box 3




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      PLA on validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET teachers and trainers – Summary Report
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                      Example – Slovenia
                      The Slovene report notes that one of the methods for the assessment and
                      recognition of non-formal and informal learning leading to publicly
                      recognised qualifications is through:

                                      •   Formal education programmes which incorporate
                                          work practices in cooperation with an external
                                          provider (e.g. individual and collective learning
                                          contracts, which are the successors of the previous dual
                                          system). To illustrate this: during the period from 1997/98
                                          to 2005/06, 8,852 apprentices accounting for 4% of the
                                          entire population enrolled into different vocational
                                          education programmes in the dual system of education;
                                          woodworking, car mechanics, hairdressing and catering
                                          were among the more popular choices.

                      Furthermore, in 2007, the legislation in VET introduced the possibility to use
                      validation processes in schools for youth and also for adults. Validation
                      processes can be used any way schools decide. The primary aim of
                      validation for young students is to encourage them to be professionally
                      active and to enable them having their on-the-job experience recognised as
                      a part of their learning requirements.
                      (Source – Slovene report – see Annex C)

3.2         Approaches used
            The Cedefop report, the national reports, as well as the discussions during the PLA
            show that countries usually combine different methods to build up their national
            approaches to the validation of non-formal and informal learning.

            Most approaches presented and discussed during the PLA combined some, or all, of
            the elements below (please note that other validation methods - such the observation
            in the workplace, etc. – exist, but these were not discussed during the PLA):

                -   Guidance.

                    Starting with the initial interview and accompanying the individual through the
                    entire process of competence identification and documentation, guidance is
                    crucial for the success of validation procedures. Counsellors can have a role
                    in:

                         •   explaining the validation procedure

                         •   motivating individuals to undergo the entire validation process

                         •   showing instruments to identify learning outcomes

                         •   identifying gaps in individuals’ learning outcomes and directing them
                             towards further training


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PLA on validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET teachers and trainers – Summary Report
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              The counsellor is also often the first contact point for the validation system.
              The PLA discussions underlined the crucial aspect of this first contact for the
              rest of the validation process.

          -   Self-reflection/self-assessment which lead to the identification of learning
              outcomes

              A large number of validation procedures are based on self-assessment
              whereby individuals identify their own skills/knowledge/competencies. This can
              be done against a set of criteria identified at national/regional level or not,
              depending on the purpose of the validation (i.e. qualification or a portfolio).

          -   Documentation resulting in some form of a portfolio

              Portfolios are a very common means for documenting learning outcomes.
              They enable the achieved knowledge, skills and competence to be made
              explicit and legible to a variety of actors (the person undergoing validation, the
              counsellor, the future employer, the examiner, etc.)
              Box 4

                Example – Germany – ProfilPass
                Compared to other portfolios which exist in Germany for various purposes
                such as the transition between school and professional life or voluntary
                sector, the Profilpass focuses on:
                     -   recording the individuals’ competences (rather than recording their
                         mere attendance at training events)
                     -   supporting individuals’ self-reflection
                     -   supporting individuals through guidance
                The assumption behind ProfilPass is that many individuals can only be
                guided towards a knowledge of their competencies and their value through
                a critical reflection on their own lives.
                ProfilPass is structured according to five sections:
                     1) my life – an overview
                     2) my fields of activity – documentation
                     3) my competencies – a balance sheet
                     4) my objectives and next steps
                     5) a section for collecting references, declarations/testimonies and
                        other documents. This is supplemented by addresses and links
                        relating to the recognition of informal learning.
                Portfolios with a similar structure are being used in other European
                countries.
                (Source – German report – see Annex C)




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    PLA on validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET teachers and trainers – Summary Report
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              - Additional training

                  In some cases, especially when validation is undergone for the purposes of
                  obtaining a qualification, additional training in specific areas may be required. If
                  this is the case, individuals should be able to participate in such training.
                  Ideally this training should correspond to their needs and the waiting period
                  should not be too long in order not to discourage the learner.

              -   External assessment

                  Most validation procedures which lead to a qualification contain a component
                  of examination or jury, which can have one or several roles. The examination
                  jury can recognise the documentation produced in previous stages, if the
                  individual defends his/her learning outcomes. Examinations can also use tests,
                  simulations or interviews to demonstrate learning outcomes.

                  The fact that the examiner or jury are external to the organisation providing
                  guidance to the participants was underlined as a key for quality assurance of
                  the validation process.




4         VALIDATION OF NON-FORMAL AND INFORMAL LEARNING
          FOR VET TEACHERS AND TRAINERS

          The previous section outlined some general features of national systems for the
          validation of non-formal and informal learning. These features can apply to the different
          qualifications within national systems, be it from general education, from VET or from
          higher education. When it comes to the specific topic for validating non-formal and
          informal learning for VET teachers and trainers, the experiences of countries also vary.

          The Cedefop report identified following the forms of recognition for VET teachers and
          trainers among the cases studied (p.33-34). These were also confirmed by the
          approaches presented in the PLA or described in national reports:

              •   institutional or enterprise recognition through the selection and appointment as
                  a trainer;

              •   entry to a programme of study/training leading to a teaching qualification or
                  higher degree;

              •   exemption from part, or parts, of a programme of study/learning leading to a
                  teaching qualification;

              •   achievement of a professional award entirely through recognition of the non-
                  formal and informal learning;
                  Box 5



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                Example – Italy
                In Italy there are currently several regional systems for the validation of
                non-formal and informal learning. During the PLA two examples, form
                Emilia Romagna and Toscana were presented. In both regions, the
                validation and recognition is based on a regional repertory of qualifications
                which define qualifications in terms of the learning outcomes. These
                repertories contain different VET qualifications, among which some refer to
                the profession of teachers and trainers:
                     -   In Emilia Romagna, these are: a manager of learning processes
                         and an expert in guidance.
                     -   In the Region of Toscana, five such profiles were developed: expert
                         consultant in guidance processes (social services sector), training
                         expert, expert in tutoring of training processes, technician qualified
                         in FAD tutoring, technician qualified in the management of work
                         services.
                (Source – Italian presentation during the PLA – See Annex F)

          •   integration of experiential learning within units of study leading to a
              professional qualification;
              Box 6

                Example – Estonia
                Estonia has introduced a professional standard for VET teachers, which
                provides the criteria for necessary skills, knowledge, values and other
                competencies expected from a VET teacher. One subdivision of the
                standard is headed “Self-Analysis and Self-Complementing in lifelong
                learning”, which covers activities such as: VET teacher/trainer takes subject
                internships in appropriate institutions, applies appropriate specialized
                literature, acquires specialized information by means of participating in
                appropriate conferences and open days, etc.
                Therefore, the validation of non-formal and informal learning is one option
                to fulfil the requirements of the professional standards for VET Teacher.
                (Source – Estonian national report – see Annex C )


          •   the personalisation of a training programme to meet individual needs;

          •   entry to a national/regional register of approved trainers.
              Box 7




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                      Example – Norway

                      In Norway, for a company to be able to provide on-the-job training to
                      apprentices, it needs to be approved. The requirements that the firm has to
                      comply with are:

                           -   the firm has to have a VET leader who demonstrates a knowledge
                               of the curriculum concerned.

                           -   the company demonstrates that it is able to offer education in all
                               parts and subjects of the curriculum.

                      VET Trainers in companies and firms/businesses which are approved for
                      apprenticeship training are than recruited from within the skilled workforce
                      and need not undertake any formal education. Although the authorities and
                      different sectors have a variety of courses on offer, their completion is not
                      compulsory. The responsibility for giving the VET Trainers their necessary
                      education falls upon the VET leader in the company or firm/business. Very
                      often, a craft certificate and extensive practical experience represent the
                      actual minimum requirements for the instructor/trainer in the company. In
                      most cases, it is one of companies’ “best men” that guides and is
                      responsible for the apprentice training.
                      (Source – Norwegian national report – see Annex C)

4.1         Opportunities for validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET teachers
            and trainers
            This section presents the key opportunities for transferring the experience of validating
            non-formal and informal learning to the context of VET teachers and trainers as
            discussed during the PLA. It also presents the potential obstacles and challenges.

            Overall, the person-centred approach which was presented during the third day of the
            PLA in the Lisbon New Opportunities centre (see Annex B) provided strong inspiration
            for the discussion. Several participants noted that the methods based on a personal life
            history could enrich their national practices, which are more curriculum centred, in a
            very fruitful manner.

            This person-centred approach for identifying and documenting learning outcomes
            could be used for several purposes such as:

                         1. The appraisal process

                         2. Taking into account non-formal and informal learning as part of
                            continuing training of teachers and trainers

            Furthermore, in some countries, where the professional recognition of in-company
            trainers is very low, the person-centred approach could be used in a two-fold manner
            (e.g. EE):

                         1. To recognise their role as trainers within companies and more broadly
                            in the society.
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                   2. To raise the self-awareness of trainers and to make apparent the set
                      of skills, knowledge and competences that they have acquired by
                      exercising training tasks.

      A particular case discussed during the PLA was that of apprenticeships and the
      recognition of trainers engaged in training of apprentices. Several countries noted (EE,
      NO) that the validation of non-formal and informal learning for this type of in-company
      trainers could benefit:

                   1. The status of employees in charge of training (in Norway for example
                      these employees are selected among the workers who have long-
                      standing experience with the job and who demonstrate good inter-
                      personal skills)

                   2. Quality assurance of apprenticeships training. By validating non-formal
                      and informal learning of employees who are in charge of apprentices,
                      companies could be recognised as suitable for delivering on-the-job
                      training. In Norway, for example, the validation of non-formal and
                      informal learning could be part of the self-assessment process that
                      companies receiving apprentices have to undergo.

      Moreover, the German example of validation for IT trainers presented during the PLA
      (see Box 8 below) showed that the validation process for in-company trainers is similar
      to the validation process of any other of the 29 IT professions. This example is based
      on defined professional profiles (among which one is IT trainer) and a development
      and documentation of a personal project by the candidate for certification.

      Similarly, the Italian example (see Box 5) demonstrates that the methods used for
      validation of VET profiles can be used for the validation of non-formal and informal
      learning of VET trainers.
              Box 8




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                Example – Germany – IT trainer

                The method used by Cert-it is based on validating the non-formal and
                informal learning an individual acquires during the implementation of an IT
                project they design and implement.

                The concept of 'Workprocess-Oriented Training" integrates lifelong learning
                into the qualification process: Throughout the entire time, the participant will
                be supported by a coach (or 'facilitator'), technical experts - most often
                experienced colleagues, employees, other participants - and a
                complimentary media structure. The facilitator will support and analyse the
                initial and current situations, learning demands, and technical, social, and
                personal challenges. The facilitator will help to organise and reflect on the
                qualification process, give support for personal development, and boost
                self-learning competency.

                The learning process, as well as the process of identifying competences is
                embedded in the workflow and based on concrete, utilizable work
                assignments. The implementation of the project is documented in
                accordance with a specific structure aligned to quality assurance
                requirements of the certification procedure. The template for the
                qualification project is a 'Reference Process' that defines and delineates
                each of the 29 Specialist's Profiles. It constitutes the curriculum and brings
                the qualification and certification together within the same platform: the
                actual business processes.
                (Sources – German presentation during the PLA and Cert-it – See Annex E
                http://www.cert-it.org/files/endversion_cert-it_broschuere_eng.pdf)
                and KIBNET
                http://www.kibnet.org/fix/files/doc/AITTS_webversion_engl.pdf
                More information in www.cert-it.org     English Zone Downloads and
                KIBNET English Zone, http://www.kibnet.org.




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5           CHALLENGES AND CONCLUSIONS
           According to the feedback from participants, the Lisbon PLA succeeded in stimulating
           mutual learning and some of the examples or approaches discussed might lead to the
           transfer of experience. The participants noted that the large space left for discussions
           was very important and lead to a much better understanding of the different systems.

           Participants in the PLA highly valued the visits to the two centres where they had the
           opportunity to grasp some of the very concrete aspects of validation (e.g. some
           portfolios were brought in as examples). Also the exchange with the staff involved in
           validation was seen to be of great importance.

           Furthermore, despite the very different national contexts and also the different stages of
           advancement in implementing validation procedures, participants reported that the
           exchange of experience was fruitful. Similarities and transversal issues were observed
           and are detailed in previous sections of the report.

            The Portuguese experience was thoroughly presented and it was noted that it can be
            used as good practice for other countries, particularly in terms of the role of
            counsellors, and methodologies and techniques to identify, assess and validate
            competences, even in the sphere of VET teachers and trainers. It was also noted that,
            even tough the Portuguese situation is very particular (since it was triggered by a real
            need to bring a large part of the population up to the schooling requirements
            introduced in late eighties), it could be transferable. For example some countries have
            an important immigrant population where the situation is similar: these migrants did not
            go through the national compulsory education system and therefore can not
            demonstrate their achievement of learning outcomes required at that level.

            The sections below underline the key challenges and messages from the Lisbon PLA
            in relation to the three PLA objectives.

5.1         Different approaches to validation of non-formal and informal learning and their
            success factors
            This section presents the main challenges to further develop validation approaches
            that countries identified during the PLA. It also outlines the main opportunities noted
            and the lessons learnt.

            One of the key challenges identified by the PLA members is the need for political
            commitment to the development of validation procedures. This commitment is required
            to raise the credibility of the system, but also to provide the necessary financial
            resources. The Portuguese example was considered particularly illustrative at many
            levels. The system is being taken very seriously at the highest level and two Ministries
            are directly involved in its execution: Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Education.

            The financing of validation systems was equally a point of discussion. It appears that,
            although legal regulations which enable the validation of non-formal and informal
            learning are an important step in a country’s progress towards a validation system;
            they also need to be backed up by important financial resources. Sufficient financing is
            required if wider results and quality are to be expected and if the direct costs for
            citizens are to be kept low or nil.
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            In addition, the PLA participants concluded that links between VET systems and the
            labour market must be promoted in order to stimulate the validation of non-formal and
            informal learning.

            There was also a general agreement that, in order to be credible, validation systems
            have to be accepted and supported by employers, and more generally praised by
            citizens.

            Another challenge identified was quality assurance. For countries where validation is
            still in its early stages of implementation or still being designed, the establishment of
            appropriate quality assurance procedures is another technical obstacle to overcome.

            It was recognised that the competence, commitment and motivation of the staff
            involved in the validation of non-formal and informal learning is a key success factor,
            despite any specifics that different countries undoubtedly introduce in their validation
            systems. Major attention has to be given to the training and preparation of those
            having the role of counsellor. The professionals must be carefully selected and
            continuously trained to maintain high levels of performance and proficiency.

            Finally, the rigidity of traditional education stakeholders and their negative approach to
            the shifting paradigm – from process-oriented to learning-outcomes-oriented education
            systems - could be a major obstacle for the further growth of the validation of non-
            formal and informal learning.

5.2         How could validation methodologies be transferred to the context of teachers
            and trainers?
            The following potential obstacles or challenges for the introduction or development of
            the validation of non-formal and informal learning in the sphere of VET teachers and
            trainers were debated. Though these issues are somewhat more specific they are very
            closely related and not different in nature than the issues presented in section 5.1
            above concerning the validation systems in general.

            It appeared that the validation of non-formal and informal learning requires professional
            profiles of VET teachers and trainer that allow for such forms of learning. This could be
            achieved in different ways:

                         1. by defining profiles in terms of learning outcomes rather than in terms
                            of the levels of formal qualifications to be achieved.

                         2. by making non-formal and informal learning part of the professional
                            profile, such as by requiring periods of on-the-job training and by
                            documenting the learning outcomes achieved.

            Another important challenge is the quality assurance of the validation process. It was
            agreed that quality assurance has to be ensured and it needs to be transparent in
            order to create trust among different stakeholders (e.g. training institutions). It therefore
            requires further development or adaptation of existing quality assurance processes.

            When it comes to the profession of VET teachers, some countries noted that the
            demand for such validation is low or has not been stimulated. Even though studies


                                                                                                        26
      PLA on validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET teachers and trainers – Summary Report
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                                                                                       4
            show that in the future EU countries will suffer shortages of teachers , for the moment
            some countries have sufficient numbers of qualified teachers and therefore have little
            demand for the validation of non-formal and informal learning.

            In addition, in some countries, the very low self-awareness of in-company trainers, who
            are often not recognised as trainers even if they regularly deliver training, could be an
            opportunity but also an obstacle. Sometimes these employees do not consider
            themselves as trainers and do not necessarily desire to have the status of trainers (as
            this might mean additional work requirements). Therefore, communication about the
            opportunity of having their experience validated would have to be carefully targeted at
            them. In other words the demand from this target group would need to be stimulated.

            Finally, the issue of balance between political engagement and changes in people’s
            mind-sets about qualifications of teachers and trainers have to be found. While on one
            hand, the development of a large scale system requires political engagement and
            financing, the success of validation is tightly dependent on its acceptance by the
            society. While in some countries it is becoming widely accepted that qualifications
            acquired through formal pathway are equivalent to those obtained after a procedure of
            recognising non-formal and informal learning, in some others the prevalence of formal
            system is still very strong.

            In addition, it was noted during the PLA, that in the context of validation of non-formal
            and informal learning for the particular group of VET teachers and trainers the first
            issues to be addressed are not the methods to be used (these are likely to be the
            similar as for other groups) but rather:

                -    the rationale for validation of non-formal and informal learning for this particular
                     target group

                -    the type of competence to be validated and for what objectives (i.e. hiring
                     procedure, appraisals, qualifications /certifications, etc.)

5.3         Proposals to support policy learning in the development of validation of non-
            formal and informal learning for teachers and trainers.
           The discussions during the PLA raised a number of important issues and it was
           suggested that the following topics could be further addressed by other European
           activities:

                -    The importance of quality assurance in validation approaches and systems
                     and how is quality assurance organised?

                -    The necessity to develop learning outcome based VET teacher and trainer
                     profiles; how should such profiles be developed and how do you define the key
                     learning outcomes for teachers and trainers?

                -    Analyse how could validation for VET trainers be best used in cases of
                     apprenticeships and in-company training and how could it be implemented.




4
 See the European Commission Study on mobility of teachers and trainers (2007)
http://ec.europa.eu/education/doc/reports/doc/mobility.pdf

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                   -    How can we demonstrate that certificates obtained trough validation
                        procedures are not a parallel qualification system, but that these are equivalent
                        to those obtained through succeeding the formal training pathway? How could
                        be promoted the buy-in of the wider society into the validation system?

                   -    How do the different methods for validation of non-formal and informal learning
                        influence teaching methods and support learning and what are the
                        competences teachers and trainers need to respond to the challenge of life-
                        long and life-wide learning?

              In conclusion of the PLA, it was underlined that more concrete applications of validation
              for teachers and trainers still need to be examined.

              Finally, participants noted that an electronic platform for the exchange of experience
              would be useful. It was observed that the Cedefop virtual communities and the space
              dedicated to the cluster on teachers and trainers on these communities could be used
                                 5
              for such purposes .




5
    http://communities.trainingvillage.gr/ks-lll

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ANNEX A – NOTE ON THE VISIT TO THE SEIXAL VALIDATION
CENTRE
                                                                 6
               The Seixal centre is a publicly-funded centre accessible to anyone who desires to
               upgrade their qualifications. Nevertheless, an important part of this centre’s target
               group is composed of unemployed people who are referred to the centre by the public
               employment service.

               The visit to the Seixal’s Centre commenced by a theoretical presentation of the
               centre’s approach. Afterwards, the PLA participants had a chance to observe some of
               the centre’s activities and to discuss the approach used.

               The Portuguese system for the validation of non-formal and informal learning (referred
               to as RVCC forthwith) for general education is based on the following four levels of
               school diploma:

                   -    B1 – Equivalent to the learning outcomes achieved after four years of school

                   -    B2 – Equivalent to the learning outcomes achieved after six years of school

                   -    B3 – Equivalent to the learning outcomes achieved after nine years of school.
                        This is currently the required level of compulsory education

                   -    B4 – Equivalent to the learning outcomes achieved after 12 years of school.
                                                                                           7
                        This level is currently still in early stages of its implementation .

               Each of these levels has a corresponding set of standards of key competences.

               In the RVCC process, self biography and skills assessments methodologies are used
               to generate an adult’s portfolio of competences. This approach is very similar to the
               French method of “Bilan de Compétences”. In the next stage of the RVCC process, the
               portfolio reflecting the individuals’ competences is the object of certification.

               In the RVCC process, counsellors are responsible for the first individual interview in
               order to assess the adult’s expectations and motivation regarding the RVCC process.
               First contacts with interested adult citizens are also crucial to assess if the conditions
               are in place for the RVCC process to be successfully achieved according to the
               standards developed. These standards do not allow for more than 30 hours of
               additional training before the final validation.

               The RVCC process combines individual and group activities organised around the four
               key competences as described in the national standards: Mathematics, ICT,
               Language/Communication and Citizenship/Employability.



6
    The Seixal centre also benefits from ESF funding.
7
    85% of the demand is focused at B3 level.
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      The system which is now also addressing the vocational/professional certification is
      designated as “RVCC-PRO”. The main difference with the RVCC system is that
      instead of a unique national standard, the RVCC-PRO uses vocational training
      standards developed by the Employment and Vocational Training Institute, for formal
      vocational training. Nonetheless, the general approach and methods used for thre
      validation of non-formal and informal learning are the same as during the certification
      of general competences. The scheme in Box 9 below presents the process of RVCC-
      PRO validation.
      Box 9




      Since the start of its activity, Seixal’s centre has delivered around 3,500 school
      diplomas, 80% of which are B3 level. The average length of the RVCC process is four
      months, with 10% of adults proceeding directly to certification and 70% needing 15 to
      20 hours of additional training. 300 RVCC-PRO diplomas have been also issued by the
      centre during the last two years.

      In Portugal, the RVCC system has a very high political profile and is perceived as a
      priority by the current government even at the highest level. It is the Prime Minister
      himself who delivered the first B4 level diplomas. During the PLA, one of the first “B4
      graduates” provided a testimony of his experience, explaining how gratifying it was for
      him to receive his diploma from Mr. José Sócrates’s own hands.




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ANNEX B – NOTE ON THE VISIT TO THE LISBON NEW
OPPORTUNITIES CENTRE

        Please note: This text is partly based on the text distributed by the centre itself and
        partly on discussions held during the visit.

        Description of Lisbon Municipality’s Adult Education and Training Project

        According to the Lisbon Municipality’s social balance, this organisation has about
        10,000 workers, half of them without compulsory education (nine years of schooling).
        Based on such objective data, the Training Division identified available solutions in
        order to increase the educational background of council employees, through
        educational programs that constitute viable alternatives to the formal school-based
        programs.

        The Adult Education and Training Project of the Lisbon Municipality is based on new
        methodologies in this field (namely the Competencies Recognition, Validation and
        Certification Process - RVCC) which value the competencies acquired through the life
        and work experiences of adults, allowing them to obtain certification which is
        equivalent, to all intents and purposes, to the diplomas of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd cycles
        of compulsory education, and most recently, secondary education.

        Thus, the main goal of Lisbon Municipality’s New Opportunities Centre, which
        integrates the Adult Education and Training Project, consists of the improvement of
        Lisbon Municipality workers qualification and also the enhancement of their life
        perspectives and self-awareness.

        So far, more than 1,200 employees have enrolled in the project and 500 have already
        successfully concluded the RVCC process.

        The majority of municipal workers who joined the Adult Education and Training Project
        mainly belong to professional groups and sectors where low levels of education and
        qualification are predominant and involve professions like gardeners, garbage workers
        and non-specialist mechanics.

        The Competencies Recognition, Validation and Certification Process (RVCC
        process)

        The process of recognition, validation and certification of competencies is intended for
        all adults over 18 years of age, who have not completed up to 12 years of schooling. It
        allows people with little academic education and people of working age (employed or
        otherwise) to obtain recognition, validation and certification for the competencies and
        knowledge acquired throughout their life in the most widely varying of contexts.

        It is organised according to three aspects (recognition, validation and certification) and
        it is based on the list of key competencies for adult education.

        The Recognition of Competencies is a process of personal identification of lifelong
        acquired competencies through a series of activities based on various methodologies.
        The adult evidence and documents their competencies through the construction of a

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      personal competencies portfolio. Aside from a Portfolio, adults should also conduct
      research based on a theme of their choice.

      By performing such activities, they are invited to approach their lives from a learning
      perspective and with the help of specific tasks, to assess their own Life History.

      In the Portuguese context the following definition applies: the validation of
      competencies is the formal process carried out by the Centre which consists of a
      series of activities aimed at helping the adult through the process of assessment of
      their competencies in connection with the four areas of key competencies and the
      levels of academic certification, according to the list of key competencies for adult
      education and training. The process ends with a validation jury. In a formal session,
      after consideration of the competencies Portfolio and hearing the adult’s presentations,
      the jury validates their competencies and issues their request for certification to the
      National Agency for Qualification.

      Finally, the adult’s competencies that have been acquired throughout their life,
      overcoming challenges in their social context, adapting to changes in their work place,
      within formal, non- formal and informal contexts, are certified and the candidates are
      awarded a certificate that is legally equivalent to the diplomas of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd
      cycles of compulsory education or secondary education.

      Every New Opportunities Centre organises its own methodologies, according to the
      National Agency for Qualification guidelines and to the list of Key Competencies.
      Hence, the Centre, inspired by academic research and investigation in the areas of Life
      History Assessment, Competencies Audit, Validation of Acquired Competencies and
      Pedagogy of the Question, has defined for each fourteen RVCC sessions, the
      questions from which to start and work upon.




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ANNEX C- NATIONAL REPORTS

            This Annex presents information on national systems and experiences as submitted by
            the participants to the PLA.



DE - GERMANY

5.4         General context
            In Germany the certification of learning (i.e. learning efficiency --> not outcome
            oriented!) is nearly exclusively confined to the field of formal learning within the general
            education system as well as the VET system. In comparison to other European
            countries the exploration of informal learning did not attract much societal, political nor
            scientific attention.

            However, informal learning undertaken outside the formal education and training
            system has become a growing focus of attention in Germany since the end of the
            1990s. There is an increasing awareness of its necessity to capitalise on all skills both
            for individual career planning and to realise their value to society. As yet, there are few
            mechanisms at national and federal state (Land) level for recognising informally
            acquired skills. However, a trend has recently developed to record and document
            cross-cutting skills for social recognition, i.e. recognition below the official regulatory
            level. Recording may make use of tools such as training passports, which are
            understood as mechanisms for documenting not only formal learning but, more
            importantly, any non-formal and informal learning undertaken.

            The vocational field in Germany is largely served by formal education and training. The
            system tends to view qualifications in terms of certificates rather than competencies.
            The German education system has no standardised system for awarding recognition or
            credit for competencies acquired through informal or non-formal learning, e.g. a credit
            transfer system.

            The dual system in IVET, because it includes occupational work experience, closes off
            career progression for those who acquired their competences in a non-formal or
            informal way. The concept of Beruflichkeit (aligning training with state-recognised
            skilled occupations) guarantees training relevance but has a restrictive effect on
            flexibility. It results in a reduced level of vertical and horizontal mobility. This could be
            alleviated by documenting and taking account of competencies extending beyond the
            bounds of a formal occupation alongside traditional certificates.

            At company level the situation is different. Assessments and personnel interviews
            include questions about competencies acquired through informal and non-formal
            learning. Large companies often operate their own competency frameworks.

            Only about 20% of occupational competencies originate from initial and continuing
            vocational education and training, and the remainder have to be acquired from
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            personal continuing education in the process of work, in the social environment, or
            online. Nevertheless, there are no straightforward validation mechanisms, certainly
            none recognised by the state, by which the other 80% could be measured. The fact
            that the outcomes of non-formal and informal learning are obviously used in practice,
            as well as documented by companies in staff interviews, recruitment procedures and
            assessments, is another matter. The fundamental point is that everyone who takes part
            in education and training programmes, or who invests in examinations in order to
            obtain qualifications, certificates and diplomas, is doing so largely in the formal sector.

5.5         Important features of the national VET system
            The national VET system is codified in the Vocational Training Act (1969, revised in
            2005). Due to this Act, initial training is specified by training regulations, thus ensuring
            that uniform standards of training are met throughout the Federal Republic of
            Germany. There is a huge variety of recognised training occupations in IVET (343 in
            2006).

            National standardised further vocational training and retraining is based on statutory
            regulations which specify content, objective, examination requirements and conduct,
            conditions for authorisation and designation of the qualification (master, business
            administrator, graduate in business administration, skilled worker). These regulations
            are laid down by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) by
            agreement with the competent ministries and following consultation with the Standing
            Committee of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) (equal
            co-determination between employers, trade unions, state and federal bodies).

            The tradition of the ‘occupational concept’ (Berufskonzept) is very strong. Vocational
            training should, on the basis of a modern occupational concept, give people a foothold
            in a skilled occupation (holistic approach) and at the same time lay the foundation for
            lifelong learning. Critics view module-based learning as a first step toward retiring
            Germany's occupational principle.

5.6         Existing approaches to describe non-formal and informal learning in VET
            There is an unmanageable number of programmes, projects and initiatives dealing with
            the issue of documenting and assessing informal learning and the respective
            competences acquired. (In the German debate no distinction is made between non-
            formal and informal learning.) Here practices addressing specific target groups like
            pupils and other persons in transition to the VET system, disadvantaged youths,
            unemployed persons, returners etc. play a primary role.

            The huge variety of practices and programmes being developed can be distinguished
            according to their main target system:

         a) Practices for the individual documentation of competencies that support
            people in assessing their personal professional profile and in planning their
            career
            Most initiatives are oriented towards specific target groups like pupils, employees,
            migrants, disadvantaged youths, women returning to labour, persons planning a
            different professional career etc.
         b) Practices for the assessment and documentation of competencies applied in
            companies / business
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          Most practices in this field are occasion-driven and either related to the hiring
          procedure, the human resource development approach or the preparation of job
          references. Usually the application of these instruments and its impact on the pay
          scale is regulated individually within each company.
        c) Practices for the documentation of competencies focusing on their integration into
           the national VET system
          There are a number of sector-based practices in the field of further or continuing VET
          (CVET). Their frames of reference are more or less closely related to existing
          occupational profiles, follow the lines of credit systems in higher education and a step-
          by-step, modular design.

5.6.1     The development of training passports (example for category a)) – The ProfilPASS
          system
          A training passport was developed in the context of second-chance qualification
          measures under a Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB)
          series of pilot schemes in 2001 (www.qualifizierungspass.de).

          In the course of a feasibility study (Weiterbildungspass mit Zertifizierung informellen
          Lernens,                                  BMBF,                                   2004;
          www.bmbf.de/pub/weiterbildungspass_mit_zertifizierung_informellen_lernens.pdf)
          commissioned by the Bund-Länder Commission for Educational Planning and
          Research Promotion (BLK), these kinds of approaches were analysed for the first time.
          What emerged in addition to growing enthusiasm was a great heterogeneity in their
          use. The study found that further education passports were being used at the transition
          between school and working life, in company-based or inter-company vocational
          settings, in the voluntary sector or for private purposes. The documentation was
          usually limited to describing activities or confirming attendance at training events;
          competencies were rarely recorded. So, there was a limited ability for the passport to
          assist individuals to improve their position in the labour market. Instead, they are
          viewed as supplementary activities to existing qualifications.

          On the basis of this and other research findings, a further education passport concept
          was recommended, the central goal is to make individual competencies as
          comprehensively visible as possible, regardless of how they were gained, to support
          individuals in recognising their own strengths, unlocking potential and finding
          inspiration for further (learning) activities in both personal and professional contexts.
          According to the detailed recommendations, a future further education passport
          should:
                     integrate the reporting and guidance functions;
                     support individual reflection, reporting and future planning of educational,
                     learning and work biographies;
                     ensure that it is usable across target groups and educational sectors;
                     have the potential to be open for self- and external assessment;
                     ensure that formal, non-formal and informal learning processes from different
                     domains of life are taken into consideration;
                     offer motivation for further learning, life and career planning;
                     facilitate linkage with developments at European level.


          The further education passport was given the name ProfilPASS. It also combined the
          numerous instruments and methods already used in various contexts. The ProfilPASS
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      was conceived as a developmental instrument based on user self-assessment
      supported by professional guidance (www.profilpass-online.de also available in
      English).

      The passport takes into account all learning settings in which learners may acquire
      competencies during the course of their lives. The assumption is that many individuals
      can only be guided towards knowledge of their competencies and the value of them
      through critical reflection on their own lives. It is structured according to 5 sections: (1)
      my life – an overview, (2) my fields of activity – documentation, (3) my competencies –
      a balance sheet, (4) my objectives and next steps and (5) a section for collecting
      references, attestations and other documents. This is supplemented with addresses
      and links relating to the recognition of informal learning.

      Passport users start with section (1) in which they compile an overview of the relevant
      events and milestones in their professional and personal biographies. They are then
      encouraged to recount stories, as a means of stimulating a process of reflection on
      their biography. These then form the starting point for work on the central section (2),
      which consolidates details from the individual domains of life. It is not essential to
      complete this in full, rather, the aim is to explore one’s own biography to identify
      specific individual experiences and associated learning processes. Thus the main
      emphasis of self-reflection is on the quality of those learning processes consciously
      identified by the individual.

      Skills and competencies are derived from these activities by a process of abstraction,
      and then assessed on a 4-level scale:
                 Level 1: activities which can be carried out under another person’s
                 supervision or by following instructions;
                 Level 2: activities which can be carried out autonomously in familiar
                 conditions;
                 Level 3: activities which can be carried out autonomously in a different
                 context (other situation, conditions, location, work context);
                 Level 4: Activities which can be carried out autonomously in a different
                 context, explained and demonstrated to others.
      Skills at Level 1 or 2 are still referred to as skills. In contrast, skills at Level 3 or 4, i.e.
      those which can be transferred to other contexts, are referred to as competencies.
      Referring to the skills and competencies identified, a personal profile can be drawn up
      in Section (3) which is, at the same time, the departure point for the planning of future
      learning on the basis of developmental objectives, culminating in an action plan in
      Section (4).

      The guidance concept of ProfilPASS
      A personal guidance concept is coordinated within this method for identifying skills and
      competencies. It is driven by principles such as process transparency, biographical
      relevance, competence orientation, reflectiveness and ensuring biographical continuity
      in learning and life.

      A contract should be signed between the person seeking guidance and their
      counsellor; several guidance sessions should take place if possible; the matters
      discussed during guidance should be treated confidentially; and after completing the
      self-exploration process, users should receive documentation of the outcome.


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          Evaluation of ProfilPASS
          From September 2004 to April 2005 the ProfilPASS system was piloted by more than
          30 cooperating partner institutions in different regions and settings. The passport was
          issued by 90 counsellors to 1 178 users. The evaluation of the pilot phase showed that
          users’ assessments of the passport were positive with the majority intending to carry
          on using it.

          A significant qualification and age effect was apparent in user assessment: people with
          higher educational qualifications rate the passport more highly. Likewise, the older they
          are, the more positively they assess it.

          The evaluation also identified some areas of potential improvement. For instance, it
          became clear that it can essentially be used with multiple target groups, but that
          difficulties nevertheless arose when working with young people. Therefore the
          competency identification process was modified. Furthermore, a ProfilPASS
          specifically for migrants is being developed.

          Linking up ProfilPASS with Europass
          The relationship between ProfilPASS and the modified Europass was also examined in
          the evaluation. Whilst the ProfilPASS is an instrument for individual self-diagnosis and
          self-reflection which takes account of informal learning, Europass is an instrument for
          structuring and facilitating the assessment of outcomes of formal and non-formal
          learning processes, against the backdrop of the growing scale of transnational work
          and educational programmes within the EU. A further difference is that ProfilPASS
          offers guidance on the description of informally acquired competencies, which is not
          available through Europass. The integrated approach pursued with the ProfilPASS is
          nevertheless a good preparation for completing Europass.

5.6.2     Initiatives to improve permeability across different education and training pathways
          (examples for category c))- AITTS and others
          A prominent sector example is the German Advanced IT Training System (AITTS), a
          system for continuing education and training in the IT sector established in 2002 and
          certified by the personnel certification agency Cert-IT (http://www.cert-it.org). The
          objective is to provide skilled workers in the IT product and service provision and IT
          applications sector with career paths and career progression via three qualification
          levels (Level 1: Specialist, Level 2: Operative Professional and Level 3: Strategic
          Professional). The certification process for Level 1 formally certifies the occupational
          competencies acquired by an individual in the process of working. Specialist (Level 1)
          certificates are not regulated in law but are subject to private sector regulation.
          Advanced vocational training to Operative and Strategic Professional level (Levels 2
          and 3) is regulated by a statutory order which applies nationwide.

          The AITTS concept stands for work-process orientated training and the promotion of
          self-directed learning. Candidates learn embedded in a real project at their work place
          and by means of correct and suitable tasks. They document their learning process
          according to concretely defined requirements. The template is the “reference process”:
          a process orientated curriculum, which is available for all of the 29 specialist profiles.
          The reference process shows which steps occur in a project, what competence is
          required and how it has to be gained.


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      During the whole procedure the candidates are supported by a technical trainer, who
      can be an experienced colleague, as well as a coach. Together with the coach, the
      candidate analyses the initial steps and continuously reflects the following process.
      Regularly both rate the project development. This reflection is an essential element of
      the AITTS. The coach and the technical coach should ideally both be of the company,
      but           they             can            also             be             externals.
      Two years after the start of the project, the candidates need to have passed the
      examination at the latest. The examiners of Cert IT test the candidates in a
      professional conversation including the propounded documentation and the
      presentation.

      <The example of IT Trainer was presented during the PLA>

      The Bologna Declaration also made reference to the interface with vocational
      education, and this was taken up on a national basis with various resolutions and
      recommendations. The supplementary goal of enabling credit transfer from vocational
      to higher education facilitated by the joint implementation of a credit points system in
      CVET following the model of the IT further training regulation, was declared in March
      2002 by the social partners and the BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and
      Research - Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung). To implement it, a
      recommendation of September 2003 was issued by the BMBF, the KMK and the HRK
      (Association of Universities and Other Higher Education Institutions in Germany) on
      the award of credit points in advanced vocational training and the transfer of credit
      towards higher education degree programmes.



      At present, the approaches pioneered in IT further training are being refined. The
      criteria, levels and the principles were generally comparable to the EQF concept,
      cutting across all sectors of education. Two programmes promote the granting of credit
      for vocational qualifications towards higher education programmes.

          •   ANKOM (Academic course credit for vocational competencies, see
              http://ankom.his.de/initiative/index_en.php), commissioned by the BMBF
              and started in September 2005. The programme clarifies the
              description/recording of vocational and higher education competencies in
              terms of learning outcomes, the validation/measurement of these
              competencies, and methods for comparing and evaluating the equivalences
              between them. Eleven regional projects and a process-monitoring programme
              (HIS/VDI/VDE-IT) are being funded in the IT, health and social care, industrial-
              technical and commercial sectors. (HIS = Higher Education Information
              System - http:www.his.de; VDI/VDE-IT = Verein deutscher Ingenieure
              e.V./Verband der Elektrotechnik Elektronik Informationstechnik e.V. –
              Innovation+Technik GmbH (VDI/VDE Innovation+Technik GmbH, a company
              of the Association of German Engineers and the Association for Electrical,
              Electronic & Information Technologies; www.vdivde-it.de).

          •   Further development of dual study programmes in the tertiary sector
              commissioned by the Bund-Länder Commission for Educational Planning and
              Research Promotion (BLK) which started in April 2005 (running until 31.3.2008
              see www.blk-bonn.de/modellversuche/duale_studienangebote.htm). This
              is developing and testing methods for use throughout higher education to
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                    award credit for vocational qualifications and for professional experience,
                    taking account the international context including quality assurance.

5.7         Experience (challenges, practices) in the recognition and validation of non-
            formal and informal learning in general
            There is comparatively little pressure to take action to recognise informal learning
            processes and outcomes. The focus on formal qualifications remains (although formal
            admission requirements do not exist in the dual system, so all people can pursue a
            formal qualification). The dual system implies an orientation towards professional
            standards with integrated qualification profiles, a dimension of inter-company
            transferability, and universal standardisation of curricula as well as standardised and
            reliable examination arrangements governed by public law.

            In the light of demographic change and a shortage of skilled workers, immigration and
            a pre-existing perception of the dual system’s tendency to exclude poor learners, a
            stronger demand for change has been seen in recent years.

            Broad awareness of the idea of informal learning and competence development has
            been created by the slogan of the Lifelong Learning project and the array of public
            information associated with the project itself (e.g. publications of the Federal Ministry of
            Education and Research (BMBF) see:
                  http://www.bmbf.de/pub/das_informelle_lernen.pdf
                  http://www.bmbf.de/pub/strategie_lebenslanges_lernen_blk_heft115.pdf
                  http://www.bmbf.de/pub/weiterbildungspass_mit_zertifizierung_informellen
                  _lernens.pdf
                  http://www.bmbf.de/pub/berichtssystem_weiterbildung_neun.pdf
                  http://www.bmbf.de/pub/expertenberichte_des_forum_bildung.pdf
                  http://www.bmbf.de/pub/schlussbericht_kommission_lll.pdf

            A number of publications have been issued through the Learning Culture for Skill
            Development project and numerous conferences and workshops have been held which
            have been given attention from training providers and through the national press.
            Nevertheless, shortcomings remain in relation to the validation and actual use of
            lifelong learning, informal learning and competence development, as outlined in
            previous sections. The widespread knowledge and awareness of the importance of the
            issue is not yet reflected in practical implementation on the same scale.

            In contrast, personnel departments, trainers, service providers and civil society
            organisations are already using the new ideas extensively and successfully. This is
            evident, most of all, in detailed studies on learning in the social environment (Bootz, I.,
            Kirchhöfer, D.: (2003): Der Programmbereich “Lernen im sozialen Umfeld”. QUEM
            (ed.): “Zwei Jahre ‘Lernkultur Kompetenzentwicklung’. Inhalte – Ergebnisse –
            Perspektiven.” QUEM-report, Heft 79, pp. 139-189).

5.8         Regulations
            Legally, the recognition of competencies acquired through non-formal and informal
            learning is not on an equal footing with the recognition of formal learning. There are
            barely any regulatory provisions governing the recognition of cross-cutting

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            competencies, or specialised competencies (as distinct from occupation-specific
            qualifications and skills). Moreover, the issue is widely viewed as less important by
            those involved in policy and practice.

            The federal system has few nationwide provisions on the recording and certification of
            informal education. Little use is made of competencies acquired informally for the
            formal education system (in terms of admission procedures, training and study
            programmes, and certification at upper secondary level and in higher education). The
            various qualitative and quantitative certification procedures (examination boards,
            assessments etc.) are not used in a differentiated way, and any coordination of such
            procedures is non-existent.

            The most important tool for assessing non-formal and informal learning outcomes is
            admission to final examinations under Section 45 (2) of the Vocational Training Act
            (BBiG), known as the Externen-Prüfung (examination for external candidates, i.e.
            those not involved in a formal vocational training programme). Under this provision,
            people can be admitted to a final examination for a recognised occupation requiring
            formal training (training occupation) if they furnish evidence that they have ‘been
            employed in the occupation for which they wish to take the examination for a period at
            least one and a half times as long as is prescribed for the period of initial training’.

            Evidence of the minimum period of employment can be waived wholly or in part if
            applicants can convincingly demonstrate, by producing certificates or by some other
            means, that they have acquired the necessary vocational proficiency for admission to
            the examination. To gain admission, evidence of employment in work relevant to the
            training occupation must be provided. Credit can be obtained for a higher level of
            general educational attainment, such as the Fachoberschulreife (entrance qualification
            for specialised upper secondary school), which shortens the period of employment for
            which evidence must be produced. A previous relevant programme of IVET in a
            different training occupation can also be credited towards the required periods of
            employment. Examinations taken by external candidates accounted for only 4% of all
            IVET qualifications administered by chambers in 2003 (Report on Vocational Education
            and Training for the Year 2005, BMBF).

            In the higher education sector, students take the Immaturenprüfung (examination for
            higher education applicants without a higher education entrance qualification), which is
            regulated differently in the different Länder. By offering admission examinations they
            provide the possibility to recognise informal learning. Both the Externenprüfung and the
            Immaturenprüfung address admission only; no recognition is awarded which would
            shorten the length of education or training programmes.

5.9         Transfer and validation of learning for VET teachers and trainers
            It is not possible to work in IVET without studying at a university or university of applied
            sciences (but possibly without gaining a degree), or qualifying in a recognised
            occupation and/or demonstrating proof of professional experience.

            However, the number of non-standard entrants is increasing. In publications by the
            Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder
            (KMK), the category of non-standard entrants denotes teachers “... who generally have
            a higher education degree but do not hold the First State Examination for the teaching


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            profession” and who are employed by schools without having completed the standard
            period of preparatory service.

            Over and above their specialist knowledge, they obtain an additional pedagogical
            qualification on the job. The most common role of non-standard entrants is to teach
            subjects where there is a shortage of applicants. Non-standard entry of this kind is
            particularly relevant in vocational education.

            The regulations for the First State Examinations developed by the Länder are the
            formal reference point for entry to the teaching profession. In the area of practical
            vocational training, especially in companies, much higher numbers of training staff are
            drawn directly from the workplace and have less pedagogical training (e.g. master
            craftsmen responsible for instructing apprentices).



EE - ESTONIA

5.1         Existing approaches to describe non formal and informal learning in VET
            Hereby we should admit that there is no special regulation concerning existing
            approaches towards non-formal and informal learning of VET teachers. However,
            development of this kind of regulative framework is one of the main issues for the
            forthcoming year. Yet, there already exist a few regulations supporting the
            developments on this issue, e.g.

                •   We have introduced the professional standard for VET teachers, which
                    provides the criteria for necessary skills, knowledge, values and other
                    competencies expected from a VET teacher. One subdivision of the standard
                    is headed as “Self-Analysis and Self-Complementing in lifelong learning”,
                    which includes the following, e.g. VET teacher/trainer takes subject internships
                    in appropriate institutions, applies appropriate specialized literature, acquires
                    specialized information by means of participating in appropriate conferences
                    and open days etc. Thereto, the need to acknowledge non-formal and
                    informal learning as one option to fulfil the requirements of the professional
                    standard has been discussed.

                •   According to the Framework Guidelines for Teacher Education there has
                    been set a compulsory amount of work-related training a teacher to attend.
                    The choice of organisations where VET teacher could attend work-related
                    courses and the way they could do it (in-service training, employment etc), is
                    notably broad. However, the work performed on those premises has to be
                    confirmed by the organisation.

                •   The regulation which sets the attestation requirements has requested a
                    VET teacher to perform a wide scale of activities which could be classified as
                    non-formal or in-formal learning.

5.2         Experience (challenges, practices) in the recognition and validation of non-
            formal and informal learning in general
            The issue (recognition and validation of non-formal and informal learning) as
            everywhere else in Europe, has been and will be under discussion throughout the
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            following years. At this point we could say that there are only a few provisions which
            regulate the process on state level (regulations brought out below).

            On the other hand we could say that recognition of non-formal and informal learning
            within VET system has been decided on each case on school level. Partly due to the
                                                        th
            fact that attestation process up to the 4 level (teacher-methodologist is a grade
            provided at state level) is performed also by VET institutions themselves. Teachers are
            to compile portfolios, attend courses, lead lectures etc. New arrangements in the field
            will be discussed this year within the framework of creating a new strategy of teacher
            training.

5.3         Contribution of validation measures to the overall quality of the VET system.
            We have developed a special quality assurance model for Estonian VET system which
            includes all the processes performed within the system. Upon this conceptual model
            we have been introducing new guidelines for organising in-service training (Sept 2007),
            created performance indicators for the VET institutions (since Sept 2007), applied
            internal and external evaluation systems for VET institutions. To ensure the
            transparency there has been introduced the system of national curricula. And the
            quality process continues at present with developments on accreditation process.

5.4         Use of specific financial instruments and their effectiveness
            Today there are no special financial instruments other than the regulation (look the
            next paragraph) Conditions and Procedure for Certification of Educational Personnel,
            and Requirements for the Career Ranks. According to this act there are set the
            minimum wages for junior teachers, teachers, senior teachers and teacher-
            methodologists. In the end of the current year we try to come to a conclusion how to
            combine the process of attestation (certification) and assigning a professional
            qualification. Today both of the systems are running in parallel representing
            compulsory and voluntary systems of professional development.

5.5         Regulations
            Vocational Educational Institutions Act

            Professions Act (professional standard of VET teachers and trainers)

            The Framework Requirements for Teacher’s Training

            Qualification Requirements for Educational Personnel

            Conditions and Procedure for Certification              of   Educational    Personnel,    and
                                             8
            Requirements for the Career Ranks


      8
        Conditions and Procedure for Certification of Educational Personnel, and Requirements for
      the Career Ranks establishes four consecutive levels of professional qualifications for the
      teacher’s career ladder: junior teacher, teacher, senior teacher and teacher-methodolgist.
      There levels reflect a range of minimum official requirements regarding teachers’
      professional competence and the official conception of the stages of teachers’ professional
      development.


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5.6         Performance indicators
            Hereby we are not yet ready to include any framework of performance indicators on
            this issue (recognising non-formal and informal learning of VET teachers).



ES - SPAIN

5.1         Approaches to describe non formal and informal learning in VET
            There are no defined approaches to describe non formal and informal learning in VET.

5.2         Experience (challenges, practices) in the recognition and validation of non-
            formal and informal learning in general
            The LOE (Organic Act on Education 2/2006) distinguishes:

            Initial training: (compulsory to become a teacher)

                •    Qualifications needed for teaching in a VET field (regulated by law) – this is
                     formal training

                •    Pedagogical Qualification – also formal training

            Non formal learning is valuated when the applicant is selected to be a VET teacher
            after a selection process. It will benefit him/her with respect to other applicants.

            Informal learning is not taken into consideration.

            Continuous training:

            Teachers must follow a training program of at least 100 hours within a period of six
            years. This training conditions the pay raise which is accorder every six years.

            These 100 hours of learning may be formal or non formal but not informal.

            There are, of course, a lot of Training Programs (courses, workshops, etc.) didactic
            and technical, promoted by Ministry of Education and Autonomous Communities, but
            all in the scope of formal learning.

5.3         Future
            On one hand, we are in the process of updating our Intermediate and Advances Cycles
            based on Professional Qualifications defined according to Organic Act 5/2002. All
            future Cycles are written up in terms of learning outcomes. On the other hand
            legislation has been prepared but not yet adopted on validation and recognition of
            professional competences by non-formal and informal ways.

            Our catalogue of Qualifications comprises five levels and there are only Qualifications
            for the three first levels, so we are working defining the Profile of VET teacher to see
            what learning outcomes may be the core of VET career, and then contrast against non
            formal and informal learning of VET teachers.


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            So we have a first draft of VET teacher profile:



IE - IRELAND

5.1         Existing approaches to describe non-formal and informal learning in VET.
            In Ireland, the approach to describing non-formal and informal learning in VET is
            focused through processes for the recognition of learning defined in the context of the
            National Framework of Qualifications and through the systems of awards developed by
            the Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) and the Higher Education
            and Training Awards Council (HETAC). The matrix of policies and procedures
            associated with the Framework includes guidelines for awarding bodies and for
            providers of education and training, designed to ensure that all qualifications are
            described in terms of learning outcomes and that all learning outcomes can be equally
            recognised whether they are achieved through formal, non-formal or informal learning.
            The particular guidelines relevant to non-formal and informal learning are published in
            ‘Principles and Operational Guidelines for the Recognition of Prior Learning in Further
            and Higher Education and Training’ (National Qualifications Authority of Ireland,
            www.nqai.ie ). It is significant that these are guidelines that apply to all areas and
            sectors of education and training, not specifically to VET.

5.2         Experience (challenges and practices) in the recognition and validation of non-
            formal and informal learning in general
            VET qualifications in Ireland are awarded by the two statutory Awards Councils
            (FETAC and HETAC). The key mechanism is that the standards for any award are
            defined in terms of the required learning outcomes, rather than in terms of courses or
            programmes. The awards systems developed by the Councils include built-in
            procedures to ensure that all of their awards can be achieved through non-formal and
            informal learning as well as through formal learning on courses which is still the norm
            for most awards made. This provision extends at its extreme to the individual learner
            having an entitlement to seek assessment and validation of their prior learning towards
            an award from the Councils. In practice, the process of validating non-formal or
            informal learning towards a particular award is mostly undertaken in response to
            demand (e.g. from learners or from employers), so it is not the case that appropriate
            validation processes are in place for all awards to be achieved in this way.
            Nevertheless, it is already apparent that many employment sectors are making use of
            the increased flexibility of the new system to develop bespoke training for employees
            leading to awards for which significant elements of the required learning outcomes can
            be validated as achieved non-formally or informally: this results in qualifications
            achieved through shorter formal learning inputs, which benefits both the employer and
            the learner. Examples of this process can be seen in the activities organised through
            the Skillnets support structure, www.skillnets.com , through the One Step Up
            programme implemented through the Services to Business wing of the state training
            agency FAS, www.fas.ie/en/Employer/One+Step+Up/default.htm , and through the
            Skillvec programmes www.skillvec.ie.
                  Teagasc* experience in the recognition and validation of non-formal and informal
                  learning.



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                  Teagasc provides for the recognition and validation of prior learning (formal, non
                  formal and informal) under its RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) system. The
                  Teagasc policy and procedures for RPL allows for:
                  i)       recognition of prior learning to allow access to or credit for part of a
                           course
                  ii)      to grant recognition towards an award or qualification
                  iii)     to grant recognition or allow for validation of qualifications for a range of
                           State and EU incentives aimed at young trained farmers entering the
                           industry.


                  *Teagasc - the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authroity – is a State
                  agency charged with providing research, advice (extension) and
                  education/training to and for the agricultural and food sector/industry in Ireland.

5.3         Validation measures and the quality of VET
            The validation procedures of the Awards Councils set out the arrangements that must
            be implemented by providers of education or training wishing to use the systems of
            awards of the Councils. Providers have to fulfil certain requirements in order to be
            associated with either Council’s systems. These requirements include arrangements
            for quality assurance generally and for the reliable and consistent validation of
            learners’ achievements. It is already widely acknowledged that this increased
            emphasis on quality assurance, since the establishment of the Councils in 2001, has
            improved the profile of VET qualifications and clarified the relative value and
            significance of VET awards in relation to all other education and training awards.

                  Teagasc RPL policy and procedures are validated and approved by the awarding
                  body for further education – the Further Education and Training Awards Council
                  (FETAC). Teagasc, which has agreed its Quality Assurance (Q.A.) system with
                  FETAC, is a recognised provider of further education in the filed of agriculture.
                  All Teagasc programmes (courses) leading to FETAC Awards (Qualifications)
                  have been placed on the National Qualifications Authroity of Ireland’s (NQAI)
                  National Framework of Qualifications.

5.4         Financial provision
            Financial provision for all aspects of the qualifications system is via state funding
            channelled through the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (www.nqai.ie).

                  Teagasc will recoup some of the costs from applicants availing of RPL.

5.5         Regulations
            Regulations for the recognition of non-formal and informal learning derive from the
            Qualifications (Education and Training) Act, 1999, and are set out in the policies and
            procedures of the Qualifications Authority and the Awards Councils as described
            above (www.nqai.ie , www.fetac.ie , www.hetac.ie ).

                  Teagasc is a National Statutory body proving VET in the area of agriculture
                  (including horticulture, forestry, horses). The Teagasc policy and procedures for
                  RPL are fully compliant with the regulations referred to above.



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5.6             Performance indicators
                Performance indicators for providers of education and training are set by the relevant
                Awards Council. Arrangements for review of the performance of the Councils are set
                down in accordance with the overall policies of the Qualifications Authority. The
                Authority itself has set down procedures for review of its own performance.

                          All Teagasc applicants are treated in a fair and equal manner. Each applicant for
                          RPL is required to complete an application form and submit relevant supporting
                          documentation for assessment.

5.7             VET provision in Ireland
                As indicated above, responsibility for the award of qualifications in Ireland is separated
                from responsibility for provision of education and training programmes (although in the
                Higher Education and Training sector, the universities and the Dublin Institute of
                Technology are both providers and awarding bodies in their own right). VET
                qualifications in Ireland are awarded by the Further Education and Training Awards
                Council (FETAC) and the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC).
                Apart from sectoral training bodies and employers, the key statutory providers of VET
                training in Ireland are:

                      •     Institutes of Technology

                      •     Vocational Education Committees

                      •     FAS (the state training agency)

                      •     Failte Ireland (catering and hospitality)

                      •     Teagasc (agriculture)

                      •     Bord Iascaigh Mhara (fisheries).



IT - ITALY

5.1             Existing approaches to describe non formal and informal learning in VET
                Since 2006, in Italy a new tool called the “Libretto Formativo del Cittadino” has been
                                                                                            9
                tested to provide transparency on formal, non formal and informal learning . Although
                the “Libretto Formativo del Cittadino” is not addressed to a specific professional
                community of experts, such as VET teachers and trainers, it represents an interesting
                approach to identify and to describe non formal and informal learning.

                The “Libretto Formativo del Cittadino” is composed of two sections:

                      •     the first section covers all personal data and professional and work
                            experiences of a person as well as his educational qualifications and training
                            paths;

9
    The outcomes of the testing phase in some italian Regions are still not available.

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                •   the second part describes the competences acquired and developed by a
                    person throughout his life in different contexts (work experiences, social
                    experiences and leisure activities)

            Guidelines concerning the use of the “Libretto Formativo del Cittadino” has been
            drafted in order to provide, at national level, a set of rules for the operators involved in
            the identification of competences and to foster the comparison of the results of the
            experimentation.

5.2         Experience (challenges, practices) in the recognition and validation of non-
            formal and informal learning in general
            Currently, in Italy the development of a National Qualification Framework is in
            progress. The Italian Ministry of Labour promoted, at a national level, an “Institutional
            Table” which involves also the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of University and
            Research, the italian Regions and Provinces Autonomes and Social Partners, in order
            to put the basis for the identification of minimum professional standards and the
            recognition/certification of the competences for all workers, included VET operators.

            In the meanwhile, many Italian Regions (as for example Emilia Romagna and
            Toscana) waiting for a national qualification system, developed – within their own
            autonomy – their own systems of qualifications and certification in vocational
            educational and training.

            Even though each “regional system” has its own methodological tools and procedures
            some common elements can be found. They introduced:

                •   a repertory of general qualifications described in terms of units of competences
                    and referred to occupational standards. Concerning the community of VET
                    teachers and trainers, for example, it is important to highlight that the repertory
                    of qualifications developed by the Italian region Emilia Romagna includes two
                    VET profiles such as: a manager of learning processes and an expert in
                    guidance; the repertory of the Region Toscana includes 5 profiles: expert
                    consultant in guidance processes (social services sector), training expert,
                    expert in tutoring of training processes, technician qualified in FAD tutoring,
                    technician qualified in the management of work services.

                •   a system of procedures allowing people - coming from a formal or informal and
                    non formal learning settings - to benefit by:

                         -   counsellor and guidance services             in   order   to   increase   the
                             consciousness of the whole process,

                         -   a support service in order to identify the competences and to produce
                             the appropriate evidence;

                         -   the evaluation and certification of competences. The evaluation of the
                             competences through an examination is a mandatory prerequisite for
                             the issue of a formal certificate;

                •   a set of guidelines to guarantee the management of all different evaluation and
                    certification tools and procedures;

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                •   the possibility to obtain a certification of a professional qualification or to
                    acquire the recognition of training credits;

                •   new VET profiles (described in terms of functions, activities, knowledge, skills
                    and competences) involved in the management of validation and certification
                    of competences processes as for example : expert in the evaluation
                    processes, responsible of certification etc.

                •   A set of additional and specific requisites for the Training Organisation in order
                    to be allowed to carry out validation and recognition.

5.3         Contribution of validation measures to the overall quality of the VET system.
            It is not possible to evaluate the outcomes of the regional systems on validation and
            certification of competences previously described, because they are still in a testing.
            To evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of these systems we have to wait until
            they will work at full capacity.

5.4         Use of specific financial instruments and their effectiveness
            Specific funds to promote a system of validation and certification of qualifications and
            competences are allocated by the Region or within the ESF programmes. In particular,
            regional funds are finalised to update the Regional Qualification System and the
            Certification System, to set up professional registers of the profiles involved in the
            management of certification process.

5.5         Regulations
            Since the end of nineties were approved in Italy many laws/regulations, at national
            level, to introduce a system of recognition and validation competence such as:

                •   the Agreement (2000) between the Italian Government and the Regions
                    Authorities to develop a tool in order to attest the training curriculum and the
                    competences acquired, the so-called “libretto formativo del cittadino” approved
                    definitely through an inter-ministerial decree in October 2005;

                •   the Ministerial decree No.166/01 on the accreditation of training and guidance
                    agencies which contains some indicators to increase the quality of training
                    centres/agencies and a description of minimum standard of competences for
                    the VET operators

                •   the ministerial decree No. 174/01 on the realization of a national certification
                    system

                •   the reform of the Italian education and training system Law No. 53/03 and the
                    reform of the labour market Law No 30/03

            To conclude it is important to stress that every Italian Region and Autonomous
            Province approved a series of laws to regulate their own qualifications and certification
            systems .




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NO - NORWAY

5.1         Introduction
            In Norway, there is a sharp distinction between a VET Teacher and a VET Trainer.

            VET Teachers (in upper secondary education and training) must undertake a
            compulsory formal education for teachers at a Teacher Training College. The methods
            of instruction in Teacher Training Colleges are based on both formal, non-formal and
            informal learning and training.

            VET Trainers in companies and firms/businesses approved for apprenticeship training
            are recruited from within the skilled workforce and need not undertake any formal
            education. Although the authorities and different sectors have a variety of courses on
            offer, their completion is not compulsory. The responsibility for giving the VET Trainers
            their necessary education falls upon the VET leader in the company or firm/business.
            In order to work as a VET leader in a company, the legislation solely mandates
            knowledge of the curriculum provided and that the company or firm/business is able to
            offer education in all parts and subjects of the curriculum. Very often, a craft certificate
            and extensive practical experience represent the actual minimum requirements for the
            instructor/trainer in the company. In most cases, the companies and firms/businesses
            see to it that it is one of their “best men” that guides and is responsible for the
            apprentice training.

            The training of the VET trainer is given as non-formal and informal learning and
            training.

            Validation of non-formal and informal learning in VET is also used as recognition of the
            skilled qualifications of candidates before the examination of Trade’s and or
            Journeyman‘s certificates.

5.2         Validation of learning for VET Teachers in Teacher Training Colleges
            Technical and Vocational Teacher Education and Training with specialization in
            each of the nine educational VET programmes

            (- Building and Construction, - Design, Arts and Crafts, - Electricity and Electronics, -
            Health and Social Care, - Media and Communication, - Agriculture, Fishing and
            Forestry, - Restaurant and Food Processing, - Service and Transportation, - Technical
            and Industrial Production).

            Admissions requirements are:

                •   Trade and Journeyman’s certificate within one of the educational programs

                •   Minimum two years of experience as a skilled worker

                •   University admission certification or proved/documented qualifications at the
                    same level

            Duration:


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                •   Three years of full time study

            Practical Pedagogical Education for VET teachers (PPUY)

            Admissions requirements:

                •   Professional education with Bachelor's degree or higher + two years of
                    experience as a professional worker

                •   Trade and Journeyman’s certificate + two years of experience as a skilled
                    worker (Journeyman)

            Duration:

                •   One year of full time study or two years of part-time study

            The methods of instruction in Teacher Training Colleges are based on all: formal, non-
            formal and informal learning and training.

            Formal learning: Curriculum based education at Teacher Training College

            Non-formal learning: Learning from experience in upper secondary education and
            training with guidance from a VET Teacher/ supervisor

                •   Observation of teaching qualifications in learning environments

                •   Self-analysis/ self-assessment of professional knowledge and skills as a report
                    after periods of practice in upper secondary schools

                •   Mentoring – student makes a written plan for her/his learning activities with the
                    pupils. Before the lesson is carried out, the student discusses the plan with
                    her/ his mentor. The mentor participates during the lesson, and gives the
                    student her/ his professional opinion after the lesson is carried out. The
                    student makes a written evaluation of her/ his work based on the plan.

                •   Report on personal experimental learning after periods of work in VET (upper
                    secondary school)

                •   Portfolio on personal work claims

                •   Interview on study progression as preparation for individual learning plan

            Informal learning: Minimum two years of experience as skilled worker (Journeyman or
            Trade certificate).

            Only a statement from employer(s) is requested.

5.3         Validation of learning for VET Trainers in companies and firms/businesses:
5.3.1       Non-formal learning:

                •   Learning from experience with guidance from the responsible for VET students
                    in the company and firms/businesses
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          •   Education support materials (guides) made by the national education
              authorities

          •   Voluntary courses given by the regional educational authorities

      There has, for many years, been a system for formal approval of companies, which is
      regulated through the Education Act, in order to allow them to train apprentices. This is
      linked to the establishment of the apprenticeship contract between the company, the
      apprentice and the regional authorities (including their tripartite board for VET). The
      fulfilments of the establishments` obligations over time are monitored, thus allowing
      them to maintain the approval and take in new apprentices if they so wish.

      Three main conditions have to be fulfilled by the companies and firms/businesses to
      participate in VET:

          •   The company must have activities that cover the learning outcomes in the
              actual trade (the learning outcomes are given in the national curriculum)

          •   The company must have a qualified person responsible for the training

          •   The company must develop an internal plan for the training to ensure that all
              obligations are met

      The approvals given to the companies are controlled by the County authorities. In
      practice, the County administration engages in a dialogue with companies and
      firms/businesses that wish to be approved. The County administration must consult the
      tripartite County Board of VET before the approvals are given. When extra assessment
      is needed, the County looks into specific cases, and decides on the suitability of the
      companies and firms/businesses to train apprentices.

      The county, in cooperation with the tripartite County Board of VET, is responsible for
      monitoring the quality of the training in companies and firms/businesses.

      The training companies, like the schools, are obliged to carry out self assessment. The
      counties differ on who they involve from outside the companies and firms/businesses
      in order to assess the quality of training on a regular basis. In recent years training
      offices have been very common. These are owned by the companies, and established
      in order to facilitate the follow-up of apprenticeship training. Many counties cooperate
      closely with these offices in assessing the quality of the training.

      Several tools are used to assess the quality of the training in companies and the
      counties are now active in finding new and effective solutions. Most common are
      probably visits by county authorities, where internal plans for the training are discussed
      with the persons responsible for the training within the establishment as well as with
      the apprentice her/ himself. The degree of use of quality assessment systems and
      formally established tools for documentation and assessment varies at the moment,
      between our 19 counties.

      There are no indicators established at national level for this kind of quality assessment.
      The counties are obliged to establish their own routines, some of them more actively
      identifying indicators in this work than others do. In such cases, the indicators most
      often are derived from the requirements listed above.
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5.3.2       Informal learning
            Experience from daily life activities related to work as a skilled worker (based on a
            Journeyman`s or Trade`s Certificate).

            Most often Trade certificate and extensive practical experience represent the actual
            minimum requirements for the instructor/trainer in the company. As mentioned earlier,
            the companies and firms/businesses pick their “best men” as trainers and are
            responsible for the apprentice training.



PT - PORTUGAL

5.1         The Recognition, Validation and Certification of Competences System (RVCC)
            The main objective of the Programme “New Opportunities” is to improve the
            qualification of population, mainly of those who left school without at least a diploma of
            basic education – 9 years.

            RVCC enables each adult, over the age of 18 (or 18 and 3 years of professional
            experience for the ones who enrol to get a diploma of secondary education), to gain
            access to the recognition, validation and certification of competences (school or
            professional) acquired in non-formal and informal learning contexts (personal, social
            and professional life) in order to receive a formal, school or professional qualification.

            The Recognition, Validation and Certification of Competences process is carried out in
            the New Opportunities Centres (currently 269) which can operate in public or private
            bodies, such as, public or vocational schools, training centres, entrepreneurial
            associations, associations for local and regional development, etc.

            The National Agengy for Qualification (www.anq.gov.pt) is the National body for
            the set up, monitoring and quality assurance of the system and the Institute of
            Employment and Vocational Training (www.iefp.pt) is the biggest promoter (57
            centres).

            The certification awarded covers both a school certification ( basic level and secondary
            level) and /or occupational certification-Professional RVCC.

            Certification is based on the national frameworks for adult education: the Key-
            Competences Framework of Basic Education For Adults – Basic Level and the Key-
            Competences Framework of Basic Education for Adults – Secondary Level.
            Professional certification is based on the National Catalogue of Qualifications
            (www.catalogo.anq.gov.pt), which settles the occupational standards.

            RVCC involves 2 phases: competence assessment and competence validation and
            certification.

           The process is developed over a number of sessions (individual and in small groups),
           during which candidates, supported by RVC tutors/councellors, identify, assess and
           reflect on their life experiences and the most relevant learning outcomes. Then
           candidates organize a portfolio where they give evidence of their experiential learning.


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           The portfolio is the main the instrument to the competences’ assessment.

           The process is the same and most of times is integrated, either the candidate looks for
           a school or a professional certification.

           When gaps between competences and the national standards are identified the
           candidates can attend a short duration training to fill the gaps.

           The process ends with the candidate’s presentation to a validation jury, composed by
           the RVC team that monitored throughout the process and external evaluators, who
           validate the competences of the individual.

           To get a occupational certification the process implies the application of a set of
           assessment tools that are specific for the job and includes skills demonstration.

           Based on the results of this application, a number of sessions will be carried out, in
           which candidates are supported by RVC tutors/counsellors and by tutors from their
           particular professional area, for the identification and recognition of their competences
           and for collecting documentary evidences as well as demonstration evidences of those
           competences.

           Subsequently, applicants are evaluated by a jury composed by the tutor and an
           evaluator, who validates the evidences. When there are gaps, the candidate is advised
           to attend training and repeat the process before obtaining final certification.

5.2         National Catalogue of Qualifications
            The National Catalogue of Qualifications is an instrument for the strategic
            management of national qualifications. It contains a set of referentials for
            competitiveness and modernization of economy and enterprises, as well as to the
            personal and social development of citizens. Therefore it allows a better answer from
            training supply to the needs of enterprises, of the labour market and of citizens. It is
            organized in a logic of double certification (schooling and professional) and is
            structured in levels described in the national standards of qualification.

            The objectives of the National Catalogue of Qualifications are:

                •   To promote the production of critical competences for the competitiveness and
                    modernisation of the economy and of organisations;

                •   To facilitate the construction of learning paths that ensure school and
                    professional progression;

                •   To enable the recognition of qualifications irrespective of the manner in which
                    they are acquired;

                •   To contribute towards the development of a legible and flexible framework that
                    favours the comparability of qualifications on both a national and international
                    level.




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            The National Catalogue of Qualifications includes 213 occupational qualifications –
            each one described by occupational and training standards – and covers, at the
            moment, 40 education and training areas.

            Regulations

            Despacho nº 11 203/2007, DR 110, Série II, de 2007-06-08

            Despacho nº 9 937/2007, DR 103, Série II, de 2007-05-29

            Despacho nº 7 794/2007, DR 82, Série II, de 2007-04-27

            Aviso nº 9 173/2005, DR 202, Série II, de 2005-10-20



SI - SLOVENIA

            Note: This report is based on the Slovenian Report within the OECD activity on
            recognition of non-formal and informal learning, 2007.

5.1         Existing approaches to describe non formal and informal learning in VET
            A two-tier system for recognition of qualifications is currently in place in Slovenia.
            Young people have a possibility of obtaining qualifications primarily through a
            traditional school education system (responsibility of the Ministry of Education),
            whereas adults can also acquire (vocational) qualifications through the certification
            system of NVQ for occupations not included in a formal education programme
            (responsibility of the Ministry of Labour), or can sit the exam at the Chamber of Craft or
            the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia. We should mention that this kind
            of division is not taking into account all exceptions, which are kept marginal in the
            sense of number of programmes as well as enrolment. To demonstrate: It is possible
            to gain qualification for the cook’s assistant and the tyre repairman through the
            certification system and also through the programmes of the secondary vocational
            education in the school.

            We can expect a certain level of fusion of both systems (certificate and school) in the
            future as an intensive modernisation of the programmes based on the modular
            approach is taking place in secondary education. An individual will thus be in a position
            to acquire several qualifications (which are equivalent to the module in the formal
            education system) within the NVQ system and will consequently meet a large part of
            requirements for the certificates issued in the formal education system (see article 12
            of the National Professional Qualifications Act).

            In addition to that in 2007 the legislation in VET introduced the possibility to use
            validation processes in schools for youth and also for adults. Validation processes can
            be used in any way schools decide. The primary aim of validation for young students is
            to encourage them to be professionally active and that can be regarded as a part of
            their learning requirements and for adults its aim is to acknowledge their working
            experience and to ease their learning path.




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             For the time being, the following methods for assessment and recognition of non-
             formal and informal learning (hereinafter referred to as “NIL”) leading to publicly
                                                                       10
             recognised qualifications are available in VET in Slovenia :

                  •     The certification system for recognition of vocational qualifications. This
                        system for obtaining qualifications through assessment and recognition of
                        NVQ is governed by the National Professional Qualifications Act. The Act
                        states that the certification system for NVQ assessment and recognition does
                        not provide for a title awarded after the completion of a vocational or
                        professional education programme, or a professional title awarded after the
                        completion of publicly established education or study programmes. For the
                        moment, 9 committees with 73 providers have been entrusted with the task of
                        elaboration of vocational standards and catalogues of knowledge, skills and
                        competences for NVQ in Slovenia, with their work being coordinated by the
                        National Institute for Vocational Education and Training.

                  •     Formal education programmes in which work practice is organized as
                        practical work with an external provider (e.g. individual and collective
                        learning contracts are successors of dual system of education in the system).
                        In the period from 1997/98 to 2005/06, 8,852 apprentices accounting for 4% of
                        the entire population enrolled into different vocational education programmes
                        in the dual system of education; woodworking, car mechanics, hairdressing
                        and catering were among more popular choices.

                  •     Formal education programmes in which NIL is recognised as a part of
                        performed obligations. The numerical data is not available, but this category
                        primarily deals with individual examples of secondary school students/higher
                        education students enjoying individual treatment by every higher education
                        institution; people’s universities offer similar tailor-made treatment for adults.

             In addition to that in 2007 the legislation in VET introduced the possibility to use
             validation processes in schools for youth and also for adults. Validation processes can
             be used in any way schools decide. The primary aim of validation for young students is
             to encourage them to be professionally active and that can be regarded as a part of
             their learning requirements and for adults its aim is to acknowledge their working
             experience and to ease their learning path.

             The practice shows that assessment of NIL is significantly less present in the formal
             education system, although appropriate legal basis is already in place (e.g. Articles 10
             and 31 of the Vocational and Technical Education; Articles 14, 16 and 21 of the Post-
             Secondary Vocational Education Act; Article 6 of the Higher Education Act). Legislation


10
    In our opinion, the formalisation of learning (especially) in the Slovenian area merits monitoring according to several
criteria. This approach surpasses the rigid definition which many times leaves us in doubt as to which learning should be
labelled as formal, non-formal and informal. It is possible to use criteria in order to form a “flexible opinion” on the scope of
formalisation of a certain method. The basic division is connected with the following question: Is it possible for educational
institutions and employers to formally recognize non-formal and informal learning? The level of formalisation can be
measured by various indicators in both systems, such as: concious decision on the part of participants to enrol into the
learning process, organisation of learning (timetable, obligatory presence…), assessment methods, target group (youth,
adults), validity of certificates, etc.



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            states that it is possible to fulfil a part of study obligations through practical work and
            non-formal learning in post-secondary vocational and higher education programmes.
            Vocational education and training programmes incorporate on-the-job learning as an
            integral part of educational programmes, one of the examples being an individual and
            collective learning contract (Article 33 of the Vocational and Technical Education Act of
            2006). These educational programmes include work practice based on NIL which takes
            the form of practical work with an external provider.

            It is also worth repeating that the certification system for obtaining national vocational
            qualifications currently represents the most prominent method for the assessment of
            NIL in Slovenia. It is being developed as a relatively autonomous systemic form. It
            serves as the upgrade and addition to a traditional school system and is designed only
            for adults.

5.2         Experience (challenges, practices) in the recognition and validation of non-
            formal and informal learning in general
            Recognition of non-formal learning and work experience was already used in the
            Slovenian labour market in the socialist economy. Recognition was limited to individual
            work organisation and provided qualifications valid in organisational and internal labour
            markets. However, no formal assessment procedures existed in day-to-day practice.
            The years of service and work experience, and not work performance, were treated as
            individual professional competence in numerous work organisations. Such course of
            development undermined formal education in the labour market. The consequences
            were seen in extremely high rates of educational mismatch of the workforce until the
            beginning of the 1990ies (Ivančič 1999: 107-109). What is more, this evoked in the
            society and - especially in the education system - a strong mistrust in any type of
            recognition of non-formal learning and work experience, and became an important
            obstacle standing in the way of development and promotion of recognition of non-
            formal learning and experience in the post-transition period.

            When discussing professional qualifications of the most typical professions (Anglo-
            Saxon perception), such as doctors, lawyers, priests or engineers, it has to be said that
            qualifications pertaining to these professions in Slovenia are closely linked to formal
            higher education educational programmes. We cannot even begin to talk about
            recognition of NIL in these programmes. At a later stage, some professional chambers
            require constant participation in various forms of NIL in order to obtain and keep a
            licence for practicing the profession (e.g. doctors, lawyers…). In cases when
            professional qualifications are linked to a wide range of professions supported by
            higher education educational programmes (continental perception), only individual
            examples for recognition of NIL within the education system could be found (Faculty of
            Management Koper is mentioned in Item 3.2.f). The system providing for evaluation of
            NIL in professions supported by complementary university programmes has so far not
            yet been developed in Slovenia. It can be established that professional qualifications in
            Slovenia are mostly always founded on a prior completion of a higher education
            programme, while it is impossible to obtain education on the basis of practical
            experience. Although appropriate legal basis has been passed (Article 9 of the Criteria
            for Accreditation of Higher Education Institutions and Study Programmes), the
            integration of professional and academic qualifications into a uniform systemic
            framework in Slovenia hardly seems possible at the moment.



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5.3         Contribution of validation measures to the overall quality of the VET system.
            The legislation in VET which introduced the possibility to use validation processes in
            schools for youth and also for adults envisaged that schools should report about
            validation processes as a part of a quality assurance system in VET that is developed
            on a national level.

5.4         Use of specific financial instruments and their effectiveness
            In 2004, the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia adopted the Resolution on
            the Master Plan for Adult Education in the Republic of Slovenia until 2010. According
            to the above mentioned resolution, budget resources should gradually increase, i.e.
            from 8 billion in 2004 up to 13 billion in 2010.

            The most important fund provider for the NVQ assessment and recognition is the
            Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs.

            The Ministry of Education and Sport is also involved in the funding of non-formal
            learning.

            The Ministry primarily funds the tasks carried out by public institutes with the view to
            develop new qualifications and modernise the existing ones, monitor certification
            procedures and establish databases to provide for fulfilment of the tasks laid down in
            the National Professional Qualifications Act (81/2000, 83/2006, 118/2006).

            The Employment Service of Slovenia has been conducting Programme 1000+ as a
            part of active employment policy with the view to finance the NVQ acquisition for the
            unemployed.

            The Employment Service of Slovenia finances programmes for obtaining NVQs in the
            following cases:

                •   costs for training of the unemployed are fully borne from public resources;

                •   costs of the employed whose job is under threat due to their low level of
                    vocational education are usually partly covered from public resources.

            The Employment Service of Slovenia (co)finances (taken from the Catalogue of
            Measures for Active Employment Policy in 2006):

                •   services rendered by providers: conducting preparation for NVQ identification,
                    assessment and awarding procedures;

                •   cash benefits awarded to participants: costs for NVQ assessment and
                    awarding procedures, medical assessment costs, public transport costs,
                    accommodation costs, compulsory health insurance contributions, purchase
                    costs for mandatory learning materials and/or learning tools, personal learning
                    tools costs, costs arising from assistance provided by another person.

            The Methodology on the NVQ Acquisition (OG 97/2003, 108/2004) stipulates the
            financing for NVQ recognition process.



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            The pricing methodology has been set by the Rules on Method and Procedure for the
            Assessment and Award of National Professional Qualifications (OG 13/2001).
            Appendix 5 presents breakdown of fields and evaluation. In 2004, the Rules
            Amending the Rules on Method and Procedure for the Assessment and Award of
            National Professional Qualifications (OG 108/2004) were adopted and they fixed a new
            pricing methodology.

            Having filed the application for NVQ acquisition, the applicants are obliged to pay the
            costs of the procedure for obtaining the certificate in accordance with the
            aforementioned methodology. Costs of the unemployed are borne by the Employment
            Service of Slovenia, while the employed have to meet the costs, or the employer
            shares financing or whole financing. Prices are represented in Table 14.

            The institutions which obtain the status of recognition providers are financed from other
            activities (normally education), while the work of committee members in the NVQ
            acquisition procedure is being paid on the basis of a fixed methodology.

5.5         Regulations
            The certification system is being developed as a relatively autonomous system within
            the responsibility of the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs and is upgrading
            the traditional education system. At a systemic level, an important decision has been
            made to establish a single integrated system of NVQs which is based on the
            assumption that the national vocational standard is the basis for both educational
            programmes and NVQs.

            The National Professional Qualifications Act (OG 83/2000, 81/2003, 118/2006)
            governs procedures, bodies and organisations competent for the adoption of
            catalogues of professional knowledge and skills standards, as well as conditions and
            procedures for NVQ assessment and awarding.

            The National Professional Qualifications Act emphasizes learning outcomes and not
            the methods of acquiring knowledge, skills and competencies. NVQ assessment and
            recognition (certification) is designed for adults only and consists of either direct
            demonstration of knowledge, skills and competencies, or of documents and other proof
            collected in the applicant’s portfolio.

            In addition to that in 2007 the legislation in VET introduced the possibility to use
            validation processes in schools for youth and also for adults. Validation processes can
            be used in any way schools decide. The primary aim of validation for young students is
            to encourage them to be professionally active and that can be regarded as a part of
            their learning requirements and for adults its aim is to acknowledge their working
            experience and to ease their learning path.

5.6         Performance indicators
            The certification system is a fairly new approach to NVQ acquisition for adults. It was
            established in 2000. Table 1 illustrates the number of certificates granted for individual
            sectoral committee until 2005.

            Table 1: The number of awarded certificates by sectors 2001 – 06



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                                                        Number of
                                                          awarded
                    Sector                              certificates
                    Art, culture                                  76
                    Computer science                              30
                    Technics                                     458
                    Production      (manufacturing)
                    technology                                   328
                    Architecture, construction                   306
                    Agriculture, forestry, fishing              1020
                    Health care                                  312
                    Social work                                  344
                    Personal services                           1871
                    Transport services                          7823
                    Security                                    2561
                    Environmental care                              0
                    Veterinary science                              0
                    Education                                       0
                    Journalism                   and
                    correnspondence                                 0
                    Total                                     15259



      Source: The data was calculated on the basis of the Report on the Results of the
      Performance of Professional Tasks in the Year of 2006, National Examinations
      Centre.

      The National Examinations Centre conducts regular monitoring of assessment and
      recognition procedures in accordance with the Act. In addition, the National
      Examinations Centre also elaborates annual reports (based on the reports formulated
      by assessment and recognition providers) for the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social
      Affairs.

      Table 2: Number of providers per statistical regions


            Regions                      Number     of
                                         providers*
            Osrednjeslovenska                          28
            Gorenjska                                   8
            Obalno-kraška                               4

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            Notranjsko-kraška                           1
            Goriška                                     5
            Jugovzhodna Slovenija                       2
            Spodnjeposavska                             2
            Zasavska                                    2
            Savinjska                                 10
            Koroška                                     1
            Podravska                                   6
            Pomurska                                    4
            Total                                     73
            * Source: Ministry of Labour, Family and
            Social Affairs - October 2006



      The biggest number of providers is found in Osrednjeslovenska region (28), followed
      by Savinjska (10), Gorenjska (8) and Podravska (6) regions. The data is collected in
      terms of the head office of the providers awarding the certificate.

      We could not find scientifically supported research on the influence and significance of
      assessment of NIL at the national and individual levels. We can only refer to the
      observations of experts stating that NIL certification procedures save time and cut
      costs required to obtain a publicly recognised certificate when compared to the formal
      education system. Apart from quicker employability, the system enables employers to
      allocate workers easier and pinpoint talented employees, to improve self-confidence
      and motivation of employees for lifelong learning and develop one’s own talents. Such
      form of learning recognition upgrades formal education with up-to-date qualifications,
      increases employability and mobility of the workforce and enables drop-outs to be
      reintegrated into the system. The results of the assessment of NIL take into account
      many arguments advocating its establishment.




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        ANNEX D – PARTICIPANTS LIST

              CLUSTER “TEACHERS AND TRAINERS” – SUBGROUP ON VET TEACHERS AND TRAINERS
             PLA on Validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET teachers and trainers
                                            Lisbon 14-17 January 2008


 Country                  Organisation                                    Name                                Email
Germany        Bundesinstitut fûr Berufbildung        Ms         Anke            BAHL              bahl@bibb.de


               Gewerkschaft IG Mettal/KIBNET          Mr         Karl-Heinz      HAGENI            khageni@yahoo.de
Estonia        Ministry of       Education      and   Ms         Mari            TIKERPUU          mari.tikerpuu@hm.ee
               Research
               Estonian NGO for VET teachers          Ms         Katrin          TAMMJÄRV          tammjarv@tlu.ee
               and trainers and of the University
               of    Tallinn  (Department      of
               Vocational Pedagogy)
Spain          Ministry of Education                  Mr         Domingo         RODRIGUEZ         domingo.rodriguez@m
                                                                                 AGULLEIRO         ec.es
Ireland        TEAGASC                                Mr         Liam            MYLES             liam.myles@teagasc.ie




Italy          ISFOL                                  Ms         Maria           BOTTAZZI          mcbottazzi@italiaform
                                                                 Concetta                          a.it
               Associazione              SMILE        Mr         Guglielmo       FESTA             g.festa@sede.cgil.it
               Agenzia per la formazione
               professionale certificata


Norway         Directorate for Education and          Mr         Kjelle A.       STANDAL           kjelle.arne.standal@ut
               Training                                                                            danningsdirektoratet.n
                                                                                                   o
               Social Partners - HSH                  Ms         Lisbeth         WIIK              l.k.wiik@hsh-org.no
                                                                 Karine

Portugal       Institute for   Employment       and   Ms         Emilia          ANDRADE           emilia.a.andrade@iefp.
               Training                                                                            pt
               Instituto de Emprego e Formaçao        Mr         José            LEITÃ0            José.leitao@iefp:pt
               Professional                                      Alberto

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               Instituto de Emprego e Formaçao         Ms        Ana           PAULO               ana.paulo@iefp.pt
               Professional                                      Cristina

               Instituto de Emprego e Formaçao         Ms        Isabel        MELO E SILVA        Isabel.melo.silva@iefp.
               Professional                                                                        pt


               National Agency for Qualification       Mr        Cristina      DUARTE              cristina.
                                                                                                   duarte@anq.gov.pt
               Teachers' training centre               Ms        Catarina      MACEDO              cfasaeomb@mail.telep
                                                                                                   ac.pt
               Polytechnic Institute       for   the   Ms        Clara         RODRIGUES           cnrodrigues@eseb.ipb
               Training of Trainers                                                                eja.pt
Slovenia       National Institute for Vocational       Ms        Barbara       KUNCIC              barbara.kuncic@cpi.si
               Education
               Non-governmental institution            Ms        Katja         HROVAT              katja.hrovat@guest.ar
                                                                                                   nes.si
               University of       Greenwich       –   Mr        Edwin         WEBB                Edwinwebb@talktalk.n
               external expert                                                                     et
               University of       Greenwich       –   Mr        Les           GARNER              L.Garner@greenwich.a
               external expert                                                                     c.uk
               CEDEFOP                                 Ms        Rocio         LARDINOIS DE        rocio.lardinois@cedef
                                                                               LA TORRE            op.europa.eu
               GHK CONSULTING Ltd                      Ms        Daniela       ULICNA              daniela.ulicna@ghkint.
                                                                                                   com
               GHK CONSULTING Ltd                      Mr        Florindo      RAMOS               Florindo.ramos@re-
                                                                                                   startconsulting.com
               European      Commission      –         Ms        Dagmar        OUZOUN              dagmar.ouzoun@ec.eu
               Education and Culture – Unit B5                                                     ropa.eu
               Professional Training; Leonardo
               da Vinci
               European      Commission      –         Ms        Francine      ISERENTANT          francine.iserentant@e
               Education and Culture – Unit B5                                                     c.europa.eu
               Professional Training; Leonardo
               da Vinci




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ANNEX E – GERMAN PRESENTATION – IT TRAINER

        Attached in a separate pdf file.




ANNEX F – ITALIAN PRESENTATION – VALIDATION OF NON-
FROMAL AND INFORMAL LEARNING IN ITALY

        Attached in a separate pdf file.




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