Recognizing vocational competencies to build a more qualified workforce

18 February 2016

Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are working to establish a coherent system for the recognition, validation and accreditation (RVA) of vocational competencies acquired through non-formal and informal learning.

The importance of recognizing and validating currently unrecognized vocational competencies

In these three Central Asian countries, national and sectoral agencies are placing increasing emphasis on recognizing how workers apply knowledge, skills and competencies, rather than on the settings in which they acquired these competencies. Competencies that are acquired informally are important in these countries, as they involve specialized knowledge and expertise that are difficult to develop through formal learning systems. It is therefore imperative to create synergies and smooth transitions between non-formal, informal and formal learning by developing procedures and processes for identifying, validating and recognizing competencies acquired at work, during training, in everyday life and in leisure activities.

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), the UNESCO Office in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and the Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association (DVV) co-organized a seminar to share best practices and advice on RVA. The outputs will this seminar will be taken further by the governments of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in order to establish mechanisms for recognizing vocational competencies in national qualifications frameworks (NQF). The meeting took place on 26 November 2015, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. It was attended by over 100 national and international stakeholders eager to develop conditions, procedures and processes for recognizing workers’ vocational competencies and providing them with relevant qualifications.

As an important follow-up to the seminar, UIL has developed plans with the UNESCO Office in Tashkent to continue supporting national stakeholders in these countries in developing coordinated structures for recognizing vocational competencies


Global Perspectives on Recognising Non-formal and Informal Learning: Why Recognition Matters by Madhu Singh investigates factors that are critical for implementing the recognition, validation and accreditation (RVA) of non-formal and informal learning. It is available at the UIL library (and for download).