Competences Before Diplomas

"Skills are key for sustainable competitiveness, resilience and ensuring social fairness for all."
- European Commission (July 2020)

Target Group

Young Adults (18-30) and Adult Trainers


To identify and develop possible ways of recognition and validation of competences acquired by non-formal and informal settings.


01/11/2021 - 30/11/2023

Project Aim

This project’s general goal is to explore and develop possible mean of recognizing and validating competences acquired in non-formal and informal contexts, particularly for left-behind adult learners and other disadvantaged target groups, using a Validation Portfolio as the primary tool.

Specific objectives:

  • To encourage the socioeconomic growth and inclusion of disadvantaged people with gaps in their formal education credentials by recognizing and validating their non-formal skills and abilities;
  • In terms of statistical data, public policies, and best practices, to study, analyze, examine, and make more accessible European and national scenarios of competence validation and adult education.
  • Through a training curriculum focused on the European Key Skills for Lifelong Learning and a Validation Portfolio, improve target groups' access to the acknowledgment of competences acquired in non-formal and informal contexts;
  • To give open access to digital learning content by developing an interactive digital platform that includes all of the project's learning materials and processes as interactive activities, as well as supplementary content on the topics of education innovation and competency.
  • Contribute to the improvement and updating of policies through a set of recommendation guidelines aimed at fostering strategic actions and joint efforts by public authorities, training organizations, social actors, and certification institutions in order to expand opportunities to validate non-formal competences and raise awareness about the importance of different types of certification.


Most countries still need to develop systems that allow people to recognize, document, assess, and certify all types of learning and use it to further their careers and further their education and training. The 2019 OECD booklet ‘Getting Skills Right: Engaging Low-Skilled Adults in Learning’ depicts evidence that many adults with low skills are anything but ‘low skilled’: they may have low literacy and numeracy levels, but they may also possess a range of other valuable skills; similarly, some adults may have low qualification levels, but they may have gained skills through years of work-experience that are equivalent to those associated with formal qualifications. Individuals, employers, and the economy all gain from recognizing these talents through validation and certification. It recognizes an individual’s (informal) learning effort, which can boost motivation and serve as a stepping stone to more formal learning. Employers profit from skill recognition because they may better match employees’ skill sets with jobs, resulting in improved production. Individual and employer gains from skill validation and certification boost labor market functioning [Kis and Windisch, 2018]. For these good impacts to occur, employers and society as a whole must esteem certifications received through skill recognition and regard them as equivalent to credentials obtained through formal learning.

The project aims to meet the requirements of educators and individuals – particularly those from vulnerable groups – who are concerned about the lack of acknowledgment of non-formal and informal learning.


Articles - Meetings - Training - Events

Publication in Portugal

“The Portuguese Prison Education Association (original, APEnP, Associação Portuguesa de Educação nas Prisões) published an article in its last newsletter, July 2023, about the project CompB4D, how it involves entities, trainers and learners within the prison contexts, part of our target groups.”

The C2 Mobility in Italy!

The C2 Training Activity took place between the 6th – 10th of March 2022, in Italy! 📣During the C2 blended training, learners had the chance to complete a variety of interactive activities aiming to develop 8 different competences as defined by the European Commission, while the COMPB4D Validation Tool was used to assess these competences:1)…

C1 Staff Training

The C1 Staff Training of the Erasmus+ KA2 Project Competences Before Diplomas (CompB4D), in Beja (Portugal) between the 7th – 11th of November 2022. During the training, the trainers had the opportunity to train and receive feedback on all of the competences to be developed such as: Multilingual, Personal, Social and Learning to Learn, Entrepreneurship,…

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Submission Number: 2021-1-FR01-KA220-ADU-00030141