In the VPL process, in general, ten steps are followed systematically from the phases of raising awareness of someone’s value(s), the making of a personal portfolio, the validation of this portfolio, up to a Personal Development Plan (PDP) and future actions planning as well. 

The table shows how a general VPL process may firstly apply to a volunteer.

Step + question Action by the volunteer Tools/resources/input

1. Awareness
What are you able to do (competences) and what did you learn as volunteer far?
Which necessity is there for self-investment?

Information for the volunteer, incl. examples of VPL in V-work so they become more aware of the value of their learning experiences.
Information for the V-organisation.
Open mind to lifelong learning.
Inventory of personal learning wishes.

  • Leaflet for the volunteer
  • Information material for the V-organisation
  • Advertising to V-organisations
  • Advertising to companies

2. Setting targets
Which learning targets are relevant?

Quick scan / Self-assessment.
Personal SWOT-analysis.
Formulate learning targets.

  • Quickscan/SWOT for volunteer if VPL would make sense
  • Choice by relevancy of goal(s) for individual: self-esteem / getting a job / keeping or improving job / volunteer / etc.

3. Standard setting
What is the relevant standard related to the targets?

Choosing a standard to refer to.
Inventory of career-opportunities.

  • Explanation of the standard (e.g. LEVER)
  • Self-assessment tool

4. Setting a personal profile
How to determine the need for competences?

Writing a personal profile.
Choosing a portfolio-format.

  • Personal portfolio, including the description of the need for competences

5. Retrospection
how to describe and document learning outcomes/prior learning?

Filling in a portfolio.
If needed, portfolio-guidance.

  • Filling in a portfolio
  • Training guiders in Volunteer organisation
  • Portfolio-guidance by volunteer organisation

6. Valuation
How to get valuated?

Valuation of the portfolio.
Getting advice on certification- and career opportunities.


  • Valuation of portfolio by guider and tutors: Is portfolio correct? Complete? Is it true what has been written?
  • Advice on certification
  • Advice on career opportunities (by job agengy)

7. Validation
How to get validated?

Turning the advice into proper certification and career-evaluation.
  • If possible: getting the competences certified, by a certifying organisation (vocational school, branch organisation, companies who accepted the LEVER-competences, …)

8. Prospection
How to set up a personal development plan (PDP)?

Turning validation into a PDP for reasons of certification, employability, empowerment.
Arranging tailor-made learning.

  • Description by volunteer of next steps in development / actions:
  • Potential development of volunteer’s function/role in the organisation
  • Further training / education
  • Actions addressed to the labour market

9. Implementing a PDP
Working on learning targets

Executing the PDP.
  • Operational and detailed action plan

10. Structural implementation & empowerment
How did it go? If ok, how to embed VPL structurally in a personal lifelong learning strategy?

Evaluation of the process.
Maintaining portfolio-documentation.

  • Reflection on process, with use of questionnaire and/of feedback by guiders
  • Further development / specify portfolio for other competences