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Elektronisch platform voor volwasseneneducatie in Europa



Learn about Validation of Prior Learning in Iceland

door Karine Nicolay
Taal: EN

A group of Belgian (Flemish) stakeholders could travel 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. A very special thanks to Margrét Sverrisdottir and Dora Stefansdottir and their colleagues to help us with every part of our journey.

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.



The participants of the study visit at Rannis (left to right): Dóra Stefánsdóttir, coordinator for Euroguidance Iceland, Inès Neefs, Karine Nicolay, Monique De Ridder, Ariane Rober, Nathalie Druine and Margrét Sverrisdóttir, coordination of Adult Education at Rannís and Project Manager for EPALE.


Validation of Prior Learning in Flanders (Belgium)

In the period 2018-2020 various policy domains in the Flemish Community of Belgium co-operated in order to implement the targets agreed upon by the Flemish Government in following up the recommendation 'Upskilling Pathways: new opportunities for adults'. Flanders puts it focus on VPL, a theme that concerns many people and stakeholders from various domains and on different levels. EPALE functions as one of the dissemination platforms to inform all relevant stakeholders on the subject as well as to enhance their involvement in the implementation process. Validation of prior learning is also the subject of the Erasmus+ KA3 Project Visible Skills of Adults (VISKA), filed under the call priority theme of “Employment and Skills", in which the Flemish Department of Education is a partner.

Earlier this year an EPALE-zine was dedicated to the new law about VPL in Flanders. (The e-zine is in Dutch).


Why Iceland?

Iceland is often mentioned as a 'good example' in terms of VPL. In this video on EPALE, the Icelandic VPL system is presented by the most important organizations involved in the system. Already in 2016, during the European VET week in Brussels, Dr. Svanhildur Kr. SVERRISDÓTTIR of the Icelandic Ministry of Education, Science and Culture presented how the Icelandic system was set up in a workshop initiated by Mrs. Lieve Van den Brande of DG Employment of the European Commission. During the VPL Biennale in 2017, Iceland won the Global Prize for Validation of Prior Learning. Because of all these factors, and thanks to an additional invitation from EPALE Iceland, the choice for the study visit fell on Iceland. 

More detailed information about VPL in Iceland can be found in the European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning - Iceland - 2016 compiled by Cedefop, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.

An update on validation of non-formal and informal learning in Belgium (NL) 2016 can be found in this Cedefop country report.


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

Visit to IDAN Educational Centre. Meeting with Helen Gray, Development manager and Rakel Steinvör Hallgrímsdóttir.

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.

Read a report about the first day of the study visit on 24 September 





Read a report about the second day of the study visit on 25 September


Read a report about the third day of the study visit on 26 september.


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  • afbeelding van Peter VAN DEURSEN
    Very interesting article, also the link to the VISKA project! Thanks for sharing
  • afbeelding van Dóra Stefánsdóttir
    It was such a pleasure meeting you. Thank you for this very good report. Hope to see you again soon.
    Best regards, Dóra