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Accreditation of prior experiential learning

The procedures involved in the accreditation of prior experiential learning are aimed at identifying, accrediting and certifying learning gained in non-formal and informal contexts. Over recent years such procedures have attracted growing interest from trainers, researchers and those responsible for training services in various countries.

From as early as the mid nineteen nineties, the EU began outlining a framework for the development of training. This involved giving formal and informal practices and well-consolidated training systems equal weight. The very same strategy of Lisbon encourages the spread of accreditation systems of such competencies by supporting the development of rules and methods aimed at favouring their official recognition.

As a result of such a drive, several countries have taken on board these directives and developed models for the recognition of prior experiential learning. One of the most significant experiments to have come to light is the VAE (Validation des acquis experientielles) in France. This idea was later taken as a model by Switzerland. Another important initiative has been the development of the APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning) in the English-speaking world.

The Italian Institute of Evaluation, a leading body in Italy for evaluative research, is a qualified and reliable partner for the management of projects connected to the accreditation of prior experiential learning gained in non-formal and informal contexts. In particular, the Italian Institute of Evaluation offers to support public and private bodies in bringing the following activities to fruition:

  • The development of consultancy and support interventions aimed at companies and public bodies that intend to involve themselves in the evaluation of learning. That is,  transferability of protocols and instruments for evaluation, management of meetings and procedures, support throughout the process, supervision of evaluation, design and planning of accreditation procedures etc;
  • The development of consultancy and support interventions for the accreditation of prior experiential learning aimed at individuals and small groups. This happens in the form of individual access to information, preparation for evaluation, support in the drawing up of balance-sheets and dossiers of competencies etc;
  • The promotion of training measures and Master programmes dedicated to professional development consultants, trainers, guidance counsellors and HR experts, with the aim of training professionals capable of working in the various phases of the accreditation process for prior experiential learning, by recognising the needs of the subjects involved and the complexity of the models of intervention;
  • The organisation and promotion of conferences and seminars on the themes of accreditation of learning gained in non-formal and informal contexts and of experiential learning.