The OBSERVAL-Net project is collecting Case Studies in "Validation of non-normal and informal learning". The best works will have the chance to win the 2013 Validation Prize given to 3 different categories. All the finalists will be invited to Brussels (flights and accommodation covered) to attend the Final OBSERVAL-Net Dissemination Event.

The 2013 Validation awards aims to:
  • Showcase the best VNIL practices
  • Highlight the excellence of existing projects
  • Spread the awareness about VNIL initiatives among professionals in this area
  • Help citizens eager to have their learning outcomes and skills recognised and validated

By highlighting and publishing best practices in the area of VNIL, the Validation Prize contributes to changing society's mentality in the education and employment sectors towards the recognition that learning can also take place outside the formal structures and produce valid learning outcomes.
The 2013 Validation awards focuses on three distinct categories:

  1. The Bottom-Up Approach - the role of grassroots initiatives in supporting VNIL, and strategies towards their mainstreaming
  2. The New Profession - the competence profile required for VNIL professionals
  3. Work-Based Competence Development and Recognition - the implementation of VNIL in the workplace


Target group
Trade unions, companies, sectoral/branch organisations, training funds, professional groups or individual workers, NGOs, VET schools, universities, public authorities, institutions of LLL, civil society organisations, social partners, VNIL professionals and researchers are invited to submit their best cases in one or more of the three categories using the Case Study template.
Evaluation Criteria:

  1. Innovation: Points to consider under this criteria concern changes wholly or partly initiated by VNIL in relation to processes or learning/working culture, innovative ways of engaging main actors who become ‘change agents’ or new solutions regarding the embedding of VNIL into legal frameworks or existing structures
  2. Impact: The case studies should provide qualitative and/or quantitative evidence of their impact in terms of results, changes in processes, impact on the organisation, impact on the involved individuals, etc
  3. Sustainability: It will be assessed how the processes and impact of the case studies are sustained and/or how they are integrated into existing structures or processes
  4. Transferability of the case: The elements of the case study that can be an appealing example to possibly other cases and/or the main learning points should be outlined in response to this criterion
  5. European added value: This criterion looks at the overarching value to learning and working within the European area of the case study
  6. Diversity of actors and stakeholders in VNIL: The case study should explain who are the different actors and/or stakeholders involved in the case and their roles and tasks.

Deadline for submission  26 April 2013
Download the Case study template here and send it to
You can read more about the Validation Prize dowloading the full leaflet here
What do I win if my case study is selected?

  • Up to three nominees for each of the three categories will have free travel and accommodation in Brussels 15 October 2013, for the Final Event and Award Ceremony
  • Representative award

Why should I participate in the Validation Prize?

  • By presenting your best practices, you are showing appraisal and valuation to your employees and all actors involved in the VNIL best practice
  • The best practices will be showcased in a special section of the Observatory
  • The three nominees for each of the three categories will be officially invited to the Final Award Ceremony at the end of October 2013, and their travel and subsistence costs will be covered
  • Contributing with your case study to the Observatory will be an opportunity to exchange experience and share practices with other VNIL professionals across Europe
  • The winners in each of the three categories will receive a representative award
  • Participation is free, easy and straight-forward.