Four reports on validation have just been published by Cedefop. They focus on funding, the care and youth sectors, use of validation of non-formal and informal learning, and validation and open educational resources.

Validation in the care and youth work sectors

This thematic report provides insights into how validation arrangements are linked to the labour market. Based mainly on data collected for the European inventory, the report explores the rationale for validation and considers the use, awareness and types of validation opportunities and the role of employers/organisations in supporting validation in two sectors. The report compares approaches in the care and youth work sectors, reflecting the different purposes of validation and the extent of its labour market connection, currently stronger in the care sector compared to the youth sector.

Monitoring the use of validation of non-formal and informal learning

Based on data collected for the European inventory project, the report explores the extent to which data are available on different aspects of validation in different education sectors. The results show a lack of comprehensive national statistics on validation, exacerbated in many countries by a lack of a clear regulatory framework and/or mandate for organisations responsible for validation to build up integrated databases or release annual data. A further challenge is the fragmented offer of validation opportunities. Recommendations highlight the need for data collection on different aspects of validation take-up.

Validation and open educational resources

This report focuses on validation of learning acquired through open educational resources (OER), such as participation in massive open online courses. Based on a review of the literature and data collected for the European inventory, the report explores how validation may relate to the use of OER. Recommendations emphasise the importance of knowledge-sharing and spreading good practice on validation of OER-derived learning, including awarding full qualifications, raising stakeholder awareness, strengthening measures that link OER-derived learning to more generic systems for validation, and further investing in high-quality assessment systems.

Funding validation

Funding sources for validation of non-formal and informal learning are examined and associated issues such as sustainability and accessibility are discussed in this report. It identifies five funding sources used by countries across Europe: dedicated public funding from national sources; public funding but not specifically allocated to validation; EU and project funding; mix of public and private sector funding; and fees charged to individual learners. For each of these, it sets out a list of strengths/enablers and barriers/weaknesses. The report suggests that there is scope to look into validation funding in more detail.