Cedefop relevant work in the field of informal and non formal learning (NFIL)

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1 Cedefop relevant work in the field of informal and non formal learning (NFIL) Dr. Alexandra Dehmel (Cedefop) European Trade Union Conference Informal and non formal learning (NIFL): parallel practices for a systemic integration 26-27June 2012, Lisbon

2 Agenda 1. Cedefop 2. Validation: Definition and importance 3. EU policies on validation 4. Cedefop s work in the field of validation Study: The use of validation by enterprises for human resource and career development purposes 2

3 1. Cedefop is the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Education and Training (VET). is a European agency. was founded in 1975 and is based in Thessaloniki. has around 130 staff. 3

4 1. Cedefop What we do: Research on VET Report on VET policy developments Forecast skill needs and supply Support the development of common European tools and principles/approaches Who do we work with/support? European Commission & European Parliament Member States National and European social partners Other partners (Eurostat, EU agencies, OECD, etc.) Gathering information Analysis Sharing expertise Evidence based policy making 4

5 2. Validation: Definition Validation is the process of identifying, assessing and recognising knowledge, skills and competences acquired in formal, non-formal and informal settings. FOCUS today: Validation of informal and non-formal learning (NIFL), in enterprises 5

6 2. Validation: Importance Economic crisis, rapid changes in the labour market... Individual employees and employers need to make visible existing KSC: Individual employees facing radical career changes or / and unemployment need to demonstrate and document all their KSC Employers facing cost-cuts, technological and organisational changes, demand for increasing productivity etc. need to gain a complete overview over the KSC and the potential of its staff 6

7 3. EU policies on validation Common European Principles for the Identification and Validation of non-formal and informal Learning (2004); European Inventory on Validation of non-formal and informal Learning (2010); European Guidelines for Validating non-formal and informal Learning (2009); Council Recommendation on Validation (expected in 2012); Validation increasingly high on the political agenda; European level tools and frameworks (e.g. EQF, Europass, European Credit Systems) could be used to promote validation and to enhance comparability and transparency. 7

8 4. Cedefop s work in the field of validation (with EC): Practical tools and policy development European Guidelines (2009) Purely voluntary Expert advice for stakeholders at national and local level Reflects and illustrates, mutual support! European Inventory Catalogue of good practices Regularly updated (2004, 2005, 2008, 2010) Adresses needs of policy makers & practitioners 8

9 Research Continuous work on validation: Key player in the field; works in this field since the 1990s; research on themes related to validation and on developments in Member States 9

10 Study on validation in enterprises Cedefop study The use of validation by enterprises for human resource and career development purposes 10

11 Study on validation in enterprises Start: December 2010; now: final stage Objective: How and to which extent do private enterprises identify and validate KSC for HR and career development purposes? 10 European countries: Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain 11

12 Study on validation in enterprises: Research questions Main methods and arrangements for validation in use by enterprises; key characteristics? Within which institutional settings and partnerships are they developed (employers, employees, social partners)? Characteristics of the enterprises (size, sector) using them? Main purposes for developing and using such methods and arrangements? 12

13 Study on validation in enterprises: Research questions Which standards and references (if any) are used by enterprises when identifying and/or validating NIFL? How are the outcomes of the validation used inside and outside the enterprise, by employees and employers? Which are the main obstacles faced by enterprises? 13

14 Study on validation in enterprises: Research approach Literature review Expert survey: 29 interviews with experts (from HR consulting firms, recruitment agencies, providers of assessment tools); explorative. Enterprise survey 20 case studies: illustrate validation approaches, give further insights 14

15 Study on validation in enterprises: Enterprise survey Telephone survey, 400 companies with more than 50 employees, across the 10 European countries, including 7 sectors (construction, finance & insurance, health care, information & communication, manufacturing, retail trade, transport). 15

16 Study on validation in enterprises: Enterprise survey Top 3 purposes of companies competence assessment Companies systematically assess employees competences in the context of (ranked): 1. Recruiting workers 2. Deciding on and defining personnel development measures 3. Deciding about career progression and succession planning 16

17 Study on validation in enterprises: Enterprise survey Types of competences most thoroughly assessed by companies: 1. Profession-related competences (average of 3.18 on a scale from 1-4) 2. Social competences (2.85) 3. Personal competences (2.82) 4. Digital literacy (2.35) 17

18 Study on validation in enterprises: Enterprise survey Use of competence grids / models: Almost 65% of companies use pre-defined grids or catalogues of competences About 40% also use some system of scales and grades About 25% apply some external competence models or profiles (while the rest use self-made models - or no models) 18

19 Study on validation in enterprises: Enterprise survey Assessment methods/instruments used: Interviews and talks: almost all companies Screening of CVs, qualifications, references etc.: almost all Work samples: 56% of companies Continuous observation of work behaviour: 47% (Psychometric) tests / questionnaires: 44% Simulations, exercises: 40% Assessment centres: 39% 360 degree feedback: 37% 19

20 Study on validation in enterprises: Enterprise survey Reports recording the assessment results: Are reports recording assessment results kept by the company? Yes, with standardised competence profiles: 38% of firms Yes, but no standardised competence profiles: 34% Only on a case-by-case basis: 13% Not at all: 15% Are these reports handed over to the assessed employee? Yes, universally: 66% Only some parts: 9% No, but we allow inspection of documents: 17% No hand-over and no inspection: 8% 20

21 Study on validation in enterprises: Enterprise survey Some other aspects In approx. 50% of firms assessment practices or results are to some extent contested by employees In less than 50% of firms employee representatives are involved in design and implementation of assessment practices Approx. 35% of firms feel to some extent constrained by labour legislation or collective agreements with respect to design and implementation of assessment practices 21

22 Study on validation in enterprises Some overall findings Term validation often not known / used in the private sector, but: measures to identify, asses and / or recognise KSC have been developed and used, especially in HR management, for a long time. Usage of validation is unevenly distributed: larger enterprises tend to use it more often and to have more sophisticated systematic approaches. Weak links to public / national validation systems: How can the different parts be linked? Should we change our policies? 22

23 Thank you for your attention! 23

24 Practical implementation of validation of NIFL in the EU Three main groups of countries: Countries where validation is a practical reality for individuals (e.g. Portugal) validation is emerging as a practical reality for individuals (e.g. Denmark) validation activities are few and given low priority (e.g. Cyprus) 24

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