The Norwegian seminar of the VISKA project
A seminar about the experience from the VISKA project on working with validation for refugees and other groups at risk. Plans and ideas for further cooperation in the field.
The VISKA team and coordinator, Skills Norway, organised the Norwegian seminar on validation on the 10th of January 2020. Ten out of the eleven regions in Norway were represented at this national event. The members of the National Advisory Group were present, as were the social partners. There were 52 people in total, many of whom took an active part in the seminar with questions and comments throughout the day and in the final discussion. Below you can read all about their succesfull day.
After an initial video presenting the voice of a learner, the seminar was opened by Head of Department Margrethe Marstrøm Svensrud (Skills Norway). She welcomed the participants, and the representatives from the five regions participating in the Norwegian VISKA field trials in particular, whom she thanked for their work on the trials. She also reflected briefly on how to upscale and transfer the results from VISKA in future work.
Next, senior adviser and project coordinator Hanne Christensen (Skills Norway) presented the VISKA project and its partners, focusing on the importance of validation in EU policies and how VISKA links up with European priorities. Outlining the partners’ work and preliminary results, she then went on to present evaluation and research activities in the frame of the project. Her presentation can be found here.
The opening session was followed by a panel, chaired by senior adviser Camilla Alfsen (Skills Norway), in which representatives from the five regions participating in the field trials shared their experience.
The discussion centred around hands-on experience and challenges linked to a wide range of topics, such as recruiting candidates; guidance; methodological choices; preparation for the VPL process; cultural awareness; working with interpreters; cross-sectoral cooperation and teamwork; follow-up after the VPL process; professional development for assessors and other staff; and networking. After the panel, Camilla Alfsen proceeded to present an overview of the Norwegian results from the VISKA field trials.
The next slot was opened by a second video, presenting the voice of another learner. Head of Area Sture Berg Helgesen from the Ministry of Education and Research had been invited to reflect on utilising the project results from an operational level, at a political/strategic level. He pointed to important governmental initiatives as a context for the VISKA work – the ongoing ‘Competence Reform’, focusing on work-related lifelong learning; the changes in integration policies, with a change in legislation coming up; and the inclusion perspective, which is a main area of interest for the government. He then focused on competence as our most important resource, pointing to mobilising the competence of the population as a governmental task of major importance. The VISKA experience and challenges from the regions were referred to as a source of useful knowledge – especially focused on cross-sectoral work and professional development for staff. Some pointers for further work were laid out, such as improving dialogue between sectors with a view to follow-up after the VPL process; better cooperation with the labour market to ensure that VPL candidates are welcomed there; and working in clusters rather than large-scale standardisation of processes. He pointed out that VPL is part of a flexible system in which the adult learner should have increased opportunities to follow flexible learning pathways in and out of work and education and training.
The last session of the day was a short discussion on how to support quality in VPL provision through networking, introduced by Margrethe Marstrøm Svensrud. In her introduction, she emphasised the importance of linking up the measures for this target group; i.e. seeing guidance, VPL, language learning and other education and training as closely connected measures to be tailored to individual needs. She also highlighted the change in the regulation to the Education Act, meaning VPL for non-Norwegian speakers can be carried out in a common language (e.g. English) or in mother tongue, if necessary with the help of an interpreter. She brought the news to the audience that the proposed amendment (mentioned here: https://viskaproject.eu/2019/11/great-news-for-viska-norway/) has been approved and takes effect from 1 January 2020. Read the full presentation here. The discussions concluded with comments from the participants on how to network locally or nationally to support future development of local practice.
Visit ‘the results by country’ page on our website for the Norwegian evaluation results or move directly to the Norwegian executive summary. A full country report will be published on the website in February 2020.