chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up home circle comment double-caret-left double-caret-right like like2 twitter epale-arrow-up text-bubble cloud stop caret-down caret-up caret-left caret-right file-text

Epale - Europos suaugusiųjų mokymosi elektroninė platforma


Validation of prior learning (study visit day 2)

Karine Nicolay
Kalba: EN

A group of Belgian (Flemish) stakeholders travelled to Iceland to learn more about Validation of Prior Learning (VPL). Thanks to the efforts of the National Support Services of EPALE and Euroguidance in Iceland the participants of the study visit had a more than filled and interesting programme for the 3 days of their study visit. On the second day the participants visited Idan Educational Centre, the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and the Directorate of Labour.

Participants of the study visit to Iceland

Nathalie Druine from the Department of Education and Training in Flanders. She is responsible for the implementation of VPL in Flanders.

Ariane Rober from the Department of Work and a member of the Flemish Upskilling Pathways steering group.

Monique De Ridder, pedagogical advisor and member of the Upskilling Pathways steering group.

Inés Neefs from the Department of Education and Training and involved in the Erasmus+ VISKA project (Visible Skills of Adults)

Karine Nicolay, EPALE coordinator in Flanders/Belgium.


Programme of the study visit

Day 1 – 24 September 2019

Visit to Rannís. Welcome by the Director of Erasmus+ and Head of Division at Rannís, Mr. Ágúst H. Ingthórsson. Meeting with Margrét Sverrisdóttir, coordination of Adult Education at Rannís and Project Manager for EPALE and Dóra Stefánsdóttir, coordinator for Euroguidance.

Visit to the Education and Training Service Centre. Meeting with Director Sveinn Adalsteinsson.

Visit to Mímir símenntun. Meeting with Bryndís Bessadóttir, project manager.

Day 2 – 25 September 2019 - Read a report about this day lower on this page.

Visit to IDAN Educational Centre. Meeting with Helen Gray, Development manager.

Visit to the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Meeting with Hulda Anna Arnjótsdóttir, expert in adult education/national coordinator for adult education. 

Visit to Directorate of Labour. Meeting with Ásdís Gudmundsdóttir.

Day 3 – 26 September 2019

Visit to the Lifelong Learning Centre in Reykjanes. Meeting with Gudjónína Sæmundardóttir, director.


A report about the second day of the study visit on 25 September



Our second day in Iceland started with a visit to IDAN Educational Centre where development manager Helen Gray awaited us. We learned more about Iceland and its labour market and educational system, about IDAN itself and of course about how the center is involved in the validation of prior learning.

IDAN is a leading provider of continuing education offering a diverse in hous- and company courses as well as certificate programs for qualified professionals in the automobile-, construction-, metal-, hairdressing- media and printing industries as well as the food and restaurant trades. IDAN is not a non-profit, but private organisation. 50% is owned by unions, 50% by employers. IDAN has five main tasks:

  • Training and education for craft and trade professionals
  • Service contract with the Ministry of education in regards with apprenticeship contracts, journeyman's examinations and recognition of professional qualifications and work experience in licensed crafts and trades
  • Validation of prior learning (curriculum based)
  • Enhance research and development for the crafts and trades
  • Enhance the image of crafts and trades.

Helen Gray told us that validation of prior learning is an evaluation of skills and knowledge acquired through work-based learning that can potentially shorten a study pathway. On the completion of the validation of prior learning participants are offered the opportunity to enter an education programme and complete studies in their trade. Education and career counsellors assist in study and career planning. Qualification in a licensed trade is obtained by completing a journeyman's exam. The validation of prior learning pathway start with an introductory meeting and an interview with an education and career counsellor. The candidate then draws up a skills' portfolio and goes through an assessment with a qualified assessor. After this a plan for school attendance and completion of studies is made up.

There is regulation on validation made up by the Ministry of Education. In 2005 there were experiments on validation, afterwards the law was made. The hardest thing was to find trust on the labour market. Validation is always linked to the curricula. It is split in different tasks. 

Crafts and trades in Iceland are regulated by law (eg. Germany, Austria, Switzerland…). IDAN only deals with 'traditional' crafts and trades, regulated by the Industrial Act. Health is part of the Health Care Act (not Industrial Act). There might be other organisations that organise validation for IT and others, but not IDAN.



To be allowed to validation of prior learning traject a candidate has to be 23 years of age and has to have 3 years of work experience in a relevant trade. The work experience must be confirmed by providing public documents. 

Meet the staff of IDAN 


The participants of the study visit at IDAN (left to right): Monique De Ridder, Inés Neefs, Ariane Rober, Rakel Steinvör Hallgrímsdóttir, Karine Nicolay, Nathalie Druine, Helen Gray.  




 A visit to the workshops at IDAN. Here you can find all the slides of the presentation at IDAN: PDF iconidan_epale_be_250919.pdf




Ms Hulda Anna Arnjótsdóttir, expert in adult education/national coordinator for adult education, together with Karine Nicolay, EPALE coordinator for Flanders (Belgium) at the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.

Ms Arnjótsdóttir told us that a fundamental principle of the Icelandic education system is that everyone should have equal opportunity to acquire an education, irrespective of sex, economic status, residential location, possible handicap, and cultural or social background. We learned about the Adult Educational system in Iceland that is regulated by the Adult Education Act (no. 27/2010 - under revision) that covers the organisation of adult education by education and training providers that receive accreditation based on the Act, and public allocation for its implementation. The main target group are adults who have not finished education from the upper secondary level. There are 14 accredited educational providers, the so-called Lifelong Learning Centres. Also special adult learning services are funded and subsidized by the government. There is a collaborative forum in adult education with representatives from employers, labourers and employees, upper secondary schools, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Education and Culture, local authorities, the Ministry of Welfare and Social Affairs.



At the Directorate of Labout we learned that the directorate resorts under the Minister of Social Affairs and Children. The board consists of members of government, social partners and companies. Task of the public employments services is guiding, paying and training the unemployed. They also provide parental leave and wage guarantee/minimal wage and do workplace inspection. The first three months of unemployment wage is a percentage of what the person used to earn (with a ceiling). After that it lowers and ater 30 months it stops completely. If you have no means for living, you can go to the municipality. Training is offered, but it is outsourced. The public employments services provide assistance for unemployed entrepreneurs. They help to make a business plan and how to implement it. This is offered together with the Innovation Center. A competence prognosis is made yearly. This is an analysis of the market and  future trends. There is a research institution that does more qualitative research on this topic.


Read more about the study visit in general.

Read more about the first day of the study visit.

Read more about the third day of the study visit.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Epale SoundCloud Share on LinkedIn