08.10.2012 EAEAPOLICY

EAEA: Validation of non-formal learning should be free

At the beginning of September the European Commission launched a recommendation to boost the recognition of skills and competences gained outside school or university.

EAEA especially welcomes the obligation to member states to implement national validation systems until 2015. The association is happy that the Commission wants to ensure the inclusion of stakeholders, among them civil society and education and training providers, in the development and implementation of these national systems.

EAEA would like to draw the attention to two important points: the association sees validation of non- and informal learning as a necessary and important step in a person´s lifelong learning career. One key intent of validation should be the encouragement to take up further learning in order to take steps forward. We therefore believe that any national system for validation should include and ensure adequate learning opportunities for people to continue, i.e. adequate adult and continuing education offers.

EAEA is concerned about a statement in point 3: ‘Access to validation is affordable for citizens who wish to undertake a validation procedure.´ This seems to imply that people will have to pay for the validation procedure in any case. We strongly recommend that the financing of the validation system be carefully considered and to be available for free, at the minimum for those with low qualifications and for the unemployed.

The Commission's proposal will be discussed by the Council and is due to be adopted by education and youth ministers on 23-24 November 2012.

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