Raising awareness helps the volunteer realising about the necessity and opportunities of lifelong learning for individuals in any given context. It is the heart of the process of validating/valuing prior learning. Without this, learning will remain school- or company-steered and cannot effectively be based on individual talents and ambition.

An individual has to be aware of:

  • own competences
  • the value, he/she attributes to these competences
  • the value they have for others

in certain contexts at certain moments. Being able to keep up own competences in a ‘made-to-measure way’ is vital for this understanding.

Whether someone is competent becomes clear from his or her actions in a specific context. Society has a major interest in capitalising on this, either through formal learning pathways in the school system during certain periods in life or through non-formal and informal pathways in other periods.

For organisations, it is vital to understand that investing in people means investing in the goals of the own organisation. This awareness should culminate in setting specific targets for the investment in individuals and the support the organisation can give to this human resource development.
On the general VPL purposes, this phase is strictly linked to raising awareness in organisations which should understand and set the targets for VPL within the specific context as well; that’s, to think or rethink its mission and connect the results of this to the need to strengthen or even start up a pro-active form of human resource management.