In the context of the knowledge society and the digital revolution, it is essential to keep competences up to date and to develop them constantly. The concept of lifelong learning takes these new requirements into account, and includes “All learning activity undertaken throughout life, which results in improving knowledge, knowhow, skills, competences and/or qualifications for personal, social and/or professional reasons." It is now acknowledged that much of this learning activity is undertaken in a non-formal or informal manner, especially in work situations. The challenge, therefore, is to value, recognise and even certify these competences.
The recognition and validation of prior learning (RVPL) has emerged as a response to these new requirements, as it provides methods for using and even certifying people’s non-formally or informally acquired competences.
The dissemination of RVPL practices requires a transformation of the structures and practices used by training professionals, as well as of career guidance practices.
Through its research and development projects, the “Learning outcomes” research field:
- develops knowledge on how learning takes place through experience and works to consolidate and improve RVPL practices;
- develops innovative procedures and tools to help companies and VET partners make the most of professional competences;
- offers opportunities for RVPL professionals to share knowledge;
- takes part in and contributes to national and international networks of researchers and other interested professionals.