The holistic perspective of Recognition, Validation and Accreditation

RVA as a global term for the assessment of prior learning outcomes

CL3S Series on Lifelong Learning 2020/01

The Recognition, Validation and Accreditation (RVA) of skills and competences is key for the establishment and facilitation of flexible pathways between formal and non-formal educational settings, as well as between education, training and work. RVA, by building on someone’s already acquired competences and skills, gives individuals an incentive to continue to learn, empowers them and enables them to become more active in the labour market and in society in general. RVA can create a more levelled playing field in education and training for all, and has, for instance, proven to be key to enabling all its citizens in continuing and/or strengthening their education and learning pathways as well as their career development.

Across the globe, there is an enormous variety of terms available for utilising personal prior learning outcomes. It depends on the national learning culture, the main objectives and the division of responsibilities which meaning is given to the term for the Recognition, Validation and Accreditation (RVA) in a country or world region. Logically, RVA may take many forms, procedures and applications. This is logical because RVA can be used within any given context, a wide range of objectives, from personal certification to an integrated HRD approach, from individual career training to inclusion of target groups, from sectoral training policy to rock-solid civil effect, etc. In order to see the wood for the trees, this overview of national terminology aims at creating some clarity in the potential application of RVA across the globe in a wide variety of national and regional contexts.

CL3S Series 2020/01