While the long-awaited expert seminar on validation in Oslo is now over, there is still a lot to be done: namely, finalize an action plan to make validation of non-formal learning a reality. The new report from the event, drafted by Marja Beckman and Johanni Larjanko, emphasizes the commitment of adult education professionals to validation and the challenges lying ahead.
The article provides a comprehensive account of the event that took place in Oslo on 1-2 February 2016. It guides the reader step by step through the two-day seminar, presenting the highlights of keynote speeches, the gallery walk, the “fish bowl” debate and workshops. The authors go beyond facts and figures, also touching upon the dilemmas lying at the heart of validating learning outcomes and the main challenges according to stakeholders. It thus makes for an interesting read for all parties involved in validation and outlines the groundwork for the upcoming action plan.
The expert seminar, which gathered almost fifty adult education professionals from across Europe, was an occasion to not only exchange experiences on validation, but also to refine the Action Plan. Thanks to the recent survey conducted by the researchers from the NVL Expert Network on Validation within the framework of the AVA project, the Action Plan now has two clear priorities, that is: improving the access of disadvantaged groups to validation and increasing the permeability between non-formal and formal education. Addressing validation providers, the non-formal adult education sector, the business sector, national and regional governments as well as social partners, it will set out a direction for future work and put validation in a larger context. The Action Plan will be officially launched and presented to European and national stakeholders in Brussels on the 29th of June 2016.
Text: Aleksandra Kozyra