http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/images/banner_eac_en.gifTarget groups
All citizens and organisations are welcome to contribute to this consultation. Contributions are particularly sought from stakeholders at European, national and regional level involved in the delivery of non-formal and informal learning and in validation (e.g. education, training and labour market authorities and organisations, qualifications authorities, Trade Unions and chambers of labour, employer representatives and chambers of commerce, third sector bodies, guidance bodies, organisations of youth workers, youth NGOs, adult learning organisations, etc). Period of consultation: From 1.12.2010 to 9.02.2011.
Objective of the consultation
We are all constantly learning in our daily lives at work and through our leisure, cultural and social activities. But, all too often, the knowledge, skills and competences we acquire through our work and life experiences remain hidden representing a waste of the talents of EU citizens. Making this learning visible and giving it value is important not only for improved employability and social inclusion of individuals but also for better targeted and more efficient formal education and training provision, increased competiveness of enterprises and stronger economic growth. The validation of learning gained through work and life experiences has been a cornerstone of EU lifelong learning policy since 1995. Common European principles and guidelines have been established, peer learning and exchange of practice have been promoted and support for projects given from EU lifelong learning and youth programmes. Increasing numbers of Member States are introducing validation into their legal and institutional frameworks but across the EU as a whole much more needs to be done to make validation a practical every day reality for all interested citizens. The Commission considers it is very timely to address these issues now as a series of EU initiatives covering qualification and credit systems in general, vocational and higher education and training have been introduced which support a learning outcomes approach. In particular the ongoing development of national frameworks (which describe qualifications in terms of what people know, understand and can do regardless of where or how the learning was acquired) provide the scope to develop an integrated approach to the promotion and validation of non-formal and informal learning. The purpose of this consultation is to collect views on whether further action is needed to make the learning acquired through work and life experience visible and give it value and, if so, what type of action is required and which policy priorities should be focused on to ensure future measures are well-targeted, relevant and respond to real needs on the ground.
How to submit your contribution
Contributions may be submitted by using the online questionnaire. We welcome contributions from citizens, organisations and public authorities.
    * If you are answering this consultation as a citizen, please click here to submit your contribution.
    * If you are answering this consultation on behalf of an organisation, please click here to submit your contribution.
    * If you are answering this consultation on behalf of a public authority, please click here to submit your contribution.
Before completing the questionnaire, we invite you to read the background note which explains what is meant by validation, non-formal and informal learning and gives an overview of relevant EU actions, the state of play of developments in Member States and key challenges and outlines the scope and objectives of possible future action. Received contributions will be published on the Internet. It is important to read the specific privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with Additional contributions/comments, addressing relevant issues in the context of developing future action to promote and validate non-formal and informal learning may be sent by e-mail to the following address: EAC-Validation-consultation@ec.europa.eu. Please specify your name, nationality and, if applicable, the name of your organisation and your function in the organisation. If your organisation is part of the Interest Representative Register, please also indicate your Register ID number.
View the consultation document: Background note.
Reference documents
    * Road-map on possible future Council Recommendation on the promotion and validation of non-formal and informal learning
    * Common European principles on the validation of non-formal and informal learning European Council Conclusions (2004)
    * European guidelines on the validation of non-formal and informal learning European Commission and Cedefop (2009)
    * European inventory of validation policy and practice European Commission and Cedefop (2008 N.B an updated version will be available in Spring 2011)
Results of consultation and next steps

The results of this online consultation will be analysed and summarised in a report that will be published on this website in the first semester of 2011. Received contributions, together with the identity of the contributor will be published on the Internet, unless the contributor objects to publication of personal data on the grounds that such publication would harm his or her legitimate interests. In this case the contribution may be published in anonymous form. In addition to the online consultation, discussions with key stakeholder groups will take place between September 2010 and March 2011. The Commission will take the results of these consultations into account when drafting its proposal for future work on the promotion and validation of non-formal and informal learning, following an assessment of possible social, economic and environmental impacts.