“Validation describes a process used to demonstrate a person’s competences, give them visibility and make them comparable. It can involve identification, documentation, evaluation and certification of competences.”*
Austria is currently working on developing a national strategy for validating non-formal and informal learning based on the recommendation of the European Council of 20 December 2012 on the validation of non-formal and informal learning. The Council recommends that member states establish national regulations for validating competences acquired through non-formal and informal methods by 2018.
The general aim is to record competences acquired through non-formal and informal methods and give them visibility. This should give people who have acquired competences outside of the formal qualifications system better educational and professional opportunities.
Validation and the NQF**
During further implementation of the NQF, qualifications earned through formal training as well as qualifications acquired outside of the formal qualifications system (for example, through vocational and adult education) can be mapped to one of the eight levels. In the long term all qualifications included in the NQF will also be able to be acquired through validation. The focus on learning outcomes is the link between NQF and validation.
*Comp. Official Journal C 398 of the European Union of 20 December 2012 on the validation of non-formal and informal learning
**See the consultation document “Validation of non-formal and informal learning: Developing a national strategy to implement the Council recommendation” of 20 December 2012 (2012/C 398/01)