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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

I have heard of ValiKom Transfer. What does it actually entail?

ValiKom Transfer stands for the validation of informally and non-formally acquired skills. The project is aimed at those without vocational qualifications as well as those with a vocational qualification but who are working in a job other than the one for which they are qualified (career changers). These people can have the skills, abilities and knowledge acquired in working life assessed and identified in a standardised process. At the end, they receive a certificate that attests the extent to which their individually acquired skills correspond to a current German vocational qualification. Click here for more detailed information on how the procedure works.

What is the difference between formal, non-formal and informal learning?

Formal learning

Learning which takes place in an organised and structured environment, specifically dedicated to learning, and typically leads to the award of a qualification, usually in the form of a certificate or a diploma.

It includes systems

  • of general education,
  • initial vocational training and
  •  higher education.

Non-formal  learning

Learning which takes place through planned  activities (in terms of learning objectives, learning time) where some form of learning support is present.


  • in-company training, through which companies update and improve the skills of their  workers
  • structured on-line learning 

Informal learning

Learning resulting from daily activities related to work, family or leisure  and is not organised or structured in terms of objectives, time or learning support.


  • project management skills acquired at work
  • languages learned during a stay in another country

What does validation mean?

Validation means a process of confirmation by an authorised body that an individual has acquired learning outcomes measured against a relevant standard and consists of the following four distinct phases:

1. IDENTIFICATION through dialogue of particular experiences of an individual;

2. DOCUMENTATION to make visible the individual's experiences;

3. a formal ASSESSMENT of these experiences; and

4. CERTIFICATION of the results of the assessment which may lead to a partial or full qualification;

Can anyone take part in the validation procedure?

Anyone without vocational qualifications, but with sufficient working experience can take part. The project is aimed at those who have acquired abilities and skills in their everyday working life but who cannot provide proof of this with a qualification certificate. The procedure is also aimed at those with a vocational qualification, but who are working in a job other than the one in which they are qualified (career changers). To be able to take part in the procedure, participants must be at least 25 years old.

Where should I register if I am interested in the validation procedure?

Please register with one of the participating chambers. The contact addresses can be found here

(From) When can I take part in a procedure of this kind?

Please ask your responsible chamber if it is possible to take part. More information on this can be found here.

How good does my knowledge of German have to be to take part in the procedure?

The validation procedure is conducted in the German language. Participants should therefore have a basic knowledge of German and be familiar with the technical terminology of their field of work.

What does reference occupation mean?

The reference occupation corresponds to a vocational qualification as defined in the Berufsbildungsgesetz (BBiG) or the Handwerksordnung (HWO).

In which fields is the validation procedure being conducted?

The procedure is being conducted in specific occupations. You can find a list of these occupations here.