What is validation?

Before you receive your certificate from the awarding body, which confirms that you have a given market qualification, its experts must check if you have the required knowledge and skills. This is done through validation.

Validation is a process, through which you can prove to the experts that you have the learning outcomes required for a given qualification. The manner in which you have acquired these learning outcomes is not relevant. It could be through an Internet course, serving an internship in a family business or simply by cultivating your hobby.

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You will be awarded your certificate provided the experts conclude that you have ALL the required learning outcomes – i.e. you know and are able to do everything referred to in the description of the qualification you are applying for.

What is the course of the validation process?

This depends on the following:

  • the market qualification – the basic requirements are identified in the qualification description;
  • the awarding body (AB) – the awarding body designs and organises validation, making relevant information about validation available on its website.
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Validation is not yet another school exam!
Depending on the qualification and how the validation process is organised, awarding bodies can use various methods designed to test your competences.

These may include the following:

  • an analysis of evidence and statements, which confirm your skills and experience, e.g. your portfolio
  • an interview before a committee – during which you will need to demonstrate your knowledge
  • written tasks to be performed or a knowledge test
  • a simulation – with particular tasks to be performed by the candidate

Validation may proceed in stages or it may be adapted to the needs of the candidate.

Validation – a process of assessing whether a person seeking to have a given qualification awarded has attained a distinct set or all of the learning outcomes required for the qualification, irrespective of how they were acquired. 

(Article 2, item 22)


Validation is more than just a test of your knowledge and skills required for the certificate to be awarded.

It is also intended to examine your potential – what you already know and can do and what you still need to or can learn.

The way validation is organised depends on:

the description of a given qualification,
the awarding body – each awarding body may choose to proceed in a different manner.

Validation may consist of the following 3 stages:

Stage 1. identification

This stage is intended to identify what you already know and can do and what you still need to learn in order to be awarded the desired qualification or plan your development differently.

This way:

  • you will be better prepared for the verification stage
  • it will be easier for you to plan your future education and professional development in order to acquirethe competences needed to attain the qualification

At this stage, the awarding body may (but is not requiredto) provide the support of a validation counsellor, who will help you determine if you already have all the competences required for a given qualification.

Stage 2. Documenting

At this stage, you collect evidence (documents) to prove that you know and can do what is required for the attainment of the certificate – i.e. that you have the required learning outcomes.

The documentation stage is optional in the validation process.

Documenting occurs only if validation provides for the use of evidence and statements.
This will depend on:

  • the qualification you wish to attain
  • the awarding body responsible for the validation process

Stage 3. Assessment

At this stage, the assessors (experts in a given area) verify if you have all the required learning outcomes. In the event they establish that you do – the awarding body will award you the qualification and you will receive the certificate.

Each entityresponsible for the validation of the same qualification may proceed in a slightly different manner. For example, assessmentmay be completed within a single day or it may be divided into stages. Different validation methods may be applied too – the qualification description identifies the validation methods awarding bodies may choose.


Validation is a paid service provided by awarding bodies (AB). Awarding bodies decide on the amount of the validation feecharged for a given qualification and any fees relating to the validation process shall be paid to the awarding bodies.

The amount of these fees may vary significantly and depends on:
-the way validation is organised;
-the pricing policy adopted by a given awarding body.

The system does not impose specific fee amounts and thus they may vary from one awarding body to another – even if they offer validation of the same market qualification.

Note: certificates are equivalent – regardless of which awarding body has issued them.

Remember that certificates are always equivalent – regardless of which awarding body has issued them.

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Detailed information on the validation process and fees areavailable at thewebsites of awarding bodies.

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