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Have you heard about the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)?

People are always learning, everywhere and throughout the course of their lives. However, learning that takes place outside the formal education and training system is often not well understood or valued.

On-thejob training, informal apprenticeships, participation in sporting activities, organizing community events, learning in non-formal environments... are all activities that result in learning outcomes, but which often do not come with a certificate of competencies recognizing the knowledge, skills and experience acquired. Recognition of all types of learning – an individual’s knowledge, skills and experience – can result in benefits in the labour market, formal education and training, financially and in terms of self-esteem.

The validation of non-formal and informal training is a key element of training and employment policies. The recognition of non-formal and informal prior learning is carried out for accessing formal education or training programs. Such a recognition procedure sometimes allows adult learners to have access to the programs, even if they do not meet the traditional qualification requirements for admission.

For example, Educational Administrations must periodically organize tests so 20-years-old (and over) people can directly obtain the High School diploma. In the same way for VET, 18-years-old students can directly take the tests to obtain the title of Technician and those who are 20-years-old, to the tests leading to the title of Advanced Technician. In addition, people with certain professional experience can request the evaluation of their skills in relation to the different aspects of a professional qualification.

The evaluation and recognition of professional competences acquired through work experience or non-formal training routes, allows people to obtain a full or a partial qualification, depending on that professional experience and non-formal learning validated. Participants can accredit units of competence that constitute parts of a vocational training degree or a certificate of professional standards. These accreditation processes are carried by different authorities and differ from one country to another.

Take a look here to learn more about this process!

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