‘From Non-Formal to Formal TVET Pathways – Lessons Learned from Piloting RPL’

In collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and the Ministry of Tourism, Swisscontact organised a workshop on ‘From non-formal to formal TVET pathways: Lessons learned from Piloting Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL)’ on 19 September 2019 at Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel.

The event aimed at (1) promoting and raising awareness about  competency-based assessment and certification systems’ among industry, development partners, local and international NGOs and technical training institutes; and (2) sharing the lessons the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, the Ministry of Tourism and Swisscontact have learned under the Skills Development Programme’s Recognition to Prior Learning mechanism. According to the Cambodian Qualification Framework (CQF), Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a mechanism to recognize and validate competencies obtained outside the formal education and training system for purposes of certification.

The Skills Development Programme, a project of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by Swisscontact in a consortium with INBAS, has supported the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MLVT) and the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) to implement pilot assessments of 697 employees including 267 women using the process of RPL since 2016.

The event was presided over by H.E. Dr. Pich Sophoan, Permanent Secretary of State of the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MoLVT) and Ms. Nadia Ottiger, Deputy Director of Cooperation , Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Roughly 200 participants from the private sector, development partners, local and international NGOs and technical training institutes attended this event.

With a focus placed on developing a skilled workforce in Cambodia, national policies such as the National TVET Policy 2017 – 2025 and the Strategic Plan for Tourism Human Resources Development 2017 – 2025 promote the implementation of RPL. From latest available data of National Institute of Statistics (NIS), among employed people aged 15 – 64, 71 per cent completed only primary school. Only 3.3% of the employed population have attended completed vocational training . Thus, those who have never received a formal qualification despite having many years of working experience can obtain an official certificate for their competencies through this assessment process. That way, workers are (re-) integrated into the formal education and training system and gain access to further formal training opportunities.

Both ministries carry out RPL competency assessments for a number of different occupations, to date in the hospitality, mechanical and construction sector for level 1. The goal will be to garner more support from the private sector, and to roll out and up-scale the RPL system in the coming years.

Technical experts from both ministries and the Skills Development Programme provided their observations and experiences of the piloting process. Assessors and RPL candidates provided perspectives from participating in the assessment process.

The participants had the opportunity to visit simulations of practical RPL assessments of Small Engine Servicing, Motorcycle Servicing, Food & Beverage Servicing and Food Production. The guests were able to familiarise themselves with the RPL process and interact with RPL candidates, assessors and assessment committee members.

About the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation:
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is the agency for international cooperation of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).
Swiss international cooperation aims to contribute to a world without poverty and in peace, for sustainable development. It fosters economic self-reliance and state autonomy, contributes to the improvement of production conditions, helps address environmental problems, and ensures better access to education and basic healthcare services.

About Swisscontact:

Swisscontact – the Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation – is an independent, non-profit foundation based in Zürich, founded in 1959 by leading figures from the Swiss private sector and Swiss universities. It is exclusively involved in international development, active in more than 36 countries with 110 programmes with more than 1,400 staff members. At the heart of all of Swisscontact’s work stand the private sector and its crucial role for achieving more inclusive economic growth. Swisscontact approaches this through four thematic areas; a) Skills, b) Enterprises, c) Finance, and d) Environment. Swisscontact has been present throughout South-East Asia for more than 30 years.