Which competences can be recognised and how?

There are a variety of possible ways in which already acquired competences can be evidenced.

In addition to formally acquired competences, non-formally and informally acquired competences can also be acknowledged.
Submitted supporting documents are treated confidentially.

Formally acquired competences

These are competences acquired in formal educational and vocational training institutions (e.g. compulsory schools, schools with vocational qualifications, high schools and higher education institutions). They are proven through certificates. Performance is mainly assessed by a school grading system.

Examples for formally acquired competences that can be submitted are:

  • relevant know-how from educational/training courses taken after general compulsory schooling (9 school years)
  • apprenticeships
  • secondary school leaving certificates
  • vocational, middle or higher schools
  • colleges, universities of applied science, universities

Non-formally acquired competences

These are competences acquired in educational/training courses outside formal educational and vocational training institutions, in particular in adult educational establishments (through participation in courses, seminars, workshops, ...).

Examples for non-formally acquired competences that can be submitted are:

  • Courses, seminars: in order to receive acknowledgement, the subject matter of these adult educational courses must relate at least partly to competences within the wba qualification-profiles.
  • Symposia/conferences/presentations: in order to receive credit for these a confirmatory document is required.

Informally acquired competences

These are competences which cannot be substantiated through confirmatory documents or certificates. The visualization and acknowledgement of informal learning is an important part of the wba recognition process.

Examples for non-formally acquired competences that can be submitted are:

  • a confirmation of competence (a so-called "Kompetenzbestätigung") by an employer or client substantiated by means of a standard form. A prerequisite to hand in such a confirmation of competence is a relevant practical work experience of several years in the area relevant to the competence. A comprehensive description of the tasks involved has to be added to the confirmation by the wba candidate.
  • A paper: certain competences can be proven by handing in a 'paper', i.e. an intensive written analysis of the respective topic. It is assessed by expert appraisers and therefore subject to the payment of a charge. Costs: ¤ 80 per ECTS (wba) credit point + ¤ 30 administrative fee
  • Publications: for some areas of competence (especially at diploma-level) one´s own publications can be acknowledged for the respective topic.
  • Periods of residence abroad such as professional activities or studies abroad lasting longer than 3 months can be acknowledged in the areas "intercultural education" and "foreign languages". A written confirmatory document is necessary and is rated with a maximum of 2 ECTS (wba) credit points.
  • Projects: the handling of a adult education specific project can be acknowledged in the area of project management to the extent of 2 ECTS (wba) credit points if the project application (including a finance plan) and a project report are presented. It must be apparent that the person submitting the proof had the overall responsibility for the project.
  • Other procedures for the acknowledgement of informally acquired competences are acknowledged, too: for instance the "competence portfolio" of the Federation of Austrian Educational Associations, the certificate from the "Competence Acknowledgement Centre" of the Linz Adult Education centre, the "Competence Balance" from Future Centre Tyrol, the "Competence Check" from the Vocational Training Institute and the "Competence Profile" from Competence Counselling Carinthia. All of them consist of a guided work-up and result in a written form of informally acquired competences. Such procedures have a strong self-reflexive character and can therefore be acknowledged for the personal and, to some extent, the social competence.
  • Attendance of study courses: the development of social and personal competence within the framework of long study courses with stable student groups is almost unavoidable. Participation in non-public group study courses is therefore taken into account for social and personal competence.
  • Supervision, Coaching: can be submitted in lieu of personal competence.
  • Examinations passed: such as the ECDL or Cambridge exams can be submitted in lieu of optional modules.
  • Other means of evidence: wba is open to other forms of proofs. These have to be discussed with a wba advisor and approved by the accreditation board.


Back to the overview in English

Im Rahmen der Diplomierung zur Erwachsenenbildnerin, Schwerpunkt Bildungsmanagement, konnte ich in Seminaren und Trainings meine Interessen um neue Inhalte erweitern. Die Diplomierung erlaubte eine Verschmelzung von Theorie, Erwerbsarbeit, Weiterbildung und Ehrenamt und liefert damit das Rüstzeug für weitere Projekte.

MMag. Daniela Stampfl-Walch

wba-zertifizierte und wba-diplomierte Erwachsenenbildnerin