The validation of non-formal and informal learning is regulated by a specific legislative framework (Act 179/2006). The basis of this system is the National Register of Qualifications (NSK), which has been under development since 2005. The NSK identifies 26 qualification fields and coverage 8 levels corresponding to the levels of the European Qualification Framework (EQF).
Applicants need to pass a competence-based assessment of knowledge, skills and competences. The competence-assessment can be an exit assessment for training programmes for adults and an assessment open to people who did not have specialised training. Since 2007, the Czech Republic has been forcing the strategy of Lifelong Learning with partnerships between the education sector, qualification management and employers to define lacks of skills on the labour market and the VNFIL (non-formal and informal learning) system. Important therefore are so-called Sector Councils, independent groups of experts, who identify the needs of employees regarding skills and qualifications of the workforce.
The Czech system does not provide any specific measures or initiatives for refugees and migrant workers.
VPL in Higher Education
In the Czech Republic there is a national system which is focused on the validation of prior learning and acquired skills. There are four stages of the validation system: identification, documentation, assessment and certification. The basis for identification is provided by the NSK and the PES (Public Employment Services).
The National Europass Centre is responsible for documentation. Assessment and certification are operated by authorising bodies (ministries and other central authorities). The validation system is still not fully linked to the system of initial education and VET (vocational education and training). In cooperation with qualification authorities and the National Institute of Education, VET schools have been established. They adopted the concept of lifelong learning to become operational lifelong learning centres for people who want to apply for a vocational qualification and need structured training to complete all the skills and competences for qualification standards.
Validation in the Labour Market
The cooperation between the NSK and the national Active Policy for Employment (APE) is responsible for re-qualification. The main focus is people with low or outdated qualifications and those at risk of long-term unemployment. Therefore PES (Public Employment Services) adopted the national policy of VNFIL and provides re-qualification to achieve vocational qualifications and develops an individual action plan for this target group. A binding national framework like the procedure etc. is not given, but a methodological support have been developed. This service of PES is mainly outsourced and is operated by external contractors.
Validation in the Third Sector
The National Institute for Children and Youth introduced two projects called “Keys for Life” and “K2 – Quality and Competitiveness in Non-Formal Education”. The first project focused on Job descriptions related to youth activities, including a competence and assessment framework. The main focus was to support persons in organisations working with young people. The institute reached a high number of them. How to create a Personal Competence Portfolio was the aim of the project K2. The NSK adopted four of the occupational descriptions into the Vocational Qualifications.
Funding of VPL
There are three different funding sectors of VPL in the Czech Republic:
- The fees for assessment and certification,
- European co-funding (ESF) for projects developing the NSK,
- National level funding for the sustainability of the technical assistance of the NSK.
The public funding is used for:
- VNFIL of persons who are unemployed,
- The coordination and technical assistance.
The direct cost of the recognition procedure are paid by the applying person. They can asked for co-funding from their employers in case of the re-qualification. Private funding should be demand-driven, the technical assistance project was mainly financed by ESF.
References (All accessed on 20th of June 2017)
- European observatory of validation of non formal & informal learning: http://www.observal-net.eu/node/44
- K2 (kvalita a konkurenceschopnost v neformálním vzdělávání): http://znv.nidv.cz/projekty/priprava-projektu/k2
- Klíče pro život: http://znv.nidv.cz/projekty/realizace-projektu/klice-pro-zivot
- Ministerstva práce a sociálních věcí: https://portal.mpsv.cz/sz/zamest/dotace/apz
- NSK (Národní soustava kvalifikací): http://www.narodnikvalifikace.cz
- NSP (Národní Soustava povolání): http://nsp.cz
- Sektorové rady: http://sektorove-rady.cz
- Vzdělávání a práce: http://vzdelavaniaprace.cz
- Documents about validation in the Czech Republic in the VINCE library
- Country Report Czech Republic: 2016 update to the European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning. https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2016/2016_validate_CZ.pdf