Validation of digital skills

Validation of digital skills

By Gabriela Ruseva There are hundreds of thousands of ICT centres, libraries and NGOs where people can learn digital skills. But are the skills acquired through these trainings formally recognised? Do they count for employers and universities and how do people prove them? With a university diploma, we can prove our skills. But what happens when we learn at a non-formal training centre or through volunteering? These were some of the questions discussed at the Policy debate on validation of non-formal education, organized by EUCIS-LLL and the European Youth Forum on 9th July in Brussels. Validation is a hot topic in the youth field, especially in the context of youth volunteerism and activism and many of the participants were from youth organisations. Telecentre Europe, Fit4Jobs project partner from Belgium participated at the event to raise the question of validation and recognition of digital skills. Four steps in validation European Commission representative Koen Nomden (Skills Unit) spoke about EU initiatives, namely the Council Recommendations on validation of non-formal learning outcomes. The Recommendations ask Member States to set national validation frameworks for non-formal learning before 2018. The main objective of validation is to “enable individuals to obtain qualification on the basis of validating their experience”. There are four steps in validation: identification, documentation, assessment and certification. Testing your digital skills Digital skills, just like as language skills, are considered horizontal skills. They do not lead to a specific qualification and occupation. Therefore, they are not validated through the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) through the same formal procedure applied for example for a chef who has cooking skills and who can get his skills tested and receive...