The evaluation and accreditation of the professional competences acquired through work experience and non-formal and informal training is one of the necessary instruments to make lifelong learning a reality. It is aimed at the following individuals:
- the active population with work experience and without any professional accreditation, certificate or qualification of all or part of their professional competences, in order to validate these professional competences acquired in the course of work, as well as those acquired through non-formal or informal education, among other options;
- companies or similar bodies, which must promote the updating of the accreditation of their workers' professional competences, with the collaboration, where appropriate, of the workers' legal representatives.
Organic Law 3/2022 on the organisation and integration of Vocational Training (LOOIFP) includes and updates, in Título VI, the provisions relating to the accreditation of professional competences acquired through work experience or other non-formal or informal channels. The accreditation procedure has been set out in Royal Decree 659/2023 which develops the organisation of the Vocational Training System.
The competent Administrations have to design, in collaboration with the most relevant business associations and trade unions, as well as with representative sectoral associations, annual strategic plans to promote and foster the accreditation of professional competences among their active population until at least 80 % of said population has their professional competences accredited. Likewise, the competent Administrations, in collaboration with the most representative trade unions and business associations, as well as with other organisations linked to the economic and social structure, must implement initiatives to guarantee the maximum dissemination of the whole procedure. The information and dissemination of the procedure is compulsory, at least, in the centres within the Vocational Training System and in adult education institutions.
In order to facilitate knowledge of this procedure and its requirements, the Ministry of Education, Vocational Training and Sport (MEFD) provides all stakeholders with the two following tools:
- The tool ACREDITA through the TodoFP web portal.;
- the National Institute for Qualificationss (INCUAL) portal.
The procedure for the accreditation of professional competences acquired through work experience or other non-formal or informal means constitutes a permanently open administrative procedure, which has the National Catalogue of Standards of Professional Competences as a reference, without the need for a call for applications. All those competences included in the National Catalogue of Standards of Professional Competences are subject to be accredited, with the exception of those linked to regulated training and professions. The procedure comprises the following stages:
- information and guidance prior to registration and during the process.
- Registration for participation in the procedure.
- Guidance, on the basis the documents provided: an advisor draws up a non-binding report that will be sent to the person responsible for the assessment phase. Should this report be unfavourable, it will indicate the additional training to be undertaken by the candidate as well as the institutions where he/she can receive it.
- Evaluation of the professional competence: it is checked whether the candidate demonstrates professional competence with the required quality indicators.
- Accreditation and record of the professional competence: the accreditation is issued to candidates who have completed the evaluation stage for each of the competence standards in which they have demonstrated their professional competence.
At the end of the whole procedure, the competent Administrations send to all the participants a guidance report on the vocational training offers and, consequently, the qualifications or certificates, which may be fully or partially obtained.
The competent Administration has to register the accreditations in the State Registry of Accreditations for Professional Competences Acquired through Work Experience or non-formal and informal means. The Ministry of Education, Vocational Training and Sport (MEFD) is responsible for this registry, which must be available for interoperability with the rest of the Registries of the Vocational Training System, as well as with other official registries that may require its files. When, through this procedure, the candidate completes all or part of the competence standards included in an offer included in the National Catalogue of Vocational Training Offers, the competent Administration indicates the necessary steps to be taken either to obtain them or for the validation or exemption of the vocational modules associated with the competence standards passed through the procedure.
In order to participate in the procedure for the recognition of competences, it is necessary to meet some general requirements, which are valid throughout the country.
The general requirements to participate in the procedure for the recognition of professional competences are the following:
- have Spanish nationality;
- have obtained an EU citizen registration certificate or a residence card of a family member of an EU citizen;
- have a valid residence permit or a work and residence permit in Spain, under the provisions of Spanish aliens and immigration law;
- exceptionally, specific procedures may be initiated for groups that do not meet this requirement, provided that it is linked to international agreements or strategic plans to cover the professional needs of certain productive sectors;
- be 18 at the time of registration in the case of competence standards corresponding to level 1 qualifications;
- be 20 for levels 2 or 3;
- work experience, related training or having carried out voluntary work with the professional competences to be accredited:
- work experience:
- for competence standards in levels 2 and 3, to have completed at least , 3 years of working experience, with a minimum of 2000 hours worked in total, in the last 15 years before submitting the application;
- in the case of level 1 competence standards, 2 years of working experience, with a minimum of 1000 hours worked in total, are required;
- in the case of competence units in levels 2 and 3, at least 300 hours, in the last 10 years prior to the submission of the application;
- in the case of level 1 competence standards, at least 200 hours are required. If the professional modules linked to the competence standard or standards to be accredited have a shorter duration, the number of hours set for those modules must be accredited;
- for competence standards in levels 2 and 3, to have completed at least three years of working experience, with a minimum of 2000 total dedicated hours, in the last fifteen years before submitting the application;
- in the case of level 1 competence standards, two years of working experience, with a minimum of 1000 hours worked in total, are required;
- work experience:
- additional requirements:
- in cases where the professional competence standards to be assessed have, due to their nature, additional requirements, documentary evidence of compliance with these requirements is also necessary.
1People aged over 25 who meet the above work experience and training requirements but cannot prove them through the documents mentioned may apply for provisional registration, proving their work experience or non-formal training through any evidence recognised as legally valid.