European Observatory of validation of non formal and informal Skills in the
sector of landscape and urban planning and risk prevention /
Non-Formal and Informal learning in the sector of
landscape and urban planning and risk prevention.
The case of Greece
Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the
Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the
information contained therein.
Greece was late to incorporate environmental issues in general and
more specific those such as landscape, urban planning and risk
prevention into its education system.
Experience has been largely with experimental programs and some
teacher education. Since 1990 environmental education was
integrated into the curricula of the secondary school while the
cooperation between governmental and non-governmental
agencies has begun.
However the complex and traditional curriculum structure that
characterize formal education is an obstacle.
Formal learning is planned learning that derives
from activities within a structured learning setting.
Formal learning is enrolling on a programme of
study, attending lectures, preparing coursework,
engaging in seminar/tutorial discussions.
Formal learning in the sector of landscape and urban
planning and risk prevention is offered by:
The secondary schools – Environmental Education
Higher Education through several University
Departments around Greece i.e University of
Thessaly, Aegean University, University of Patras,
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Architecture
Learning that is not provided by an education or training
institute and typically does not lead to certification. It is however
structured (in terms of learning objectives, learning time or
Non-formal learning is intentional from the learner’s
Non Formal Learning in Greece in the sector of landscape and urban
planning and risk prevention
Non-formal learning in Greece is mainly offered by the Regional Training Centrers for
School teachers an independent public educational institution that collaborates with
universities, the Pedagogical Institute and the Directorate of Primary and Secondary
Education. The purpose of the establishment of these Centers is the training of all
educational workers of Primary and Secondary Education, who have graduated from
the Pedagogical Departments of Primary Education, Early Childhood Education
Department, the Departments of Education, Psychology and Philosophy, and other
Another example of non-formal learning is Environmental Education which is the
process which aims to develop in different sectors of society, environmental concepts,
skills, attitudes and environmental ethos, carried out by various institutions and which
may include schools and Universities.
Various public institutions offer online courses for secondary school pupils (eg
www.scoolnet.gr in the General Secretariat for Youth) as well as courses provided
under the supervision of private sector companies
Finally, one of the most important activities of non-formal education is to create the
"Vocational Training Centers (KEK) that offer a substantial number of courses to
both employed and unemployed. Several Vocational Training Centers today provide
seminars – courses in the sector studied.
Learning resulting from daily life activities related to work,
family or leisure. It is not structured (in terms of learning
objectives, learning time or learning support). Informal
learning may be intentional but in most cases it is non-
intentional (or “incidental”/random)
InFormal Learning in Greece in the sector of landscape and urban planning
and risk prevention
Examples of forms of informal education in our country are free
environmental education programs. One of the most interesting forms of
informal learning is museum education that is education provided by specific
museums (such as: Museum of Natural History , Goulandris, etc.). The use of
museum education training is of particular interest to our country given the
abundance of museums and exhibition spaces in general. It offers a wonderful
opportunity for the promotion of informal education.
Another example of promoting non-formal education is the Community
action program "Youth" which was introduced in 2000 by decision of the
European Parliament and aims at creating a framework for development
cooperation policies for youth, based on informal education. In addition, the
EQUAL Community Initiative which is launched by the European
Commission for the period 2000-2006 and seeks to contribute to the
dissemination and consolidation of continuing education and training in
Validation of formal and non-formal
As regards validation of non-formal and informal learning, an
institution was set up in 1997 that could potentially take this
forward in the future.
The National Accreditation Centre of Vocational Training
Structures and Accompanying Support Services (EKEPIS)
was created through Law 2469/1997.
It operates independently, supervised by the Ministry of
Labour and is responsible for accreditation of structures
offering continuous vocational training.
EKEPIS currently employs 51 people of high expertise in a wide
range of fields. The Centre also keeps a Register of Evaluators,
who are external-expert collaborators in the EKEPIS projects.
The role of EKEPIS
EKEPIS aims at:
ensuring quality assurance in vocational training
improving effectiveness of training services
reinforcing reliability in vocational training
linking vocational training with employment and the demands of the labour market
interlinking the systems of VET (linking initial with continuing vocational training
promoting lifelong learning
Accreditation of Vocational Training Centres and Special Centres for the Social
and Vocational Integration of people with disabilities and ex-drug users.
Monitoring and Evaluation of Accredited Vocational Training Centres and Special
Accreditation of Trainers of Continuing Vocational Training.
Accreditation of Support Services Providers.
Accreditation of Job Profiles
Accreditation of Continuing Vocational Training Programmes
Accreditation of knowledge, skills and competencies
The role of EKEPIS
The content of the courses offered has been checked and
accredited but the qualifications that individuals gain by
attending these courses are not officially recognised yet.
Courses offered by KEKs are not connected with the general
VET system and do not lead to official accreditation or
diploma. This aspect of accreditation is currently under
development by the EKEPIS.
The intention is that by establishing standards for the contents
of courses, and by accrediting the curricula, this will lead to an
automatic recognition of the knowledge gained by persons
participating in the training.
Hence, there are plans for EKEPIS to develop the
accreditation of qualifications in the future.
Meet the need of a knowledge economy
New roles for learning and training organisations
Learning is no longer restricted to a defined space and time
(schools, universities, training organisations, periods of life)
Learning becomes a continuous process including formal
periods (initial and further education), but also non-formal
and informal learning
It requires new roles and attitudes for teachers or trainers
(organising, mentoring learning gained through experience)