The validation of non-formal and informal learning needs a comprehensive system to support lifelong learning in practice and to enable the development of useful validation instruments. Such a system is lacking in Germany and therefore is the leading question for this explorative research: What should a validation system for non-formal and informal learning in Germany look like?
The results from literature study, key-informant interview and expert appraisal reveal five core elements for such a validation system; validation process, validation goals, quality assurance, infrastructure and supportive environment. These core elements and their relations are arranged and illustrated in a round model with a layer for each element representing the validation system.
Furthermore, the application of the validation system to existing instruments indicates that the validation system is a useful tool to evaluate and develop validation instruments. The validation system can function as basic guideline to develop concrete design instructions for different types of validation instruments. In a broader perspective represents the validation system also an adequate framework to integrate and coordinate different instruments to cover all facets of the validation of non-formal and informal learning