Globalisation, digitalisation and migration are changing the way we work and learn. Increasing skills mismatches and the challenge of integrating all learners into work and education call for everyone involved to act. Validation of prior learning (VPL) as a stimulus and ‘guide’ for sustainable personal, organisational and societal development is more relevant than ever. Validation is the process of making visible and giving value to individuals’ learning achievements, irrespective of their learning pathways.

The aim of the VPL Biennale is to strengthen the dialogue between policy-makers, practitioners, users of validation as well as other stakeholders in the process. The Biennale is a forum where different stakeholders can exchange knowledge, ideas and vision on how to make VPL work. The good practices and recommendations from the event will be used in the formulation and public adoption of the Berlin Declaration on VPL.

The third VPL Biennale focuses on taking stock of what has been achieved in terms of policy development and implementation in recent years and on how to move forward. Six VPL policy areas will be investigated:

  1. Organisational arrangements: how can bridges be built among stakeholders from the worlds of business, volunteering, and education for VPL results to have value?
  2. Financing: what forms of financing must in place to make VPL accessible to all learners?
  3. Procedures and instruments: what kinds of procedures and instruments provide valid results and can cater for a large number of candidates?
  4. Support structures: what support structures must be available to reach disadvantaged learners?
  5. Post-validation pathways: what follow-up actions are required for validation to facilitate further learning and career paths?
  6. Legal foundations: what issues need to be addressed by laws and regulations for VPL to be effective?

Apart from the conference, the Biennale will host a competition, the Global Validation Prize 2019. The competition has three categories: products, procedures and policies, and is open until 24 February 2019.

The Biennale has also launched a call for papers on ‘Current research and projects’, to be presented in an independent event at the Biennale (open until 1 March 2019). The Biennale invites presentations which highlight current academic research on the topic of VPL or showcase VPL projects in progress or recently completed.

Cedefop is contributing to the organisation of the Biennale hosted by the Bertelsmann Stiftung; its Organising Committee includes the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), the Nordic Network for Adult Learning (NVL), the European Centre Valuation Prior Learning (EC-VPL), the VIA University College, Globedu, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), the European Commission and Cedefop.

Find more information and register at:

Event details

Event Date(s)
07/05/2019 - 08/05/2019
Event Type
Event venue
dbb forum berlin, Friedrichstraße 169, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Open event
Cedefop involvement





Ernesto Villalba Garcia
Anthie Kyriakopoulou