Learning outside the school system can now lead to formal qualifications, thanks to validation systems that are being created across Europe.
The trend is driven partly by the expansion of national qualification frameworks. All these developments rest upon the key idea of learning outcomes: learning should be assessed on the basis of what the person knows, understands and can do not how and where that knowledge was acquired.

Validation and learning outcomes are the topics of two new Cedefop publications:

- The shift to learning outcomes: Conceptual, political and practical developments in Europe

- Validation of non-formal and informal learning in Europe: A snapshot 2007