The European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning provides an unrivalled source of information detailing how validation of prior learning is developing across Europe. It shows that validation strategies and legislation, despite complexity of the task before them, have been developing slowly but steadily. However, there is room for improvement, especially concerning reliability of information on take-up and use of validation arrangements.
The 2012 Council recommendation, which sets 2018 as the target date for establishment of national validation arrangements and refers explicitly to the European inventory, signals EU Member States’ political will to go forward with validation and is expected strongly to influence the way in which national systems are structured and used. In the recommendation, Member States agree to establish arrangements for validation of non-formal and informal learning enabling citizens to validate their knowledge, skills and competences acquired outside the formal system; and to obtain a qualification or parts of a qualification based on validated non-formal and informal learning.