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WP6 team photo cropped

European aquaculture is a fast-growing innovative industry, its success relying on a joint practical and theoretical knowledge base, whose personnel regularly require specialised training. Yet training such as work placements, on-the-job training, and short-term learning courses, regarded as essential in today’s competitive business, falls outside current credit systems. The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) links national qualifications systems, acting as a translation device to make qualifications more readable, with the aim to promote mobility between countries and to facilitate lifelong learning. The EQF encompasses general and adult education, vocational education and training, as well as higher education, and applies to all types of qualifications.

TITLE: The VALLA (Validation of all Lifelong Learning in Aquaculture)
PROGRAMME: European Commission Lifelong Learning Programme
DURATION: February 2008 – January 2010 (24 months)
DURATION: February 2008 – January 2010 (24 months)

A key challenge for the EQF is the status of unaccredited short-term sectoral/professional training courses. The VALLA (Validation of all Lifelong Learning in Aquaculture) project will demonstrate how to validate and recognize short-term sectoral training (including non-formal learning) and will test how some types of lifelong learning fit into the EQF targeting the aquaculture sector as a pilot case study. VALLA will develop and pilot methods of recognising and accrediting lifelong learning in the aquaculture sector via the European Qualifications Framework. VALLA builds on the results of WAVE and will contribute towards the aims of the EQF by developing competence-based learning outcomes for a specific sector, providing a reference for the validation of non-formallly acquired competences, and linking such reference points to establish sectoral standards.


The aims of the VALLA project are to support the realisation of a European area for lifelong learning, building transparency and trust:

  • by showing how unaccredited learning activities in one sector can be described as learning outcomes capable of inclusion in both NQFs and the emergent EQF;
  • by providing generic tools, methodology and supporting guidelines able to be used by all sectors;
  • using existing networks covering HE, VET and non-formal learning to promote quality assurance and trust.

Expected Outcomes:

VALLA will contribute towards the aims of the EQF:

  • by developing a methodology on how to map a sector by competencies able to be used by trainers in any sector;
  • by providing a dedicated software tool able to define course/ workshop/ placement training in competencies/learning outcomes;
  • by providing a tested protocol for evaluating and validating short-term training(10 EU languages);
  • by providing the VALLA website with EQF glossary (10 EU languages).

The testing and dissemination via existing networks of VALLA's generic tools, methodology and protocol will enable rapid progress towards the establishment of sectoral frameworks. 


  • AquaTT UETP Ltd, Ireland
  • Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP), Belgium
  • Ghent University, Belgium
  • KEK Diastasi Vocational Training Centre, Greece
  • Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB), Norway
  • Scottish Aquaculture Training Association, United Kingdom
  • Scottish Qualifications Authority, United Kingdom

For more information, contact