OBSERVAL ANaR on VNF-IFL
Annual National Review (ANaR) on the Validation of Non-Formal and Informal Learning (VNF-IFL) on the national context
ANaR Report Year 2 â 2009 â September 2010
Country: Belgium Name: CĂ©line Mahieu & FranĂ§oise de Viron Date:16/07/2010 Please note that the new updated information for 2010 has been added in blue. The authors thank all members of the National Expert Group for their contribution to this report, and specially Karine Janssens, Jan Fransen, Arnaud Salmon, Thierry Lothaire and Alain Kock..
OBSERVAL ANaR on VNF-IFL
I. The general situation regarding VNF-IFL
Points to consider 1. National strategy: is there one? What is in place re the VNFL-IFL, at which level? If not, are there regional, local or institutional strategies? Any reference or URL links to official documents, Websites? Your text 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 debates1. 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
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.
OBSERVAL ANaR on VNF-IFL
from the progressive setting of networks proper to certain sectors of education or training: âą 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 project2). Itâs main goals are the assessment and recognition of professional competences whenever these result from on-the-job learning or vocational training; âą 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 project3 aims for sharing university practices on recognition of prior experiential learning in admission and/or partial exemption procedures ; âą The non university higher education institutionsâ, pursuing a similar objective in their sector, have also in September 2009 created their own âPlate-formeâ; âą Moreover, an experimental initiative has been launched under the name of âThĂ©sĂ©e projectâ4 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: âą Some are implemented by the social partners: the development of titles of professional skills i.e. titels van beroepsbekwaamheid5 which can be obtained by individuals via an assessment procedure (ervaringsbewijs); âą 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 Based on COMMUNAUTE FRANĂAISE (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]. 3 Based on the so-called âBologna Decreeâ: COMMUNAUTE FRANĂAISE (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]. 4 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. 5 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]. 6 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]. 7 VLAAMSE GEMEENSCHAP (2007), Decreet betreffende het volwassenenonderwijs, 15/06/2007 [M.B. 31/08/2007]. 8 See http://www.serv.be/uitgaven/1162.pdf. 9 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.
OBSERVAL ANaR on VNF-IFL
of higher education6; âą In the adult education and training sector a decree7 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 2010â8 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 interorganizational 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)9 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. 2. main responsibility for VNF-IFL, regulations, monitoring and evaluation: âą Who has the main responsibility for VNF-IFL? Which ministry (ies), which institution (s), organisation or body (ies)? Who gives the main impetus and direction? âą Who regulates, monitors and assesses practices and pilots new initiatives? âą Or are they local, regional, sectoral, institutional initiatives? In the French-speaking part of Belgium, depending on their principal activities and public, the organisations active in the qualification issue - and consequently the VNF-IFL - fall under the responsibility of one or more of three governments (the Walloon government, the French Community government and the French Community commission in Bruxelles (COCOF)) and several ministries: the Ministry for Compulsory Education (MinistĂšre de lâEnseignement obligatoire), the Ministry for Higher Education (MinistĂšre de lâenseignement supĂ©rieur), the Ministry for Vocational Training (MinistĂšre de la formation), the Ministry for Adult Education (MinistĂšre de lâenseignement de promotion sociale) and the Ministry for Employment (MinistĂšre de lâemploi). The French-speaking institutions are among others counselled by the âConseil Ă©conomique et social de la RĂ©gion wallonneâ (CESRW) and the âConseil Ă©conomique et social de la RĂ©gion bruxelloiseâ (CESRB) which represent the social partnersâ positions and the âConseil de lâĂ©ducation et de la formationâ (CEF) which is compound of the different actors of education and vocational training: In the vocational training area the main impetus and direction is given by the âConsortium de validation des competencesâ. This one gathers the main public providers of vocational training: Forem-formation, Bruxellesformation, the Â« Enseignement de promotion sociale Â», the Walloonian âInstitut de formation des petites et moyennes entreprisesâ (IFAPME) and the Brussellian âEspace formation pour les petites et moyennes entreprisesâ. Except for the âEnseignement de promotion socialeâ the education sector is not part of the device. Collaborating with the employment public services and the social partners this Consortium developed in the five last years a system to validate occupational competencies acquired by non formal and informal learning. The training centers of this public operators may apply to be accredited as Centres de validation and
OBSERVAL ANaR on VNF-IFL
therefore to organize the validation trials10. The social partners are part of this process in three different ways: 1) in the intersectoral Commission consultative et dâagrĂ©ment which prioritize the professions to be dealt with and monitor the assessment process, and 2) on a sectoral base, in the Commissions de rĂ©fĂ©rentiels which are the working groups in charge of describing the profession (the rĂ©fĂ©rentiel mĂ©tier), translating it in modules of competences to be validated and creation of trials, 3) more generally they are asked to develop negociated effects for the Titres de compĂ©tences delivered in sectoral conventions. Furthermore - given the pressures for implementing the EQF (European qualification framework) in national frameworks - the Consortium plays an active role in the Service francophone des mĂ©tiers et qualifications. Created in September 2009, this new organ of dialogue has been charged to build links between the referentials of competences developed by the social partners and the referentials of training developed by the vocational training sector and the vocational secondary education sector. In the higher education area the universities are the main actors for VNF-IFL. In some universities there is a long tradition of adult education and various practices regarding the integration of non formal and informal learning in the curriculum. These practices are traditionally different from university to university. However in the last years (following the âBologna decreeâ (2004/04/31)) the universities developed a dialogue on the socalled valorisation des acquis de lâexpĂ©rience (VAE) and different projects inside of the CIUF (Conseil interuniversitaire francophone). The âĂ©ducation tout au long de la vieâ (ETALV) Commission has been charged by the rectors of the university to develop adequate procedures in this view. A preliminary project has been led in 2005-2006 in order to define a common framework for the VAE process and to identify the barriers for the VAE implementation. Since september 2008, a platform called the âPlateforme VAE-UniversitĂ©â - University VAE platform, gathers together all the French speaking universities to promote VAE in the large public, to harmonize the process of VAE in the universities, to share the good practices, to guarantee the right to VAE in French Community in Belgium. This platform involves the members of the ETALV commission, a VAE coordinator and the VAE counselors. The VAE counselors have been hired thanks to an ESF (European social fund) funding by the Academia to guide the VAE candidates to promote and negotiate the VAE procedures within the different faculties, to receive the candidates to valorisation, to assist them in the preparation of their valorisation forms, to introduce their case to the jury, to verify the administrative validity of the decision, and to take part in any intern (and sometimes extern) meeting concerned by this problematic. In the Flemish Community, the VNF-IFL is linked to the Ministry of education and training, to the Ministry of employment and to the Ministry of Culture, Youth, Sports and Media; they are members of the Flemish government. They are counselled among others by the VLOR (Vlaamse Onderwijsraad , Council for Education) and by the SERV (Sociaal economische raad van Vlaanderen) which is the Flemish equivalent for the CESRW/CESRB (social partners). Indeed, the Flemish Government launched in 2006 a system to validate occupational competences acquired in formal, non-formal and informal learning. The SERV and the social partners and the Departement of
In fact any other training center can apply to be âCentre de validationâ under the condition to be funded by public funds at minimum 50%.
OBSERVAL ANaR on VNF-IFL
3. Sectors: where, which sectors: âą Does VNF-IFL apply to all educational sectors? Or to specific ones (vocational education & training, Further Educ. Colleges, universities, adult education etcâŠ.) âą Or/ and does it apply to other sectors: 3rd sector, private sector Name some examples or references to examples (websites, documents etcâŠ.?)
Employment and Social Economy are responsible for this device (VLAAMSE GEMEENSCHAP (2005)) and share responsibilities. The SERV and the social partners propose the professions for which a certificate for vocational experience will be useful. They are accepted by the Flemish Governement. After this acceptance, the SERV and the social partners define the assessment standards on the basis of profession descriptions. The assessment can then be organized by any organisation (âbeoordelingsinstantieâ). Quality conditions are defined by the Flemish governement and accredited by the Minister of Employment. In the higher education area the assessment of NF-IFL in comparison to the expected learning outcomes of a given program of study are realised by the associaties11 or an extern organ created by them. The flexibilisering Decree stress on the assessment applicantsâ support by an independent and competent person. It authorizes also several ways to proof the competences (e.g. structured conversation, direct observation of behaviours and accomplishments, building a portfolio, etc.). The decree on adult education sets out an approach to assessment and certification of acquired competences in Adult education. In the Sports sector the Flemish Trainers School focuses on volunteers who are active in sport clubs. Training courses offer support for further training to qualify as coach or trainer. The trainers school recognizes acquired competences and qualifications In the French Community mainly two sectors are currently involved in VNF-IFL: the universities (http://www.ciuf.be/cms/etalv) and the public vocational training sector (the Consortium de validation des competences, http://www.cvdc.be). The âValidation des competencesâ device is currently developing some experimental partnerships with certain local agencies for employment (notably the Missions rĂ©gionales pour lâEmploi) and some local public employers (i.e. some Centres publics dâaide sociale) for improving the use and recognition of the Titres de competences. The strong involvement of the Consortium de validation des competences into the Service francophone des mĂ©tiers et des qualifications (see 2.) is another important factor for networking the validation des competences and the rest of the vocational training/education system. Furthermore, in the framework of the âThĂ©sĂ©eâ project, Forem-formation and Bruxelles-formation (public vocational training sector) developed with two social organisations involved in work integration (the AID (Action IntĂ©grĂ©e de DĂ©veloppement) network and the Centre de Formation 2mille) some guidelines12 to facilitate the individual path inside of the third sector (more specifically the âEntreprises de formation pour le travailâ and âOrganismes dâinsertion socio-professionnelle) and between these associations and the public training providers. Those guidelines are among others based on the system of reference of the âConsortium de validation des competencesâ. In addition to that, the non university higher education sector created in 2009 its
âAn association [associatie] is an official entity regulating the cooperation of a university and one or more university colleges [non academic higher education organisations]. The partners may transfer their powers regarding education, scientific research and social society services to this associationâ (LEYBAERT W. (2008), Higher Education in Flanders, Brussel, Agency for Higher Education, Adult Education and Study Grants (Web reference: http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/publicaties/eDocs/pdf/298.pdf)). 12 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.
OBSERVAL ANaR on VNF-IFL
4. Terminology: Is there a common definition of VNF-IFL, or are there specific terms used by different institutions implementing VNF-IFL? What would be the best way to translate it / them into English?
own Cellule inter rĂ©seaux in charge of developing a common system of valorisation of personal and professional practices. 2010 has been aimed as a year of internal dialogue by this sector: the Cellule inter rĂ©seaux has been charged of putting forward the dialogue between the high schools and between their superior authorities and the other actors of VNF-IFL in the French Community. In the framework of the Roundtable for higher education (Tables rondes de lâenseignement supĂ©rieur) launched in 2010 by the Ministry, the lifelong learning has been identified as one of the key issue to guarantee the higher educationâs openness to the society. The specificity of the valorisation process promoted in higher education in comparison to the validation project (see below) has been reaffirmed as well as the need for partnership in student guidance and methodological tools between valorisation devices developed by the non university and those developed by the university higher education institutions. As mentioned before, the Flemish qualification system seems to be more integrated than its neighbour. The fact that a single government is in charge of education and vocational training competences as well as of cultural and sportive matters can be considered as an important factor of integration. In addition to the âCompetentieagenda 2010â, the Knowledge Network on EVC and the Project Team on RAC, several indices of this process can be underlined: âą In higher education, the non academic higher education institutions (the University Colleges) are part of the above-mentioned Associations which are responsible for VNF-IFL. âą In vocational qualification the schools can apply to be accredited as assessment centres for VNF-IFL practices. The decree on adult education and the projects led in the field of the sport sector (see 2.) testify of the Flemish governmentâs intention of getting these actors into the process of VNF-IFL. However, the adult education and socio-cultural adult work sector is very heterogeneous and âalthough the sector is enthusiastic about the possibilities of evaluating the skills that people develop in the non-formal and informal activities of sociocultural adult work, one is not convinced that it is the task of this sector to formally accredit the results of this learning processâ (Janssens 2007, p. 6). The Support point for Socio-Cultural Adult Work (Socius, www.socius.be) is one location where the reflexion on this subject is led. The portfolio project "Oscar" (http://www.oscaronline.be/) was set up in 2009 by SoCiuS and Steunpunt Jeugd with the financial support of the Flemish government. It is an instrument mainly for organisations and participants from social-cultural work for youths and adults. This portfolio has been designed as a tool for the validation of lifelong learning for personal development and social participation on the one hand and as a contribution to educational and professional development on the other. Validation and certification are two very different concepts in the French Community of Belgium. The second is an exclusivity of the education sector and provides legal effects. The legislator restrained the fieldwork of the âConsortium de validation des competencesâ to the first concept: â2Â° Validation de compĂ©tences professionnelles : le processus organisĂ© par les signataires de lâaccord et visant Ă vĂ©rifier la maĂźtrise effective par un individu de compĂ©tences dĂ©crites dans un rĂ©fĂ©rentiel qui en prĂ©cise Ă©galement le mode dâĂ©valuation. Ce processus aboutit Ă la dĂ©livrance dâun titre lĂ©gal qui ne dĂ©veloppe pas les effets de droit liĂ©s Ă la certification de la CommunautĂ©
OBSERVAL ANaR on VNF-IFL
franĂ§aise. 3Â° Certification : le processus organisĂ© par la CommunautĂ© franĂ§aise et menant Ă la dĂ©livrance du certificat. Cette dĂ©livrance correspond Ă la reconnaissance par le ministĂšre de lâĂducation, de la maĂźtrise par un individu de compĂ©tences dĂ©crites dans un programme dâenseignement. Cette reconnaissance, rĂ©servĂ©e Ă lâenseignement, produit les effets de droit de la CommunautĂ© franĂ§aise : ouvrir un accĂšs Ă une profession rĂ©glementĂ©e ou Ă un emploi subsidiĂ©, autoriser une Ă©quivalence avec dâautres diplĂŽmes ou intervenir dans la fixation dâun niveau barĂ©mique de la Fonction publique. Â» (Decree 31/12/2003) The validation is then characterized by the triptych âvisibility effects-specific and individual competence-partial trialâ as the certification refers to âlegal effects-generalist competences-comprehensive trialâ. The decree for universities (Bologna decree ) specifies that the VNF-IFL could be used for master admission or dispensation at all degrees (bachelor and master). The universities developed therefore their own concept: the âvalorisation des acquis de lâexpĂ©rienceâ to distinguish it of the French âvalidationâ13. No degree can be directly delivered as a result of a Â« valorisation Â» process but these can only result in the admission of a student in a given higher education program (Masters or Continuing Education programs) or the dispensation of part of this program. Flanders makes also a distinction between beroepskalificaties (professional qualifications) and onderwijskwalificaties (educational qualifications) in its kwalificatiestructuur (Qualification framework). Only schools can deliver the seconds but both of them refer to a comprehensive set of competences and to the same 8 grades-scale of the Flemish Qualification Framework14. In Flemish higher education the proof that you can be partially or even totally exempted of a study program on the basis of your EVC or EVK (see 1.) in order to be graduated from it is called âbewijs van bekwaamheidâ (proof of skills). The concept of APEL is also used in decrees and defined as âthe complex of knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes acquired through learning processes for which no diploma was awardedâ (Vlaams Parlement 2004)15. Furthermore the debate about the position of the adult education and socio-cultural adult work sector on VNFIFL resulted in a terminological distinction between erkenning (accreditation of) competences and herkenning (recognition of) prior learning. The first term refers to the objective of assessing competences in order to âfacilitate access to formal education and enhance job possibilities in the labour marketâ (Janssens 2007, p. 6). The second term refers to the âformative function to APEL, aimed at social participation and personal developmentâ (Ibidem). Recognition (herkenning) of prior learning can be seen as valuing learning (by means
Viron F. (de) et A. Salmon (s. d.), La Valorisation des Acquis de lâExpĂ©rience (VAE) en CommunautĂ© franĂ§ aise. Dossier de presse. See art. 8 and 9 of VLAAMSE GEMEENSCHAP (2009), Decreet betreffende de kwalificatiestructuur, 30/04/2009, [M.B. 16/07/2009]. 15 Translated from the Flemish by Karine Janssens, excerpt from Janssens K. (2007), âDifferent tracks to the same goal: the accreditation of prior experiential learning in Flandersâ, in Validation and Recognition of Experiential Learning. Final Book of the REACTION Project, pp. 79-90.
OBSERVAL ANaR on VNF-IFL
5. National Qualification Framework: How do VNF-IFL practices or initiatives relate to NQF in place or in construction, if they do? If not, why not? Brief description of the NQF (diagram etc)? Reference to docs or website?
of self evaluation or peer evaluation, feedback, coaching, ...) with goals like empowerment, self awareness, training needs, ... An assessment is not necessarily part of this process. Accreditation (erkenning) would then be used for those competences that actually have been assessed by an independent assessor towards a given standard and are certified by a recognised body. This distinction was made in the VAN DE POELE, JANSSENS and DEBUSSCHER report on quality in EVC (2008)16 since the authors noticed that especially in the sector of socio-cultural adult education and youth work the discussion on APL had a totally different approach than in higher education and labour market. By introducing these two definitions the discussion between the different sectors has been more transparent. It also gave room for the youth sector, for example, to define their position in the debate more clearly and to decide that their interest is in herkenning and not directly in EVC. The thinking about NQF is still in progress in French Community. The authorities give a lot of autonomy to the actors but until now, there is no official common strategy on VNF-IFL. Yet, the Conseil de lâĂ©ducation et de la formation (CEF/Recommendation 106) advocates for a French Community Qualification Framework in 2012. During the Roundtable for higher education, the actors acknowledged the importance of it but asked for distinguishing the translation of course programs in learning outcomes and the notion of competence which is considered as proper to job referentials. In Flanders the Flemish Parliament decided to develop a Flemish qualifications framework, inspired by the EQF and forming the basis for a Flemish qualifications structure. The Parliament Act on the flemish qualifications structure was approved by the Flemish Parliament at the end of april 2009. In time, the Flemish Qualifications structure will develop into a classification of qualifications recognized by the Flemish Governement. In this framework, qualification is defined as a comprehensive set of competences leading to a recognized certificate granted by the Flemish Community, indicating the competences relevant to exercise a profession or a social function of which are required for further education. Providers of education and training and assessment centers take recognized qualifications as a starting point to develop assessments for the recognition of acquired competences. Thus asssessors will judge individual competences basing themselves on the same framework, independent of the organisation on which these individuals call or the ultimate objective of the procedure. The Agency for Quality Assurance in Education and Training is responsible for organizing the monitoring of the quality of the pathways leading to recognized qualifications. The goal of the device is to boost confidence in procedures of recognition of acquired competences and encourage their further development.
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.
OBSERVAL ANaR on VNF-IFL
II. Impact of Validation
6. Impact on individuals âą What impact has VNF-IFL had on individuals? On whom, in your opinion, has it had the most impact: Validation candidates/ learners, practitioners, teachers/ academics/ tutors/facilitators in adult education, careers advisers, human resource managersâŠany more? âą In what way has it had an impact: âą in the actors/ stakeholdersâ attitudes, practices and methodologies, interaction with each others, understanding of different types of learning, better understanding of adult learnersâ needs, assessment practices, etcâŠ? âą Do you have evidence whether it is felt as a positive, negative, problematic impact? Some evidence/ reference to examples of this impact? In the French Community, from September 2005 to September 2008, 1,402 trials had been organised in the framework of the Consortium de validation des competences (amongst which up to 850 in 2008). 25,1% of the applicants where workers and the others where job seekers. 11,4% were involved in a training program17. The annual report of activity14 states that the validation system is still unknown from the general public, from the enterprises and from the public services. Therefore the Consortium considers that improving the institutional and public recognition of the device will be one of its main targets. In the universities, in 2008, 66 applicants beneficiated of a support to valorise their experience, 181 had been confronted to a jury and 138 were registered as applicants. 19 briefing meetings to the academics had been organised and 91 persons had been informed of the project18. Between january 2009 and October 2009, close to 400 persons have been admitted by a jury. In the Flemish Community, recognition of non-formal and informal learning for vocational experience (ervaringsbewijzen) focuses on 48 occupations at 27 different assessment centres. 1721 certificates for vocational experience have been awarded uptil now. 2939 candidates have registered and are currently in the process of receiving guidance, undergoing assessment of have just gone through the process. The figures in higher education are summarised in the following table: Ass. Antwerp Ass. Brussels Ass. Ghent Ass. Leuven Ass. Limburg (AUHA) (UAB) (AUGent) (K.U.Leuven) (AUHL) 05- 06- 07- 05- 06- 07- 05- 06- 07- 05- 06- 07- 05- 06- 0706 07 08 06 07 08 06 07 08 06 07 08 06 07 08 Started files 49 14 32 30 10 35 67 71 121 506 405 222 11 2 2 Files with positive outcome 40 9 26 22 9 34 67 47 40 423 306 202 7 2 2 Files with negative outcome 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 0 71 82 14 4 0 0 Withdrawal 9 5 6 8 0 1 0 21 81 12 17 6 0 0 0 Source: Departement Onderwijs en Vorming â Afdeling Hoger Onderwijs (2010)
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The APL procedure in HE in Flanders is unknown to most learners. The higher education institutions wonât make much publicity, since the (financial) costs of guiding and assessing the learners in an APL process are not subsidized by government, nor paid by the learner. 7. structural and institutional impact: âą Has it had an impact on education and training (or lifelong learning) policies? âą On other legislation, official/ governmental organisations, bodies, institutions? âą On the negotiations between social partners (who are those anyway in your country?) âą On human resource management in the private sector? âą On civil society/ NGOs/ adult education sector? âą On building bridges (of communication, working partnershipsâŠ) between different systems of certification, sectors etc? The diverse processes of VNF-IFL are still at the beginning of their implementation. Their main achievements are the building of networks and confidence between partners. Concerning the Consortium de validation des competences, until now, the impacts on the training programs of the operators (see 2) seems to be relatively marginal. Both the social partners and the training public operators involved themselves to develop the impacts of the âtitres de competencesâ. Their registering in corporate or sectoral conventions are then planned in the future. Until now there is a lack of representative measure of the impact of validation on the job market. The same statements can be done about the higher education procedures of âvalorisationâ. The creation of a Service francophone des mĂ©tiers et des qualifications19 can be considered as a prolongation of the validationâs project of unifying different spheres of qualification. However, the bridges between vocational training qualification and higher education certification seems still difficult to build. In Flanders, the Flemish Qualification Framework appears to be an important basis for comparison between the educational qualifications and the professional ones. A study on the experience of the impact from the certificate for vocational experience was done. More than 300 candidates and 50 employers participated on the survey. All the candidates were very positive on the certificate (especially a boost in their selfconfidence and self-knowledge). Also the employers were optimistic, but only a few employers already used the certificate for selection.
III. Your analysis of the national situation regarding Validation
8. Stakeholdersâ engagement: how would you rate the stakeholdersâ level of interest in your country regarding the VNF-IFL? âą Which stakeholders in particular are very interested? âą Which ones are not so/ not at all interested? In French Community as well as in Flemish Community, the VNF-IFL procedures are still unknown to most workers, job seekers, and employers. Trade unions, employment public services, public operators of vocational training and higher education organisations are institutionally involved in these procedures but the persons in charge of promoting and developing it have to use intensive persuasion inside of their own organisations to convince people (e.g. academics in universities, trainers in vocational training, etc.). The involvement of employersâ representatives seems to be
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Why is that so? Any particular or obvious reasons? Reference to examples, documents?
variable according to the economic sector. Furthermore, as mentioned in 1., the Flemish community work on a knowledge network for EVC: all the relevant stakeholders from Education, Work and Culture, Youth and Sports are united in the network: - associations Higher Education - institutions for Adult Education - assessment centers for certificate of experience - stakeholders from the policy fields of Culture, Youth and Sports - public training institutions Currently all the stakeholders are willing to participate
9. Debates-discussions: Are there any (few/many) discussions concerning VNF-IFL? âą Has it stimulated discussion on specific issues (social inclusion, employability, learning society, accessibility for older learners, women, migrantsâŠ) âą On the nature of assessment, knowledgeâŠ? âą Between which stakeholders mainly/ or within which sector mainly? Any evidence or references to those?
The above-mentioned discussion between certification and qualification (4.) refers to some debates on the education systems prerogatives on diplomas (justified by their pretention to form comprehensive citizens) and on the pretentions of training public operators to deliver an official proof of learning outcomes (justified by their objective to give the learner an official recognition of its real competences and to provide the job market with some assessment tools). The distinction between erkenning and herkenning competences in Flanders is also symptomatic of the claim for a less instrumental point of view on learning and its recognition. The debate is both Communities is also going on several subjects: - discussion about quality assurance: important for credibility - discussion about comparability of qualifications certificates - recognition of recognition of acquired competences within the governement: discussion about diploma as necessity for admission to jobs within the governement - discussions about terminology - discussions about the cost of VNF-IFL and the apportionment of it between stakeholders. The first PhD thesis on validation of competences has been presented at the UCL20 by CĂ©line Mahieu (Centre interuniversitaire de formation permanente/ FacultĂ©s universitaires catholiques de Mons) in March 2010. The Bureau dâIngĂ©nierie en Ăducation et en Formation (BIEF), created and led by UCL professors, developed research about how to use the âcompetencesâ in education, administration, NGOs and firms. They were involved in the shaping of the methodology used by the Consortium de validation des competences. The association ADMEE (Association pour le DĂ©veloppement des MĂ©thodologies d'Evaluation en Education en Europe) organise biannually a conference on evaluation in learning assembling among others the different actors of the French-speaking projects of VNF-IFL (the Consortium, the leaders
10. Research and VNF-IFL: Does research feed these debates? Are there examples of this? Reference to reports, research findings etcâŠ?
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of the university projects, etc.). Flanders: - OECD thematic review on Recognition of Non-formal and Informal learning, 2007. - Ugent & bvba Cesor, Kennisnetwerk en kwaliteitsbewaking van EVC in Vlaanderen, 2008. - W. Meeus & E. Struyf, Inventarisatie en analyse van portfolioâs in Vlaanderen, 2008. 11. Problems/ difficulties, and resistance: âą Are there any emerging? If so which ones? What type? (strategic, operational, organisational, attitudinal, cultural, financial etcâŠ) Is there resistance appearing? âą At which level? âą In which sector in particular? âą From which category of actors/ stakeholders? Evidence available? Some examples? We can mention here the above-mentioned resistance of the education system to a VNF-IFL that could merge diplomas and proofs of trained learning outcomes. These resistances are based on the defence of their prerogatives but also on the thinking that the independence of the schools from the productive sphere is a necessary condition to form comprehensive citizens and workers, which condition is threaten by a merging of the framework of qualification via VNF-IFL. In the policy fields of culture and youth, VNF-IFL should not lead to formalisation. The social partners need also to be convinced of the utility of the validation project before to take it in account in their sectoral conventions. For the employers, there is the fear to be confronted to new salary and statutory demands from the âvalidatedâ workers. Transparency in the different types of certifications is also an important matter to them. For the workers, there is the fear to have to prove their skills continually in order to find or keep their job. The adoption of a common framework of learning assessment arise collaboration but also competition between the training providers implied. Furthermore, there is the fear that validation could compete with training itself by shortening the individual learning paths.
Any other comments
The Flemish authorities plans the next views and practices for next years: âą realising the qualifications structure: up till now Flanders has a legally acknowledged framework. Now qualifications should be developed to fill the framework up. âą building trust and confidence in VNF-IPL: work at transparency, comparability of standards, criteria & procedures. Quality assurance is then a priority which means guarantee the quality of validation independent of the system that identifies or awards learning outcomes; realize international & national comparability & transparency; create one system of quality assurance for VNF-IPL processes at different levels of qualifications in different context; enhance communication about VNF-IPL.