Validating informal and non formal learning

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Informal learning is non-intentional learning which takes place in daily life contexts in the family, at work, during leisure, while travelling and in the community.Its outcomes are not recorded or certified and they do not count for education, training or employment purposes.The importance to Europe of skilled and knowledgeable citizens extends beyond formal education to learning acquired in non-formal or informal ways.Citizens must be able to demonstrate what they have learned to use this learning in their career and for further education and training.

The proposal is currently under discussion by the Council of Ministers and should be adopted by the end of 2012.

Hence, by making ‘invisible’ learning visible, all learning activity undertaken throughout life, with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and competences within a personal, civic, social and/or employment related perspective will be recognized.

For an employer it is a question of human resource management, for individuals a question of having the full range of skills and competences valued and for society a question of making full use of existing knowledge and experience, thus avoiding inefficiency.

Enabling citizens to combine and further their learning from school, universities, training bodies, work, leisure time and family activities presupposes that all forms of learning can be identified, assessed and recognised.

A comprehensive new approach to valuing learning is needed to build bridges between different learning contexts and learning forms, and to facilitate access to individual pathways of learning.

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