APPROBATION OF A VALIDATION QUALITY ASSURANCE SYSTEM
Qualified and well-informed citizens are of paramount importance for United Europe's development and prosperity. The issue of their education extends beyond formal education and covers knowledge and skills acquired informally or independently. Public opinion is that well-realized lifelong learning can make a lot of contribution both to the economic development of the countries and to the development of civil society and culture.
In the modern world, there is a tendency for change from mass production to the individual one - more and more people want products and services that are specially created according to their personal preferences, they want to be distinguished from others in their possessions, they want to stand out. This trend finds its place in the field of education too: learners want to be able to make choices about what to learn and what not to, to acquire knowledge and skills that will distinguish them from others and make them more competitive in the labor market. But in times of financial crisis, and in some countries like Bulgaria - even when there is none, the education expenditures in the state budget are insufficient, especially for those that are not part of the formal structure of educational institutions. This is also a challenge of the lifelong learning: to provide personalization of learning on the one hand, and on the other to achieve economies of scale so that the unit cost of this education is tolerable for the country concerned.
Bulgarian citizens, like everyone else, need to be able to show what they have learned in order to be able to get a promotion at work and/or to have the right to continue their education at higher levels of the formal one. To do this, the individuals need to have access to a system that validates knowledge and skills, that is, one that identifies, documents, evaluates and certifies all forms of training.
The demanding market and growing competition require that in the regulatory framework of any validation system, a validation quality assurance system is to be set up and implemented. The scope of this system includes all validation actions in the particular school. Its tasks are related to: 1) identification of the factors influencing the quality of validation in the particular vocational school, 2) determination of the guidelines for correcting the impact of those factors in the desired direction, 3) definition of the system-specific criteria and indicators allowing effective analysis and improvement of the validation process to be carried out.
This paper presents the results of the approbation of such a system created for the needs of the Bulgarian vocational schools for the realization of the project "New opportunity for my future".
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