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TVETipedia Glossary

Find and compare definitions of key terms in TVET


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Formal learning

Formal learning refers to a type of learning program in which the goals and objectives are defined by the training department, instructional designer and/or instructor. It is also called structured learning or synchronous learning.

Acquisition of knowledge, know-how, information, values, skills and competences in an organised and structured environment in terms of learning objectives, time or resources (e.g. an education or training institution or a company).

Cedefop, Glossary. Terminology of European education and training policy, (accessed 03/2023)

Learning that takes place through a structured program of instruction which is generally recognised by the attainment of a formal qualification or award (for example, a certificate, diploma or degree).

NCVER (Australia), VOCEDplus: Glossary of VET, (accessed 12/2022)

Learning that occurs in an organised and structured education and training environment and that is explicitly designated as such.

SAQA (South Africa), TVET Standard Glossary of Terms, 2013

Formal learning takes place in education and training institutions, is recognised by relevant national authorities and leads to diplomas and qualifications. Formal learning is structured according to educational arrangements such as curricula, qualifications and teaching-learning requirements.

UIL, UNESCO GUIDELINES for the Recognition, Validation and Accreditation of the Outcomes of Non-formal and Informal Learning, 2012

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