European Competence Network for applying Accredited Prior Learning

Searchlighter was one of nine partners making an application in February 2011 to develop a project to improve the application of Accreditation of Prior Learning at a European level.

The consortia’s proposal came from a belief among the nine partners that Accredited Prior Learning (APL) within Lifelong Learning systems is not being utilised effectively almost entirely as a result of ineffective valorisation of the research completed. APL not only helps to stimulate Lifelong Learning but is also seen as an important tool in human resources, stimulating employability, mobility and career development. This can be applied especially for disadvantaged groups like migrants, drop-outs and others who may have problems in proving competencies in their professional background.

This application was made to the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme under a designated Action for the Dissemination and Exploitation of Results. The prime objective for a Multilateral Project such as this is to help create a framework for the effective exploitation of the results of Europe’s Lifelong Learning Programme and previous related programmes at sectoral, regional, national and European levels. Priority is given to projects that can identify barriers to dissemination and exploitation, develop robust models for successful dissemination and exploitation of results, assess the impact of results, and assess the impact of dissemination and exploitation actions.

Transnational projects have already shown that APL can take different forms and can have different added value in different countries. However, projects have consistently proved that in almost every case it is of great value for the participants. The case made by the consortia  is that a common, flexible accreditation system that can be offered with the help of Recognising Prior Learning procedures is a first step for the accreditation of skills and competencies for EU citizens travelling across national boundaries in Europe, and especially for migrants from outside Europe.

With partners from Belgium, Germany, Italy, Poland, France, Spain and Romania as well as the UK, we hope to hear the result of this in June 2011.