1. Introduction to the survey

This survey is being distributed as part of the European VALMOPRIS project funded by Erasmus.  The project aims to investigate and facilitate the recognition and effective validation of non-formal and informal learning within a variety of prison settings.  Much of the valuable work that goes on in prisons is either non-formal or informal in nature and generally responsive to the needs of prisoners – seeking to develop improved skills, knowledge, values and wellbeing. 

The terms 'non-formal' and 'informal' learning are subject to some debate and national variance.  To avoid undue confusion, we have included the following definitions, adapted from the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training

Formal learning: occurs in an organised and structured environment and is explicitly designated as learning.  Formal learning is intentional from the learner’s point of view and typically leads to certification.

Non-formal learning: is integrated into planned activities which are not always identified as learning activities; it is not usually rewarded by a certificate.

Informal learning: results from daily activities related to work, family or leisure. It is not organised or structured in terms of objectives, time or learning support and is, in most cases, unintentional from the learner’s perspective.
Despite its value, non-formal and informal learning is traditionally unaccredited.  The validation of non-formal and informal learning (VINFL), therefore, seeks to redress this balance and ‘make tangible’ enhanced skills and competences, both to learners and stakeholders.   

We are circulating this survey across the European partner countries as part of our research. The questionnaire seeks to help us better understand the current awareness and perceived value of non-formal and informal learning within prison settings and the possibilities and challenges presented by its validation.
This survey contains 15 questions and should take around ten minutes to complete.
We thank you in advance for participating in our survey. Your feedback is very important to us.