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Implementing an APL Centre: accreditation of formal and informal learning in companies

This project is aimed at setting up an APL Centre to provide APL services to employees in companies. These employees might need APL for several reasons, e.g. optimal route for formal training, accreditation of learning for higher level job, employability etc. APL not only helps to stimulate Life Long Learning, but is also seen as an important tool in HR, stimulating employability, mobility and career development. Main issue in APL is to approve formal and informal learning. In this project we will focus on APL for employees in companies. The APL centres as set up in the project should serve as a linking pin between the products (training & APL) of the schools for VET and the training needs of the companies and their employees. Basic functions of such an APL point include:

- Co-ordination (including business plan, financial management, account management)
- Administrative support (communication to (potential) participants, registration of results)
- Intake of potential participants - Portfolio support for participants
- Assessing participants

The project aims at setting up a APL service point in three different countries and evaluate the impact of such an APL Centre:
- from the point of view of the APL centre
- from the point of view of the schools for VET (quality of APL and APL procedures)
- from the point of view of the companies and their employees (contribution to HRD, Life Long Learning and employability).

The multinational partnership should stimulate the exchange of knowledge and experiences, as well as trying to find out if and how a European standard for APL can be implemented. The partnership includes a promoter (NL) who will also set up an APL Centre. The two other organisation who will set up an APL Centre are Wisamar (DE) and Kadis d.o.o. (SI). Two other organisations (CINOP, NL and Bureau Zuidema, NL) are involved as experts on APL and training & development in companies, as well as for project co-ordination and evaluation. Finally, there are partners with a special role on exchange of knowledge (including needs of the companies and sectors) as well as dissemination activities in their country.
These partners include:
- Chamber of CommerceLeipzig (DE)
- Hellenic Regional Development Center (EL)
- N.E.T. Networking Education & Training (IT)

The outcomes of the project include:

Basic outcome:
- a minimum of 30 APL procedures in each country, leading to formal documents on the accreditation of prior learning for employees. Employees can use these formal documents for shorter training programme as well as for career development and employability reasons.

Underlaying outcomes:
- a basic APL Centre in each country
- a procedure for the APL process in each Centre, including the quality of APL (based on the voluntary quality code for APL 2006 (Erik Kaemingk, Kenniscentrum EVC, The Netherlands)
- a business plan for the next year per APL Centre
- a report on the experiences of this APL Centres, meant to contribute to the knowledge base on this issue
- materials that can be used for communication to schools, companies and local, regional and national organisations for work and employment

The impact evaluation will focus on the school (what is the added value of such and APL Centre for the school and what is the impact on VET) as well as on the companies (impact on HRD, Life Long Learning and employability of employees).

For more information : apl.sintact.nl
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