A man and a woman a standing in a bureau looking on a script in a map.

Recognizing non-formal and informal competences

European countries need a binding validation system for non-formally or informally acquired competences to establish equal opportunity on the employment market and utilize the potential of refugees. Seven European countries have demonstrated how such systems can be designed.

Germany and many other European countries are discussing how experiential knowledge can be made visible and professionally utilized. To date, often solely formal education opens up opportunities on the employment market and for social advancement. In contrast, competences acquired informally at work or during free time or non-formally through continuing education have had little meaning to date though, in many cases, they may be of greater significance with regard to one’s professional capacity than formally certified knowledge.

In particular, people without formal secondary school or professional degrees, but who possess several years of professional experience and people with professional competences acquired abroad could profit from the validation of informal and non-formal learning. In this context, there is much we can learn from our European neighbors.

Experts from various European countries have examined their national respective validation systems with the objective of determining opportunities for applying good practices Germany. The outcome is a new study.

The study analyzes the validation systems from seven good practice countries based on five core elements and provides recommendations for transferring individual core elements from one country to another. The five core elements are: Law, procedures and instruments, financing, institutional structures and support. Important principles of a successful validation system for non-formally and informally acquired competences include easy access for all target groups, homogeneity or at least equivalence of educational degrees and certificates, acceptance by companies and target groups’ and companies' awareness of the procedures and certificates.

Please find the complete study on the right side .

The seven country-specific reports are listet for you here: