In Iceland almost 30% of people (aged 25-64) on the labour market have not completed Upper Secondary Education. Therefore the national strategy for the validation of non-formal and informal learning aims mostly at people with low levels of education and qualifications.
The process is defined (all four stages of validation are followed) and is coordinated by LLL centres distributed around the country in close cooperation with upper secondary schools and relevant stakeholders in the field.
There are also examples of trade unions assisting immigrants to get recognition for their formal learning into the formal school system in Iceland, but they are quite random. Measures linked to validation at university level are mostly focused on in-take procedures and vary between universities and departments.
VPL in Higher Education
Higher education institutions may take into account some prior learning of applicants during intake procedures. This may vary between departments and is not an option in all departments. This process is for intake purposes and does not shorten study time. If an individual wishes to apply to have the required study period reduced, formal papers from other higher education institutions are required.
Validation in the Third Sector
Validation measures in the third sector are mostly focused on assisting individuals with identifying and recording their competences. It is not a widespread activity and is not conducted in a systematic way.
Validation in the Labour Market
Pilot validation projects against specific job standards have been implemented and primarily aim at those who have not completed upper secondary education. The results are usually presented as certificates signed by stakeholders. If the individual learner wants to study further in the field within the formal school system it is up to the school to validate the results according to the curricula.
Skills audit is an integral part of the validation process in the Icelandic model. In addition to that, trade unions and career counsellors at LLL centres provide services, such as interviews and group counselling for adults linked to a skills audit. It is based on interest and skills inventories and portfolio development.
Funding of VPL
Funding is provided for validation projects and career guidance through the Education and Training Fund (and stakeholders), which is allocated for people with little formal education. The accredited LLL centres can apply for funding annually and specific projects and career guidance services.