validation of informal and non-formal learning in Germany

The German Federal Institute for Education and Training (BIBB) just published the results of a national monitoring on validation of informal and non-formal learning in Germany. The results are based upon a national survey, conducted in 2015. More than 850 stakeholders in Vocational Education and Training on this occasion have been asked about the future of validation and recognition of informal and non-formal learning in Germany.

According to the answers of the experts, the following key aspects should be taken into consideration towards establishing a national system for the validation and recognition of informal and non-formal learning:

  • Skills and competencies acquired outside formal education and training systems in society so far are perceived of minor value, compared to formal qualifications. Comprehensive awareness raising campaigns will be necessary in order to bridge the gap.

  • Although there is strong agreement among the experts, that recognition could help to increase the employability and career options of citizens, outcomes of informal or non-formal learning up until now are of little to none relevance when it comes to recruitment of staff.

  • The majority of experts considered validation and recognition of informal and non-formal learning outcomes to be based on expert discussion, work samples, observations in the workplace, standardized tests and job references, rather than self-assessment.

  • The bulk of experts agreed that validation should support the personal and professional development of persons and enable them to enter into continuing training and formal assessments. While a number of experts could also think of recognition of part qualifications (credited against official training curricula), there is no consensus with regard to the question if validation should lead to fully fledged qualifications.

  • Moreover, there is a broad consensus, that recognition should meet the criteria and standards of the National Qualification Framework, National Training Curricula and occupational standards,

  • and that identification, validation and recognition of informal / non-formal learning should be conducted by institutions with high reputation on labour markets, such as chambers, national authorities and higher education institutions.

Link to full study (German language): Anerkennung informellen und non-formalen Lernens in Deutschland