Background information on the Nordic Quality Compass

The knowledge base for this set of evaluation and self assessment tools has been created by the NVLs Nordic Expert Network on Validation.

The network consists of the key organisations involved in the development of policy and practice of validation in all the Nordic countries and Greenland, Faroe Islands and Aaland. The network has been operating since 2005 when the Nordic Council of Ministers set focus on recognition and validation of prior learning (VPL) as one of the priorities within Nordic adult education cooperation.

The NVL decided that a user-friendly tool for VPL practitioners, developers and policymakers would be of great benefit to the entire VPL field in the Nordic countries and beyond. The Expert Network on Validation has previously developed several tools and recommendations; however, the tools were in pdf-format, and all in separate documents. Further development of the tools along with a user-friendly interface led to the creation of the Nordic Quality Compass, which is free and adds to the quality of Validation of Prior learning processes and practices.

The Nordic VPL policies and practices adhere to the European Guidelines for Validating Non-formal and Informal Learning as well as the Council Recommendation on Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning. In the Nordic countries the term validation of prior learning (VPL) refers to the process of identifying, documenting, assessing, recognising, and validating an individual’s learning outcomes in all contexts, including formal, non-formal and informal learning.

The terminology used of this process varies between actors and countries.  Other commonly used terms for this process are Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning (VNFIL); Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR); Recognition, Validation and Accreditation of Non-formal and Informal Learning (RVA). Despite the multitude of terms, the processes have a common goal: to make learning visible.

Evaluation tools

Self assessment tools