The policy work ahead: TRANSVAL-EU’s landmark on EU guidance and validation systems

So much has already been accomplished by TRANSVAL-EU partners and yet still much more to come! There is the preliminary research that led to publications and databases, the collection of tools and design followed by the implementation of a training programme for validation and guidance (V&G) practitioners. Partners are now heading to the last third of the project lifetime with only 8 months out of 30 months to go before its ending in August 2023.

In the few past months, from June 2022 to now, partners from five EU countries (IT, BE, AT, LT, PL) have been working hard in their national or regional constituency to recruit practitioners to take part in field trials in which they would be trained on how to provide V&G provisions with a focus on transversal skills. The same practitioners were then invited to integrate in their work practices new methods and tools as a pilot experimentation with end-users that range from school students, VET learners, to adults from vulnerable groups. Read about the field trials in the News section of the project website.

While this experimentation is about to come to its end, researchers involved in the project are collecting and analysing data from pre-testing and post-testing on the impact of practitioners’ project participation in terms of gains in awareness and competences, as well as on the end-users participating in the experience. This research evaluation – soon to be completed by in-depth interviews with those practitioners – will result in a European Research Report. The insights from this report will be presented in the EU Research Conference organised by the European Institute of Education and Social Policy (EIESP) in Paris on 18-19 April 2023 (More information, agenda and registrations here).

In parallel, a twin group of partners, namely, the Lifelong Learning Platform (LLLP) and the Nordic Adult Education Network (NVL) have kicked off the last phase of the project which is about advancing EU validation and guidance policies and practices using insights from TRANSVAL-EU. 

This work consists in the following goals and activities: 

  • Designing an internal (project) strategy for the new practices (e.g. the training programme offer) to become sustainable in the long-run
  • Writing an EU Policy Coherence report to identify potential improvements in policy at EU and national levels for including more transversal skills,
  • Scenarios as a set of learner-centred pathways for the recognition of their transversal skills in validation and guidance systems
  • Drafting of national action plans by partners from the five EU countries (IT, BE, AT, LT, PL) with, hopefully, the support and involvement of relevant ministries, governments and public authorities in the process.

LLLP started to work on the EU Policy Coherence Report which is firstly looking at existing EU policies in the fields of skills, validation, guidance, upskilling, adult and VET education and so on, in a comprehensive approach. The aim is to understand and define what does “coherence” mean in the policy patchwork landscape, what are the pending challenges and recommendations that can be issued from the TRANSVAL-EU experience. Secondly, partners will look into how that same coherence is expressed and illustrated at national and regional levels (in IT, BE, AT, LT, PL), and here again, will issue recommendations for policy-makers and key stakeholders to take on board. Those recommendations will pave the way for the drafting of national action plans.

The context is particularly timely in the European Union, notably by the forthcoming EU Year of Skills, which should officially start in May 2023. Plenty of events at different levels will be organised and will address the need for skills development and recognition. Partners also aim to formalise the existing EU V&G community (or network) in order to pursue the exchange of practices, knowledge and capacity-building as well as to facilitate future cooperation opportunities between V&G practitioners in the EU.

NVL, with the support of partners, is in charge of organising and hosting the project final event, an ‘EU Policy Conference – Making All Skills Visible: The Validation of Transversal Skills’, which is under the patronage of the EU Swedish Presidency and will take place on 7-8 June 2023 in Stockholm, Sweden. Save the date! Registrations are soon to be open here.