Due to evaluating the former existing system, in which VPL was used as a specific instrument to recognise prior learning, a new policy was presented.
A dual approach on VPL:
- Labour market route
- Education route
Learning and competences of an individual are validated against a national qualification. The goal for the learner is to validate competences in order to obtain a formal qualification.
In Higher Education, the law on higher education and scientific research regulates the admission and exemption policy based on validation. Higher education institutions are left free to translate this regulation per study in the rules on education and exams. The use of EVC is only possible in higher vocational education (HBO) and the Open University.
VPL in Higher Education
EVC had to bridge the gap between education supply and demand on the labour market side. The challenge was to connect these two worlds via the learner: on the one hand, by converting learning experiences into certificates or diplomas; and, on the other, by allowing for the development of competences in a career context.
VPL-tools are intake-assessment, e-portfolio, competence tests, ECVET-methods, etc. An ‘ervaringscertificaat’ can be part of someone’s learning outcomes but is no longer essential for obtaining exemptions or a partial/full qualification. Since this dual pathway is organised, there is no longer an exclusive role for the ‘ervaringscertificate’. The awarding bodies for qualifications (in general exam committees of VET-schools or universities) can also use the other mentioned VPL-instruments.
Validation in the Labour Market
Different contexts of VPL on the labour market:
- To increase the employability of individuals and employees by recognising their prior learning related to a qualification and describe these outcomes in a certificate of experience.
- To get more insight into employees’ capacities to create an optimal match with occupational profiles or learning programmes on the job.
- To increase the employability of individuals by recognising and possibly accrediting their prior learning to shorten the duration of continuing training/education programmes, in order to attain nationally recognised qualifications.