State of play (excerpt from the last annual National Report on validtion of Non-formal and informal learning)
In the years 2005-2007, the Dutch government invested nearly 40 million Euro in APL at upper secondary and higher vocational education levels, in developing a regional infrastructure and in promoting APL. This policy was put forward in the working plan for 2005-2007 Strengthening Learning and Working (PLW 2005). The ministries of Education, Culture and Science, of Social Affairs and Employment, of Agriculture and Nature Management, of Economic Affairs, of Integration and of Finances were involved. In the implementation strategy, management and practice come together. At management level educational institutions were encouraged to implement APL institution-wide. They signed agreements with the government to realise a certain number of APL procedures within one or two years and to guarantee a minimum quality standard of these procedures. Practices already in use for some years were spread and the quality-issue of the procedures was raised. To strengthen the promotion of APL by the already since 2001 existing Dutch Knowledge Centre on APL, regional one-stop-offices were set up also to actively promote the use of APL. It is a big step forward that all local partners in education and labour market are working more and more together and attune their procedures. The aim is that any individual can enter these local one-stop-offices to be guided in their development process. Companies are offered tailor-made solutions for their questions relating to human resources and all regional partners take their share to realise it.
Since The economic crisis started both the government as well as the social partners joined forces to strengthen the use of VNF-IFL for workers that are in danger of losing their job. For them a possibility of subsidizes procedures for their VNF-IFL is available at local offices. In these local offices the local authorities, social partners, job-agencies and relevant education-institutes are organised. In a sense this is an approach of creating a local community that is capable of finding integral solutions of personal labour-problems by using the instrumentation of VNF-IFL.
VNF-IFL in the Netherlands consists of two specific instruments, both of which are subsidized if someone is in danger of losing a job:
- â€˜Ervaringscertificaatâ€™. This is the formal procedure in which a candidate can get accreditation of his/her learning outcomes. It is a summative approach; the portfolio is referred to a specific standard and the accreditation consists of a number of credits that can be cashed in at a qualifying institute or school. The portfolio therefore is only a dossierportfolio or showcase of the relevant learning outcomes to be referred to the specific standard. This form of VNF-IFL can be called APL.
- â€˜Ervaringprofielâ€™. This is a set-up for a generic, personal portfolio. It is formative oriented and aims at a validation of all the generic competences of a candidate. It advises on the possible opportunities for accreditation or development steps. It also points out what to do when a specific qualification or diploma is at stake. This form of VNF-IFL can be called RPL.