Berlin Declaration on Validation of Prior Learning

To empower VPL further, the VPL community set out to formulate overarching principles for achieving a robust and effective VPL-system in Europe and beyond.

The Berlin Declaration contains six paragraphs, mirroring the six policy tracks of the 3rd VPL Biennale. The participants of the conference worked hard for a common goal: To give the VPL community a founding document. The product of a bottom-up process, the Declaration is meant as a grassroots push for stakeholders and policy makers to make validation policies bolder, more effective and more inclusive.

It aspires to be an international benchmark for validation systems and thereby is meant to establish a common language and common goals among the practitioners, stakeholders and policy makers.

How did we get there?

What is the Berlin Declaration about?

Participation in shaping the Berlin Declaration at the 3rd VPL Biennale?

Below you will find and overview of what the six paragraphs are about.

§ 1 Organisational arrangements
They are fundamental to the success of a VPL system. Key stakeholders’ areas of responsibility need to be clearly demarcated, with extensive collaboration and cooperation across sectors. Read more (pdf)

§ 2 Financing
Validation costs money. For this reason, the creation of financing structures and a response to the question of who pays what towards the cost of validation or qualification procedure are of crucial significance. Read more (pdf)

§ 3 Procedures and instruments
Procedures include structured pathways for validation of learning outcomes, training for assessors and guides, as well as mechanisms for quality assurance of validation processes. Instruments are tools that make learning outcomes visible or help to assess them. Read more (pdf)

§ 4 Support Structures
Access to guidance is essential for learners trying to navigate recognition procedures. A combination of face-to-face support and online tools and information form a valuable component of any functioning VPL system. Read more (pdf)

§ 5 Post-validation Pathways
The value of VPL results on the job market and to education providers determines the success of a VPL system. VPL results must facilitate an individual’s mobility, opening up pathways which were previously closed off. Read more (pdf)

§ 6 Legal Foundations
A clear legal framework, which coordinates and oversees quality provision of VPL, is the bedrock of a sustainable VPL system. Read more (pdf)