First Experiments

The preoccupation with the formal recognition of non-formal and informal learning has not been developed with the introduction of Lifelong learning in the European agenda. Numerous experiments and activities have been initiated since the 1980's, especially in UK and in France. Assessment of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) or Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) in UK or Validation des acquis personnels et professionnels in France (1985 Decree) have been promoted by pioneering universities or higher education institutions in order to facilitate access to higher education or to offer exemptions for part of programmes for people who do not have the required qualifications.
These initiatives have also been supported by the European programmes (such as Leonardo da Vinci) through opportunities for exchanges, sharing good practice, comparative analysis and dissemination. In 1994, the CEDEFOP launched a first comparative study of experience in France and in the UK, which was continued on broader basis in 1997. The main objective of the CEDEFOP project - "Identification, validation and accreditation of prior learning" - was to gather, analyse and disseminate experience.

  • CEDEFOP (1994/1996) "Identification and accreditation of skills and knowledge acquired through life and work experience"
  • CEDEFOP (1997) Identification and validation of prior and informal learning: experiences, innovations and dilemmas"
  • Jens Bjornavold/CEDEFOP: "Making learning visible", 2000, N. Evans (eds) "Experiential Learning around the world : employability and the global economy", 2000