EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Accreditation of prior experiential learning (VAE)

Phase: Anticipation
  • Recognition of informal and non-formal training
Zuletzt geändert: 03 August, 2021
Ursprünglicher Name:

Validation des acquis de l'expérience (VAE)

Englischer Name:

Accreditation of prior experiential learning (VAE)


The request has to be valid and directly linkted to the profession. All employees or volunteers who have worked for more than three years with a total of 5,000 hours.

Main characteristics

In order to apply for a VAE in Luxembourg, employees must have worked in their profession for at least three years. Their work should relate to the qualification for which they applied. Each application is considered by a validation committee which is composed of two representatives of trade unions, two representatives of employer organisations and two representatives of the educational system. This committee analyses the candidate's description of past and present activities against the requirements of the qualification. After this, an interview is conducted with the applicant or, alternatively, a check is carried out while working. Higher education degrees can be recognised by the University of Luxembourg.

Three types can be requested, depending on the certificate, qualification or diploma sought:

  • accreditation of prior experiential learning for the secondary technical education diplomas or the master craftsman's certificate which can requested from the Ministry of Education;
  • accreditation of prior experiential learning for a higher education diploma (Bachelor's degree, Master's degree, PhD) which can be requested from the University of Luxembourg;
  • accreditation of prior experiential learning for diplomas for evening classes which can be be requested from the Luxembourg Lifelong Learning Center.


  • National funds

Involved actors

National government
Ministry of Education, Children and Youth
Employer or employee organisations
Chambre of Employees, Chamber of Commerce
University of Luxembourg (for higher education degrees), the Luxembourg Lifelong Learning Center (for evening courses).


According to the latest data by the Ministry of Education (2019), 350 VAE requests have been validaed by the Ministry of Education in Luxembourg. 79 VAE requests have been rejected due to a series of errors such as not respecting the deadline. 



This measure has a positive impact on career developments and enables employees to get accreditaion for study modules they already know because of their work experience. It can be used as a springboard to a higher degree and some of the degrees can be flexibly conducted. 


Weaknesses are difficult to be identified, as no scientific evaluation has yet been done. According to a press article published in May 2016 in the daily L'Essentiel, there is a lack of voluntary accompanying people to support applicants. The Ministry of Education identifies costs as a barrier to accompany applicants. The newspaper d'Lëtzeburger Land also points to the fact that the scheme and its formalities are too complex for low qualified people. Another article published in the newspaper Lequotidien in 2017 on the procedure at the level of the University underlines that it is a difficult task to continue studies in the context of the VAE when working full-time.


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