The Validation Toolbox contains a range of materials that have been collected throughout the course of the InnoVal project and be used as support and further learning for the training programme. Some of the materials are also referenced and featured as part of the four Modules of the InnoVal Training Programme. The Toolbox contains innovative case studies and videos from 5 European countries, all the resources for the InnoVal Training Modules, exercises as well as a Glossary.

Case studies

  • All
  • Multiple countries
  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Portugal



Adaptive test – Type of assessment developed on a computer. The individual’s performance in the beginning of the assessment determines the next items to be presented 

Advocate – Publicly support or suggest an idea, development, or way of doing something

Affective learning – The acquisition of behaviours involved in expressing feelings in attitudes, appreciations, and values

Alternative assessment – Non-traditional approaches, measuring performance in forms other than traditional paper-and-pencil, short answer tests. Alternative assessment typically involves real world situations that require the learner to apply their relevant knowledge and skills allowing them to demonstrate the depth and scope of learning without being limited to narrow questions. Examples: video- or picture- based assessment, portfolio, open badges, e-tools, interviews, trainings

Analytical rubric – Describes the level of performance expected for each criterion, giving feedback to individuals regarding how to improve their performance

Anxiety – Feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome

Anxiety in assessment context – Fear of failing felt before or while taking an important examination/test, which has a negative impact on the individual’s performance and results

Assessment (validation process) – This is the third phase of the validation process. In this phase, documented learning outcomes are referenced against a specific standard (e.g. official qualification standard, occupational standard or an approved education programme or curriculum). Validation is easier if learning outcomes (what the individual knows, understands and is able to do) are referenced against clearly defined standards and performance levels

Tools: Combination of written or oral tests and practical challenges; practical demonstrations or simulations; gathering evidence from previous practices, Bloom Revised Taxonomy, peer review, essays…


Barrier – A law, rule, problem, etc., that makes something difficult or impossible


Capacity building – Any effort made to improve the abilities, skills, and expertise for individual’s professional development in terms of growth, progress or improvement

Certification (validation process) – This is the fourth and last phase of the validation process. Certification of the assessment results in the form of a qualification or credits leading to a qualification. A competent and legitimised body confirms that an individual is in possession of the relevant skills, abilities and competences and that these have been assessed in accordance with stipulated standards. If certification is issued by a company or the economic sector, this may involve issuing a licence allowing the individual to carry out a specific task. It is important that the certification process is managed by a credible authority or organisation to assure its value and legitimacy, and that the use of summative approaches for VNFIL is integrated into national qualification systems

Competence – Ability to apply learning outcomes adequately in a defined context (education, work, personal or professional development)

Culture-fair test – A culture-fair test is test designed to be free of cultural bias, as far as possible, so that no one culture has an advantage over another. The test is designed to not be influenced by verbal ability, cultural climate, or educational level


Documentation (validation process) – This is the second of the fourth phases of the validation process. This phase usually follows the previous one and aims to provide evidence on the learning outcomes acquired by the individuals. It needs to be open so that different kinds of documents that prove their learning achievements are recognised. This openness relates to the fact that different validation providers can have different documentation formats, making it difficult for individuals to present their learning outcomes and have them accepted (i.e. problems with transferability). Thus, it is important to have common formats that can aid transferability and promote a better understanding of learning outcomes

Tool: Europass, e-portfolio…


Enabler – Person or thing that makes something possible

Extrinsic motivation – Motivation that is generated by external factors such as rewards, prizes, punishments, disciplinary actions, etc. In education and training, learners expect a given result from a learning process as a reward for their work


Formative approach – Provide feedback to the learning process or learning career, indicating strengths and weaknesses and providing a basis for personal or organisational improvement (Validation of non-formal and informal learning in Europe – a snapshot 2007. Cedefop, 2008)

Functional Failure – Difference between what the learner knows and what he/she is supposed to know given his/her level of schooling


Halo effect – A halo effect is, when an assessor is “blinded”by characteristics of a candidate (by e.g. the attractivity, intelligence, friendliness) and without knowing ask easier questions, interpret answers more benevolently or give better grades 

Holistic rubric – Scores the overall quality, proficiency, or understanding of the specific content and skills


ICT – The term is generally accepted to mean all devices, networking components, applications and systems that combined allow people and organizations to interact in the digital world

Identification (validation process) – This is the first phase of the validation process. In this phase, individuals become aware of their own knowledge, skills and competences acquired through non-formal and informal learning. It requires reflective recognition of such learning outcomes from individuals, which leads to valuable outcomes. Methods and approaches must be open to expanding the range of knowledge, skills and competences to be considered

Tools: ICT-based tools (e.g. simulations), interviews, dialogue-based approaches, list of competences…

Informal learning – Non-purposive learning which takes place in everyday life contexts in the family, at work, during leisure and in the community. It does have outcomes, but these are seldomly recorded, virtually never certified and are typically neither immediately visible for the learner nor do they count in themselves for education, training or employment purposes

Intrinsic motivation – Motivation that is determined by internal generated factors that influence how a person behaves (e.g. responsibility, autonomy, reasons to use and develop skills, career opportunities development, etc.).


Learning Outcomes – Set of knowledge, skills and/or competences an individual has acquired and/or is able to demonstrate after completion of a learning process, either formal, non-formal or informal

Lifelong learning – All learning activity undertaken throughout life, which results in improving knowledge, know-how, skills, competences and/or qualifications for personal, social and/or professional reasons (Source: Cedefop, 2008; European Commission, 2001)


Motivation – A set of factors that determine a person’s behaviour towards a given result. It is what makes a person act to achieve a goal as the answer for a need, for example, and it is often used to explain why a person behaves in a certain way


Non-formal learning – Purposive but voluntary learning that takes place in a diverse range of environments and situations for which teaching/training and learning is not necessarily their sole or main activity. These environments and situations may be temporarily, and the activities or courses that take place may be staffed by professional learning facilitators (such as youth trainers) or by volunteers (such as youth leaders). The activities and courses are planned, but are seldomly structured by conventional rhythms or curriculum subjects. They usually address specific target groups, but rarely document or assess learning outcomes or achievements in conventionally visible ways


Quality assurance – Activities involving planning, implementation, evaluation, reporting, and quality improvement, implemented to ensure that education and training (content of programmes, curricula, assessment and validation of learning outcomes, etc.) meet the quality requirements expected by stakeholders (Cedefop Glossary 2011)


Reliability – Degree to which an assessment tool produces stable and consistent results, meaning that every time an individual is assessed under the same circumstances, the results need to be consistent

Rubric – Assessment tool that divides assigned work into component parts and provides clear description of the characteristics of a given task associated to those components. It provides both assessors and assessees with a clear understanding of expectations


Social barriers – They are the barriers linked to the perception or acceptance that stakeholders have of assessment methods. Examples: lack of acceptance by educational institutions, lack of acceptance by employers, lack of interest and uptake by potential candidates

Standardised assessment – Any form of assessment that requires all individuals to answer to the same question or selection of questions, scoring their answers in a “standard” way allowing assessors to compare results and performances. Questions, conditions of administration, scoring procedures and interpretation of results are consistent and predetermined

Summative approach – Generate a concluding statement about learning achieved to date. It is explicitly about the formalisation and certification of learning outcomes (Validation of non-formal and informal learning in Europe – a snapshot 2007. Cedefop, 2008) 


Technical barriers – They are the ones connected to the implementation of these innovative methods. Examples: difficulty of training human assessors to ensure reliability, cost of administering alternative approaches, need for more effective frameworks or criteria in order to capture transversal skills, lack of transparency


Validation – A process of confirmation by an authorised body that an individual has acquired learning outcomes measured against a relevant standard

Validity – Refers to how well a test measures what it is supposed to measure