The consultation on the review of Informal Adult Community Learning is still not out - but on its way. In a discussion last week I was reminded that there are already potentially useful ways of assessing the benefit of this learning without endlessly saying how valuable it is but then judging it on qualification success rates or employment progress (although everyone agrees as ever these are very important).
The area worth looking at is the idea of GLOs - Generic Learning Outcomes. I can see the winces from here but there is something in it that takes us beyond the evident limitations of RARPA. At its best RARPA is just good teaching to support learning. In practice, however, it sometimes feels like an offering to Ofsted that the inspectors themselves don't find very satisfying. That's down to the individualism of it which has taken the correct idea of student/learner centred education and turned it into a Kafka-esque world of landscape tables, managerialism and pseudo statistics.
GLO comes from the wold of Museums, Libraries and Archives and has a simple but broad approach that looks like this:
You can find more out about it here: http://www.inspiringlearningforall.gov.uk/toolstemplates/genericlearning/
I think this needs to be examined further as we slowly move to a new paradigm for adult community learning: no longer a subset of Skills and Qualifications but with its own approach that works for individuals and communities throughout their lives.
The difficulty is that we try to prove the value of IACL to audiences which may never recognise it whatever is said.