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Lots of people acquire vocational skills and knowledge during their working life, but are not always able to prove these acquired skills with a formal document, e.g. an exam certificate. Career changers and those applicants without vocational qualifications are often not able to, or can only partially prove their vocational skills when they are in the process of changing jobs.

The Federal German Government has therefore responded to the need for action and so the coalition government has undertaken the following:
"For people who acquired informal competences which cannot be documented through certificates, we want to develop new procedures and try to manage them with transparency and recognition.” (Coalition agreement between CDU, CSU and SPD from December 2013, p. 32)

The EU Council as well recommends:
The Member States should have arrangements for the validation of non-formal and informal learning in place, no later than 2018, in accordance with national circumstances and specificities, and as they deem appropriate.” (EU Council Recommendation 2012/C 398/01 from 20 December 2012, p. C 398/3.)

In order to promote the validation of non-formally and informally acquired skills in Germany, the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (DHKT) and the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) have initiated the ValiKom Project, together with the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). The project members (Chambers of Skilled Crafts and Chambers of Commerce and Industry) of the »ValiKom« Project (11/2015 - 10/2018) have developed a procedure, which enables identifying and assessing non-formally and informally acquired skills. Vocational experts examine the assessment based on the standards of recognised vocational qualifications.

With the follow-up project "ValiKom Transfer", further chamber locations are being set up nationwide. The aim is to prepare and offer validation procedures for a total of 32 occupations in industry, commerce, crafts and agriculture.