I. Background and Context of Recognition of Prior Learning & Certification
Kenya’s socio-economic growth largely depends upon the effectiveness and quality of the country’s Human Resources Development (HRD) system. According to Vision 2030, Kenya aims to create a globally competitive and prosperous country with high quality of life by 2030 through national development goals, relevant and quality education and training that meets the human development needs of a rapidly changing and a more diverse economy. Since the onset of education and training reforms in 2013, TVET and higher education institutions have increased their capacity to meet the demand for post-secondary education and training.
However, despite the concerted efforts to increase access for quality and relevant education and training through formal institutions, there is still robust empirical evidence that suggests a majority of post-secondary graduates end up in informal establishments/enterprises across various economic sectors and sub-sectors where they acquire knowledge, skills, and competencies non formally and informally. Consequently, the informal sector in Kenya immensely contributes to the National GDP. For instance, in 2021, informal sector employment created 753.8 thousand jobs and accounted for 81.4 % of the total jobs created outside of small-scale agriculture and pastoralist activities jobs created annually (Economic Survey, 2021).
In order to give visibility and value to skills acquired through non-formal or informal learning, Kenya has begun the process of institutionalizing a skills recognition and validation mechanism that allows people to better utilize their full range of skills (for careers and further learning) across all sectors key to national development goals. The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process is useful to identify, assess and certify a candidate’s knowledge, skills and competencies acquired in non-formal or informal learning, such as work or life experiences, against prescribed standards or learning outcomes.
Currently, it is a global best practice for countries to recognize that learning is continuous i.e., from cradle to grave and does not take place in the classroom alone but in sector wide and sector deep both in formal, informal, non- formal settings. RPL therefore is a response to the challenge facing the workers who despite having acquired the requisite skills and competences through informal and non -formal training arrangements, lack recognized qualifications, excluding them from transiting to decent work and further formal training opportunities. RPL can also be useful tool for refugees and migrant workers who may have gained experiences and competences outside their countries of residence and would like for those skills and experience to be formally recognized to facilitate easier integration into the host economies. It is founded on two basic principles: what a person knows and can do is more important than where and how s/he acquired competence, and no one should spend time, energy, and resources to learn what they already know and can do.
It is with this understanding that the Ministry of Labour and social protection in collaboration with the Ministry of Education through the Kenya national Qualification authority (KNQA) and other stakeholders developed a national RPL policy framework to guide the implementation of skills recognition and validation. This will promote a responsive and equitable education and training system that facilitates access, mobility, self-esteem, progression and fair chances to the 3 disadvantaged, discouraged, the traditionally marginalized learners including migrants and refugees to acquire a formal qualification that matches their prior knowledge and skills. Hence contribute positively to their employability, mobility, lifelong learning, social inclusion, and self-esteem.
However, what is yet to be established is the identification of potential occupations in key economic sectors that are in high demand for Recognition of Prior learning. This assignment, therefore, seeks to undertake an in-depth assessment of sub-sectors key to Kenya’s national development agenda to identify the occupations therein that RPL can be rolled out on a national scale.
II. RPL Support under “PROSPECTS” Partnership
The PROSPECTS partnership is a collaboration of the ILO, UNICEF, UNHCR, IFC and the World Bank, with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of the Netherlands, which aims to complement humanitarian assistance with a development approach focusing on the nexuses between education (including skills development and training), protection and employment. This is significant given the displacement trends with UNHCR projecting that Kenya is likely to continue to be amongst the top refugee hosting countries in Africa. Under the partnership, the ILO intends to increase the number of refugees and host communities with quality education and skills training and help transform the way governments and other stakeholders including the private sector, respond to forced displacement. The ILO interventions serve to make refugees and members of the host communities more attractive in the labour market, by ensuring that they have skills that are in demand, and that these skills are recognised and certified. By so doing, the project mitigates their plight during years of exile and best prepare them for their return through socio-economic inclusion and strengthen the resilience of host communities through inclusive socio-economic development.
III. Assignment Goal and objectives
The goal for the assignment is to undertake a rapid mapping to identify occupations in key economic sub-sectors in Kenya for which proof of competence is required for someone to practice that trade or business. In other words, occupations for which RPL certification are more likely to lead more decent work opportunities through wage or self-employment. the purpose of conducting a recognition of prior learning and certifying skilled persons is in line with the Kenya national qualifications framework (KNQF) objectives. This will entail a systematic assessment of the key sectors and identification of specific occupations’ qualifications requirements and to recommend prioritization for RPL assessment and certification.
Some of the recommended guiding questions for analysis are but not limited to;
i. What are the priority sectors of the economy that are registering growth and expansion and thus have potential to create employment opportunities?
ii. What occupations in what sectors (existing or emerging) could benefit from certified workers?
iii. What sectors and occupations are experiencing increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Or public investment?
iv. Which /occupations are formalizing or where formalization is a pre-requisite by law?
v. Which occupations are regulated and thus require licensing, registration to practice?
vi. Which occupations are experiencing large numbers of emigration or immigration?
vii. Which sectors /or economic activities offer viable opportunities for refugees?
viii. To what extent is a lack of certification or recognized qualification is a barrier to entry, transition and growth to more decent wage or self- employment?
ix. Which business require proof of qualifications and competence to open/own or operate
x. What are the pathways for integration of skills from the informal and non-formal sectors into mainstream socio-economic activities of the country?
xi. What is the general perception of employers in the identified sectors regarding support to RPL certifications for their existing workers?
The assessment will gauge the extent of existence of people with unrecognized / unvalidated skills in the identified sectors of the economy and respective occupations, determine changing/emerging requirements and or need/relevance for RPL and emerging/existing skills gaps amongst workers in the said sectors and occupations (due to future demands in line with sectorial growth and technological modernization. The result is expected to inform the recommendation for sectoral prioritization and implementation of RPL in Kenya.
IV. Scope of Works and Tasks
Under the general guidance of the Director General, KNQA and the Chief Technical Advisor ILO, the consultant will be required to:
i. Carry out an extensive literature review to determine potential sub-sectors and relevant occupations in the economy with widespread unrecognized and unvalidated skills and have the potential for the application and development of RPL
ii. Conduct consultations with key stakeholders (workers, employers, sector associations, professional bodies, quality assurance bodies) within the identified potential sub-sectors on the need and relevance for certification in general and RPL in particular
iii. Identify and map out the occupations and recommend for the development of Qualification Standards to support the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Process.
iv. Identify the extent to which existing skills across key sectors of the economy are in line with market requirements and the KNQA framework
v. Determine the success factors and or barriers faced within the identified occupational Skill area. Recommend on how this can be leveraged upon and or addressed accordingly.
vi. Recommend changing/emerging requirements such as critical employability skills applicable to the identifies sectors including foundation skills, core skills, digital skills, green skills, business management and entrepreneurship skills, transferrable technical skills.
The consultant is expected to deliver the following
i. Assessment workplan outlining schedule of activities to be conducted and proposed timelines
ii. An inception report within 5 days from the commencement date outlining the scope of assessment including methodology and assessment methods, proposed sources of Data and data collection methods.
iii. A draft assessment tool to be used for data collection within 1 week on commencement
iv. A detailed draft report of findings from the assessment of the priority sectors and the identified occupations therein
v. A Validation workshop with stakeholders to discuss the draft report of findings.
vi. A final report incorporating comments from stakeholders
VI. Consultancy Duration (Indicative work programme)
The assignment is expected to take sixty (60) working days and is expected to be carried out from March to May 2023, as per the time allocation in the work schedule as follows:
Activity -Timeframe (Days)
Inception Meeting- 1 day
Preparation/ Desk Analysis -10 days
Consultations -10 days
Draft report – 8 days
Validation Meeting -1 day
Revised and Finalised Report – 8 day
Development of stakeholder engagement plan – 8 day
TOTAL = 60 days
VII. Payment Schedule
Upon completion of tasks set out in section V of these TOR, to the satisfaction of the KNQA and the ILO and no later than April 2023.
a) 30% of the agreed fee upon signing of the contract and approval of inception report
b) 70% of the agreed fee after validation workshop finding report and satisfactory submission final report
VIII. Qualifications and expertise of the Consultant
1. The selected candidate will be required to have the following:
a) At least a master’s degree in Education, economics and other related discipline. A doctorate degree will be an added advantage.
b) Minimum 10 years’ related experience in research and labour market studies.
c) Strong background in data collection and analysis.
d) Technical expertise in assessing issues of labour market demand and supply in Kenya and ability to draw strong and valid conclusions.
e) Excellent in data management and use of statistical packages.
f) Excellent written communication skills and ability to write clear and concise reports.
g) Ability to work within tight timelines.
How to apply
How to apply Interested applicants (Individuals/organizations) should submit their expression of interest including their Technical proposal, CV’s, detailed work plan and financial proposal in USD, samples of similar work and other supporting documents that show previous experience in similar assignments to E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org to reach no later than midnight on Friday 17th February 2023, Quoting “Consultancy on “Identification and Assessment of Key Economic Sectors for RPL in Kenya”