2.9 Skills recognition
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- In the Czech Republic, the recognition of skills acquired outside of formal education is regulated by the "Zákon o ověřování a uznávání výsledků dalšího vzdělávání a o změně některých zákonů (zákon o uznávání výsledků dalšího vzdělávání)" Act on verification and recognition of further education results (no. 179/2006 Sb.).
- It recognises a possibility to gain a professional qualification by other means than by studying in formal education programmes and defines conditions under which it is possible to grant verification. In relation to this Act, "Národní soustava kvalifikací" the National Register of qualifications was created, in which conditions for granting relevant qualifications are available. On January 25, 2022, the Ministry of Education and Culture approved the standards of the following professional qualifications (this is an update valid from this time, for some professions, it hereby set the end of validity)
- In the Czech Republic, no central authority exists that is responsible for recognition of further education, informal education or skills gained by volunteering. The Act on verification and recognition of further education results, Article 2, defines that recognition of results is executed by the authorised person. The list of institutions and persons authorised to examine and grant qualifications in relevant fields is published on the web pages of the National Register of Qualifications under each qualification. Also, these authorised persons obtain their authorisation by fulfilling the conditions stated by the authorising body, that is 'the relevant ministry, that is responsible for the given profession. For example, a baker will apply for his/her professional qualification at the Ministry of Agriculture, for authorisation for professional qualification of Catering and lodging services, he/she will apply at the Ministry of Regional Development.'
The amendment of the Act on Voluntary Service from 2014 (for details see Chapter 2.4) declares an obligation for deploying organisations to issue (on volunteer's request) a certificate of performed long-term voluntary service based on a model certificate that is attached to the Act.
Legal provision (Act on verification and recognition of further education results) allows acquired skills to be tested without the necessity of passing a formal education/course where these skills can be obtained.
In line with this provision, the National Register of Qualifications (NRQ) defines individual professions and skills required to obtain a qualification and to pursue the profession. In this field, volunteers can profit from their experience in any sector.
The NRQ recognises 'coordinator of volunteers' as a professional qualification. Volunteering considerably contributes to the fulfilment of qualification conditions (as well as to other newly approved qualifications – see below).
It is not possible to obtain qualification directly by a certificate of long-term voluntary service performance, the Youthpass certificate, personal competence portfolio, or other self-evaluating tools. Obtaining a qualification is always conditioned by passing an exam.
A lot of attention was paid to this issue in the CR. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports initiated two national projects (Keys for Life and K2) on the issue financed by EU Funds. In cooperation with the Czech Council of Children and Youth, the following professional qualifications were defined from the field of volunteering in NGOs and especially from the field of children and youth work:
- Leader of leisure activities for children and youth,
- Chief leader of recovery event for children and youth
- Independent leader of leisure activities for children and youth
- Coordinator of volunteers
- Guarantor of occupational safety of leisure activities for children and youth
- Expert in the field of international cooperation with children and youth
Waiting for approval:
- Paramedic at recreational activities for children and youth
Publication about self-evaluating tools was published in 2012 by the National Institute for Children and Youth. The publication was developed within the project Keys for life in cooperation with the experts from the institute, youth workers and other experts from the youth NGOs and associations and experts from the National Institute for further education.
Within the Erasmus+ activities, it is possible to issue the Youthpass certificate that serves for recognition of informal education results in the European Union.
European credit systems applicable to formal education and training, such as the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) and the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) operate in the Czech Republic. The purpose of the study contract is to prepare the exchange stay transparently and efficiently. The student must be sure that the completed courses or internship abroad will be recognized upon his return. The student follows the learning agreements. Course catalogues, study contracts and transcripts of study results help in the recognition and transfer of credits acquired by students during the period of mobility abroad. The ECTS manual explains everything in detail.
The European ECVET system contributes to the transfer and recognition of knowledge, skills and competences acquired during a study or work placement at home or abroad. ECVET implementation in the Czech Republic is supported by the Coordination Center for ECVET. It was established on the basis of the decision of the Ministry of Education and Culture in April 2012. In further education and in the area of recognition of learning outcomes, the proposal aims to connect the National Register of Qualifications and ECVET. Here is the approved proposal.
Personal competence portfolio (Osobní kompetenční portfolio, OKP)
It was an initiative within the state project Keys for life which brought together experts from public educational institutions, youth work and youth associations. It is an online tool helping young people and volunteers to map and structure competencies gained during their out-of-school activities, mainly volunteering. It should support young people in the transition to the job market and facilitate the human resources environment about the recognition and validation of non-formal education and voluntary experience. However, the online app of the Portfolio is no longer available. There is a wider discussion about the competence portfolio for pupils in the general education fields which could be possibly linked to the recognition of the competencies gained in the non-formal education - the discussion is still in the nascent state and takes the elementary education level into account. The topic is also partially in the public discussion for the high school education level in regard to the educational transformation according to the Education strategy 2030+.