A very important EQF and ECVET feature is ‘the learning outcome’ approach: this approach shifts the focus from the traditional system emphasising ‘learning inputs’ such as programmes with a fixed duration delivered by certain type of institutions. Instead, in the learning outcomes approach the assessed person shows what he/she is able to do: the validation of non-formal and informal learning, thus encouraging lifelong learning, is the highlight of this approach.
Learning outcomes define what a learner knows (knowledge), is able to do (skills) and understands (competence, in the sense of responsibility and autonomy).
Learning outcomes are independent of the learning environment and neither the venue, learning environment or the length of the learning process are taken into consideration.
- Educational context : learning outcomes are expressed in curricula, modules, course descriptions, educational standards, qualifications and assessment standards.
- Work context : learning outcomes are embedded in occupational standards and profiles, job profiles, job advertisements, performance measurement/appraisal systems, and recruiting systems.
- Guidance context : information about learning outcomes are found in educational guidance systems and occupational and job information.
- Personal context : people communicate about learning outcomes through curriculum vitae or personal competence profiles.