The Romanian legal framework for national system for validation of non-formal and informal learning was created in 2011. However, challenges remain in quality assurance and financing in the validation system, several recent policies are widening accessibility for potential beneficiaries. The focus is on competencies identified. As a national level centralised institution the National Qualifications Authority (NQA) is coordinating local validation activities at national level by regulating quality assurance of validation process, implementing education and qualification of validation experts and register them on national level. The local assessment centres apply the policies and methodologies defined on national level.
Romania has no specific policies in validating skills of immigrants/refugees. Their cases are incorporated into the validation of skills acquired by individuals with work experience from abroad according to the new LLL strategy. The strategy specifies priority target groups: unemployed or inactive individuals, people that had work experience abroad, staff working in public administration and disadvantaged groups.
VPL in Higher Education
There is a lack of integrated validation mechanism in the education system, generally. Validation of non-formal and informal prior learning in relation to obtain the same type of certification for general education, upper secondary level, IVET or university level is allowed only in the case of Second Chance Programme in order to provide flexible access to a certain chosen educational pathway. There is no specific policy or legislation on validation by means of open educational resources in Romania.
Validation in the Labour Market
There are no specific policies or regulations on validation in Romania aiming to help people to access the labour market or to support their career development. However, there are validation services for job seekers which are free of charge. Job seekers are also entitled to receive specific recommendations for a further training programme or for an assessment of their competences, based on counselling services provided.
In Romania there is no direct link between validation and counselling. In pre-university education students may use a lifelong learning portfolio which contains evidence of learning outcomes acquired in formal, non-formal and informal contexts. This evidence helps to facilitate the individual school path of students and creates better access for them to the labour market.
Sectoral Committees (social dialogue structures comprising employee and employer representatives) may develop their own assessment centres, however no specific progress has been detected in the area of skills audits.
Validation in the Third Sector
The authorisation process is open to any private or public organisations to initiate assessment and qualification on certain areas. According to the national register of assessment centres in Romania there are many assessment centres in the service sector, construction industry and social protection as a result of bottom up interests in validation. However, all sectors follow the same validation approach, methodology and tools defined on national level. There is a specific system for validation in the third sector on volunteering activities that are officially recognised based on a volunteering contract and a volunteering certification but the certification is not linked to any qualification, at the same time it may be an advantage for volunteers in the labour market. Third sector organisations provide many non-formal and informal learning, however, they are not perceived as providers of necessary qualification related skills.
Funding of VPL
There are no specific national level funding framework for validation. Validation services are free of charge only for unemployed individuals, financed by the unemployment insurance fund. All centres under the National Agency for Employment network are financially supported from the unemployment benefits budget. Each assessment centres are to pay a fee for authorisation to assess specific qualification skills. The costs for validation process are covered by the individuals and in some cases by the employers of the sending organisations.
References (All accessed on 19th of June 2017)
- Balica, Magda, Country Report: Romania. 2016 update to the European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning CEDEFOP. https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/2016_validate_RO.pdf
- Farkas Éva (2015): A nem formális vagy informális tanulási környezetben elsajátított tanulási eredmények validálási gyakorlata Romániában. A román validálási gyakorlat minőségbiztosítási eszközei és ezek magyarországi kontextusa. http://www.tka.hu/docs/palyazatok/roman_validacios_rendszer.pdf
- Handbook For The Assessment And Validation Of Pedagogical Competences Of Adult Educators (2012): http://www.irea.ro/en/images/publications/capival.pdf
- Kovács Anett Jolán, A nem formális környezetben szerzett tanulási eredmények validációs gyakorlatának összehasonlítása Hollandia, Románia és Magyarország vonatkozásában http://www.irisro.org/pedagogia2017januar/41KovacsAnettJolan.pdf
Links to Legislation:
- Strategic Framework for increasing participation in lifelong learning in Romania, adopted by the Romanian Government in June 2015 (Government Decision No.418/03.06.2015).
- Act No 253 of 2003
- Act No 1 of 2011 on National Education
- Government Decree No 76 of 2004
- Mutual Decree of the Ministry of Education and Research and the Ministry of Employment, Social Solidarity and Family Affairs No 4543/468
- Regulation (EC) No 862/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 on Community statistics on migration and international protection and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 311/76 on the compilation of statistics on foreign workers
Links to third parties doing VNIL processes: