The validation of non-formal and informal learning is still in a starting phase in higher education. It was legally introduced in the Turkish higher education system in 2011. However, no set of principles exists that will direct HEIs in practice. Only recognition of the non-formal and informal learning of registered HE students is allowed.
VPL in Higher Education
A national system of validation is in progress and the establishment of the Turkish Qualification Framework and the aforementioned new regulations support the further development of the system. Four stages of validation are defined in related regulations. They are all included in the national arrangements. Identification and documentation need to be developed further, whereas assessment and certification methods are more or less in place. The VNFIL-system at present is geared to assessment and certification.
Validation in the Third Sector
This is an area of further development in collaboration with the VQA.
Funding of VPL
The funding arrangements need to involve the state, individual and the organisation/institution. There is overall funding provided to the institutions carrying out validation activities, in addition to their other activities. In other words, funding is not specifically allocated for validation. Therefore, it is not possible to state an overall government budget specifically for validation.
Validation in the Labour Market
The authorised certification bodies are mostly established and run by the private sector, trade and labour unions in the automotive, tourism, metal work and energy sectors. They mainly focus on empowering their employees to improve their qualifications and obtain the Vocational Qualifications Authority (VQA) certification.
The Turkish Labour Agency has training programmes which are aligned with national occupational standards and qualifications. With respect to training that could lead to the VQA qualification certificate, the procedures of VQA are followed. The VQA website is considered as the reference source for the preparation of the training courses. The culture for this kind of practice needs to further develop in Turkey. This seems to require a new mind set and approach that could evolve as the processes themselves evolve.
There are no well-established processes to support skills audits in Turkey. There are job and employment counselling services in the Turkish Labour Agency, supporting individuals for job/employment counselling and developing career plans. These services are for employed and unemployed individuals. There are no specific services for validation processes.