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Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning – Learning Pathways from Vocational Education and Training to Higher Education

To enhance individual potentials and competencies as one goal, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) launched the initiative on “Accreditation of Prior Learn-ing (APL) from Vocational Education and Training (VET) and from Work for Higher Educa-tion (HE) Programmes (ANKOM)” in September 2005. Since then, twelve pilot projects have set out to develop approaches to identify learning outcomes (such as knowledge, skills, quali-fications, competence) of specific continuing vocational training certificates, which are equivalent to those of corresponding higher education courses, and thus enhance the imple-mentation of Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) procedures, policies and infrastructure at Higher Education Institutions (HEI) in Germany.

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 The initial evaluations of the pilot projects have shown that there is a common approach on developing an APCL model that includes describing learning outcomes, providing evidence of equivalence and setting up quality assured application procedures. It is already clear that this national initiative is only the beginning of Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) which is an integral part of the Bologna process in higher education.