Validation of Prior Learning (VPL) in General Education

At the end of 2008, the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (OPET) defined new VPL instruments towards obtaining a Federal VET Certificate (CFC), in particular regarding the general education field. Specific general education instruments are made up of a qualifications profile and directives governing pass requirements and evidence to be submitted to meet the requirements’ criteria. These new instruments and provisions will have to be tested by the cantons in projects to be implemented in the pilot stage, to take place until the end of 2010.

Rido / Fotolia

In this framework, SFIVET was entrusted by OPET to support the implementation of these various instruments in the field of general education and to monitor progress in the various pilot projects by the end of 2009.

The mandate entrusted to SFIVET is two-fold. The task is, on the one hand, to provide methodological support on a need basis to the various cantons and to accompany the introduction and testing of VPL instruments in general education, in particular through dialogue between the various professionals concerned.

This service is aimed at experts in general education and occupational curricula and at the partners concerned (heads of cantonal pilot projects, general education experts, SVABU [Swiss union for general education teaching] members).

On the other hand, SFIVET is in charge of monitoring how these various instruments are implemented in the field. A report will be drawn up to answer the following questions:

  1. Are the validation instruments adequate? Are there any problems? Are adjustments required, and if so which?
  2. How well are the instruments and the procedure accepted by the cantons, professional organizations, experts and candidates concerned?
  3. Is there effective cooperation between vocational experts and general education experts? Does it contribute to properly assess prior learning in general education for the chosen occupation?
  4. Have additional tools been developed, and if so which? Has a need for coordinated instruments at national level been observed in this field?

This report will document new ongoing experiments (pilot projects) in which prior learning in general education is assessed using the new qualifications profile and according to the qualification procedure foreseen. This document will offer an analysis of the situation and answer the above questions.

The report will also include proposals for possible debate, adjustments or developments, as well as recommendations.

The data will be collected through contacts during the support stage, or if necessary via targeted interviews and analysis of the documents provided by the various project managers.

An interim progress report on the projects was submitted to OPET at the end of May 2009. The final report is expected at end of May 2010.


Semi-directive interviews, document analyses, observations.