What is VNIL?

VNIL is short for Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning. But what is it all about?

First the term non-formal and informal learning has to be cleared up.

Non-formal and Informal Learning (NIL) contains two concepts not one. Informal learning refers to unplanned and unstructured learning gained from direct experience, especially in the workplace, whilst non-formal learning is best understood as planned, structured learning gained outside the formal educational system (Bjornavold 2000). Since both forms of learning exist outside schools, colleges and universities they are not formally recognised and it is difficult for others to place a value on their worth, unlike learning which occurs in formal educational settings.

We know that someone who has been performing in a job and has attended training events for many years has acquired much learning but we do not know how much and at what level. Validation is therefore the process of translating such learning into recognised qualifications or academic credit as part of a formal qualification.

Identification of non‑formal and informal learning is seen as a process which…

‘… records and makes visible the individual’s learning outcomes. This does not result in a formal certificate or diploma, but it may provide the basis for such formal recognition.’

Validation of non‑formal and informal learning (VNIL)…

‘… is based on the assessment of the individual’s learning outcomes and may result in a certificate or diploma.’ (Read more)

Author: Isabell Grundschober

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