No genuine and appropriately developed national model of validation of prior learning exists in Slovakia, neither on HE level nor on other levels of education. Although Life Long Learning strategies address this issue, a fundamental legislative basis for VPL is still missing. The 2009 Act on Life Long Learning did introduce some practices of validation of prior learning through providing a possibility of recognition of results of further education and of verification of professional competence necessary for running a business, however, these cases do not cover the HE level. Also, the validation of prior learning provided through this act is relatively limited compared to formal education, as it only provides a possibility for acquiring a full or partial qualification, without providing the level of education as the completion of the corresponding formal education programme leading to the same qualification would, thus not allowing one to pursue a higher level of education on the basis of this validation.
In 2015 the ESF project “Creation of the National Qualifications System (NQS)” was completed, which created a public register of qualifications and revised the descriptors of the Slovak Qualification Framework (SKKR). Further work on the NQS is expected to be achieved in a framework of a new ESF project, focusing also on the validation process. However, these measures will not suffice and new legislation is considered necessary to support VPL more appropriately.
VPL in Higher Education
Validation of prior learning is not developed in higher education in Slovakia. Credits are used in higher education, although not all HE institutions have developed a credit system fully compatible with ECTS and it is not possible to get a qualification or credits through validation of non-formal and informal learning. There were several cases of admission to higher education based on alternative criteria, other than the formal education, however these were not well accepted and were criticized and broadly debated in media, which shows a low level of trust in any alternative way into higher education.
Validation in the Labour Market
A 2013 amendment to the Act on Employment Services stipulates assessment of competences of jobseekers, thus opening the door to more sophisticated provision of guidance services to the unemployed. Since the introduction of the amendment, the Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family has, through the Leonardo da Vinci project Qual-n-Guide, started to transfer the French experience with the “Bilan de Competences” methodology to Slovakia and the national employment services have heavily supported the introduction of this methodology. However, the process has no links to the formal validation path in the educational sector.