In Portugal, the VNF-IFL process was instituted in public policies, in 2001, with the creation of a network of 6 Recognition, Validation and Certification of Competences Centres. In these Centres, through a process of recognition and validation of learning, accomplished by formal and non-formal educational modalities, people over 18 years could obtain a 4th year, 6th year or 9th year school certificate. The Centreâ€™s network was increasing in a moderate and progressive way, with special attention to the teams constitution and its monitoring by the government. From 2007, these Centres have been called New Opportunities Centres and the certification is extended to 12th school year, with a trend to the process of mass expansion.
The VNF-IFL process fits within a public policy that has progressively come to gain social visibility, revealing itself as a political asset in school and professional qualification of the Portuguese population. The VNF-IFL process appears to be a part of a national scope policy and the 459 New Opportunities Centres are distributed over the Portuguese territory.