How to Visualise your learning progress? – The LEVEL5 certificate

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How to Visualise your learning progress? – The LEVEL5 certificate


Nowadays, in the context of globalising world and unlimited access to numerous resources of information and social media, we are part of continuous cycle of interacting, experiencing and learning. Acquiring skills and competences informally, not only to keep pace with the dynamic economic and socio-political changes but for the sake of self-development and potential unleash, has become part of our everyday life. Lifelong learning is a key success factor, helping us adapt to the changes and acquire competences needed to accommodate to the new environment. That is why main strategic aim of the European Commission is “Making the European Area of Lifelong Learning a Reality” (2001) by improving knowledge, skills and competencies within a personal, civic, social and/or employment-related perspective.

This notion is also supported from academic perspective. According to Hasselhorn and Gold (2009) learning is a process of acquiring and understanding that leads to changes in the behaviour of the learner during his/her entire life. And by following the principles of the constructivist theory, this is achieved through immersion in the context – by experience (A.Scheer, C.Noweski, C.Meinel, 2012). Statements that lead to the conclusion that lifelong learning happens all around us and follows competence-based approach.

In future, rapid, customised learning scenarios are becoming increasingly necessary, which are oriented on concrete action and to the skills required in practice - and less on curricula and static job descriptions.

For this reason, European experts from research and practice have developed LEVEL5® since 2005 – as a system designed to plan and deliver "competence-oriented learning” (COL) in practical, informal contexts and validate and visualise the competence developments therein.

In the European project IMPACT a “new way of competence oriented learning” is promoted through open educational resources and rich open learning. In addition, IMPACT promotes validation of knowledge, skills and attitude as innovative element of competence oriented learning. The notion is to be AWARE of your learning progress.


The LEVEL5® system is specifically designed to assess personal, social and organisational competence developments in rather non- and informal learning settings. It is based on a 3-dimensional approach to validate cognitive, activity related and affective learning outcomes – the LEVEL5 cube.


LEVEL5 is based on a three-dimensional model; representing knowledge, skills and attitudes in a dynamic 5-stage reference system.

As such it is suitable both for designing and for validating competence oriented learning.


Since 2008 LEVEL5® has been used in more than 100 learning projects with more than 1.000 learners in a large variety of contexts and EU countries. All projects show that learning becomes much more effective using the Competence Oriented Learning and Validation approach because:

  • Competence developments on different levels can be assessed and visualised in an easily understandable way
  • The LEVEL5® approach increases the probability for transfer of the learned material during the trainings into the practice
  • The approach supports full customisation to the specific training programme and the organisational context of the trainees
  • Learning becomes competence oriented and related to observable real-life behaviours
  • Some trainees become for the first time conscious about how competent they really are

CATRO Bulgaria is the official representative of the LEVEL5® System in Bulgaria

The CATRO team is internationally trained to help you gain all benefits of Validation. You can count on our expert support in the:

  • Analysis of your competence framework
  • Training of your HR Experts for structured observation of behaviours and validation
  • Training of your employees for self and peer assessment
  • Overarching consultancy for best implementation of Validation in your organisational processes (training follow-ups, performance management discussions, promotion, career consulting, outplacement etc.)

Because . . .

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom" - Aristotle


European Launch Conference for the Lifelong Learning Programme (2001). Information retrieved from

Hasselhorn, M. and Gold, A. (2009). Educational Psychology: successful learning and teaching. Kohlhammer.

Scheer, A., Noweski, C. and Meinel, C. (2012). Transforming constructivist learning into action: Design thinking in education. Design and Technology Education: An International Journal, 17(3).
IMPACT project, focused on the LEVEL5 validation system:

Author: Diana Nedkova, Consultant in CATRO