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EACEA National Policies Platform


2. Voluntary Activities

2.9 Skills recognition

Last update: 20 April 2024
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  1. Policy framework
  2. Existing arrangements

Policy framework

Youth work centres of expertise form a network, which supports the implementation of the objectives set out by the National Youth Work and Youth Policy Programme. The new centres of expertise for the period 2020-2024 have been nominated by the Ministry of Education and Culture in March 2020. One of the centres of expertise, called as Kentauri, continues to be led by the Guides and Scouts of Finland. Its main purpose is to concentrate on how the knowledge, skills and competences acquired during voluntary activities can be made visible and measurable by a model for validating skills so that they can grant study points (ECS) as a part of formal education.

Existing arrangements

The report from the first version of the validation model was published at the end of 2019 by the Youth Work centres of expertise Kentauri (report in Finnish). One of the concrete tools developed has been called the Digital Competence Disk. The competence disc shows how accumulated competence (as translated into credits) gained through some specific hobbies and volunteering can be recognised in some specific studies leading to a qualification, for example: Basic Training for Guide and Scout Leaders can now be recognised as a part of a Bachelor's of Humanities, Community Education in HAMK Häme University of Applied Sciences and at Humak University of Applied Sciences. Building these connections takes place during the deliberation process called the ‘Interpretation Forum’ where representatives of voluntary organisations and educational institutions negotiate over the kind of adaptation needed in order to put into effect this studification procedure. The establishment of the validation model follows the principles of the EU Council Recommendation 2017/C189/03 and the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).

Sivis Study Centre is a nationwide adult education provider, which has introduced the Open Badge system (in Finnish). The goal is to recognise and certify learning through the courses provided by the centres. Also other liberal adult education providers have been developing Open Badges for learning gained in the informal sector. These include voluntary activities.