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Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure EE-2005-1/2486 – measures in Estonia

Accrediting Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

Varasemate Õpingute ja Töökogemuse Arvestamine (VÕTA)

Country Estonia , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 January 2005
Context Restructuring Support Instruments
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
Author Ingel Kadarik (Praxis Center for Policy Studies) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 June 2022 (updated 21 October 2022)

Background information

The purpose of the APEL system is to meet the lifelong learning goals by making visible and valuing all knowledge and skills of a person, regardless of the time, place and method of their acquisition. APEL system can be used by individuals who wish to resume formal education studies (higher and vocational level education) that had been previously interrupted. It enables students to acquire a vocational certificate. The development of the APEL system started in 2005 and was mostly operational by 2009.

Content of measure

The APEL system enables the accreditation of a person's knowledge and skills-set, regardless of whether these have been acquired at a workplace, in training courses or in educational institutions. APEL takes into account a range of factors: previous studies, participation in professional training or courses, self-learning, and skills and knowledge acquired during a professional career. The APEL system can be used for meeting the admission criteria, transferring study credits from previous studies or transferring previous work experience into study credits for completing the study curriculum. It cannot be used for final examinations and defending graduation papers.

Accreditation requires the following documentation: a written application; documents that prove acquired knowledge and experience, such as a training certificate, or job description; and Europass documentation. It can also involve an interview and observation of skills (for example, involving a practical or technical demonstration).

Use of measure

No data available.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Students

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
European Funds
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown



Views and reactions



  • 01 January 2011: Rutiku, S., Vau, I., Ranne, R. (2011), Manual for the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) (
  • 16 May 2022: Haridus- ja teadusministeerium - Varasemate õpingute ja töökogemuse arvestamine (Ministry of Education and Research - Accreditation of prior and experiential learning) (


Eurofound (2022), Accrediting Prior Experiential Learning (APEL), measure EE-2005-1/2486 (measures in Estonia), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.