The Malta Qualifications Council is currently spearheading the development of a new tool for the validation of informal and non-formal learning which can be used for the validation of learning in different business sectors as well as across Europe.
This tool involves a new type of digital portfolio which is stored on a pen-drive, known as the LIFEPASS. The LIFEPASS goes beyond the potential of the EUROPASS as it allows different formats of evidence (photos, videos, testimonials etc.) to be included in preparing evidence of one’s learning during the validation process.
Workers within the European labour market do not always possess official and recognised qualifications. Nonetheless, through experience at work as well as in their personal life, they have acquired knowledge, skills and competences as a result of informal and non-formal learning. The lack of formal certification however, limits the mobility of workers within the European labour market. Now that the European Qualifications Framework has been developed and countries are setting up or referencing their own national qualifications frameworks to the EQF, there is the structure supporting recognition of qualifications and thus mobility from one country to another. However, being competent yet unqualified, will now put people even more at risk of being excluded from the workforce.
The Leonardo project: INLearning targets this problem and aims to promote social inclusion through developing a methodology framework for the validation of informal and non-formal learning, through the use of a portfolio pen drive ‘LIFEPASS’. The tool is being developed to be applicable across different vocational sectors and potentially become a tool utilised across Europe. The project involves testing of the LIFEPASS tool and the developed methodology in a number of jobs in different sectors, namely: printing, agribusiness, construction, hospitality, transport, security, and childcare.
This tool will reduce inequalities and promote social inclusion among those who do not possess formal qualifications within a National Qualifications Framework. This can be achieved as it promotes the inclusion of disadvantaged (unqualified) groups as they validate their learning against the National and European Qualifications Frameworks. The methodological framework tool will help achieve coherence across European countries and facilitate recognition of the validation process.
The Consortium for this project is made up of partners involved directly or indirectly in the validation of informal and non-formal learning in their own countries. It consists of a total of ten partners from Austria and Greece, Greece and two partners from Slovenia, Estonia, Turkey, Portugal, and Italy. The project will end in January 2011 with a final project conference where work done and outputs produced during the project will be disseminated to interest groups.