This section draws mainly on input from European Commission et al. (forthcoming).
The development of validation systems In Luxembourg has been closely related to national lifelong learning strategy. Legislation recognises an individual right for all individuals to benefit from the validation of formal, non-formal and informal learning, (under some conditions) ( Validation can lead to access to, or acquisition of, full or partial qualifications, provided that the candidate can supply evidence that the total length of prior experiential learning amounts to at least 5 000 hours over a minimum of three years and is effectively related to the targeted qualification.). This process is known as 'validation of prior experiential learning' or validation des acquis de l'expérience (VAE) and has been operational since 2010 ( VAE has become a known way of obtaining a formal qualification based on formal, non-formal and informal learning outcomes or, in other words, based on the individual life and work experience of the person. Even if the procedure is not perfect, the path one has to follow is clearly set up (implementation of the 2012 Council recommendation on validation of non-formal and informal learning, one-off report Luxembourg)). The current legal framework on validation consists of several laws, covering secondary technical and vocational education, advanced technician diplomas and the University of Luxembourg. VAE arrangements are in place for formal qualifications awarded through the 'general secondary education' system in Luxembourg (including technical and vocational education, to be distinguished from 'classical secondary education', not covered by VAE) ( Following adoption of the law of 29 August 2017, the Luxembourgish secondary education includes both 'classical' secondary education (enseignement secondaire classique) and 'general' secondary education (enseignement secondaire général), corresponding to vocational and technical education, the latter giving access to higher education. Source: Eurydice online database: https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/national-policies/eurydice/content/secondary-and-post-secondary-non-tertiary-education-32_en), post-secondary non-tertiary education qualifications such as master craftsperson certificates, and higher education qualifications (both short-cycle degrees and qualifications awarded by the University of Luxembourg). Since 2016, new legal provisions ( Loi du 24 août 2016 modifiant la loi modifiée du 19 décembre 2008 portant réforme de la formation professionnelle [Law of 24 August 2016 modifying the amended law of 19 December 2008 on the reform of vocational training]. Journal Officiel, Mémorial A175, 1.9.2016. http://data.legilux.public.lu/file/eli-etat-leg-memorial-2016-175-fr-pdf.pdf#page=1&zoom=auto,-12,318
Règlement grand-ducal du 15 décembre 2017 portant sur l'accompagnement par entretiens personnalisés du candidat sollicitant la validation des acquis de l'expérience [Regulation of the Grand Duchy of 15 December 2017 on the personalised interviews of the candidate seeking the validation of acquired experience]. Journal Officiel, Mémorial A1080, 18.12.2017. http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/rgd/2017/12/15/a1080/jo) guarantee the right to individualised guidance to VAE candidates for qualifications under the responsibility of the Ministry of National Education.
Vocational and technical qualifications can be acquired through validation. An exception is the secondary general school leaving certificate (Diplôme de fin d'études secondaires générales, DFESG)) that cannot be acquired through validation. In higher education, qualifications at levels 6 to 8, only parts of qualifications or modules can be recognised through validation. Any type of prior experiential learning relevant to the targeted qualification, whether it is the result of formal, non-formal or informal learning activities in the education and training sector, the labour market or the third sector, can be used to apply for validation.
The Ministry of National Education takes responsibility for the implementation of VAE in relation to secondary level vocational and technical qualifications as well as master craftsperson certificates.
In higher education, the Ministry for Higher Education holds general responsibility for validation arrangements, but VAE procedures are decentralised, with a key role played by the short-cycle higher education providers (lycées) for the advanced technician diplomas (BTS) and the University of Luxembourg for bachelor, master and PhD programmes. The new law on the University of Luxembourg, affecting VAE, was being discussed at the parliament and came into force on 1 August 2018.
The small size of the country aids informal coordination between different validation stakeholders. Validation is a regular topic of discussion in Luxembourg, with changes to the legislative framework on validation and improvements in the provision of orientation and guidance to validation candidates being considered. The value of learning outcomes from non-formal and informal contexts is largely accepted in Luxembourg. This is due to the high value attributed to lifelong learning and to the consensual political culture of Luxembourg, with social partners and stakeholders involved in the validation process concerning (Houot, 2016).
Changes are expected in the coming years, creating an overarching legal framework with general principles for validation for all sectors.