Main themes

Validation and working life

The main focus of this theme is to look at the importance of VPL as a tool for making existing skills of workers visible and giving those skills value. Shedding light on competence requirements within occupations can assist in connecting them with future skills needs for specific jobs and sectors.

Another aspect is that bringing transparency to the skills that an employee/individual developed in various working contexts can motivate people towards identifying ways to develop their skills at their current jobs. In return, these aspects are connected to the aim of a globally competitive working life. Hence, VPL can connect processes in Human Resource Management and well-being, addressing the interests of both companies and employees.

Validation and education / training

Increasing diversity in the way people learn is challenging the traditional mode of assessing prior learning, as well as didactic practice. Structured education and training pathways need to be equipped to take prior learning into account and support learners appropriately in their further learning.

Mainstreaming VPL and various modes of learning (with regards to context, content, length etc.) can be a motivational factor for the learner, and as such a crucial element in real access to VPL. The way these modes of learning are recognized, also needs clarification – the concept of ubique learning.

Social sustainability

Validation has a role in widening participation in learning, active citizenship and democratization. Outreach is needed for vulnerable groups with a focus on information, guidance and support.

The different spheres of learning, such as community and service learning and voluntary work, can provide opportunities for validation processes. That will call for a learning outcome based approach which improves access to educational pathways, thus enhancing inclusion.

Validation and personal development

Awareness of one’s own competences through documentation supports positive self-esteem and motivates further personal development. Transversal and transferrable skills (soft skills) can play a key role with regards to identifying opportunities for learning and work.

Identifying methods and tools for making all types of skills visible can benefit personal development and career learning. Career Management Skills (CMS) are tacitly embedded in the validation process, but can CMS be used in a more goal-oriented way with specialized guidance?