6.4 Validation of non-formal and informal learning
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Adults who are entitled to primary and lower secondary education, have a statutory right to have their prior learning validated. Their competences are assessed against learning outcomes in the national curricula, and approved subjects are certified in their final primary education diploma. Prior learning comprises all the competence a person has acquired through paid or unpaid work, in-service training, continuing education, leisure activities in addition to the competence documented through basic education and training.
A candidate may apply for an assessment of prior experiential learning both when
Seeking admission to higher education.
Seeking recognition of education if they want to take a Norwegian apprenticeship examination for a Norwegian craft certificate.
National regulations and guidelines set up general frames for local provision of validation in the counties or in the higher education institutions. The responsibility for the local provision in primary, lower and upper secondary education is decentralised to county education administrations. Other national regulations and guidelines apply to post-secondary VET colleges and institutions in higher education where each learning institution has more autonomy in defining validation procedures.
For more information and background see Eurydice chapter 8 Adult Education and Training, section 8.5 Validation of non-formal and informal learning and 2016 Norway Country Report: update to the European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning.
General information about validation of prior learning can be found on the websites of Skills Norway, the Norwegian Agency for Lifelong Learning, and The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT). For upper secondary education and training, staff at the regional assessment centres provide information and guidance. In lower secondary education the adult education centres are responsible for advice and guidance. For validation in relation to admission to post-secondary VET colleges and higher education institutions, information and guidance is part of enrolment services. See 2016 Norway Country Report: update to the European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning.
Skills Norway, in cooperation with relevant stakeholders from the sector, developed guidelines for validation towards enrolment in tertiary vocational education and towards exemption in higher education. In 2013, the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training developed national standards for validation in lower and upper secondary education.
The municipalities and counties are responsible for quality assurance of validation relating to lower and upper secondary education and training. In higher education it is up to the individual institution to ensure the quality of their validation services. The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) is responsible for external quality assurance in higher education.