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Recognition and validation of non-formal and informal competencies in the context of National Qualification Frameworks

The rapidly changing labour market, ageing population, intensified global competition and current crises make it necessary to use all available knowledge, skills and competencies – irrespective of where and how they have been acquired. The interest in validation can be seen as closely linked to efforts to create more flexible qualification systems – making it possible for individuals to build learning careers stretching ‘from cradle to grave’.The (traditional) training is part of the - much more comprehensive - professional skills development. Skills' development is one of the most important instruments to ensure our future. The future knowledge society is a society of competencies. It is a big challenge to measure non-formally and informally acquired skills and to present their comparison in a scientific way.The starting point of the project approach was the KODE® model including the Atlas of Competences developed and invented in 1997 by Erpenbeck/Heyse which has been under development since then. 64 fields of competencies are the basis of this model which is mainly (also in other European countries) used for staff development in private business or within authorities.The KøDE-NQF project used the KODE® Atlas of Competences as a basic instrument for structuring the competences of the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and the National Qualifications Frameworks (NQF) of Germany, Italy and Poland. Key project objectives were: - To find a methodology on how to assign the key competences from the KODE® Atlas of Competences to the eight levels in the EQF and NQFs - To modify the tools in order to adapt them to the requirements of the NQFs in Germany, Italy and Poland - To develop educational instructions and support for trainers and consultants in the field of education and trainingThe main outputs of the project are:1. KøDE-NQF tools/questionnaires for measurement and validation of non-formally and informally acquired competencies according to the eight levels of EQF and NQFs. 2. Handbook with training pack - to inform users how to implement the tool in the counselling process.The project has impact on VET providers: counsellors, advisers, consultants, they will have materials on how to work with measurement, assessment and validation of competencies and skills acquired in non-formal and informal context and how to measure them in the context of NQFs and EQF.The project also has impact on people who do not only have formal education and professional qualifications but also highly developed non-formal and informal skills and competencies, who move at the European or even global labour market and who require comparable recognition of their competencies.The consortium was made out of six institutions, most of them had great expertise in implementing European projects and new materials in vocational settings. The cooperation of partners in each country was based on tandem and complementary work.
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