The value and importance of validation is emphasised in Malta’s strategy on Lifelong Learning and sets a target for implementing a transparent and sustainable system within the National Commission for Further and Higher Education in order to validate and recognise non-formal and informal learning by the end of 2016.
On legal basis Malta allows validation of informal and non-formal learning to take place up to Level 5 of the Malta Qualifications Framework, based on occupational standards developed by representatives of the sector.
The Higher Education Strategy commits to further developing the validation of informal and non-formal learning. It recognises that learning alongside employment may have an important role to play in this regard. To this effect, the validation of informal and non-formal learning attained in the workplace may be an important tool to value the achievements of employees’ and incentivize employers to further invest in them.
The Framework for the Education Strategy for Malta 2014 commits to the accreditation and transparency of all learning experiences including the validation of informal and non-formal learning. It strives towards having a certification system (at all levels) that adds value to employability, mobility and higher standards of transparency.
VPL in Higher Education
Currently, the national system for validation is being developed and is intended to cover all sectors of education.
Within higher education, there are steps towards establishing a system of validation which aligns more closely with the formal qualifications offered via HEIs. The University of Malta has put in place validation arrangements for individuals who are over the age of 23 years who wish to apply to follow courses but do not possess the standard entry requirements. In this case, the individual is invited to attend and interview where their work and other relevant experiences are considered
The strategy recognises validation as an important vehicle to focus education more strongly on the needs and experiences of the individual. In doing so, the strategy highlights the need for information on alternative access routes into higher education for mature students to be improved in order to facilitate access for those individuals interested in continuing their education at tertiary education level.
Validation in the Labour Market
By law, persons who have undertaken non-formal or informal learning for at least three years in a specific economic sector may have their prior non-formal or informal learning experience validated.
National validation arrangements in place to help people to access the labour market and to support their career development mainly relate to the introduction of the Sector Skills Units and the development of occupational standards. As set out in legislation, a Sector Skills Unit ‘is an industry-focused unit established by the National Commission for Further and Higher Education that develops occupational standards and designs qualifications with the purpose of improving the skills of the workforce’. Representatives of employers and employer associations, workers, professionals and trade unions are members of the Sector Skills Units and have an important role to play in helping people to access the labour market and to support their career development.
Validation in the Third Sector
No specific projects of validation in the third sector have been identified in Malta.
Funding of VPL
In Malta there is no specific budget allocation at a national finance level for validation. Funding is available to support the development of the Sector Skills Units.
There are no costs to organisations as far as the validation process is concerned. For individuals who are unemployed, there are no costs; the Government funds the validation process through the Employment Training Centre. For those individuals who are employed, a nominal fee is charged to undergo the validation process.
References (All accessed on 19th of June 2017)