Policy Conference: TRANSVAL-EU shares its findings on the validation of transversal skills with policymakers

The TRANSVAL-EU project organised its Policy Conference: “Making All Skills Visible: The Validation of Transversal Skills” in the beautiful setting of Vasateatern, Stockholm on 24-25 May 2023. The conference aimed at discussing policy measures and sharing evidence on the validation of transversal competences as well as results concerning the professionalisation of validation of transversal skills and competences in Europe.

Opening panel of the conference
The first day started with an opening panel of speakers who highlighted the importance of making all skills visible at national, regional and European levels using the momentum of the European Year of Skills. The panel consisted of Christina Månberg from the Ministry of Education of Sweden, Eduard Staudecker from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, Koen Nomden from DG EMPL, European Commission, Helle Glen Petersenfrom the Nordic Council of Ministers and Tommy Lagergren from the Swedish National Agency for Education. The speakers celebrated the contributions made by the TRANSVAL-EU project, the largest experimentation in Europe for the validation and guidance of transversal skills.

Keynote: Transversal competences for work and life
The opening panel was followed by a keynote speech by Michele Tuccio from OECD, who offered a broad overview of transversal competences for work and life. Tuccio highlighted that despite the clear importance of transversal skills in today’s society, they are often overlooked in policy. His speech was an opportunity to think about the existing challenges and a future vision based on good practices and solution-based ideas.

TRANSVAL-EU project: Ambitions and achievements

The conference programme continued with a session dedicated to TRANSVAL-EU focusing on the project’s ambitions and achievements:

Karl Andrew Müllner from OeAD-GmbH – Agentur für Bildung und Internationalisierung, lead coordinator of the project, highlighted that the success of the project is an outcome of an exceptional cooperation in the partnership involving all kinds of stakeholders and ensuring a multiplier effect from the European to the national dimension.

Maurice De Greef from Vrije Universiteit Brussel shared the outcomes of field trials conducted in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Lithuania and Poland for the validation of non-formal and informal learning (VNFIL): The results show significant impact on both practitioners and candidates in terms of competency level in transversal skills and in providing guidance and assessment during the validation process.

Pauline Boivin from Lifelong Learning Platform – European Civil Society for Education highlighted the project’s ambition to turn policy experimentation to policy change at national, regional and European levels, and presented the main highlights of the EU and National Policy Recommendations.

Key policy outcomes: Including transversal skills in national action plans
The first day was concluded with a panel of policymakers from field trial countries discussing the key policy outcomes in terms of including transversal skills in national action plans, followed by a Q&A session with the participants.

The panel was moderated by Koen Nomden from DG EMPL, European Commission was joined by Eduard Staudecker from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, Horacy Dębowski, from the Central Examination Board, Poland, Michela Bastianelli, from the National Agency for Active Employment Policies (ANPAL), Italy, Sonia Cinti, from the National Institute for the Analysis of Public Policies (INAPP), Italy, Nora Pileičikienė from the Lithuanian Council for Non-formal Adult Education, Inga Puiša from the Lithuanian Council for Non-formal Adult Education and Marily Rost from the Consortium for the Validation of Competences (CDVC), Belgium.

Key findings and practice implications
The second day of the TRANSVAL-EU Policy Conference started with the World Cafés where the field trial partners shared their experimentations in Austria, Lithuania, Italy, Poland and Belgium on the guidance and validation of transversal skills with participants through poster presentations.

Workshops on future scenarios: innovative practices and policy action plans

The conference programme went on with brainstorming focusing on future scenarios based on innovation practices and policy action plans in four parallel workshops:

  • Towards integrated national skills strategies
  • The professionalisation of validation and guidance practitioners
  • Tools and methods for validating transversal competences
  • Building an EU community of validation and guidance professionals

And after all the hard work, the conclusion of the conference was marked with a fun and inspiring keynote speech from author, comedian and study counsellor Zinat Pirzadeh.

Curious to get more insights about the TRANSVAL-EU research results and policy recommendations? Follow us for two reports that we will be publishing soon:

  • European Research Report
  • European Policy Coherence Report