The assessment of professional competence gives an individual the possibility to have their learning outcomes achieved throughout life validated and, by passing the professional qualification examination, obtain a state recognised document certifying the completion of a professional qualification (National Qualifications Framework - LQF levels 2-4).
An individual may receive a confirmation of qualification (certificate of professional qualification), but the document is not related to the certification of the acquirement of the relevant formal vocational education programme’s content, for instance, the diploma of vocational secondary education.
Also, this validation do not apply to professions, in which the assessment of learning outcomes is regulated by special laws and regulations, such as the Law on Regulated Professions and Recognition of Professional Qualification.
In the beginning of the procedure for the assessment of learning outcomes achieved outside of formal education, the professional experience of an individual is determined during consultations regarding the requirements of the relevant occupational standard and the procedure of professional qualification examination, and such consultations are provided free of charge. In an education institution delegated by the State Education Quality Service to carry out the assessment of the achieved learning outcomes, such consultations are provided by a competent consultant. The consultant prepares the candidate for the assessment process, by informing them of the assessment procedure, its content, assessors, and the assessment criteria.
The assessment of non-formal and informal learning outcomes of an individual by way of a professional qualification examination is subject to a fee or it may be reimbursed in the framework of the European Social Fund’s project. The content of the examination is developed and the examination itself is organised by a vocational education institution delegated by the State Education Quality Service. Passing of the examination leads to a state recognised qualification – the individual receives the certificate of professional qualification (LQF levels 2-4), according to which he/she may pursue the relevant profession.
In the period 2011-2017, the certificate of professional qualification, acquired through validation of non-formal and informal learning outcomes, was issued to 5543 individuals; 2316 out of those had completed LQF level 3 qualification and 3227 – LQF level 4 qualification.
The validation of non-formal and informal learning outcomes was carried out in 77 professional qualifications, which equals to approximately half of the opportunities offered by education institutions.
Since no great demand for LQF level 2 qualifications may be observed in labour market, validation of non-formal and informal learning outcomes in the qualifications corresponding this level has not been carried out.
Further information on validation of informal and non-formal learning in Latvia you may found on the European database on validation of non-formal and informal learning, as well as in European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning 2018 update: Latvia, published on the Cedefop website.
Validation of non-formal education and informal learning is regulated by the following legislative acts:
Vocational Education Law,
Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers No 146 On the Procedure for the Assessment of the Professional Competences Acquired Outside Formal Educational System,
Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers No 791 On Fees to be Charged for the Services of Vocational Educational Institutions and Examination Centres