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Recognition of Non-Formal and Informal Learning in some OECD Countries: Theory and Evidence Recognition of Non-Formal and Informal Learning in some OECD.

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Presentation on theme: "Recognition of Non-Formal and Informal Learning in some OECD Countries: Theory and Evidence Recognition of Non-Formal and Informal Learning in some OECD."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Recognition of Non-Formal and Informal Learning in some OECD Countries: Theory and Evidence Recognition of Non-Formal and Informal Learning in some OECD Countries: Theory and Evidence Dr. Patrick Werquin* REACTION Conference on: Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning in Different Sectors Ghent, September 2007 (* the opinions expressed in this power point presentation are those of the author alone)

3 Agenda for today - Background - Why do we want to organise recognition programmes? - Why it doesn’t necessarily work? - Some evidence and concluding remarks Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

4 Agenda for today - Background - Why do we want to organise recognition programmes? - Why it doesn’t necessarily work? - Some evidence and concluding remarks Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

5 Background -Lots of evidence about Recognition° of Non Formal and Informal Learning° (RNFIL), but piecemeal -Adult Learning°: an important component of lifelong learning -Growing awareness of the role of national qualifications systems* to promote lifelong learning Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

6 The Main Idea: NQS -> LLL. Good supplyExcellent supply ? NQS LLL This link is identified as mechanisms Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

7 Qualifications Systems - RNFIL = mechanism to create more and better lifelong learning - as well as: - credit transfer system - qualifications framework* - stakeholders involvement - information and guidance - … Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

8 A Typical Example: Adult Learning - Motivation is the key issue … and since for many people, learning seems to be a waste of time and money => Don’t ask adults to start from scratch!!!!! Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007     

9 Another Example: Self Learning. Literacy Level and Educational Attainment Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007 Among AdultsLow LiteracyHigh Literacy Low educational attainment High educational attainment 40% 10%

10 Terms and Concepts Many terms even in English only: -RPL (Australia), PLAR (Canada), APL or APEL (UK), Ireland uses them all... -RAS (Recognition of Acquired Skills) -(Recognition of previous knowledge  ) -Recognition of Learning Outcomes Other languages: -EVC (Belgium Flanders, Netherlands), VAE (France)… Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

11 Terms and Concepts (cont’d) -In Australia, they even made RPL a verb: “I will RPL you”, “not everybody can be RPLed”... -I like “Recognition of non formal and informal learning – RNFIL” because it says what it does*° (formal is out, RPL?) -Even is some claims we should say: “Recognition of non formal and informal learning outcomes” Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

12 Definitions of NFIL - It’s a nightmare! No consensus whatsoever; tentatively: -Formal Learning: organised, intentional, with learning objectives, leading to qualification° -Informal learning: none of the above, what we do all the time everywhere without even knowing it (key issue for documenting skills), does NOT usually lead to a qualification° -Non-Formal Learning: could be organised, may have learning objectives or happen alongside other more formal learning activities, does NOT usually lead to a qualification° -Nothing very convincing, some odd definitions (Statistics), a lot of overlap anyway -It does not work!!!    Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

13 More Definitions  -Recognition, Validation, Certification: in what order? Recognition (technical) => Validation (against standards) => Certification (stamp) => Recognition (social)* -Social recognition not specific to RNFIL, same in the formal learning system: it’s about recognition of a qualification -And the issue is that in both cases, it should come FIRST!!! -(I would keep “accreditation” for institutions ) Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

14 More About Recognition There is: -Technical Recognition -and Social Recognition -But also: Practical Recognition -And there is recognition of learning [outcomes] and recognition of qualification(s) -For non native English speakers, it could be a bit difficult  Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

15 Definitions: Some Pieces of Advice -Don’t panic -Don’t waste too much time debating them -Choose the ones that meets your needs for the following 2-3 years and stop re-addressing the issue all the time -If/whenever possible, use international definitions (OECD, 2007; CEDEFOP, 2008) -I’m focusing today on “Formal recognition of non-formal and informal learning”; key word: VISIBILITY* Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

16 Why Focussing on RNFIL ? -Because we need more research!!!! -Rationale for focussing on RNFIL: -Economic benefits (esp. in the workplace) -Educational benefits -Social benefits -Psychological benefits -Key Issues: -Technical and institutional arrangements -Indicator, data* -Good – and bad – practice -Develop pilot models Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007 

17 Why? Above all, because RNFIL appears to be among the possible solutions to address key issues!!!! Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

18 Agenda for today - Background Why do we want to organise recognition programmes? - Why do we want to organise recognition programmes? - Why it doesn’t necessarily work? - Some evidence and concluding remarks Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

19 Why? - No more lifetime jobs (Japan???) -Demography (Ageing, labour force shortages, work after retirement age, labour market, education system, tertiary education…) - Skills mismatch (make skills visible for governments to organise learning provision; for individuals to perform well in the labour market and/or to (re)enter LLL system at the most optimal level) Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

20 Why? - Inequities (women in labour market, gender issues in the VET initial system, immigrants: unqualified to make their skills visible as well as qualified to organise equivalencies) - Immigrants do fill some skills gaps – UK – but there maybe issues in terms of safety, security or health (Nurses) Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

21 Why? -Migration and mobility in general (workers, students) - Second chance (identify skills of poorly qualified people to certify them) – safety net Second chance for NEET people, for instance Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

22 Why? -Impact/role of other devices/programmes (such as qualifications frameworks (EQF typically) set in motion – based on learning outcomes, also the essence of RNFIL) - May not create economic growth, but will help sustain it!!! -Note these are only objectives: little of now evidence so far -RNFIL does NOT create skills, it make them VISIBLE, if there are some!!! Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

23 Agenda for today - Background - Why do we want to organise recognition programmes? - Why it doesn’t necessarily work? -Some evidence and concluding remarks Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

24 Employers* -Employers may see wider skills supply if more learning is recognised in the workforce -May need workforce with qualifications (ISO, existing regulations and regulated labour market…) -In theory individuals coming from RNFIL should be better* -But: -Is it less costly (time and money)? -This might lead to a reduction in commitment to formal training programmes -Ownership of the standards will may remain an issue for a long time; going beyond the standards even more of an issue Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

25 Trade Unions - Sceptical – at best  - Shift of focus from learning to assessing Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

26 Providers of learning - Worried!!!! OF COURSE (US higher education institutions and universities) -Nevertheless, providers may be encouraged to widen access to programmes if quality assured recognition systems are in place -Documenting skills may save some subsystems (Folk high schools in Norway???) -Although there may be increased direct and indirect costs involved in recognising non-formal and informal learning -May create additional qualifications (Mexico) -Ownership of the standards Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

27 Providers of qualifications - OK!!!! OF COURSE -But same worries about cost… Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

28 Individuals -System still not transparent, not at all -Access not easy -Information and guidance still lacking -Doesn’t happen for low qualified people – second Matthew effect -Most people would deny they have skills => Individuals are not fully convinced yet Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

29 Governments - ??? - ??? (Hungary…) - We have to interest not only Ministry of Education, but also Ministries of Finance, Labour… It must have to do with employment and unemployment* Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

30 Agenda for today - Background - Why do we want to organise recognition programmes? - Why it doesn’t necessarily work? Some evidence and concluding remarks - Some evidence and concluding remarks Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

31 Pieces of Evidence (1/3) -Labour market experience vs. Life experience -France (VAP in 1992->VAE in 2002), Iceland (nothing about working life, Slovenia: all about working life) -Importance of the economic context -Virtually no unemployment Norway, Iceland -Sustainability?? Usefulness?? -Qualifications framework: does it help? -Learning outcomes, EQF // Australia, Ireland, NZL, S-Africa, UK... -See Bjørnåvold in Duvekot et al. (2007) -Confusion between teachers and assessors, training? -Australia-Australia, Norway a bit better Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

32 Pieces of Evidence (2/3) -Involvement of stakeholders: Key element -Norway // - if not: law (Flemish Belgium, Slovenia...) -Creation of intermediary qualification: Way out -Partial qualification -But also full qualification at intermediate level (Mexico) -Practical recognition vs. Formal recognition -Informal recognition  // - UK, Australia -Information and guidance -vs. Complexity // - All countries Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

33 Pieces of Evidence (3/3) -Need for a clear rationale and a [national] rhetoric -Is it always good to codify all kind of learning? -Why do countries want to do it??? -Norway, Australia, Slovenia, Hungary -Existence of, or need for, a legal framework -A lot of countries have one -Standards for validating -Education vs. Labour market -Ownerships of the standards -Occupations standards to be up-to-date so that qualifications based on occupational standards do have value for employers Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

34 m e r c i Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007

35 Why is RNFIL a Mechanism? Recognition systems for non-formal and informal learning make explicit the value of learning that is not assessed as part of a formal learning programme. This kind of recognition can act as a safety net for those who have not yet fully engaged with learning. Individuals Individuals with relatively low levels of formal achievement might be motivated to enter programmes and continue learning if their knowledge, skills and wider competences acquired through experience can be recognised and used to reduce the costs of qualification. Employers Employers may see wider skills supply if more learning is recognised in the workforce. On the other hand this might lead to a reduction in commitment to formal training programmes. May be interested in spotting more motivated individuals, and therefore workers potentially more productive. Providers Providers may be encouraged to widen access to programmes if quality assured recognition systems are in place. Although there may be increased direct and indirect costs involved in recognising non-formal and informal learning. Patrick Werquin, REACTION Conference on APEL, Ghent, 13 September 2007


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