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Binding regulations for the validation of competencies acquired by non-formal and informal means are a central component of a permeable educational system. Even though such regulations enjoy political support, implementation is, however, hesitant. In light of the EU Council Recommendation to introduce relevant provisions by 2018 at the latest, this issue of BWP assesses the current status of development, presents some of the approaches adopted and also takes a look at what is happening in neighbouring European countries.
The equivalence of a qualification acquired abroad with a German reference qualification is usually assessed on the basis of documents. The legislation has made provision for cases in which such documentation is not available (in meaningful form). Great hopes are being invested in the so-called skills analysis. However, can this instrument fulfil expectations? This article uses the latest official statistics on the Recognition Act to present the way in which its application has developed over the initial five years.
Validation of non-formal and informal learning is an important policy tool to promote more permeable educational systems, adaptable to the changing nature of skills demand. It is also a form of giving those most at risk of social exclusion an entry door to the formal education system or to gain employment from skills acquired in non-formal and informal settings. The European Inventory, published in Cedefop’s webpage, and carried out in collaboration with the European Commission, has been in place since 2004 and provides an overview of the situation regarding validation in European countries. The article presents an overview of the current situation in Europe using data from the latest update of the inventory of validation on non-formal and informal learning.
Following the Council recommendation of 20 December 2012, EU member states set themselves the target of introducing systems for validating non-formal and informal learning by 2018. The intention is that competencies acquired at work, at home, during leisure time and on a voluntary basis are made visible by means of the validation procedure and can be used in the education and training system and in the job market. Such a system is yet to be introduced in Germany. Potential scenarios for the recognition of competencies have been developed and evaluated by experts in a BIBB research project. The article presents initial findings relating to the scenarios and to key aspects of the validation procedures.
The umbrella associations of the chambers have joined forces with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to initiate a project for the introduction of validation structures into the German vocational education and training system. The project is referred to in abbreviated form as “ValiKom” and is currently in its pilot phase. This article describes the background to and objective of the project. The authors also explain the basic principles behind the procedure, define the position it occupies within the educational and employment system, and compare it to existing competence assessment and evaluation processes. The article concludes by outlining the initial impressions that have emerged from piloting the process.
Formal evidence of educational and vocational qualifications are crucial if skills and competencies are to be usable on the German labour market. It is therefore important for persons who have acquired their certificate abroad to obtain formal recognition of such qualifications in order to enhance their chances on the labour market and therefore also improve their occupational situation. The Federal Recognition Act has served as the framework for this process since April 2012 by according anyone in possession of a foreign qualification the right to a recognition procedure. This article examines the issue of the extent to which recognition of a foreign professional or vocational qualification in a non-regulated area actually improves opportunities for labour supply on the German market and also illustrates the limits which apply. The investigation is based on the results of the evaluation of the Recognition Act.
14 chambers are currently piloting national procedures for the validation of occupational competencies within the scope of two BMBF-funded projects, Prototyping Transfer and ValiKom. The Hamburg Chamber of Crafts and Trades and the Munich and Upper Bavaria Chamber of Commerce and Industry are two of the institutions involved in the piloting of so-called skills analyses via the Prototyping Transfer project. The latter is also bringing its expertise to bear in piloting procedures via the ValiKom project. Numerous challenges are associated with the establishment of validation procedures. In this interview, Johanna Reutter and Bernd Engelmann reveal how such demands can be overcome.
In light of the EU Council Recommendation that binding regulations for the validation of competencies acquired by non-formal and informal means should be introduced in member states by 2018, this issue is currently an object of intensive debate at a European and national level. This discussion is frequently associated with the hope that a rational and resource-saving solution can be found to many of the problems previously faced by the (vocational) education system. Although such an aspiration may be justified in some individual cases, implementation is revealing conceptual issues which are also presenting a challenge to the formal educational system. To this extent, the indication is that areas of realistic potential should be looked at. This article attempts to draw an initial conclusion from an Austrian point of view.
Against the background of the skilled worker shortage, the question of the recognition of competencies obtained by informal and non-formal routes is growing in significance. The focus extends beyond issues relating to advancement within a firm to include recognition of learning achievements beyond the company level. This article presents two project approaches from the “InnovatWB” funding programme which are exploring new routes for how competencies acquired in the work process or via continuing training events can lead to an advanced training qualification at specialist level (German Qualifications Framework level 5).
In order to create a more efficient link between human resources management and longer-term corporate goals, many companies are putting their faith in strategic competence management. This article takes the concept of the psychological contract as a basis for investigating the associated mutual expectations of employers and employees and highlights the significance of recognition of competencies within this context. The foundation of the analysis is formed by company case studies which were conducted as part of the BIBB research project “Company approaches to competence assessment and to the recognition of competencies acquired by informal means” (BAKA).
Those who involve themselves in voluntary work acquire knowledge and skills which have been the object of very little systematic documentation thus far. This means that such areas of potential remain largely invisible for companies. Within the scope of the EU project DesTeVa, an online tool was developed that enables persons engaged in voluntary work to describe and document the competencies they have acquired via informal means in a systematic manner. This article presents the design concept and application of the tool and the possible ways in which it can be utilised.
Self-employed persons, salaried workers and companies are all confronted with issues relating to the recognition of qualifications acquired abroad. It remains the case that about 25 per cent of migrants in Austria are employed at a level below that of their training. At the same time, the improved economic situation is increasing the demand for skilled workers. Against this background, the “Anerkannt!” project is seeking to help create a successful culture of recognition in periods of ongoing migration and refugee movements. This article presents the objectives and approaches adopted.
Canada is one of the most popular countries for immigration in the world and has comprehensive experiences with regard to the assessment and recognition of foreign qualifications and skills. The project which provides the context for this article is attempting to use quantitative analyses and company case studies to identify the approaches and methods used by employers to evaluate and recognise foreign qualifications. This article focuses on quantitative analyses of the Canadian PIAAC data and uses regression models to investigate how foreign qualifications and occupational experience are evaluated and rewarded on the Canadian labour market. Factors influencing individual income of employees are subjected to differentiated analysis.
Within the context of UNESCO and the European Commission, OER is a topic which has been on the agenda for several years. The second UNESCO World Congress on OER was staged in Ljubljana in September 2017. The debate on educational materials which are openly available has also gathered significant steam in Germany. However, compared to other educational areas, developments in vocational education and training are only just getting underway. This article outlines the opportunities and challenges that are associated with the topic of OER and illustrates these on the basis of two practical examples from the field of VET.
Evidence of expertise improves the matchability and attractiveness of initial and advanced training qualifications for skilled workers and companies alike. This article undertakes a broad definition of the term “expertise” before going on to use this as a basis for describing how evidence of the acquisition of expertise is integrated into the field of animal welfare in the training occupations of biological laboratory technician and butcher. It concludes by taking a brief look at further examples.