wba accredits training providers and their offers.
An accreditation is a process of quality assurance through which accredited status is granted to a programme of education or training, showing it has been approved by the relevant legisaltive or professional authorities by having met predetermined standards.*
wba accredits educational offers in regard to their relevance to and fitting into the wba-qualifcation profils.

to assess/ assessment of learning outcomes

An assessment is the process of examining a person´s skills and/or competences against predefined criteria.* These criteria at wba are laid down in the wba-qualification profiles. Prior learning results can be assessed.
The wba-recognition process includes a three-day-assessment called "Certification Workshop". It focusses on candidates´adult specific work-related skills.


The ability to apply learning outcomes adequately in a defined context* (in the case of wba the defined context is adult education). Find out more about competences needed for a wba-qualification here.


Guidance and counselling or information, advice and guidance include, according to CEDEFOP, a range of activities designed to help individuals take educational, vocational or personal decisions and carry them out before and after they enter the labour market*.
At wba practical experience in the field of counselling/guidance is recognised if the individuals taking guidance or counselling are adults. Guidance or counselling has to deal with topics related to (adult) education and learning.

ECTS (European credit transfer system)

ECTS are a way to measure qualifications in units of learning outcomes. ECTS are a device in which qualifications are expressed in units of learning outcomes to which credit points are attached, and which is combined with a procedure for validating learning outcomes.
A major goal of the invention of ECTS is to increase the transparency of qualifications and foster mobility of people undertaking training and implement lifelong learning.
A learning work load of 25 hours equals 1 ECTS (wba).

to evaluate

"assessment" is generally related to individuals whereas an evaluation is more often used in connection with training methods or providers.
An evaluation is the appraisal of education or training methods.*

formal learning

is learning which takes place in an organised and structured environment [...] and is explicitly designated as learning.* In Austria formal learning takes place in schools, at universities,...
Other ways of learning can be non-formal and informal.

non-formal learning

is learning which is embedded in planned activities not explicitly designated as learning but intended from the learner´s point of view.*
In Austria non-formal learning takes place at adult education institutes.

in-formal learning

is learning which takes place whilst people follow their daily activities. It is not organised or structured and often not intentional.


The proofs handed in by a wba-candidates form a portfolio. A portfolio consists of relevant proofs such as certificates of further education courses or study courses, recommendations, various confirmations (e.g. for supervision,..), school reports, etc. Copies of all submitted proofs are handed in by wba-candidates via post.
Registered wba-candidates have access to the wba log-in area and to a personal online portfolio. The online portfolio shows the current status of a candidate´s certification process and is an important device to make the recognition process transparent.

practical experience

Practical experience in the area of AE of at least 500 hours and a minimum of one year is a prerequisite for a wba-certificate. Relevant areas of adult education are either Teaching/Training, Guidance/Counselling, Educational Management or Librarianship and Information Management.

recognition of learning outcomes / recognition of competences

A formal recognition is the process of granting official status to skills and/or competences either through the:

  • the award of qualifications such as certificates, diplomas or titles or
  • grant of equivalence, credit units, validation of gained skills and/or competences*

status-quo-evaluation - "Standortbestimmung"

The status-quo-evaluation is the process in which a portfolio (i.e. the proofs handed in by a wba-candidate) is compared to the set standards of the wba-qualification profile, the result is approved by the accreditation board and a detailed evaluation of the competences already acquired and the competences still missing is given. After the status-quo-evaluation candidates can either opt for the wba certificate or end the recognition process.


A validation is the confirmation by a competent body (in the case of wba the accreditation board or external experts) that learning outcomes [...] acquired by an individual in a formal, non-formal or informal setting have been assessed against predefined criteria and are compliant with the requirements of a validation standard (i.e.- at wba, with the qualification profiles). Validation typically leads to certification*.

* Citations from CEDEFOP (2008): Terminology of European education and training policy. A selection of 100 key terms. Luxemburg: Amt für Veröffentlichungen der Europäischen Union.


Back to the overview in English

Die Einordnung des wba-Diploms auf Stufe 6 des Nationalen Qualifikationsrahmens ist ein weiterer Meilenstein für die Professionalisierung der österreichischen Erwachsenenbildung. Sie steht für Transparenz und Vergleichbarkeit auf europäischem Niveau und belegt die hohe fachliche Leitungskompetenz von wba-diplomierten Erwachsenenbildner:innen.

Doris Wyskitensky, MA

Leiterin der Abteilung Erwachsenenbildung im Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung