The European Commission, with Cedefop’s support, organised a festival on the validation of non-formal and informal learning, on 14 and 15 June in Brussels, bringing together around 300 practitioners, policy-makers, social partners and youth and civil society organisations to exchange and discuss initiatives and projects in the field.

DG Employment Social Affairs and Inclusion’s Head of Unit on Skills and Qualifications Alison Crabb opened the festival with Cedefop expert Ernesto Villalba. They emphasised the event’s instrumental role in creating a community of practice around the issue of validation.

On the first day, the festival featured a ‘marketplace’ with 40 stands where participants could visit a diverse range of projects related to the identification, documentation, assessment and certification of skills and competences, and get to know more about the range of practices on validation of non-formal and informal learning.

In the afternoon, thematic workshops discussed in depth various topics related to validation, such as digital badges, block-chain potential, youthpass or competence cards. Cedefop chaired two sessions on ‘developing validation in the workplace in cooperation with employers’ and ‘funding models for validation’.

Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen opened the second day debate, stressing: ‘We need to make sure people can put all their skills to use in the new world of work, regardless of where they have learned them. This means we have to put validation squarely on the map because it makes learning visible and gives it value.’

She also pointed out Cedefop’s work in assisting the Commission to support better informed policies through the development and maintenance of the European inventory on validation.

At a panel discussion, Cedefop expert Jens Bjørnåvold highlighted the importance of validation as a tool to support both education and employment policies.

The festival contributed to the creation of a community of practice. The next opportunity for the community to get together will be the 3rd Biennale on validation of prior learning in Berlin on 7 and 8 May 2019. Cedefop is part of the event’s organising committee.   

For more information contact