Since 1993, Belgium is a federal state. Consequently, some competences (like employment policy) are handled by the federal institutions whereas decentralised communities are in charge of other policy matters. The apportionment of competences between the decentralised institutions is founded on the one hand on a linguistic criterion and on the other hand on a territorial basis. The decentralised institutions based on the first criterion (Flemish Community, French Community and German Community) handle education, cultural matters, etc. Those based on the second criterion (Flemish Region, Brussellian Region and Walloon Region) manage competences relative to land settlement matters and socio-economic development, which includes e. g. vocational training. In the north, this institutional complexity is reduced by the fact that the Flemish Community and Region are merged together and their competences ruled by a single government.
The federal structure of Belgium explains why regional strategies concerning VNF-IFL grow at different rates and apply distinct logics. Indeed, VNF-IFL can be considered as a key issue in the framework of the qualification practices and debates. As such it is central for education, training and employment policies as well as for the social partnersâ strategies. These policies and strategies are conducted by institutions acting at different levels of decision. The right for every individual to the bilan de compĂ©tences/ Competentiebilan (professional competence assessment) has been established by a federal law (30th December 2001). Likewise the social partnersâ strategies and the guidelines of the employment policies are mainly established at the federal level. But a non negligible part of their translation in operational objectives and implementation are conducted at the regional level under the authority of the Regions (Flemish, Walloon and Brussellian Region). Moreover, whereas vocational training policy is within the competence of these last three institutions, education is ruled by the other type of decentralised authorities: the Flemish Community (as mentioned before, in practice this one has been merged with the Flemish Region), the French Community and the German Community.
This context gives a lot of autonomy to the actors in acting at a regional and/or interorganizational level. Since 2000, VNF-IFL has been the driving force of various initiatives. In the French community, these initiatives result from the progressive setting of networks proper to certain sectors of education or training:
- One of them is led since 2003 by the public operators of vocational training in partnership with the social partners (the âValidation des compĂ©tencesâ project ). Itâs main goals are the assessment and recognition of professional competences whenever these result from on-the-job learning or vocational training;
- Another one is conducted by the universities and has been boosted by the implementation of the Bologna process in 2006: the âValorisation des Acquis de lâExpĂ©rienceâ project  aims for sharing university practices on recognition of prior experiential learning in admission and/or partial exemption procedures ;
- The non university higher education institutionsâ, pursuing a similar objective in their sector, have also in September 2009 created their own âPlate-formeâ;
- Moreover, an experimental initiative has been launched under the name of âThĂ©sĂ©e projectâ  by some providers of training and some work integration social organisations.
In Flanders, the development of VNF-IFL seems also to originate in a sectoral organisation of initiatives:
- Some are implemented by the social partners: the development of titles of professional skills i.e. titels van beroepsbekwaamheid  which can be obtained by individuals via an assessment procedure (ervaringsbewijs);
- Whereas university and non university higher education institutions develop the recognition of previously developed competencies (âEVCâ (Eerder Verworven Competenties) and âEVKâ (Eerder Verworven Kwalificaties)) in the framework of the Bologna process and the consequent flexibilization of higher education ;
- In the adult education and training sector a decree  was adopted in order to facilitate the individual learning paths between the numerous providers of training and work integration social organisations.
However, this wide range of initiatives is in fact coordinated at a regional level and underlain by a true voluntarism of the Flemish government in the matter of qualification. Indeed, in the Flemish part of the country a âCompetentieagenda 2010â  has been established in 2007 by this authority and the social partners (Sociaal-Economische Raad van Vlaanderen (SERV)). This agenda states 10 priorities in which inter-organizational recognition of NF-IFL plays a central role. The debate on VNF-IFL (and more particularly on the quality of VNF-IFL) is also supported by the setting of a network (the VAN DE POELE, JANSSENS and DEBUSSCHER report on quality in EVC (2008)  stress on the importance of face-to-face relationships) assembling experts in this domain and actors, working in different sectors as higher education, adult education, assessment centres for the certification of work experience, continuing vocational training, the cultural sector, youth and sports sector. The so called âKnowledge Network on EVCâ has been officially launched in February 2010. The aim of it is to support and enhance the quality of RAC (recognition of acquired competences) procedures, and support RAC providers. The Knowledge Network also gives input to the Project Team on RAC. Indeed, in September 2010 the government will start up this Project Team to elaborate an integrated vision on RAC in Flanders. This project team consists of members from the ministries of work and social economy, education & training and culture, youth and sports.
 Qualification is defined by Naville as âa complex relationship between technical operations and the estimate of their social valueâ (translated from NAVILLE P. (1956), Essai sur la qualification du travail, Paris, Marcel RiviĂšre.
 Based on CommunautĂ© franĂ§aise (2003), DĂ©cret portant assentiment Ă lâaccord de coopĂ©ration du 24 juillet 2003 relatif Ă la validation des compĂ©tences dans le champ de la formation professionnelle continue, conclu entre la CommunautĂ© franĂ§aise, la RĂ©gion wallonne et la Commission communautaire franĂ§aise, 22/10/2003, [M.B. 31/12/2003].
 Based on the so-called âBologna Decreeâ: CommunautĂ© franĂ§aise (2004), DĂ©cret dĂ©finissant l'enseignement supĂ©rieur, favorisant son intĂ©gration dans l'espace europĂ©en de lâenseignement supĂ©rieur et refinanĂ§ant les universitĂ©s, 31/03/2004 [M.B. 18/06/2004].
 ThĂ©sĂ©e (projet europĂ©en Equal) (2008), Le guide mĂ©thodologique des filiĂšres et des Passerelles, fĂ©vrier ; ThĂ©sĂ©e (projet europĂ©en Equal) (2007), Le vademecum des filiĂšres et des passerelles, dĂ©cembre.
 See VLAAMSE GEMEENSCHAP (2005), Decreet betreffende het verwerven van een titel van beroepsbekwaamheid, 30/04/2004, [M.B. 26/11/2004] and VLAAMSE GEMEENSCHAP (2004), Besluit van de Vlaamse Regering tot uitvoering van het Decreet betreffende het verwerven van een titel van beroepsbekwaamheid, 23/09/2005, [M.B. 30/11/2005].
 See VLAAMSE GEMEENSCHAP (2004), Decreet van het Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap betreffende de flexibilisering van het hoger onderwijs in Vlaanderen en houdende dringende hogeronderwijsmaatregelen, 30/04/2004 [M.B. 12/10/2004].
 VLAAMSE GEMEENSCHAP (2007), Decreet betreffende het volwassenenonderwijs, 15/06/2007 [M.B. 31/08/2007].
 Van de Poele l., Janssens k. and Debusscher M. (2008), Kennisnetwerk en kwaliteitsbewaking van EVC in Vlaanderen. Praktijkondersteunende studieopdracht voor Vlaams ministerie van Onderwijs en Vorming, departement Onderwijs en Vorming, project Strategisch Onderwijs- en Vormingsbeleid, Universiteit Gent-Cesor.