The European Union

Making recognition of youth work and non-formal learning/education is a priority of European cooperation in the youth sector, in both the European Union and the Council of Europe.

Such aims are  supported by the Council of EU Recommendation (2012/C 398/01) on the validation of non-formal and informal learning, which states that:


"the validation of learning outcomes, namely knowledge, skills and competences acquired through non-formal and informal learning can play an important role in enhancing employability and mobility, as well as increasing motivation for lifelong learning, particularly in the case of the socio-economically disadvantaged or the low-qualified."

The Council of Europe

Promotes non-formal learning/education as a priority within its Agenda 2020 and 2030 on youth policy, notably as a means of ensuring young people’s access to education, training and working life. It develops quality standards in education and training, the Youth Work Portfolio.

It has also published the first edition of the Council of the European Union working paper Pathways towards Validation and Recognition of Education, Training & Learning in the Youth Field, backed by the working paper Pathways 2.0 towards Recognition of Non-Formal Learning/Education and of Youth Work in Europe, updated by the youth partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe, the Council of Europe and the European Youth Forum.


A valuable resource for analysis of the validation of non-formal learning lies with the CEDEFOP Validation of non-formal and informal learning Inventory, which was endorsed by the Council Recommendation of 2012 on validation of non-formal and informal learning and works together with the European guidelines for validating non-formal and informal learning as a tool to support countries to develop and implement validation arrangements.

EU - CoE Youth Partnership

The expert group released valuable resources and research papers on education and career paths of youth workers.

The following working papers are directly linked with the context of this project:

Youth workers learning in non-formal contexts by Dunja Potočnik

Systems for formal and non-formal education and validation of youth workers. An Analytical Report