​​  What is informal learning? 

Informal learning refers to a learning process resulting from daily life activities related to work, family or leisure, by which an individual acquires and accumulates knowledge, skills, attitudes, insight and competences from daily experiences and from exposure to one’s environment A clear example of this is when a son learns his father’s trade such as tile laying.  (Article 63, Chapter 427 Education Act)​

  What is Non-Formal Learning?

Non-Formal Learning refers to learning embedded in a planned activity organised outside the formal educational system, which activity is not explicitly designed as learning but which contains an important learning component. An example of this is learning that takes place during meetings with organisations such as Girl Guides and Boy Scouts. (Article 63, Chapter 427 Education Act)​

   What does Validation of Informal and Non-Formal Learning (VINFL) mean? 

Validation of informal and non-formal learning means a process which identifies, assesses and formally certifies the knowledge, skills and competences which individuals develop throughout their lives by means of participation in non-formal and informal learning. 

  Why should I apply for VINFL? 

Through applying for VINFL, one can obtain an award recognizing the skills, knowledge and competences an individual has obtained in his years of experience in a particular occupation. With this award in hand, you have the opportunity to further your studies, find a job, get a promotion, or continue studying abroad.​

  Who is eligible to apply for VINFL? 

Persons​ who have undertaken non-formal and informal learning for at least three years in a specific economic sector may apply to have their prior non-formal or informal learning experience validated in accordance with the process provided in Subsidiary Legislation 327.432. 

  What shall I prepare to be able to apply for VINFL? 

It is highly recommended that if one is interested to apply for VINFL, one shall start preparing a portfolio of previous work to present with their application. This may include personal details, work experiences, references from employers, documents related to formal qualifications, photographs, and audio and video clips relevant to the validation being sought. More personalized support and guidance will be provided when one contacts the relevant authorities. 

  What does the VINFL assessment consist of? 

The validation assessment may include one of the below assessment methods depending on the assessor:

a)      Debate or interview: where candidates demonstrate the depth of their knowledge and communication and social skills.

b)     Presentation of the Portfolio (or proof of past experience): where candidates demonstrate critical reflection, while making evidence-based statements about the competences they possess.

c)      Practical test: where candidates’ behavior is observed,  either through a simulated or a real-life work scenario.

d)     Written test: This is available only to higher MQF levels. This is where candidates’ demonstrate orally or in writing, their competences on a specific subject.

More personalised support and guidance will be provided when one contacts the relevant authorities.

  How do I apply for VINFL? 

The NCFHE has subcontracted other public entities to carry out the assessment required for the validation of non-formal and informal learning of candidates. Kindly contact the following according to desired occupation: 

Building and Construction





Hair and Beauty




Hospitality and Tourism



  In which sectors and occupations is VINFL currently available? 

The NCFHE currently has seven sector skills units working on different national occupational standards as follows:

1.       Building and Construction

2.       Hospitality and Tourism

3.       Automotive

4.       Printing and Digital Media

5.       Hair and Beauty

6.       Health and Social Care

7.       Education Support

For a list of occupations kindly follow this link which is updated regularly: https://ncfhe.gov.mt/en/services/Pages/All%20Services/vinfl_nos.aspx

  How can I have a digital copy of my certificate obtained via validation?

NCFHE is currently also working on blockchain certificates and can provide your validation certificates online. For more information on this kindly send an email to validation.ncfhe@gov.mt. 

  Who shall I contact for further information? 

Kindly send an email to validation.ncfhe@gov.mt or call on 2381 0000.