Requesting an accreditation of prior and experiential learning (VAE)

This page was last modified on 19-06-2015

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An accreditation of prior and experiential learning (validation des acquis de l'expérience – VAE) can be used to assess and recognise a wide range of skills and experience acquired throughout a person's life in different contexts, such as in education, at work and during leisure time, in order to:

  • obtain certificates or diplomas required to enter a training course;
  • reduce the amount of training required;
  • obtain a title, certificate or diploma in full or in part.

In that sense, VAE means that candidates no longer need training in skills they already possess to qualify for a course, certificate, etc. In the framework of lifelong learning, VAE represents an additional means of obtaining certificates or diplomas other than through traditional courses, apprenticeships and continuing education.

Accreditation may be obtained for all professional and non-professional activities, provided the candidate has spent at least 3 years (or 5,000 hours) learning the skill, and it is related to the certificate or diploma requested.

Forms / Online services

Carry out your procedure:

Who is concerned

Any person, regardless of age, nationality, qualification or status, may request VAE, provided that they can prove they have spent a minimum amount of time carrying out an activity directly related to the sought certificate.

Prerequisites

VAE may be granted in respect of any experience gained through a salaried or self-employed activity (as a trader or employee, freelancer, farmer or craftsperson, etc.) or an unpaid activity (union, association), whether or not it is carried out on a continuous basis. This activity must relate directly to the certificate requested.

Costs

Applications for accreditation of prior and experiential learning must be accompanied by payment of an administrative charge of EUR 25.

How to proceed

Definition of accreditation of prior and experiential learning (VAE)

An accreditation of prior and experiential learning (validation des acquis de l'expérience – VAE) enables any person to have their experience accredited for the purpose of obtaining a professional qualification. Such experience may be the result of formal, non-formal or informal learning related to the certificate or diploma for which the application is submitted.

More specifically, VAE can be used to prove all or some of the knowledge or skills required for:

  • university courses at the University of Luxembourg and higher education courses leading to an advanced technician's training certificate (brevet de technicien supérieur – BTS);
  • technical secondary education (enseignement secondaire technique – EST) certificates and diplomas and master craftsman's certificates (brevet de maîtrise);
  • evening class diplomas issued by the Luxembourg Lifelong Learning Center (LLLC) after having passed 6 or 7 modules, constituting a professional profile.

It therefore attests to progress made through:

  • formal learning: organised, structured training provided in a teaching/training establishment or in a workplace, and explicitly referred to as training in terms of objectives, time or resources;
  • non-formal training: training integrated into planned activities not explicitly referred to as training activities in terms of objectives, time or resources but involving a significant amount of learning;
  • informal learning: learning resulting from everyday experience gained at work, at home or during leisure time. It is neither organised nor structured in terms of objectives, time or resources.

VAE may provide full or partial accreditation. The diploma or certificate obtained through VAE has the same worth as that obtained via traditional education. VAE can also be used to gain access to training or an educational course without fulfilling the required conditions.

Bodies and diplomas in question

Ministry of Education, Children and Youth: Secondary technical diploma/master craftsman's certificate

Adults, including those with a low level of basic education, can apply for accreditation of prior and experiential learning during their professional activities in a specific sector. Secondary technical education certificates and diplomas and the master craftsman's certificate can be the subject of VAE, i.e.:

  • the certificate of professional ability (CCP);
  • the professional aptitude diploma (DAP);
  • the technical diploma (DT);
  • the secondary school technical diploma;
  • the master craftsman's certificate.

Applicants with evidence of at least 3 years professional experience in connection with the desired diploma can submit an application to the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth.

To find out which diploma might correspond to the experience acquired, applicants can:

Preparing the document: application

Applying for accreditation of prior and experiential learning is a 2-stage process.

Firstly, applicants submit an application for admissibility by registered post to the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth, VAE, 29 Street Aldringen, L-2926 Luxembourg.

Applications, which must specify the certificate or diploma in question, are to be accompanied by a dossier from the applicants, where they briefly introduce themselves, stating their motivations and objectives, training and career paths (non-professional activities can also be mentioned in support of the application) and describing various jobs and occupations held (duties, working conditions, organisation of work, degree of autonomy, etc.).

This application also includes:

  • official documents, such as certificates of employment, wage slips, social security registration certificates, providing evidence of periods of learning;
  • for voluntary work, certificates issued by the president of the voluntary association in question;
  • affidavits for private activities;
  • a copy of the proof of payment. In order to make an application for admissibility, applicants must pay a EUR 25 administration fee by bank or postal transfer to the Indirect Tax Authority (administration de l'enregistrement et des domaines – AED) account: IBAN LU09 1111 7026 5281 0000, BIC: CCPLLULL and indicate the following reference: ‘droit de timbre, validation des acquis de l'expérience (règlement grand-ducal du 11 janvier 2010)’ and, where appropriate, their surname and first name.

Applicants will receive a response to their application for admissibility no later than 30 days after submission. Approval of the admissibility of the application for accreditation of prior and experiential learning is valid for 2 validation sessions.

Example:

You submit your application for admissibility in January 2016. If it is approved, you can submit your application for extended accreditation (validation sur le fond):

  • either for 31 July 2016 (October-November 2016 session);
  • or for 28 February 2017 (May-June 2017 session).
Extended accreditation process

If the application is approved, a second document must be completed with an application for extended accreditation. The application is reviewed by an accreditation committee.

For the extended accreditation application, applicants must provide a detailed description of any knowledge, aptitudes and skills that directly relate to the diploma being requested. They must also give concrete examples of tasks completed. Descriptions must be sufficiently detailed.

The accreditation committee analyses the application and, as applicable:

  • invites the candidate for an interview;
  • or observes the candidate at work or in a role-play exercise.

After deliberation, the accreditation committee will decide:

  • either to grant the diploma requested;
  • or to grant part of the diploma, indicating the additional elements that must be provided. Applicants then have 3 years in which to acquire the skills that are lacking, by training or by gaining additional experience.

The accreditation committee meets twice a year. The competent authority informs the applicant of the outcome within one month of itself being informed of the accreditation committee's decision.

Higher and university education

Advanced technician's certificate (BTS) training courses

Candidates with relevant professional experience can access training courses resulting in a BTS (brevet de technicien supérieur – advanced technician's certificate). Accreditation may be granted on the basis of relevant experience gained through salaried, self-employed or unpaid activities carried out over a total duration of at least 3 years, whether on a continuous basis or not. This experience must include all or some of the knowledge and skills required to obtain the BTS requested. Accreditation may also be granted on the basis of periods of accredited continuing education.

Accreditation is granted by an ad-hoc committee set up for the training course in question in the secondary school that organised the training; this committee decides on the extent of accreditation and, in the case of partial accreditation, on the knowledge and skills that require further verification.

Accreditation has the same worth as passing the knowledge and skills test(s) that it replaces.

The accreditation application (VAE) must be submitted to the headmaster of the secondary school organising the BTS training course in question.

University of Luxembourg: university degrees

First-, second- and third-level courses at the University of Luxembourg are also open to those who do not have a secondary school or university diploma provided that they meet one of the following conditions:

  • have passed the special entrance examinations set by the University;
  • have proof of professional experience.

In the latter case, access is granted on the basis of an application and an interview before an ad-hoc committee set up by the president of the university for this purpose and made up of 3 lecturing researchers of the faculty in question.

Any person with at least 3 years' experience in a professional (salaried, self-employed or unpaid) activity relevant to their application may request VAE to prove all or some of the knowledge and skills required in order to obtain a certificate or diploma issued by the University of Luxembourg.

For VAE, in addition to the lecturer-researchers that make up the majority, the panel also includes people capable of assessing the nature of the experience gained – especially experience of a professional nature – for which an accreditation is requested.

The panel makes its decision after having examined the application submitted by the candidate and interviewed the candidate; in some cases, the panel may also observe the candidate at work or in a role-play exercise if this procedure is required by the authority that issues the accreditation. It also decides on the extent of accreditation and, in the case of partial accreditation, on the knowledge and skills that require further verification.

Accreditation has the same worth as passing the knowledge and skills test(s) that it replaces.

Procedure:

  1. Consult the list of training courses available;
  2. Fill out an enrolment application on the website uni.lu. Once your enrolment application has been validated online, a screen will appear showing the documents that need to be attached to the application depending on the course chosen;
  3. Attach all the requested documents as well as a cover letter explaining your situation. All documents providing proof of experience are required;
  4. Send the application to the Service des études et de la vie étudiante (SEVE). It will be processed by the director of the course in question. If your application is accepted, you will receive a letter of enrolment from the University of Luxembourg.

Luxembourg Lifelong Learning Center (LLLC): Evening classes

Diplomas that can be obtained through accreditation of prior and experiential learning are those offered during LLLC evening classes (the Chamber of Employees' continuing vocational training). This relates to diplomas issued after 6 or 7 modules have been successfully completed, constituting a professional profile.

For applications to be admissible, applicants must provide evidence of at least 3 years (666 days) of professional and/or non-professional experience, either on a continuous basis or with breaks. The experience gained may be the result of employment/self-employment or voluntary work. It must relate directly to the diploma(s) for which the application for accreditation has been submitted.

Diplomas obtained by accreditation of prior and experiential learning are just as valid as those obtained by completing training courses. The diplomas bear no mention of how they were obtained.

Preparing the dossier

Applicants complete a form entitled the ‘accreditation of prior and experiential learning form’ issued by the LLLC. This form must be completed in detail, attaching all supporting documents required for the accreditation. Prior to commencing the accreditation process, authorisation is granted by the LLLC.

If the application is approved by the LLLC, it is then assessed by a panel of professionals and LLLC evening class lecturers. The panel's decision is final.

Accreditation process

The jury makes its decision by analysing the applicants' experience in relation to the knowledge and skills required by the diploma. The applicant's school career and any continuing education courses followed are also taken into consideration:

The panel may decide to grant just part of the diploma, issuing one or more of the certificates requested. In that case, applicants must obtain the missing certificates by traditional methods – namely by taking training courses and/or by passing related examinations. The examinations in question must be taken within 5 years.

Appraisal interviews

After having familiarised themselves with the applicant's file, the panel may decide to ask the applicant to attend an appraisal interview. Appraisal interviews are mandatory, if requested, and form an integral part of the accreditation process. Interviews are an opportunity for applicants to present their case and provide detailed explanations. If in doubt, the panel may ask the applicant to take an additional test (written, oral, role play, etc.). Appraisal interviews are, in principle, limited to 30 minutes.

Who to contact

Ministry of Education, Children and Youth
18-20, montée de la Pétrusse
L-2327 - Luxembourg
Postal box L-2926 Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Phone: (+352) 247-85912
Email vae@men.lu