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Law 92/2012 on the reform of the labour market provides an official definition of lifelong learning: “the term lifelong learning refers to all learning activities formally, non-formally and informally undertaken throughout life with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and competences in a personal, civic, social and/or employment-related perspective”.
Furthermore, the same law foresees the establishment of a national public system for the certification of competences based on minimum service standards and uniform throughout the country.
‘Certifiable competences’ are a structured combination of knowledge and skills recognisable also as formative credits through a special procedure for the validation of non-formal and informal learning. The certification of competences is defined as a public deed that ensures learning transparency and acknowledgement, consistently with the objectives set by the European Union. A certification, diploma or qualification formally attests that assessment and validation have been carried out by a public institution or an authorised subject. Legislative decree 13/13 – issued in application of law no. 92/2012 - provides the general rules of the national system for competences certification. The decree makes the new National system for competences certification operational; it aims to increase the professional competences acquired at work, as well as those acquired in leisure time in order to promote mobility, foster the meeting together of demand and supply in the labour market, increase learning transparency and the relevance of certifications at national and European levels. Subsequently, an inter-ministerial decree issued on 30 June 2015, defined the National framework of the regional qualifications. The decree established:
- a tool for the mutual recognition of regional qualifications,
- standard procedures and certification for the identification/validation of non-formal and informal learning and the certification of competences.
Finally, the inter-ministerial decree issued on 8 January 2018 established the National framework of qualifications (Quadro nazionale delle qualificazioni - QNQ), which is the tool that describes and classifies all the qualifications released within the National system for the certification of competences.
Young volunteers can request the recognition of their training credits and obtain a certification of their experience following regional legislations.
Legislative Decree 40/17 “Establishment and discipline of the Universal Civic service” (Istituzione e disciplina del Servizio civile universale) requires that civic service organizations carry out all the preparatory activities needed for the recognition and enhancement of the skills acquired by volunteers during placement. In addition, Article 19 requires that civic service organizations certify the length of placement and the activities carried out by the volunteers.
Within the European Mobility Programs such as Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps, young volunteers have the right to receive the Youthpass which certifies the experience gained and the skills acquired during placement.