This section draws mainly on input from the 2018 update to the European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning (European Commission et al., forthcoming).
There has been slow progress in Greece in developing a framework for validation that can encompass non-formal and informal learning gained through work experience. A national system for the certification of outputs started development in 2016, expected to boost employment, but progress has not been quick. In 2018, this system remains one of the strategic objectives of EOPPEP. Once it is in place, certification of learning outcomes/outputs will follow criteria and processes that will ensure that the certified learning outcomes will lead to qualifications that correspond to the requirements of the relevant occupational profiles (Epaggelmatiko perigramma).
During the past two years, continuing vocational education and training (CVET) has been the policy priority making the biggest progress. A regulatory framework has been developed for the operation of lifelong learning centres (Kentra dia viou mathisis (KDBM)), which offer continuous vocational training, general adult education, vocational guidance and lifelong counselling.
According to Law 4186/2013, the General Secretariat for Lifelong Learning of the ministry of education is responsible for licencing and monitoring institutes of vocational training (IEK) and EOPPEP is responsible for accreditation of their training programmes, to boost quality assurance and enable progression pathways. During 2018, around 40 IEK programmes were accredited, by decision of EOPPEP's Board of Directors.
Legislative provision for a new type of diploma at level 5 of the HQF and EQF has recently been prepared. This relates to the development of two-year, post-secondary vocational training programmes (KEE) ( This is foreseen by Law 4521/2018, Chapter 2, Article 8, Paragraph 2, according to which higher education institutes may establish two-year vocational training programmes for vocational lyceum (EPAL) graduates. Accreditation will be carried out by the universities, without the involvement of the validation authority (EOPPEP). https://www.kodiko.gr/nomologia/document_pdf/345552) provided by universities, in 10 specialisations as of September 2018. The curriculum will provide specialised knowledge and skills for highly qualified technicians. Access to these programmes is foreseen just for upper secondary school leaving (EPAL) graduates (Cedefop, 2018b). According to Law 4485/2017 and Law 4521/2018, these training programmes lead to level 5 qualifications: they are not described as short cycle HE programmes and their qualification type descriptors have not yet been developed. These programmes will be accredited by HE directly (the council of each university will submit them to the ministry of education for final approval). The criteria for EPAL graduate enrolment to the programmes will be decided by each council; in addition to the final degree grade, their working experience and other social criteria will be considered
An example of validation of non-formal learning in Greece started since 2014, with adult trainers in non-formal learning. These trainers need to have certified educational competence/proficiency to train in non-formal learning programmes funded by public resources ( Law 4115/2013.). More specifically, enrolment for the examinations means meeting certain criteria regarding educational attainment or proven professional experience. The updated system foresees three pathways:
- direct certification of conditions and criteria;
- participation in an assessment process, and then certification;
- enrolment in training programmes and subsequent certification ( All the details of the assessment stage are explicitly described and analysed on EOPPEP's website: https://www.eoppep.gr/index.php/en/).
Currently, a sectoral focus is in place for the certification of private security personnel.
Progress has been made on the upskilling pathways recommendation ( Council of the European Union (2016). Council recommendation of 19 December 2016 on upskilling pathways: new opportunities for adults. Official Journal of the European Union, C 484, 24.12.2016, pp. 1-6. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32016H1224(01)&from=EN.) in terms of offering opportunities for basic skills training to low-skilled adults. A memorandum of cooperation is planned to be signed between EOPPEP (the validation authority) and the Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED) which is the Greek public employment service (PES). Stakeholders have come together on occasions during the first half of 2018 to develop their dialogue on upskilling pathways and validation; this dialogue is set to continue during 2019.
On a final note, the apprenticeship year attached to IVET (Mathiteia IEK) has been initiated and a quality framework has been developed ( Ministerial Decree 26412/2017. Official Gazette, 490B/2017. https://www.minedu.gov.gr/publications/docs2017/kya_mathiteias.pdf).
Although these are significant steps for the country, validation of non-formal and informal learning is not yet as developed in Greece as in other EU countries. Even though informal and non-formal learning is gaining importance, such learning is not adequately valued and recognised in society. A cultural shift would also be required in favour of learning outcomes, to support steps towards recognition and validation of non-formal and informal learning.