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InnoVal (Innovative Assessment Methods for Validation) aims to address the urgent need to offer valid and reliable assessment methods that allow all learners to have a chance at validation with a special focus on disadvantaged groups such as migrants, long-term unemployed, and those who have had an adverse experience with formal education including with school-based assessments.

The 2012 Council Recommendation gave a strong political impulse to the goal of having national validation arrangements in all countries by 2018. Yet, according to the CEDEFOP 2014 Validation Inventory Report, EU countries still greatly diverge in terms of mechanisms in place. In order to ensure the validity and reliability of assessment procedures, and to avoid additional costs, many educational institutions prefer to use standardised tests.

The use of alternative methods such as portfolios, declarative methods and simulations, is on the increase but remains limited. The partners believe that the use of standardised tests hinders learners’ take up in validation and represents one of the strongest obstacles to their development in Europe.

Validation systems often target adults who have had a bad experience with formal education and formal assessment methods. This may leadthem to not complete their secondary education and not participate in any further formal education. Yet, they have acquired many skills and competences in non-formal and informal learning environments that they would validateif the assessment method did not bring them back to their bad past experience with formal education. InnoVal aims to foster a change in practices related to the assessment of non-formal and informal learning across Europe and across sectors.

InnoVal is highly innovative as it brings together VET and HE providers who are advanced either in the use of innovative assessment methods, in building links with the labour market and/or in dealing with disadvantaged groups; research bodies who can provide the evidence with a EU perspective and European networks which can ensure policy impact and broad dissemination and exploitation of results.

InnoVal covers 6 countries (BE-FL, FR, FI, EL, PT, DE) and well beyond. The potential transferability of the case studies and of the innovative methods will be included in all of the project’s outputs. The partners will engage various target groups from the start of the project (Ministries in charge of Validation, EU, NQF Agencies, EU networks, etc.) in order to ensure a broad impact.