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International Review of Education

, Volume 61, Issue 4, pp 547–562 | Cite as

Challenges in implementing national systems of competency validation with regard to adult learning professionals: Perspectives from Romania and India

  • Simona Lidia SavaEmail author
  • S. Y. Shah
Original Paper

Abstract

Validation of prior learning (VPL), also referred to as recognition, validation and accreditation of prior learning (RVA), is becoming an increasingly important political issue at both European and international levels. In 2012, the European Council, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) launched strategic documents and guidelines for supporting its wide implementation. A wide range of resources and experiences to learn from are already available for improving policy making and the quality and credibility of VPL practices. An intrinsic part of quality assurance concerns the level of training of practitioners accompanying the VPL process. Addressing the need for improved practices of adult educators’ continuing professional development as well as improved validation processes, this paper presents and analyses practitioners’ experiences with a piloted portfolio tool designed to support the validation of pedagogic competencies of trainers in adult education. While the pilot study was carried out in 20 European and 2 non-European countries, this article picks out and compares feedback from participants in Romania and India, which are both striving to catch up in terms of accreditation of non-formal and informal learning. Based on their findings, the authors’ reflections focus in particular on evident challenges for educational policy making in these two very different countries. They also consider related policy measures needed for improving the educational contexts in both countries, both in terms of validation practices and in terms of the professional development of practitioners applying such practices, in line with international trends.

Keywords

Validation of competencies Adult learning professionals Professionalisation of staff in adult education Alternative pathways for certification Validpack portfolio tool 

Résumé

Les défis à l’application de systèmes nationaux de validation des compétences chez les professionnels de l’éducation et de la formation des adultes : perspectives de la Roumanie et de l’Inde – La validation des apprentissages antérieurs, appelée également reconnaissance, validation et accréditation des acquis de l’apprentissage (RVA), devient un thème politique d’importance croissante au niveau tant européen qu’international. Le Conseil européen, l’Institut de l’UNESCO pour l’apprentissage tout au long de la vie (UIL) et l’Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Économiques (OCDE) ont lancé en 2012 des documents et directives stratégiques en vue de promouvoir l’application de ce concept à grande échelle. Une grande diversité de ressources et d’expériences profitables sont d’ores et déjà disponibles et permettent d’améliorer l’élaboration des politiques afférentes ainsi que la qualité et la crédibilité des pratiques de RVA. Une part intrinsèque de l’assurance qualité porte sur le niveau de formation des praticiens qui accompagnent cette procédure. En réponse au besoin d’améliorer les pratiques en perfectionnement professionnel continu des éducateurs d’adultes ainsi que les procédures de validation, les auteurs de cet article présentent et analysent les expériences de praticiens à l’aide d’un outil testé et conçu en vue de faciliter la validation des compétences pédagogiques des éducateurs d’adultes. Si l’étude pilote a été menée dans 20 nations d’Europe et 2 pays non européens, les auteurs sélectionnent et comparent les retours reçus de participants en Roumanie et en Inde, ces deux pays s’efforçant de rattraper leur retard dans l’accréditation de l’apprentissage non formel et informel. À partir de leurs résultats, les auteurs concentrent leurs réflexions notamment sur les défis évidents à l’élaboration de politiques éducatives dans ces deux pays très différents. Ils envisagent en outre les mesures politiques connexes nécessaires pour améliorer les contextes éducatifs dans les deux nations, concernant à la fois les pratiques de validation et le perfectionnement professionnel des praticiens afférents, qui renvoient aux tendances internationales.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational Sciences, Faculty of Sociology and PsychologyWest University of TimisoaraTimisoaraRomania
  2. 2.International Institute of Adult and Lifelong Education (IIALE)New DelhiIndia

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