Recognising prior learning

The recognition of abilities acquired outside the formal (national) vocational education and training system such as in other countries’ VET systems, on the job, during work or study periods abroad, within in-company training or learning taking place during leisure time becomes more and more important in the light of skill shortages and skill mismatches. This is especially important in transition periods such as when recruiting new personnel, looking for a new job, changing career paths or entering into further education. The recognition of prior learning enables employers to make use of candidates full set of abilities, applicants to present all their abilities and those seeking additional training to shorten study periods in order to achieve a new qualification.

It is, therefore, no longer affordable to leave these abilities of workers and job-seekers disregarded. All the European tools introduced and discussed within euVETsupport contain measures and proposals for the recognition of this kind of learning within the EU Members States.

  • The EQF explicitly encourages lifelong learning by promoting the validation of non-formal and informal learning.
  • ECVET has two major purposes to facilitate the recognition of study periods abroad and the recognition of non- and informal learning through making non- and informal learning outcomes recognisable in the course of obtaining formal qualifications.
  • In December 2012 the European Union even launched a recommendation on the validation of non- and informal learning in Europe.

The following video explains why recognition of prior (non-/informal) learning is so important for workers and industry and how European instruments support this:

Video source: SAVing project (
An Italian version is available here.

Further information on recognising prior learning

In order to learn more about the recognition of prior learning please check the euVETsupport users area and the euVETsupport guideline on prior learning assessment and recognition
(Language versions: EN / DE / NL / IT / ES / FR)