6.4 Validation of non-formal and informal learning
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The national system description is to be found in the Cedefop report. Cedefop is one of the EU’s decentralised agencies. It supports development of European vocational education and training (VET) policies and contributes to their implementation. According to this report, validation is divided into different systems or “dispositives”:
- Validation of competences is carried out by continuous vocational training centres under the remit of a Consortium. Validation of Competences leads to the award of a Skill Certificate (Titre de Compétence);
- Valorisation of experience is used to grant admission into education pathways or exemptions and does not lead to the award of a certification or qualification. […] In Belgium, different “valorisation of competence” procedures are in place in:
- Adult education ;
- Universities ;
- Higher Education level.
On July 24 2003, a cooperation agreement was signed between the authorities of the French-speaking part of Belgium (Walloon Region, the French-speaking Community and the French Community Commission of Brussels). This agreement aims at implementing mechanisms which will allow for skills acquired by individuals through experiences in daily life, at work or during vocational training to be recognised according to the Cedefop report. Arrangements for validation scheme are described on Eurypedia. See section 2.8 for information about the validation of competences acquired through voluntary activities. See section 3.5 for information related to the validation of competences through apprenticeships.
The “Validation of Competences Consortium” manages a website to inform the public about possibilities to validate competences or add value to professional experience (valorisation de l’expérience). This website was launched with the “2013 Year for competences” with the support of the European Social Fund in the framework of a collective work between vocational training, High Education Institutions, Universities and the Validation of Competences Consortium. According to the cooperation agreement of 24 July 2003, the Consortium is composed of representatives of Forem as a training operator, “Bruxelles Formation”, the Walloon Institute for apprenticeship training “IFAPME”, the Brussels Institute for apprenticeship “SFPME” and the Minister of social advancement education (promotion sociale). The Consortium is responsible, among others things, for issuing skills certificates.
According to the Consortium’s website, various points enable the quality assurance of the arrangements for the validation of non-formal and informal competences: - The “Competences Validation Consortium” works in a framework in which the missions, visions and the values are defined ahead. The Consortium has elaborated a strict method to translate the skills needed for a job in validation schemes ; - Validation Centres receive an official recognition. It guarantees the reliability of the competences titles delivered and recognised by the 3 Belgian French-speaking Governments ; - Social partners are associated to the implementation of processes for the validation of competences. Social partners participate by sectors to the production and the update of validation competences schemes. It is a quality assurance for the employment market.