UNESCO Guidelines for the Recognition, Validation and Accreditation of the Outcomes of Non-formal and Informal Learning: Critical success factors in applying them

To follow up the Belém Framework for Action adopted at the Sixth International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VI) in 2009, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) has taken the initiative to develop the UNESCO Guidelines for the Recognition, Validation and Accreditation (RVA*) of the Outcomes of Non-formal and Informal Learning.

UNESCO’s broad agenda for RVA includes advocacy, capacity building, comparative research and the promotion of continuous dialogue on RVA among Member States. However, putting the guidelines as principles and suggestions into practice presents many challenges for the Member States as well as for UNESCO.

In this webinar we will start by exploring the many challenges and opportunities in the use of the UNESCO Guidelines: (1) to serve as a source of reference and guidance and (2) to support developments in and mainstreaming of RVA at local, national, sector and institutional levels. In doing so we aim at identifying key areas in capacity development and capability to be explored collaboratively, addressing issues such as the relations between non-formal and formal, accountability, as well as access to RVA for those who are experiencing social exclusion.

This webinar will focus on a number of questions.

  1. How do the UNESCO Guidelines aim at developing a common understanding of RVA when, first of all, terminologies, contexts and approaches to RVA across regions, nations, sectors and organisations are so diverse and, secondly, when conceptual and definitional confusion exists in the field of RVA?
  2. How can the UNESCO Guidelines be taken a step forward from principles and suggestions to actual implementation and thus facilitating a process that helps Member States to develop and strengthen systems for recognising the outcomes of non-formal and informal learning?
  3. How and to what extent can different RVA tools be used creatively to support the development of a lifelong learning culture with an open eye to all kinds of recognition and validation of learning outcomes rather than aiming at credentials and qualifications only?
  4. What is UNESCO’s comparative advantage in the area of promoting RVA internationally?
  5. How can the RVA Guidelines be helpful in Canada in terms of public policy and strategic implementation?

In addition to stimulating the debate around these questions, this webinar will enable us to generate key topics for discussion in the workshop at the CAPLA conference on this topic, to be held in October 2012 in Halifax.


The Canadian Commission for UNESCO is supporting this webinar and is keenly interested in our discussion.

* In Canada, RVA may be interpreted as Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

When 24 September 2012 - 11:00am (Eastern)
Length 60 minutes
Fee Free, but you must register by Friday, September 14 in order to participate
Facilitator/Moderator: Ms. Elisabeth Barot, Canadian Commission for UNESCO, Ottawa
Speaker: Dr. Madhu Singh, UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, Hamburg, Germany

This webinar has been completed and registration is now closed. The recording of this webinar is no longer available.

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